Visitors to Colombia can engage in a variety of unique cultural festivals and shows running year round. Mixing classic Latin culture with world-renowned talent, these iconic Colombian events offer something for all those seeking an unforgettable visit to this South American destination.
Five Fantastic Festivals
The Bambuco Folk Festival and Beauty Pageant: the best contest of this Andean dance June Since colonial times, the department of Huila has been celebrating the feasts of Saint John and Saint Peter. Towards the end of June, it is Neiva’s turn to deck itself with traditions where the main events are float parades, orchestra presentations, and the competition to select the national bambuco queen, the winner of which is the beautiful girl who most gracefully and skillfully dances the bambuco. The Fiestas de San Pedro, in honor of Saint Peter, are just as well known as the above and congregate the traditions and hospitality of the region’s inhabitants with thousands of visitors who decide to pegarse la rodadita (roll down the mountain) - a popular saying for inviting the world to come and become acquainted with the city of Neiva.
Rock in the park festival in Bogota, July 1-3 Rock al Parque in Bogotá is the biggest and best annual rock-music festival in Latin America. Tens of thousands of people squeeze into Simón Bolívar Park to enjoy the impressive musical line-up. Bogotá's rock fans can enjoy a wide variety of free performances by international, national and local bands. In the weeks leading up to the event, local up-and-coming groups take part in a battle-of-the-bands to win the chance to perform at the event.
The Medellin Flower Fair, August This annual event is a unique experience for any traveller, as it features the largest outdoor horse parade and the largest outdoor flower show in the world. It offers visitors and residents more than 140 traditional events, including an orchestra festival, the National Trova Festival (singers who duel using improvised verses), a classic cars parade, the Festival of Remembrance and Folk Songs, the Chiva Carnival, and the National Championship of Noise on Wheels.
World Coleo Encounter in Villavicencio: The Most Important Event in the Art of Being a Cowboy, October This event takes place in Villavicencio, a city known as the “Gateway to the Eastern Plains.” Located only two hours from the Colombian capital, Bogota, the festival features harp music, Joropo dancing, and traditional foods. Coleo, a local sport, is deep-rooted in the traditional culture of the Colombian savanna, and is played throughout the festival. Players topple a cow or young bull by pulling its tail, while riding a horse.
Festival of the Lights, December 7-8 City streets become a blaze of light, with sidewalks, balconies, and terraces covered with lit candles. This is the traditional Noche de las Velitas, or “Night of the Little Candles.” Noche de las Velitas takes place in Villa de Leyva, a picturesque village that fills with tourists who come to enjoy the show. The festival is geared towards families with children and is an excellent opportunity to feel the Colombian Christmas spirit. The festivities include a lantern contest, which takes place during the procession of the Immaculate Conception, concerts by Christmas choirs, and the firework shows.
More Cultural Experiences can be found here.
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Freelance journalist based in Toronto (Canada), with a focus on adventure, ecotourism, lifestyle, entertainment and historical angles. He has been writing for over 15 years for trade and consumer publications, both online and print. In addition he has worked with many tour operators and tourist boards to assist with marketing and promotional initiatives. He also has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. Writing style ranges from real life accounts from a personal perspective to a more professional corporate approach. Bryen welcomes the opportunity to work with publications or organizations that seek a progressive view on current topics. Available for feature destination articles, regular columnist, and contract assignments. Past travel destinations include Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, Caribbean, South Pacific and most parts of North America, including Alaska, Yukon and the North West Territories. Bryen can also be heard regularly on CIUT 89.5 FM in Toronto and Sirius Radio on the internet. www.bryendunn.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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