5 Fantastic Festivals in Colombia 2023

Here is our pick of five festivals in Colombia you might wish to visit in 2023.

Americas, Culture & History

Colombia is a fascinating and colourful country to visit, with a rich history and wide culture. There are a number of festivals in the South American country throughout the year. Here is our pick of five festivals in Colombia you might wish to visit in 2023.

Festivals in Colombia

1   Barranquilla Carnival, February 18 to 21

We have all heard of the Rio Carnival, but the second biggest fiesta in the world – or so they claim – is over in Colombia. The Barranquilla Carnival sees the coastal Colombian city filled with magnificent street parades, traditional dancers and cumbia music. Less commercial than Rio, it is equally lively with four days of partying.

barranquilla carnival colombia

2   Semana Santa (Easter), April 6 to 9

Easter, or Semana Santa, is celebrated across Latin America, not just in Colombia. Although Christianity is at the centre of the festival with religious processions and Passion Plays performed, this is also a time when Colombians take advantage of the long holiday to head to the beach.

3   Vallenato Festival, Valledupar, April 26 to April 30

Held in Valledupar, north east Colombia, the Vallenato Festival, or Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata, is a celebration of Colombian Vallenato country music. The festival involves competitions both for music and dance, young and old, with the accordion (see main image), snare drum and guacharaca (a ribbed hollow tube of wood, played with a wire fork), to the fore.

feria de las flores

4   Feria de las Flores 2022, Medellin, August 7 to 14

The annual Feria de las Flores, or Flower Festival, held in the city of Medellin is one of the most colourful and pretty festivals in Colombia. The highlight of the festival is the flower parade or desfile de silleteros. Also recommended is a visit to the Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden and its Orchidiarium.

5   La Feria de Cali 2022 (Cali Fair), December 25 to 30, 2022

Rounding off the year – it always starts on Christmas Day – is the Feria de Cali or Cali Fair. One of South America’s most important salsa festivals, expect fireworks, colourful parades, free concerts and beauty pageants until the end of the year. The fair starts with the Salsódromo parade, the biggest celebration of salsa music in Colombia. There are also vintage car parades, sports events and great street food.

Things To Do in Colombia

Cartagena Colombia
Cartagena Colombia

Away from the festivals there are many wonderful things to do in Colombia. The capital Bogota is a vibrant city with a great street art scene, or you can visit the Colombia coffee region in the centre of the country to taste arguably the best coffee in the world. Finally, no visit to the country would be complete without experiencing the local tourism in Cartagena.

Flights to Colombia

There are direct Avianca London to Bogota flights from Heathrow.

What to Do in Colombia

For more information on places to visit in Colombia, go to: https://colombia.travel/en.

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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