Colombia looks set to hold the spotlight for December’s season of exuberance across Latin America. Colombian cities are offering a wealth of festive attractions, beginning with extravagant Christmas light displays.
With a history of dominating the Christmas scene, the Antioquian capital of Medellin is reputed to put on one of Latin America’s most impressive displays of illuminations.
Celebrations begin on Saturday December 5 with the official turning on of 15.5 million lights across the city, in homage to this year’s ‘water’ theme. The illuminations will be accompanied by a concert put on by Medellin’s Network of Music Schools.
Celebrations also take off on December 5 in Colombia’s Coffee Zone where the city of Pereira has dedicated its decorative display to the region’s flora and fauna as a prelude to the construction of a new Wildlife Biopark near the city.
Places to visit over Christmas in the region include the Parque del Lago, the Parque del Cafe and the town of Quimbaya where inhabitants have erected displays of hand-made lanterns, to be lit on December 7 and 8.
The city of Bucaramanga has built a Disney-style theme park which will be open until January 31 and for which entry will is COP2,500.
On December 7, the Caribbean city of Barranquilla will illuminate 6,500 decorative figures and reportedly some 50km of roped fairy lighting.
According to El Tiempo, 72 towns in Colombia’s department of Boyaca will be competing for the best Christmas display. Festivities are due to be launched in unison on Thursday night, beginning with the lighting of lanterns on the Boyaca Bridge – coinciding with Colombia’s Bicentennial of Independence.
Colombia is making a concerted effort to step up its cultural offerings in the hopes of attracting a considerable number of foreign visitors over the coming Christmas and New Year season.