Colombia – Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:58:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 5 places in the Colombian Pacific that you didn’t know existed http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/5-places-in-the-colombian-pacific/ Thu, 05 Jul 2018 12:00:40 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12398 The southwest of Colombia has a magical region where euphoria, nature and gastronomy come together to offer travelers an extraordinary experience. In this article, we invite you to visit 5 places in the Colombian Pacific that hide all the ‘tumbao’* of this region that offers flavor, warm climate and variety of rhythms to enjoy an [...]

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The southwest of Colombia has a magical region where euphoria, nature and gastronomy come together to offer travelers an extraordinary experience. In this article, we invite you to visit 5 places in the Colombian Pacific that hide all the ‘tumbao’* of this region that offers flavor, warm climate and variety of rhythms to enjoy an unforgettable vacation.


1. Cali: The salsa capital of the world

This city was made for dancing and being one of the capitals of the Colombian Pacific, it hosts important folk music festivals such as Petronio Álvarez, or the World Salsa Festival. It also has a varied gastronomic offer whose based in fried foods that can be tried in restaurants like Hacienda del Bosque, a great place to explore the flavors of Latin fusion cuisine.

This ‘branch of the sky’, as the city was nicknamed after the Pan American Games of 1971 due to the civility, organization and kindness of its people, has a remarkable characteristic: the greenness of the mountains that surround it. Therefore, one of the recommended activities is to visit the top of the city to see it from different viewpoints.

Book a panoramic tour of Cali here

Cali

Cali is also a romantic city; do not forget to visit her on your next trip to Colombia / Photo: Ricardo Hincapié


During the day you can also visit several cultural centers such as the Museum of Tertulia or Caliwood, and even escape to Andoke, a butterfly garden where your senses will be awoke. In the evening, the rhythm heats up ** so, we suggest you take some salsa lessons to be able to keep up.

On the outskirts of Cali you can find the best of nature and adventure. Extreme sports and a beautiful landscape in one place. La Maloca de los Vientos is a theme park that brings together 9 extreme and innovative activities. Although it’s difficult to choose whether the best part of this adventure is arriving at the park or entering the traditional haciendas in Cali.

If you’re a romantic, then you’ll love visiting Hacienda El Paraíso, the inspiration for Colombian writer Jorge Isaacs of his iconic novel: María. Entering the gates is like going back in time and reliving this love story.

Hacienda El Paraiso inspired Jorge Isaacs to write “María”; inspire yourself too / Photo: Mario Carvajal


2. Calima Lake: a place for adventure

This reservoir is one of the largest in the America, which makes it the perfect location for water sports. The combination of warm weather and the blue of the lake invite you to adventure.

This place is ideal for leaving the bustle of Cali to relax in nature for a day. In addition, in the town of El Darién, where the lake is located, you can visit the Archaeological Museum. If you come in August, when the Summer Festival takes place, you’ll also experience the best of Vallon folklore.

Book a tour to Lake Calima

Lago Calima

Live your own adventure on Lake Calima! / Photo: JMisael123ct


3. Gorgona Island, ideal for whale watching

The islands of Gorgona and Malpelo are National Natural Parks that were declared Natural Heritage of Humanity sites. If you love diving, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit this natural reserve.

In its waters you can see starfish, moray eels, turtles and sharks, and if you go between July and mid-October you can go whale watching! Before traveling, even before arriving in Colombia, consult the National Natural Parks page, to find out the cost of the entrance fee, as well as any restrictions or reservations required to enter the park.

Take advantage of the whale season and book this magical experience!

Ballena jorobada

Between July and October you can see the whales in the Colombian Pacific, you can not miss it! / Source


4. Nuquí, a space for ecotourism

Located in Chocó, this magical place is ideal for those who want to disconnect from the modern world. The internet and telephone signal is inconsistent, there are modest lodgings and the menu is limited; even so, it’s one of the best places to get lost, to relax, to fall in love, to swim, and for everything. Therefore, if you’re a person with an adventurous spirit, this region is ideal for you. It’s possible to go outside of Nuquí to tour the mangroves, surf or kayak.

As it’s an isolated place, remember to bring cash since finding ATMs or exchange houses is challenging. Reserve your lodging before traveling and get vaccinated because it’s tropical zone with a lot of risk for mosquito bites.

There are places like Posada Palo de Agua where you can sleep in hammocks or in private rooms. Solomon’s Refuge is another good option, located 45 minutes by boat from Nuquí. At each place you’ll find different features but all with the objective of making your trip a haven of peace.


5. San Cipriano Natural Reserve

This reserve is located a couple of hours from Cali. You can’t get there by the main road and have to arrive by the train tracks, a transport that the locals call ‘brujitas’. This transport consists of pulling along, powered by a motorbike, a wooden blank with benches placed on the train tracks. It’s not a fast option fast but it is always better to be safe when riding.

San Cipriano is one of the wettest places in Colombia, so you’ll probably enjoy diving into its crystalline river, where you can see the bottom even when it’s 5 meters deep! Another of the unmissable activities is to walk upstream for an hour and then slip down the river on tires.

Its star dish is the Muchillá caviar, a river seafood soup that’s ambrosia on the palate. The recommendation is to plan the trip and book before you arrive because being a small town, in high season it can be difficult to find lodging.

Reserva Natural San Cipriano

Are you going to resist this spectacular river? Let yourself be surprised by the Colombian Pacific! / Photo: Laura García


Bonus: ¿How to speak caleño?

This region has a very unique way of speaking, so here we leave you with some translated expressions to make you feel like local when you are there.

– Aletoso: It’s an aggressive person who has no trouble looking for a fight.

– Abejorreo: Kissing passionately in public. It’s a common act when the festive atmosphere reaches its peak.

– Biringo: Being naked.

– ¡Bien o qué!: It’s a friendly greeting very common in all of Colombia, but to some foreigners, especially to Spanish speakers, it can be considered aggressive.

– **Calidoso: Is something or someone cool, they also say chévere or bacano.

– Cusumbosolo: Being lonely and bitter.

– Entuque: It’s an informal relationship, when you first start dating a person they say that you have an ‘entuque’.

– *Tumbao: Having style in the way you talk, dress, or walk.

Sign yourself up to dance salsa, speak caleño and eat fish. The Colombian Pacific awaits you!

Reserve your activities and tours in Colombia here

By: Laura García Betancur, Colombian journalist and audiovisual communicator at the University of Manizales, Colombia.

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4 reasons to enjoy tango in Medellín http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/4-reasons-to-enjoy-tango-in-medellin/ Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:40:50 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12371 Tango won the heart of Medellín a century ago and to this day, this passion of the Rio de la Plata is still alive in this charming Colombian city. Carlos Gardel well aware of the fascination of this city for tango visited Medellín as well as other Colombian cities in June 1935, this is also [...]

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Tango won the heart of Medellín a century ago and to this day, this passion of the Rio de la Plata is still alive in this charming Colombian city. Carlos Gardel well aware of the fascination of this city for tango visited Medellín as well as other Colombian cities in June 1935, this is also where he died in a plane crash. For this reason and others that we will give you, enjoying tango in Medellín is one of the unmissable activities for any traveller.

The Festival Internacional de Tango in Medellín is one of the reasons you have to enjoy this rhythm in the city / Source


1. 100 years of tango tradition

Medellín’s love for tango is not something new, for those who think that tango in the city started with Carlos Gardel, le danseur Jhonny Blandón, director of the Academy El Candombe assures that the Zorzal Criollo (it’s how Gardel was called) went to Medellín because there already was a tango tradition in the city.

But, how did the tango travelled 4225 miles from the Rio de la Plata to Medellín? Experts say that was possible thanks to the music industry with the records which arrived in Colombia in the early 20th century, these records had on one side Colombian rhythms and on the other side they had tango. These records arrived in the canteens of Medellín and in the surrounding towns, this helped to popularize tango in the region.

Since the start of the 20th century, tango is in the heart of the inhabitants of Medellín


2. Carlos Gardel

On the 24th of June 1935, Carlos Gardel died in Medellín. The plane where he was crashed at the Airport Olaya Herrera, his tragic departure strengthened the relationship of the paisas(inhabitants of Medellín) with tango. The legend of the singer continues to live and there are statues of him and even museums with his name all over the city.

Gardel returned the love of the Colombians for him and his music, in the last musical show he gave, he said: “Before singing my last song, I want to say that I have felt great emotions in Colombia. Thanks for the amability. I found in the smiles of the children, the looks of the women and the kindness of the Colombians a great source of joy (…) This land that welcomed me is so enchanting that I leave feeling like if I was his son, I can’t tell you goodbye, only hasta siempre”.


3. Cultural spaces to live tango

The third reason to enjoy tango in Medellín is that the city possesses many cultural spaces to dance and learn the history of this rhythm in the city. In El Patio del Tango, created in 1958, are musicians and dancers to create a great party. It’s a very intimate show where it’s possible to listen to old school tango songs.

The second famous place of the city is the Museo Casa Gardeliana, founded in 1973, declared Historical and Cultural Heritage of Medellín, it is situated in the Manrique suburb, crossed by the Avenida Gardel (The 45), an area full of tributes to the artist. There, valuable objects related to tango are exhibited and tango lessons are given for children and teenagers.

Two places which also have a tango spirit are the Salón Málaga, a bar-restaurant decorated with old photos and there is music which brings us back to the middle of the 20th century and, the Casa Cultural Homero Manzi, where you can often see live music, social gatherings, and celebrations associated with tango.

Travel tip: Discover in first person the influence of Carlos Gardel in the city with the Medellín Tango Tour.

The Casa Gardeliana is one of the temples of tango in Medellín, a must-see!


4. Festitango Medellín

If you still need more reasons to enjoy tango in Medellín, this one should convince you, especially if you are travelling in Colombia during the month of June. The Festival Internacional de Tango de Medellín (Festitango) has been held for 12 years, close to 80 events are organized for tourists and locals.

This year, it will take place from 18 to 24 June and events will take place in the Teatro Metropolitano, the Teatro Pablo Tobón Uribe and the Plaza Gardel. The tributed of this festival will be the Argentine composer Homero Expósito, to remember the 100 years of his birthday. The principal event of the festival is the Campeonato Mundial de Baile de Tango where more than 350 competitors from different cities will show the talent of the Colombians to dance the 2×4 rhythm.

Among the most importante activites of the festival, there is the World Tango Dance Championship, a real show / Source


Discover this and other interesting aspects of the Colombian culture with Daytours4u. Make your trip to Colombia a unique opportunity to know the tradition of this lovely country especially through his music.

By: Daytours4u’s Content Team

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Gastronomic Guide of Colombia: what and where to eat to experience all the flavors of Colombian cuisine http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/gastronomic-guide-of-colombia/ Tue, 22 May 2018 11:00:36 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12317 Located in the equatorial zone, this seasonless country harvests a great variety of fruit and vegetable all year long, that are then marinated in different dishes creating an explosion of flavors. As love enters through the eyes, in this Gastronomic Guide of Colombia, we invite you to fall in love, not only with its landscapes, [...]

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Located in the equatorial zone, this seasonless country harvests a great variety of fruit and vegetable all year long, that are then marinated in different dishes creating an explosion of flavors. As love enters through the eyes, in this Gastronomic Guide of Colombia, we invite you to fall in love, not only with its landscapes, but also with delicious dishes that you will surely hear about from locals such as the bandeja paisa, ajiaco, sancocho, and many more.


Colombian Caribbean

The diet of the Colombian Caribbean is characterized by having a lot of green plantain, fish, and fried fast food, such as egg arepas or carimañolas. As for the desserts, you can find sweets on the beach and the famous street of palenqueras being offered in dessert trays with coconut, tamarind, and other typical fruits of the region.

Coconut is one of the main components of Caribbean cuisine, both in dishes and drinks / Photo: Daytours4u

Santa Marta

The Pearl of the Caribbean offers multiple dining experiences, just as varied as the shades of blue of Tayrona National Park and Taganga.

Today, the historical center of Santa Marta is a trendy place for tourists to visit, due to its tranquility and colonial character. In recent years, local gastronomic options have exploded, but just remember to be careful when consuming street food because the water of the coast is not of good quality and your stomach may not be used to it.

 

One recommendation in the historic center of Santa Marta is the Lamart, a seafood restaurant that offers an explosion of flavors; the house specialty dessert is fried ice cream, a very unique dish for those looking for new culinary experiences.

Another is La Primera Restaurante, found a little further outside of the center, it is an establishment strategically located for you to have an excellent view of the bay while enjoying its diverse international dishes.

If you plan on staying in Taganga, you have several options to choose from, such as Bítacora Restaurant, a place with a large culinary variety, or Babaganoush, a restaurant bar whose owner is responsible for providing the best experiences to its guests. Also, before 10 PM every evening, there is a 2×1 cocktail promotion.

Travel tip: To get from the center of Santa Marta to Taganga you just have to take an urban bus or an uber if you want to travel more comfortably.

In addition to enjoying the delights of Taganga, take the opportunity to contemplate its magical sunsets / Photo: Laura García

Cartagena

This magical Caribbean city, famous for its film festivals, literature and classical music which contrasts with wild champeta rhythms, offers its visitors a diverse gastronomy that ranges from street cuisine to elegant restaurants.

If you are curious about the local gastronomy, Cartagena is the ideal place to take a street food tour. This tour is the perfect opportunity to not only get to know the local dishes, but discover how they’re prepared along with their history.

To complement this experience you can walk through the Bazurto market where you’ll find all kinds of food that is typical of the region, along with music and crafts. Despite being well known today among curious tourists, we advise you to visit Bazurto market accompanied by a local due to security risks outside of the main tourist circuit, along with being overwhelmed from contact with locals.

Dining at La Mulata, on the other hand, is a more sophisticated experience without going beyond the typical. This restaurant is located inside the walled city so the atmosphere is much quieter. If you are passionate about the sea breeze, you should go to the Café del Mar, which is a restaurant bar located on the wall. Besides being one of the most famous in the country for its exclusive menu and wonderful views, it also offers an extensive menu of liquors and irresistible foods.


Medellín

These lands are ideal for experiencing tradition and new experiences. The typical diet of this area is based on grains, such as beans and corn, which you will see in every dish of the day in most restaurants, however, in this city you can find anything from molecular cuisine, to typical dishes, and even international cuisine.

Another must-see of the local gastronomy and culture is a visit to the market place. Besides being able to learn about the products of the region, the restaurants located there are an excellent option for breakfast while you immerse yourself in the daily life of the locals.

Reserve a Plaza Mercado Tour here

For lunch, enjoy a paisa tray at La Hacienda, a restaurant located in the center of the city, famous for its beans. Or you can have lunch at La Chagra, an Amazonian food restaurant located in the El Poblado area. This type of cuisine is exotic, so we advise you to ask the waiter about any terms you don’t understand. For dinner, Marmoleo offers music, a pleasant atmosphere and a pork rind ceviche that you cannot miss.

As for complementary experiences, we invite you to visit the restaurant El Cielo, where you’ll find molecular cuisine, and a tour of the most striking bars of Medellin, so you can venture into the nightlife and its drinks.

Travel tip: The best thing about the dishes of this city is that you can learn to prepare them easily and most of the ingredients are available in other countries, so if you fall in love with these typical dishes, we invite you to learn how to prepare them with the culinary experience tour in Medellín.

The paisa tray is one of the emblematic dishes of Medellín, do not miss it! / Source

Bogotá

Like any large city, the Colombian capital offers international food, fusion cuisine, and the most typical dishes of the country. If you visit the capital for a few days, we recommend that you start in the La Candeleria neighborhood. This area has a mixture of colors and architecture that will take you back to the colonial past. It is the best option to get closer to the Colombian Andean season, because, due to its large concentration of universities, offices and tourists, its streets are full of restaurants where you can try ajiacos, tamales and arepas.

Reserve a La Candelaria street food tour

Another colonial neighborhood of Bogotá is Usaquén, a town absorbed by the city, where there is a wide variety of bars and restaurants such as Felinos, a small local place where they sell homemade food, and one of the best ajiacos (soup with three types of potatoes with a chicken base) of the city.

For dinner, the famous Andrés Carne de Res restaurant bar is the place to go to experience night life in Bogotá. This establishment is one of the most famous in the country, with its main headquarters in the outskirts of Bogotá, and another headquarters in the Zona Rosa. On weekends it is difficult to find a reservation, so we recommend that you book one night in Andrés Carne de Res so that you can fully enjoy the experience.

During your days in Bogotá, go through the Usaquén neighborhood and try one of the best ajiacos / Photo: Multivac42

Bucaramanga

The capital of Santander region, as with the whole area, has a gastronomic culture based on yuca, with desserts such as the bocadillo veleño made with sweet guava, and snacks like hormigas culonas, which are ants.

One of the best options for enjoying local cuisine is La Puerta del Sol, a restaurant with more than 60 years of experience where you can find dishes such as mute (typical Santanderean soup), and cabrito al horno, among other delights. Our advice is that to enjoy a complete cooking and historical experience to visit the Santandean villages where you’ll discover that many were the epicenter of Spanish settlements and libertarian deeds.

During the time of colonization, Spanish settlements left coffee as a legacy, a crop that later expanded to other parts of the country. If you are in this region, don’t miss the opportunity to visit a coffee plantation and learn a bit of Colombian history.

Try all the desserts of Bucaramanga, especially the bocadillo veleño made with sweet guava / Phto: Daytours4u

Pereira

Being in the largest city of the 3 departments that make up the Coffee Triangle, you will probably decide to spend at least one night there. If so, one of the restaurants that you can’t miss is Latino, a place offering typical Colombian Pacific food based on seafood and fish, which despite not being typical of the region, is an interesting option to learn innovative ways to prepare food. Being in a place that is not very touristy, we recommend that you use transit to visit. Very close to Pereira, you can find other places to eat, while enjoying an incredible view, such as Santa Clara a grill 20 minutes from the city by bus.

Take advantage of your days in the Coffee Region to visit the haciendas of the place, experience the plantations and taste the quality coffee with the coffee experience in Santa Rosa.


We hope that with this guide your appetite has increased and that you are hungry for adventure and encouraged to experience the best of Colombia.

Book your best experiences in Colombia here

By: Laura García Betancur, Colombian journalist and audiovisual communicator from the University of Manizales, Colombia

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Colombia in 5 steps: Move to the beat http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/colombia-in-5-steps-move-beat/ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 11:00:49 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12263 Colombia is a country of colors, flavors and rhythms marked by diversity. It’s easy to contrast the green of its mountains with the yellow of the sand or the blue of the sea, and when it comes to music something similar happens. Each region has a different type of music, encouraging you to move and [...]

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Colombia is a country of colors, flavors and rhythms marked by diversity. It’s easy to contrast the green of its mountains with the yellow of the sand or the blue of the sea, and when it comes to music something similar happens. Each region has a different type of music, encouraging you to move and which, at times, brings you back to colonial times. In this article we take a tour through the lands of the most popular Colombian rhythms, so that you can get your suitcases, your ears and your dance steps ready.


1. Vallenato, with accordions and legends

This genre, which uses the accordion as one of its main instruments, has its origins in the Colombian Caribbean, where people sat outside their homes to enjoy the afternoon heat, while drinking a beer, listening to vallenatos and effortlessly putting together a parranda*. Little by little this rhythm began acquiring new nuances and caught on in colder regions, like Bogotá. Nowadays it’s very common to listen to Vallenato in a taxi in any Colombian city, throughout the neighborhoods or while walking around the center.

Its fame has grown to the point that every year it’s celebrated in Valledupar at the emblematic Festival of the Vallenata Legend, one of the best festivals and cultural events in Colombia. This year it will be celebrated from April 26 to 30, 2018 and the honoree will be popular singer Carlos Vives. Find all the information for this event at the festival’s official page.

*Parranda: A party with drinking and dancing

Join the Festival of the Vallenata Legend and enjoy each parade and musical presentation

2. Cumbia, “ay mira que en Barranquilla se baila así”

This musical genre is played in many Latin American countries, however, it’s originally from Colombia. African slaves, during the times of colonization, invented percussion instruments to tell stories of romance and flirtation through music around the fire. During this dance, the woman moves her hips slowly, taking short steps while dragging her feet and shaking her wide skirt, while the man makes a circle around her, courting her.

All of Colombia dances cumbia during the month of December, and in the Colombian Caribbean it’s common to hear it throughout the year. So, if you plan to visit Barranquilla you can take the opportunity to listen to this rhythm some more in the Interactive Carnival Room, Elsa Caridi; or you can go a step further and enjoy local folklore on a Barranquilla Party Bus Tour.

In her famous song Hips don’t lie, Shakira, along with others, moves her hips to the rhythm of cumbia:


3. Champeta, Cartagena’s reggaeton

Champeta in Cartagena was originally used as a way to derogatorily refer to the Afro-descendant and marginalized population of the city. However, with the turn of the century, new music labels arrived that modified the language of the songs and relaunched Champeta with young and talented individuals. Soon, this musical rhythm was playing in the elite clubs throughout the city and has since become a large trend.

Currently, Champeta in Cartagena is part of the coastal culture. A 10 minute walk from the walled city, there’s a club called Bazurto Social Club, a place where one of the most representative groups of this genre was born: Bazurto All Star.

If you’d like to complement the cultural experience, you can visit the Bazurto Market in Cartagena where, along with the flavors and the hubbub of its people, you can learn about how Champeta became part of the city.

Explore the entire city with A Grand City Tour through Cartagena


4. Salsa caleña, from Cali with love

With airs of son, jazz, mambo and bolero, salsa is a musical genre born in the Antilles. In Colombia it gained strength during the 60’s and 70’s, to the point that many cities like Cali adopted this genre as their own.

Cali is known as the salsa capital of the world; why you ask? There are more than 90 salsa academies and about 120 establishments to go out to a pachanga*. If you go up to San Antonio to see the city from above, or if you take a walk through the center or enter any store, this rhythm will quickly reach your ears. It is, without a doubt, the sound of the city! So when you visit Cali we suggest that you to get ready to dance with a salsa lesson.

Every year at the Cali Fair, which takes place beginning December 25th, hundreds of music lovers, collectors, dancers and people passionate about salsa, gather around at a pachanga* to celebrate.

*Party or social meeting that almost always involves alcohol

Let yourself be seduced by the salsa caleña. Take some classes and dance like a professional.

5. Calypso, the islander’s music

The Island Group of San Andrés, Providence and Santa Catalina combine the best of Colombian culture and the Antilles; that’s why its musical mix is ​​fascinating. The musical genre par excellence across this group of islands is that of Calypso. This rhythm, born in Trinidad and Tobago, uses metallic drums, violin, guitar and maracas as its main instruments. It’s usually sung in Creole – the dialect of the island group- and Spanish.

It’s not uncommon to hear Calypso in the rest of Colombia, so if you want to experience this vibrant rhythm, we advise that you visit San Andres and also visit one of the largest coral reefs in the world.

Reserve your tour of San Andrés here


Bonus: Carranga, the countryside’s rhythm

Born in the 1970s, this musical genre from Boyacá is one of the representative rhythms of the Andean region. The way to dance it is in a waltz while enthusiastically moving your hands. Currently, this music is being combined with rock, as done by the Rolling Ruanas, in order to attract more audiences.

The towns surrounding Bogotá commonly to listen to Carranga and, unlike along the Caribbean coast where it’s music often invades the streets, Carranga is a rhythm confined to festivals, festivals and concerts.


Let yourself be carried away by the most popular Colombian rhythms and have fun dancing until dawn. Experience an unforgettable vacation in South America and discover the best travel experiences in Colombia with Colombia4u.

By: Laura García Betancur, journalist and Colombian audiovisual communicator from the University of Manizales, Colombia

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Where to go during Holy Week in Colombia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/where-to-go-holy-week-colombia/ Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:00:01 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12182 Colombia is the sixth country with the most Catholics in the world. While growing up, not everyone practices but religious events such as Holy Week and Easter are usually a good excuse to rest and visit traditional destinations at this time of year. So, if you want to visit Colombia during the week, we suggest [...]

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Colombia is the sixth country with the most Catholics in the world. While growing up, not everyone practices but religious events such as Holy Week and Easter are usually a good excuse to rest and visit traditional destinations at this time of year. So, if you want to visit Colombia during the week, we suggest some of the most traditional places and the most common rituals during this time of reflection, so you can enjoy your stay to the fullest.

In 2018, Holy Week will begin on Sunday, March 25 and will run until Sunday, April 1. In Colombia, unlike other countries, the Monday after Easter is not a holiday.

Meet the classic destinations of Colombia where Holy Week is celebrated / Photo: Daytours4u

Places to visit during Holy Week in Colombia

We suggest five places where this week is a big event!

1. Holy Week in Popayán. It’s cataloged as one of the most appealing destinations to experience the liturgical acts. Popayán is known as ‘the white city’ because in the historic center all of its architectural works are white and when the sun sets over them there is a magical flash. This city was the capital of the Great Colombia before the Independence, because of how it stood out like the cultural and economic epicenter of the area. Its historical route, the devotion of the people and the majesty of its processions have made Popayán known as the Jerusalem of America.

Holy Week is a celebration that begins the preparations months in advance. The sculptures of the procession have been carved by European and Latin American artists, and those in charge of going out in the events with the floats have a tradition that goes back through generations. In 2009, Unesco declared these religious activities as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Travel tip: If you’d like to learn more about the activities that will take place throughout the week, we invite you to consult the official program here.

Popayán is one of the most attractive destinations for living the liturgical acts / Source

2. Holy Week in Mompox. Located north of Colombia, in the county of Bolívar, this town was declared a National Monument in 1959. Its streets are an ode to the colonial era: the main and most tourist access route is the Magdalena River, but you can also get there by land and air. It’s a place that is suspended in time, a scene like those from the film by Francesco Rosi, based on the book by Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

Mompox has two major activities during the year: Holy Week and the Jazz Festival; The first is one of the most outstanding in Colombia. The processions look like a dance: two steps to the front and one back, creating an enveloping rhythm for the observer. One of the most emblematic days is on Holy Wednesday, where the locals dress in their best costumes, in the cemetery, a serenade to the deceased.

Travel tip: ethe trip to this charming town consists of taking a bus from the terminal of Cartagena to Magangué (5 hours approximately) then embarking on a slab or a ferry to get to Mompox. Before embarking on the route to Mompox, you can visit Cartagena. Take a guided walk through the walled city, and eat traditional Easter sweets in El Portal de los Dulces or climb the Totumo volcano.

Reserve a tour in Cartagena here

Take advantage of your time in Cartagena during Holy Week and try the typical sweets at El Portal de los Dulces / Photo: Sergejf

3. Holy Week in Santafé de Antioquia. Known as ‘the cradle of the Paisa race’, this town settled in the Colombian northwest was once the capital of Antioquia. With more than four centuries of history, its streets reveal to the tourist not only the roots of the Colombian time but also the customs of yesteryear.

The important week here is represented by Quito art figures- which almost seem real!- making these processions here a different show. Each participant in the procession fulfills a special role, from dressing the statue and carrying it until he is fully aware of it during the pilgrimage. Learn more about the tradition in this link and discover how the local’s faith is expressed.

Travel tip: This town is an hour and a half from Medellin, so you can go and return the same day with a Santa Fe de Antioquia Day Tour. If you want to know more about it, we recommend that you schedule some Easter activities to attend.


4. Holy Week in Jericó. This Antioquian town saw the birth of the first Colombian saint: Mother Laura Montoya, who was canonized in 2013. Thus, Jericó, in addition to its landscapes, shows a whole religious history. The center of the celebration of Holy Week is the parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; from there they begin and end almost all of the ceremonies.


5. Holy Week in Pamplona: belonging to the county of Santander, sharing a border with Venezuela, this district is the center of Santander’s culture. It is a proper city for religious tourism due to its different spaces dedicated to the Catholic faith. In the colonial period, Pamplona was characterized as a mercantile and road corridor, since expeditions departed from it to territories still unknown, hence its nickname ‘the founding city of cities’.

The main event is the children’s holy week, where hundreds of children who have rehearsed in schools participate in processions and other ceremonial acts. Dressed as nuns, and Nazarenes, freighters, among others, they fulfill the roles of the processions and parade through the streets of Pamplona.

Within the framework of this religious celebration there is also the International Choral Music Festival, whose main stage is the Santa Clara Cathedral of Pamplona.

Travel tip: If you’re in Pamplona, we advise you to go out and discover the magic of the most representative towns of Santander, where there is history, culture and gastronomic variety.

Reserve a tour through the villages of Santander here.

Pamplona is a city of its own for religious tourism, do not miss visiting it during Holy Week! / Source

6. Holy Week in Yopal. Its Holy Week, unlike many parts of Colombia, is not characterized by processions or religious events, but rather by complementary activities that occur around the week, such as craft shows, sports activities, religious concerts, theater and activities that facilitate children’s understanding of religious mysteries.

Travel tip: The plains are characterized as an adventurous destination, we advise that you go prepared with comfortable clothes, sunscreen and a great fearless spirit to live this experience.


Myths and customs of Holy Week in Colombia

Precisely because of the religious fervor of Colombians, within this society there are at least three myths and three customs that you will surely hear about from locals during your holidays.

Myths:

– The most passionate expressions of love during Holy Week can bring about as a consequence that you can’t detach yourself from your beloved. It’s a very peculiar myth that, depending on how its seen, can be good or bad.
– Bathing in the river or in the sea during these holy days can make you turn into a fish. This myth is very popular among the people in the north of the country.
– Bathing after 3 o’clock in the afternoon (time of Christ’s death) can make the water turn to blood.

Traditions:

– Don’t eat red meat during the week..
– Don’t go out to parties, for it’s a week of reflection and atonement.
– Some fast on Good Friday.

Come and discover Colombia during these dates and remember to be respectful of the most devout, while enjoying your stay.

Reserve online your tours in Colombia

By: Laura García Betancur, Colombian, journalist and audiovisual communicator from the University of Manizales, Colombia.

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The Ibero-American Theater Festival 2018 will raise its curtain this March 16 in Bogota http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/ibero-american-theater-festival-bogota/ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12163 Representatives and lovers of world stage art return their attention to Bogota, the city that every two years turns into the stage of one of the most important theatrical events in the world: the Ibero-American Theater Festival. From March 16 to April 1, the capital of Colombia will be filled with magic with the production [...]

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Representatives and lovers of world stage art return their attention to Bogota, the city that every two years turns into the stage of one of the most important theatrical events in the world: the Ibero-American Theater Festival. From March 16 to April 1, the capital of Colombia will be filled with magic with the production of more than 40 plays, dances, a clown, music and cabaret from 15 countries.


During this edition, which is the sixteenth, the festival will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its creation. Fanny Mikey (1930-2008) -actor, director and businesswoman of Colombian-Argentinean theater- and Ramiro Osorio – Colombian cultural leader- were the founders of this extraordinary event, which was created with the goal of celebrating the 450th anniversary of the birth of Bogotá. Since then, the Festival has been held every two years and has become the largest theater event in Latin America.

The guest country is Argentina, who will amaze attendees with renowned international directors such as Alejandro Tantanian and Mauricio Kartun, and long-time actors like Marilú Marini. A tribute will also be paid to Tomaž Pandur (1963-2016), a Slovenian dramatist who has been an icon of the Ibero-American Theater Festival since 1990.


PROGRAM

Where: a total of 23 theaters were arranged for the festival. The main ones will be the Santamaría Bullring and Simón Bolívar Park. Learn about the rest of the amphitheaters.

Tickets: go to www.tuboleta.com or call the call center 5936300 to purchase tickets.

Exhibits: Discover in this link the plays you want to see. Among the classic pieces are Macbeth by director Alessandro Serra and the Italian company Serdegna Teatro; and Pinocchio, by Roseland Musical, an adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s classic. Those looking for a more musical show can attend Afrogitano, the work of Curro de Candela, an exponent of contemporary flamenco, while fans of circus and jazz will have their space with Scotch and Soda, by Company 2, in cabaret format.

Travel Tip: The Ibero-American Theater Festival is one of the many shows that take place in this country. Discover in this link the Festivals and Cultural Events in Colombia that are held every year and include these cultural activities in your itinerary.

Enjoy your trip in Colombia and let yourself be enchanted by the charm of Bogota’s Ibero-American Theater Festival. Take advantage of your journey through the city to experience its emblematic touristic places and its magical corners with Colombia4u. Check out our catalog of tours and activities in Colombia, and contact our Customer Service team to get rid of any doubts.

By: Daytours4u Content Team

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Tips for Solo Female Travellers in Colombia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/tips-for-solo-female-travellers-in-colombia/ Tue, 06 Mar 2018 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12150 Be it for fun, introspection or business, more and more women are taking their suitcases and travelling the world without a companion or travel partner. For many, traveling is more than just moving from one place to another, it is a therapeutic tool, the opportunity to put together your own itinerary and to experience new [...]

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Be it for fun, introspection or business, more and more women are taking their suitcases and travelling the world without a companion or travel partner. For many, traveling is more than just moving from one place to another, it is a therapeutic tool, the opportunity to put together your own itinerary and to experience new cultures.

Surely you have heard that Colombia is a destination where you must take certain safety precautions and this statement has a lot of truth, but those who have ventured to this land discover that the biggest risk is wanting to stay. Therefore, in this article, we gather 10 recommendations and 4 places that may be of interest to women traveling through Colombia.

Traveling in Colombia is a unique experience, the biggest risk is that you want to stay / Photo: Daytours4u

10 recommendations for Solo Female Travellers in Colombia

1. Our first recommendation is that you don’t give papaya, this popular expression means that you avoid exposing yourself to situations of vulnerability by visiting desolate places or displaying objects of great value without proper security in the centers of the most populated cities such as Bogotá and Medellin.

2. Don’t walk alone at night, especially in places with few cars.

3. Whenever you can, look for trusted transport options through tour operators, uber or ask for a taxi over the phone.

4. If you’re going to travel by taxi, always ask a local how much it should really cost so they don’t overcharge you.

5. While you should walk with confidence, also try to blend in without losing your essence. Walking around Bogotá in shorts, for example, can give you away as a tourist.

Try to blend in without losing your essence, especially in big cities / Photo: Daytours4u

6. Locals sometimes associate tourists with money. Our advice is that you carry few valuables, and don’t walk around with all your cash.

7. When you arrive in a place where you feel secure, meet people and talk to them, that will help you lose the fear of traveling through the cities you visit.

8. If you have doubts about where to go, what activities to do and where to stay, consult the tour operators who usually have inside information about each region in Colombia.

9. Communicate with your family or friends so that they know you are well and where you are staying.

10. Keep an open mind, be careful but stay open minded because if not, you will miss the details that this experience offers.

Contact us if you have questions about your destination or if you need an additional item


What to do and where to go in Colombia

Here are 4 routes that cover all the options: rest, meditation, exploration in the city and adventure to inspire you to visit this magical country.

1. Relaxation in Santa Marta: It’s one of the most pleasant cities in Colombia to live in due to the security and friendliness with foreigners, that’s why it’s a recommended destination when traveling alone. Walk through the streets of Samaria, feel the sea breeze, and visiting its historic center is a good activity to start your trip.

On the second day, you can enter one of the most emblematic indigenous communities, climb the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; the walk and encounter with these ancestral cultures is an experience that takes you out of the routine. We advise that you book this tour with specialized companies, in order to guarantee your safety.

You can also visit the exotic beaches of Tayrona National Park, where there are at least 3 different types of sand; there you can also participate in watersports or simply lay out on the sand and enjoy the tranquility of the place.

Reserve a day in Tayrona online

The Tayrona Park is one of the must-see places of Santa Marta / Photo: Daytours4u

2. Glamour in Medellín: If you’re a woman who travels alone and loves certain comforts this city is for you. The kindness of its people makes you never feel insecure; you can also take a bicycle, tram, metro, taxi or bus to reach the most tourist destinations. This metropolis is known as the capital of Colombian fashion, so visiting Medellin is an excellent excuse to renew your wardrobe.

Being a city of contrasts, between the modern and cultural roots, the gastronomic experiences are inexhaustible. You can find one of the first molecular gastronomy restaurants called El Cielo, where there are 12 moments for enjoying new flavors. You can also go for the more traditional and take a cooking class to learn how to prepare the famous Bandeja Paisa.

Enjoy the best travel experiences in Medellín

3. Meditation in the Coffee Triangle: Coffee lands harbor a magic that inspires tranquility, its climates are not very cold but not excessively warm, which facilitates things when it comes to packing. In this region there are different spaces for recollection and meditation. The Cabaña Océano, for example, is one of the places for spiritual retreats. In addition, its conveniently located between Pereira and Armenia.

Another experience that helps you reconnect with yourself, and that is becoming increasingly loved who meditate, is getting into nature: observing the flora and admiring the wildlife. The Coffee triangle is an immense bird corridor. In Quindío there are more than 400 species of birds and at least 4 endemic species of mammals. Therefore, to navigate one of the rivers in the area is to be given the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the coffee fauna and magical stories, because these types of tours are made in the company of expert bogas.

Book here the Timber Rafting on Rio la Vieja

4. Adventure in Bogota: Being the capital, making a stop here is an almost obligatory destination if you come from another country so that you can take advantage of your time passing through Bogotá to dare yourself with adventure sports. The geography of Bogota has a characteristic point: the Eastern Hills. These imposing mountains are part of the Andes Mountain Range. So if you’re a traveler looking for adventure then this destination is for you. You can walk or ride through the mountain range and discover waterfalls such as La Chorrera, a waterfall that is halfway between Choachí and Bogotá.

The Eastern Hills tour can be done from different locations and you will always find a different natural landscape that will feed your spirit and leave you wanting more. You can also get out of Bogotá and go rafting on the río Negro.

Travel tip: Remember that this type of tour should always be done in the company of expert guides.

The trekking in La Chorrera is one of the must-see activities for travelers who love adventure / Source

There is no excuse for turning down the opportunity to experience a great adventure in Colombia with the best company you can have on a trip: yourself!

By: Laura García Betancur, Colombian journalist and audiovisual communicator with the University of Manizales, Colombia.

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The 5 most romantic activities to do in Colombia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/5-romantic-activities-colombia/ Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12091 Love must be celebrated. Some people celebrate it with an invite to a good restaurant or with a gift that the other person wished for; but how about going a step further and suggesting a romantic getaway to beautiful Colombia? You don’t have to go to Paris to celebrate love, in these coffee lands you [...]

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Love must be celebrated. Some people celebrate it with an invite to a good restaurant or with a gift that the other person wished for; but how about going a step further and suggesting a romantic getaway to beautiful Colombia? You don’t have to go to Paris to celebrate love, in these coffee lands you can find the most intimate experiences that will make your stay a nonstop honeymoon. We invite you, then, to read about the 5 most romantic activities to do in Colombia during your trip.

Colombia is a destination to fall in love / Photo: Daytours4u

1) Dinner at Monserrate

One of the typical Colombian songs says that “He who has not taken his girlfriend to Monserrate does not know what panela is, nor the tamale with chocolate”. The above means that whoever goes to Bogotá and does not climb the hill does has not experienced the good things in life and is missing out on an extraordinary experience.

The view from this mountain is amazing! Especially during the night, the contrast of the city lights with the trees that surround the hill is magical. Take the funicular or the cable car to the top, where you can see a part of thick forest and that then reveal the lights that characterize the view. At the summit, there are two restaurants famous for their culinary delights. The first specializes in French cuisine: La Casa San Isidro where there’s also live music; while the Casa Santa Clara restaurant delights its customers with traditional Colombian cuisine.

Travel Tip: To get to Monserrate, you must go through the colonial district of Las Aguas and during the night it’s useful to schedule a private service from your hotel to the foot of the mountain to be able to enjoy a peaceful evening. This service can be booked with our with our Customer Service Team.

Book a night tour in Bogotá

Visit Monserrate and fall in love with the panoramic view of Bogotá at night / Photo: Daytours4u

2) Fly in a hot air balloon over the Colombian Coffee Triangle

A walk through the countryside will make anyone immerse themselves in the coffee culture, which has served as inspiration for some soap operas, many songs, and an occasional love story. You can experience a tour through the coffee plantations in a jeep willys or soaring above the heavens. If you choose a balloon ride you will discover that, besides being one of the most romantic activities you can do in the area, it is a unique experience without fears, which will allow you to surrender to the contemplation of the landscape.

The Coffee Triangle is an area located in the western mountain range, in the center of the country. It receives its name because its main economic and cultural activity revolves around coffee, so in 2011 Unesco declared the area as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Book a hot air balloon ride over the coffee triangle

Flying in a balloon is one of the most romantic activities to do in Colombia / Photo: Daytours4u

3) Discover the essence of tango in Medellín

Medellín is known as one of the world capitals of tango, because since the 1920s the workers, who took their breaks at the inns, popularized this dance; years later, after the frequent visits of Carlos Gardel to this city, the followers of this River Plate compass grew. If you want to make a romantic activity in the city of Eternal Spring, we invite you to know the whole history of tango in Medellín: in it you will find drama, love and lack of heartache.

For the night, the best option is dancing. Moving to the rhythm of tango is sensual, different sexologists agree that this dance is an erotic encounter because music perfectly combines pleasurable sensations with the movement of this dance. In Medellín you can attend El Patio del Tango, on some nights there are dance classes and live performances, among other activities. Remember to check their website before attending.

Book a tango tour here

Discover why Gardel loved Medellín so much and let yourself be seduced by the city / Photo: Daytours4u

4) Walk through the walled city in Cartagena

A walk through the walled city of Cartagena allows you to go back in time but also immerse yourself in a unique gastronomic and cultural journey. Its cobbled streets and colorful houses give the feeling of being inside a surrealist painting; Through these streets you can find museums such as the artillery, the gold, the emerald, but there are also places like la Librería Ábaco where you can relax, have a coffee or a glass of wine, read a book and enjoy good music.

To finish the tour, the best plan is to sit and watch the sunset at Café del Mar, the ideal place to enjoy good cocktails while overlooking the sea. Located on the wall, this restaurant is one of the most striking places in the area, due to the events that take place.

Spend a magical day in Cartagena and discover the amazing history of this ancient port of Latin America, inside whose walls English and French Pirates fought historical battles and brawls. Walk through its monuments, travel to the past and join the 30,000 tourists from all over the world who come every year to tour this city.

Book a guided walking tour through the Old City

Travel tip: to have the most romantic experiences in Cartagena we also invite you to discover the depths with diving in Barú Island Scuba Diving Day Tour.

Spend a magical day in Cartagena and discover the history of this ancient port of Latin America / Photo: Alexander Salazar

5) Visit Providence Island from San Andrés

A week of vacation on white sand beaches, surrounded by a sea that shelters in its depths the third largest barrier reef in the world, with almost 100 hectares, – a whole architectural work of Mother Nature – is an excellent way to surprise your partner. Travel to the archipelago of San Andrés, Santa Catalina and Providencia: three islands of the Colombian Caribbean where you can relax and fall in love again.

The first, San Andrés, is the arrival destination, an islet where you can dance, go shopping, visit its majestic beaches and hotels, and eat in places like La Regatta, a refined restaurant where you can enjoy excellent traditional dishes. San Andrés is the most diverse island of the three, combining the natural environments of its beaches with the entertainment areas.

On the other hand, Santa Catalina is an area made up of 700 people, it’s a virgin paradise that delegates almost all its tourist activities to the other two; is connected to Providencia by the Puente de los Enamorados. In Providencia is where the real magic happens, to travel to this island is to return to the Caribbean of yesteryear. In 2000 Unesco declared this island together with Santa Catalina as a world reserve of marine flora. Many travels to this destination for their honeymoon due to the great disconnection that is experienced there; In addition, you can partake in different water activities such as diving, walking under the sea or taking a boat ride to see the seascape from the surface.

Book your tour to Providence Island here

Providencia is a destination reserved by many for their honeymoon due to the exclusivity of the place / Photo: Daytours4u

6) Bonus: Tour the haciendas of the Colombian Pacific

If you go to the Colombian Pacific and are thinking about escaping for a couple of hours with your partner, we recommend visiting the sugarcane plantations, one of the typical crops in the area. Going through its fields is the opportunity to listen to different stories that go back to the time of colonization.

Hacienda El Paraiso, for example, was the inspiration of Colombian writer Jorge Isaacs to write his emblematic romantic novel: María; This beautiful farm is surrounded by cane fields and beautiful gardens, where probably the author’s lover walked more than once.

Book Tour to Haciendas El Paraiso and Piedechinche

Hacienda El Paraiso inspired Jorge Isaacs to write “María”; inspire yourself too / Photo: Mario Carvajal

Don’t miss a chance to visit these romantic destinations to surprise your partner and sweep her off her feet.

By: Laura García Betancur, Colombian journalist and audiovisual communicator from the University of Manizales, Colombia.

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Festivals and cultural events in Colombia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/festivals-and-cultural-events-in-colombia/ Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:51:30 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12045 Colombia is a country without seasons, surrounded by two oceans, which means that all year round the weather is perfect for a beach party or a walk through the snow. This same geographical versatility is reflected in the Colombian popular culture that offers locals and foreigners festivals and cultural events that meet the interests of [...]

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Colombia is a country without seasons, surrounded by two oceans, which means that all year round the weather is perfect for a beach party or a walk through the snow. This same geographical versatility is reflected in the Colombian popular culture that offers locals and foreigners festivals and cultural events that meet the interests of all travelers. In the calendar of Colombia find out which are the most important cultural events that take place each month in this land of magical realism!

The parties in Colombia begin with the Carnaval de Blancos y Negros / Source

Festivals in January

– Blacks and Whites’ Carnival- Pasto. The celebrations in Colombia kick off with this event, which always begins the first week of January. In 2009 it was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco and it is a festival that has its origins in 1546. With an explosion of rhythms that reflects the traditions of Andean and Pacific ethnic groups, the Blacks and Whites’ Carnival in Pasto is divided into four stages: the inaugural parade, the blacks’ day, the whites’ day and the closing, which occurs on January 7 with the Day of the Cuy (guinea pig).

When: From the December 28 to January 7

Travel tip: Find the official program here.

– Manizales fair – Manizales. For 62 years, the Manizales Fair has combined the traditions from Seville (Spain) with the coffee culture. Fans of bullfighting will find various activities that are ideal for them, because over the years the fair has had bullfighters like ‘El Juli’, Ponce, Roca Rey, Manolo González and Alfredo Jiménez, among others. Bear in mind that 80% of this fair’s events are free, except for those related to bullfighting.

The closing concert has artists of different genres: vallenato, reggaeton, salsa and mainstream music.

When: From January 5 to 14, 2018.

Travel tip: Discover all the details in the Fan Page

– Hay Festival – Cartagena. ‘Hay festival’ is a European initiative that seeks to bring together the literati with music and the arts. In Colombia this event takes place in Cartagena, as the main venue, during the last weeks of January.

Year after year, film critics, musicians, writers and journalists from different parts of the world gather at forums, conferences and workshops for a week to debate, comment and inform about the literary works of the moment, making every corner of the walled city come alive. Due to the convergence of foreign artists, the event is intended for both Spanish and English speakers.

When: From January 24 to February 1st 2018.

Travel tip: For the first time, the best Latin American authors under 40 will meet. As for music, Julieta Venegas, Ana Belén and Andrés Cepeda will be performing. Visit the official Hay Festival website to learn more.

The Bahía Group during the Hay Festival Cartagena 2006 event / Photo by: OAGREDOP

Festivals in February

– Barranquilla Carnival: The Barranquilla Carnival is the Colombian festival par excellence. This event has international recognition and stands out among other important festivals in Latin America.

Beginning in mid-January the city is decorated for carnival along with preview dance events, parades and performance troupes. When February arrives, which is the month of the carnival, the city stops everything in order to receive its visitors with the biggest party of the year, where dancing and popular folklore are an excuse to experience this magnificent city.

It begins with ‘The battle of the flowers’ which is a wonderful parade led by the queen of the carnival and preceded by large floats of flowers, typical music of the region and different typical characters. After the opening, there are more parades, music and parties on each block of Barranquilla, because ‘whoever experiences carnival is the one who enjoys it’. The closing consists of the burial of ‘Joselito Carnaval’, a symbolic funeral to dismiss so many days of celebration.

When: From February 10 to 13 2018.

Travel tip: Read up on the official Carnival program and, if you wish, you can book a tour package for the Carnival of Barranquilla that tickets to the parades, accommodation and transportation. Check here prices and availability.

The colorful Carnival of Barranquilla, internationally recognized / Photo by: Ashley Bayes

Festivals in March

– Ibero-American Theater Festival – Bogotá. The Iberoamericano Festival at Bogota Theatre has become one of the most important events in Latin American, bringing together independent theater companies from all over the world. For a week, in the Colombian capital you can see about 20 different exhibitions from galleries and street art, from various genres such as clown, dance, drama etc.

When: From March 16 to April 1, 2018.

Travel tip: Find the official festival programhere and make the most of your days with the best tours and activities in Bogotá to get to know the city.

Nearly 20 plays can be seen at the Ibero-American Theater Festival / Photo by: Carlos Martínez, Ministerio de Cultura

– Holy Week – Popayán. Colombia is the third most religious country in Latin America, so Holy Week, also known Easter, is a very important holiday for the population in general. If you like to partake in religious tourism and want to discover more about Catholic traditions, in the city of Popayán you will find a complete experience from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday: events, processions and allegories centered around reflection and the Christian faith.

When: From March 25 to 31, 2018.

Travel tip: Consult all the details of Holy Week in Popayán on the official web page.


Festivals in April

– Filbo – Bogotá. Bogotá, declared one of the world’s book capitals by UNESCO in 2007, holds its traditional International Book Fair in April, one of the most important literary events in Colombia. There are records of visits from 550 thousand people in just one edition!

During the tour of the 14 pavilions, you can find not only premieres of literary works premieres, concerts, talks by international lecturers but also the pleasure of uniting literature with activities such as cuisine and art through a variety of demonstrations. It is a good opportunity to get that book you always wanted, but also to learn more about Latin American culture.

When: From April 17 to 2 May 2, 2018.

Travel tip: Visit FILBO’s official web page to find out the details.

– Festival of the Vallenata Legend – Valledupar. Half a century recreating the myths and customs of a land through vallenato music, they uphold the Festival of the Vallenata Legend as one of the most important traditional musical events in Colombia. For 4 days the city of Valledupar is transformed into a single sound emitted by the vallenato accordion.

The event not only exalts the music, it also gives space to storytelling, dance and oral narration, making the visitor completely immersed in the vallenato culture. There are different scenarios, depending on the level of expertise of the participants and age. At the end of the event, the “King of Kings” is crowned, which is the highest award that can be received at the event.

Each year the festival has a different honoree, who is an ambassador of vallenato music, and this year it will be the renowned singer Carlos Vives Don’t miss out!

When: From April 26 to 30, 2018.

Travel tip: Find all the information about this event on the official festival web page.

Coronation of the king of kings 2017: Álvaro López / Photo by: Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata

Festivals in May

– Mono Núñez Festival – Valle del Cauca. In order to exalt and preserve Colombian Andean music, several festivals have been created throughout the country; one of the most important is the Mono Núñez Festival. It takes place in a small town called Geneva in the Valle del Cauca, and for three days all the inns, family homes and hotels are full of musicians from different regions and countries, singing to the frets of guitars, bandolas and tiples, from visitors who participate in the festival.

When: From May 31 to June 3, 2018.

Travel tip: The group in charge of organizing the event is Funmúsica, Funmúsica, find their official web page here.


Festivals in June

– Festitango – Medellín. Tango is not only found in Río de la Plata. Medellín has an important tango tradition, even to the point that Carlos Gardel often came to make presentations in the city until the day of his death.

As one of the tango capitals, Medellín holds a traveling tango festival, where you can find not only great dancers but also wonderful interpretations of this rhythm from Rio de la Plata. During three days the festival moves throughout the city, drawing in both children and adults.

Travel tip: consult the festival’s Facebook page for the exact dates and if you are travelling to the city outside of the month of June, reserve a Tango tour in Medellín online.


Festivals in July

– Colombia Moda – Medellín. One of the most important industries in Medellín is that of textile, which makes it Colombia’s fashion center. Because of this, every year the most outstanding Latin American referents of this industry are found at fashion week: Colombiamoda.

About 13 thousand buyers and more than 500 Latin American brands meet at this event to make connections and mark trends. During the event there are free conferences and workshops to catch up on fashion and the industry.

When: From July 24 to 26, 2018.

Travel tip: Learn all the details in the official Colombiamoda web page and enjoy your vacations in the city of eternal spring with the tours and activities in Medellín.

Colombia Moda is the opportunity to know the trends in the region and the world / Photo by: Martín Mortality

Festivals in August

– Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival) – Medellín. This festival is known for its traditional silleteros parade, in which not only the qualities of the man paisa but also its origins are glorified. The silleteros are agricultural farmers who head out to the festivities with a wooden frame on their backs, decorated with an immense variety of flowers arranged in such a way that each “silleta” tells a different story. The decorating of the silletas is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, and characterizes the path to Santa Elena.

During the fair there is also the Festival de la Trova, different events in pubs and family run inns, concerts and a large exhibition of Paisa culture in the North Park.

When: From August 3 to 12.

Travel tip: Visit Medellín City Hall’s official web page o learn more about the tradition and reserve a Silleteros and Flowers tour here.


Festivals in September

Colombia to the rhythm of Jazz. In September, different cities and towns in Colombia such as Barranquilla, Manizales and Mompox devote three days to jazz. The largest jazz festival is organized in Bogotá, so if you are thinking of traveling to Colombia this month, we recommend that you stop in the Colombian capital to enjoy the event.

Jazz in the Park – Bogotá. This festival has had, for 20 years, artists on par with Richard Bona or Chucho Valdes. The event takes place at the Country Club, to the north of the city. While you’re at the concert you can eat something, read or just lie on the grass to listen to the invited performers.

When: September 22 and 23, 2018.

Travel tip: If you are interested, you should be aware of this year’s program! So visit Jazz in the Park’s official web page.

Enjoy Jazz at the Park in September at the Country Club of Bogotá / Photo by: Carlos Lema- Idartes

Festivals in October

– “Coffe time” in Quindío! In October International Coffee Day is celebrated. To celebrate it, we invite you to visit Armenia, one of the three cities in the Coffee Region, which is more than a century old. The city festivities take place in mid-October; its theme is in constant homage to the coffee culture, there are parades of the traditional yipao, which are decorated cars with elements of the coffee culture and you can also pick up national souvenirs and international crafts. If you are travelling to Colombia during this month, we recommend that you participate in the festivities.

Travel tip: Take home the essence of the Coffee Axis with the best coffee tours in Armenia, Manizales and Pereira.


Festivals in November

– “Patron Saint Festivals” – San Andrés. The entire group of islands celebrate the festivities of its patron San Andrés. They do it in two very special ways: by celebrating the International Reign of Coco, and the best rhythm of Caribbean music accompanied by the typical dishes of this region.

The event takes place during the last week of November, so we invite you to schedule starting now, in order to enjoy the party and organize your itinerary that includes visits to the other islands, take a walk underwater, party on a cruise, and -Why not? – Do a diving mini-course so you do not miss the beautiful coral reef that surrounds this place.

Reserve tours for a dream island vacation in San Andrés

Celebrate the San Andrés festivities to the rhythm of Caribbean music / Photo by: Sofía Romero

Festivals in December

– The month of the little candles. On December 7 and 8, all of Colombia celebrates Velitas “Little Candles” Day, a Catholic tradition where candles are lit to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. The celebration varies in every region. In Quimbaya, a town in the Coffee Triangle, they close off their streets to put out handmade lanterns, and there is music and liquor in all the homes; other cities such as Cali and Medellín light their large lanterns in parks and on the banks of rivers. On the Caribbean coast dawns processions usually take place at dawn, after a long night of celebration. With this holiday, Christmas begins.

Travel tip: Be part of this beautiful tradition with the Christmas Lights Tour in Medellín.

– La Feria de Caña – Cali. Cali is known as the world’s salsa capital, so its grand festival, which always begins after Christmas Eve, is permeated by this rhythm. The Cali Fair or Feria de la Caña is made up of cultural and gastronomic events for everyone: from presentations by national and international artists, to the creation of spaces for music lovers and collectors.

Every year, a branch of heaven opens its doors to the best exponents of salsa, to amateurs and, of course, to all visitors who come wanting to learn more about this Caribbean rhythm.

At the commencement of the festival there is a grand parade that evokes the best of salsa, and the salsódromo is also officially opened.

When: From December 25 to 30, 2018.

Travel tip: As an alternating event the city begins its bullfighting season. Visit the Fair’s official web page to get the details and book your tours and activities in Cali online.

If you spend the end of the year in Cali, do not miss its famous Feria de la Caña / Photo by: Claudio Bustos

After signing a Peace Treaty, Colombia reated new routes to promote tourism and open itself to the world as a country with immense biodiversity and multiculturalism. “It’s time to experience Colombia. You will love it!”.

By: Laura García Betancur, Laura García Betancur, Colombian audiovisual journalist and communicator

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Start Your Year With a Colombia Carnival Marathon http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/start-your-year-with-colombia-carnival-marathon/ Thu, 28 Dec 2017 12:00:46 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8901 Colombia never ceases to amaze – this long unexplored enchanting country is the home to an array of wonderful places, welcoming locals, and an unrivalled Carnival schedule. Here we take you around the country, offering you a rundown of the country’s biggest and most spectacular summer festivities. Grab you costume, get in the party mood, and [...]

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Colombia never ceases to amaze – this long unexplored enchanting country is the home to an array of wonderful places, welcoming locals, and an unrivalled Carnival schedule. Here we take you around the country, offering you a rundown of the country’s biggest and most spectacular summer festivities. Grab you costume, get in the party mood, and join the fun.


Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Black and White Carnival)

Parade of the Black and White Carvanal in Pasto, southern Colombia / Source

In Colombia’s south, the most anticipated event on the cultural calendar is undoubtedly the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Black and White Carnival). Born from native Andean and Hispanic traditions, this great celebration in San Juan de Pasto runs from 2nd – 7th January every year and it became recognised by UNESCO as an “Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2009.

The party itself is utter madness – an explosion of colour and sound. Its initial opening is on 7th December, the traditional Noite das Velas (Night of the Candles), whereupon several pre-Carnival activities light up the city. The main Carnival begins on 2nd January with the Desfile das Colônias (Parade of Colonies), an event that features the residents of Pasto and the surrounding areas parading through the streets in a show of their traditions, legends, myths, and music.

The following day is the Día del Carnavalito (Children’s Carnival). Having originated as a game of children imitating their elders by recreating the costumes and fantasies from Blancos Day, this part of the festival now has a very strong identity of its own and it has grown into a much loved part of the Carnival. Thereafter, the partying and drinking continues into the final days of the festival which are the most significant: Día de los Negros (Day of the Blacks) and Día de los Blancos (Day of the Whites), on the 5th and 6th of January respectively.

The first celebration commemorates the date when African slaves were free to wander the city and exert their flamboyant nature, with revelers doning black cosmetics, painting themselves in black, and wearing elaborate masks. On the next day, people of all ethnicities cover themselves in white talcum as a symbol of equality and integration, and together everybody dances and gyrates to the sounds of traditional Colombian music.  A must visit festival for anybody traveling through Colombia.


Carnaval de Cali Viejo (Old Cali Carnival)

Joining Carnaval de Cali Viejo is a great way to better understand the charm of the city / Source

Santiago de Cali – or simply Cali as it is known – displays spectacular carnival parades year after year. Elaborate floats, salsa dancers, children in costume, and beautiful queens together make these celebrations a truly unique event of colour and music.

This event always begins on 28th December with a parade that revives classic characters, highlights symbols of Cali, and honours other regions and cultures that have left their mark on the city. Joining Carnaval de Cali Viejo is a great way to better understand the grandeur and charm of the city. Our tip: the event starts at 2pm, but be sure to arrive early and grab a good spot to get close to the action.

Book your tours and activities in Cali


Carnaval del Perdón y la Reconciliación (Carnival of Forgiveness and Reconciliation)

Carnaval del Perdón y Reconciliación was declared a Cultural Patrimony of the Nation / Source

On 11th and 12th February, Carnaval del Perdón y la Reconciliación in Valle del Sibundoy (Putumayo) swings into action. Declared a National Cultural Heritage in 2012, the carnival is a sacred event, where the indigenous groups Inga and Kamentsá celebrate the end of the year, and harmony between mankind and agriculture. Both tribes have their own individual parties, but during Carnival they together embrace forgiveness and reconciliation with their loved ones through ‘Clestrinye,’ meaning feast, dance, and joy.

On 11th February, the Kamentsá host a beautiful show wearing their traditional clothing in the presence of Matachín, a masked man who invites all to celebrate with him. The Ingas take centre stage on the following day as everyone makes their way to the church and the main square in costume to dance and sing. Throughout the festival, varying groups from different backgrounds and regions perform for spectators. You can purchase various souvenirs such as native wind instruments, beads, fabrics, masks, necklaces, and other artisanal items. This event is a fusion of the sacred and the profane; a must-do for any local culture enthusiasts.


Carnaval de Riosucio Caldas ou del Diablo (Riosucio Carnival of the Devil)

Carnaval de Riosucio Caldas attracts tourists from around the world / Source

Like many of the others, Carnaval de Riosucio Caldas ou del Diablo is an Intangible Heritage of Colombia and it most certainly lives up to its title, attracting tourists and party animals from around the world.

In the past, Riosucio was comprised of two rival communities (Nuestra Señora de la Montaña and Quiebralom Mining Real) located on either side of the city. Tired of incessant competition, the priests (José Ramón Bueno and Jose Bonifacio Bonafont) told the people that they must make peace, and if they did not fulfill this order, the devil would punish them personally. In celebration of this union, these joyous and jubilant festivities were created, and in 1915, the devil figure was adopted as the image of the festival and it remains central to the celebrations today.

The main events include: Alegre despertar del Carnaval (Joyful Awakening of Carnival), an opening procession that signals the start of the carnival; Gran Entrada de Colonias (Grand Entry of the Colonies); Grandioso Desfile de Cuadrillas de Mayores (Great Parade of Old Crews), and the festivities come to a close with Entierro del Calabazo, Quema de su Majestad el Diablo, Fin de la Fiesta (Calabazo Burial, Burning Her Majesty the Devil, the End of the Celebration), where a paper-mâché devil purpose built for the carnival is burnt, signifying the official end of the festival.


Carnaval de Barranquilla (Barranquilla Carnival)

Carnaval de Barranquilla is a colourful affair / Source

Barranquilla Carnival – simply the most important folkloric and cultural festival in Colombia. Each year, more than one million people including tourists from around the world descend upon Barranquilla for this wondrous occasion. The event has Spanish origins and it has today retained the spirit of renewal and change that was prevalent in the European celebration of the time. In Barranquilla, the festival began as a holiday for African slaves during the colonial era, and they would mark the occasion by taking to the streets with their handmade instruments and decorative costumes, and perform dances and songs from their homelands.

This carnival displays an array of cultural and folkloric elements from the Colombian Caribbean coast, alongside traditional music and local dance. Over the years, Barranquilla Carnival has become renowned for its elaborate floats, ostentatious costumes, and fancy masks, the most popular of which are the bull, the tiger, and the bear. At once satirical and contemporary – always referencing current events – the costumes are an emblem of the collective joy and jubilation.

From 15th January through 9th February, Barranquilla will be a party city in carnival mode, with a range of events and activities. Highlights include the Lectura del Bando (Reading) on 16th January, Fiestas de Comparsas ( Festival of Carnival Troupes) on 23rd January, and Fiesta de Danzas y Cumbias (Festival of Dances and Cumbia) on 24th January. The major celebrations start on 6th February with the Batalla de Flores (Battle of Flowers) and the streets will be packed for four days of vibrant, extravagant, and seemingly endless partying.

Book online the Barranquilla Carnival Parades Package

mAre you going to a Colombia Carnival? We can enrich your South American experiences.

Book your Colombian tours and activities here

By Thalles Santos | Translated by Simon Hall

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