Colombia

Christmas in Medellin

Known to foreigners mainly through its infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar, Medellin has left its violent past behind, a long time ago. Today, it is perhaps the most modern city in Colombia, with the only rail based metro system in the entire country.

We happened to plan our South America trip arriving in Medellin on the evening of 23rd of December and leaving in the morning of the 25th, with only one day left for sightseeing. After trying to sort out some transit issues in the morning and taking the cable car ride from Acevedo metro station, all the way to Arvi Park and back in the afternoon, we had no time left for anything else, or so we thought!

When leaving the hotel to try to find some place to eat, our hotel’s night porter approached us pointing to three trucks (called chivas) adapted to transport passengers and said they’re going to see all the light installations around the city. At this point we’ve seen just a few of them and they were pretty nice, so we quickly jumped on the opportunity to join.

This was the first stop and the biggest concentration of these installations in the city; it was pretty impressive. On top of this, house lights in the communities located on the surrounding hills, made it look even more magical. We spent around 45 minutes here and the entrance was free.

There were few, less impressive places, which we didn’t stop at, but they were all worth seeing.

Marceliano Valez Barreneche Main Park

christmas - in - medellin
Christmas Lights display – Medellin, Colombia

This was our second and final stop. Much smaller display, but also nice to see. There were quite a few street food vendors around, but not quite sure how safe the area was.

Locations of light installations change slightly every year, but you can catch the tour on the corner of Carrera 70 and Calle 47D. Displays are truly worth seeing, but maybe more importantly, for a brief moment at least, you’ll get to feel like a local, walking among whole families from Medellin. If you’re here during festive time, make sure you don’t miss it.

We finished back in front of our hotel on Carrera 70 and local pubs and bars were still full, with people dancing, eating and drinking. We did some people watching, had our “dinner” (you can hardly call a tuna sandwich a dinner) and went back to the hotel to catch some well deserved sleep.

I would say this was one of the most extraordinary Christmas days in my life and certainly a one to remember. I hope you enjoyed reading about it and will come back for more tips for your trips.  

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