Long gone are the Pablo Escobar days on the lush mountainous capital of the Antioquia province of Colombia. Extreme poverty has decreased by 66%; while homicide rates have dropped 95% since then. Medellin has become not only one of the safest cities in South America, but also one of the most prosperous. There are more special reasons why you should visit Medellin this Christmas though.
Over 31 million LED lights, 950 km of LED light hose, 42,000 festive figures, more than 500 different activities and 80 events scheduled. I could say those are the top 5 reasons why you should fly down to Colombia this December…
Yet, those only fall into one category!
See why Medellin’s world-renowned Christmas Alumbrado, traditional gastronomy, temperate weather, and one of the longest holiday seasons in the hemisphere make it the perfect winter destination.
1. One of the most impressive Christmas light shows in the world
Selected as one of the top 10 places to see holiday lights in the world by National Geographic, Antioquia’s impressive 2550-meter-long “Alumbrado Navideño” is the number one reason why you should visit Medellin this Christmas.
The impressive outdoor show will stretch along 14 different municipalities, with Medellin’s central hub in Carabobo Norte shining the brightest. Expect over 31 million colorful, eco-friendly LED lights (which reduce energy consumption by 40%), scores of local food vendors, lively crowds and music.
While the official lighting of the Alumbrado will be held on Wednesday, November 30th at 6:30 pm (free admission), the lights won’t be lit daily until the official event dates – December 3, 2016 to January 9, 2017 between 6 PM and midnight.
2. Traditional food is an attraction in itself in Medellin
A destination is more authentically experienced by eating its food–another reason why foreigners should visit Medellin during Christmas. Delicacies such as sabajón (aguardiente eggnog), chicharron (crispy pork rinds), buñuelos (deep-fried cassava or tapioca dumplings stuffed with fresh, salty cheese), and natilla (Colombian-style pudding) are among the traditional Christmas foods you must try.
You will likely find many of these traditional dishes, drinks, and desserts being sold by the food vendors sprinkled throughout the Christmas Alumbrados.
3. Christmas lasts an entire month, not just a few days
This is not only a Medellin tradition, but a Latin American one: Christmas lasts the entire month of December, usually extending for another week in January! So that is approximately five weeks of traditional food, bright lights, and lively spirits to enjoy.
4. The weather is perfect
Despite its close proximity to the equator, Medellin’s high elevation (4905 feet above sea level) equals mild, temperate weather year-round. No wonder this mountainous capital is also known as the City of the Eternal Spring!
Temperatures typically hover between 60 and 85°F, meaning a subtropical weather that allows you to take full advantage of its more than 100 parks and public spaces.
5. Free entrance to museums and parks
Speaking of public spaces: parks and museums offer free admission to children under 12 during Christmas.
Christmas in Medellin is all about the preservation of traditions and family unity–woven together by an outstanding light show, delicious cuisine, inviting weather, and a long holiday season.
Why would you not want to visit Medellin this Christmas?!
This was a sponsored post. Photos provided by Medellin.Travel and Medellin Convention & Visitors Bureau.