Begin 2019 in party mode

Colombia welcomes the year with an explosion of parties, music and color. South to north, east to west, every corner of the happiest country on earth is partying. Here’s a quick look at the most characteristic fairs and festivals.
We start in Pasto, Nariño, with the ‘Negros y Blancos carnival’, celebrated from January 2nd to 7th. Declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by Unesco, this festival celebrates the fusion of various cultures and cultural expressions from the Andes, Amazon and Colombian Pacific, through parades, troupes, costumes and hundreds of celebratory activities.
Then, it’s Manizales’s turn, with one of the country’s most characteristic and imposing festivals taking place from January 5th to 13. The Feria de Manizales centers around horses and bullfighting, as well as the famed National Coffee Pageant, with a number of shows, parades and an extensive program. Inspired by Seville’s Feria de Abril, this has been part of the cultural landscape since 1952.
The third celebration on our billing is the ‘Riosucio carnival’ in Caldas, considered Intangible National Heritage, with rituals paying homage to the earth, through dances and Spanish-language songs with African rhythms. The festival’s symbol is the devil.
If you’re passing through Cartagena, you can’t miss the Hay Festival or the International Music Festival. The former brings together the foremost exponents from the worlds of literature, journalism, music, cinema and art, while the latter offers you the chance to hear live renditions of the best classical music in the historic center’s most stunning venues.
We finish up with a bonus track: the Barranquilla Carnival, which runs from March 2nt to 5th. This Cultural Heritage event is considered to be one of the world’s most spectacular carnivals, after Rio de Janeiro. Just one more reason to return to Colombia and pay a visit to this coastal city.