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Christmas tour Boyacá Colombia

Updated on 06/12/2024

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I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

Exploring the Top Colombian New Year’s Destinations 

When it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Colombia, you’re spoiled for choice with a diverse range of destinations that offer unique experiences. In this chapter, we’ll go over top Colombian cities where you can live unforgettable New Year’s celebrations. 

Cartagena as a Magical Destination for New Year in Colombia

Cartagena is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Colombia and a perfect destination to ring in the new year. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a cultural immersion, or a fun-filled party, Cartagena has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Cartagena to make your New Year’s Eve unforgettable. 

Landscape of Historical Center Cartagena Colombia

Stay in a Historic Hotel 

Cartagena’s walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to many charming and elegant hotels that reflect the colonial architecture and history of the city. You can choose from a variety of options, from luxury resorts to cozy boutique hotels. 

This plan is ideal for travelers who want to enjoy the beauty and history of Cartagena, as most historic hotels are just steps away from some of the most emblematic places of the city, such as the Plaza de Santo Domingo, the Palace of the Inquisition, the Gold Museum, or the Clock Tower. It is also close to the city wall, where you can stroll and admire the sunset over the Caribbean Sea.

Read our blog to discover the best hotels in Cartagena

Explore the Walled City 

The walled city of Cartagena is the historic and cultural center of the city, where you can admire the stunning architecture, visit the museums and churches, shop at the boutiques and markets, and dine at the restaurants and cafes. Some of the must-see attractions in the walled city are: 

  • Cartagena’s Cathedral: This impressive church was built between 1575 and 1612 and is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria. It has a beautiful facade, a dome, and a bell tower. Inside, you can see paintings, sculptures, and altars. 
  • Torre del Reloj: This clock tower is the main entrance to the walled city, and one of its most iconic landmarks. It was built in 1631 as part of the fortifications of Cartagena. At night, it is illuminated and surrounded by street performers. 
  • Plaza Bolivar: This square is named after Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Colombia and other South American countries. It is a peaceful and shady spot where you can relax and watch the pigeons. It is also home to the Palace of Inquisition, where you can learn about the history of Cartagena during the Spanish colonial period. 

Enjoy Cartagena’s Nightlife 

Cartagena is known for its lively and diverse nightlife. You can join the street parties in the plazas and squares of the walled city and Getsemani, where locals and tourists alike gather to celebrate with live bands and DJs. You also have plenty of options in Bocagrande or La Boquilla. These areas are full of bars and clubs playing various musical styles, from salsa to reggaeton to electronic.

Some of the best places to party in Cartagena are: 

Cafe Havana 

This popular bar in Getsemani is a hotspot for salsa lovers. This bar, with its retro decor and nightly live music, brings the golden age of Havana to life. Enjoy mojitos, daiquiris, and rum while dancing to the vibrant rhythms of salsa, son, bolero, and cha cha cha, performed by orchestras like La Brava and Charanga Tierra Tiembla. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 8 pm.

La Movida 

Bar La Movida, a trendy gastro-bar in Cartagena, has been a nightlife favorite since 2012. Known for its diverse menu ranging from sushi to tacos and a wide selection of drinks, the bar also features a rooftop terrace called Rossy The Rooftop. Here, visitors can enjoy live DJ sets and fire shows, with music genres including afro house, melodic house & techno, and disco. Open from 5 p.m., La Movida hosts special events like Taco Tuesdays and boat parties, making it a hotspot for New Year’s celebrations.

Tu Candela Gastro Bar 

Nestled in the historic center of Cartagena, Tu Candela Gastro Bar offers a vibrant Caribbean atmosphere with a colonial-style charm. Open year-round, this bar and restaurant serves a variety of cocktails and dishes, from mojitos and margaritas to seafood and burgers. Located behind the Torre del Reloj in the bustling Portal de los Dulces area, Tu Candela is the perfect spot to enjoy Cartagena’s nightlife with a view of the Muelle de los Pegasos.

Watch the Fireworks 

One of the highlights of New Year’s Eve in Cartagena is watching the fireworks display over the bay of Cartagena. The fireworks start at midnight and last for about 15 minutes. You can see them from different locations around the city, such as: 

  • The walled city: You can walk along the fortified walls that surround the old city and enjoy panoramic views of the fireworks and the ocean. 
  • Parque de la Marina: This park is located near the Torre del Reloj and has benches and grassy areas where you can sit and watch the fireworks with your family and friends. 
  • A boat cruise: You can book a boat cruise that will take you to the bay of Cartagena and let you see the fireworks from the water. You can also enjoy music, food, and drinks on board. 

Visit the Islands near Cartagena 

Spending New Year’s Eve on the islands near Cartagena is the right choice if you want to escape the crowds and enjoy some tranquility in nature. You can take a boat from the Muelle de la Bodeguita or the Muelle Turistico and reach these paradisiacal destinations in less than an hour. Some of the best islands to visit are: 

  • Isla Grande: This is the largest and most developed island of the Rosario Islands, a national park with coral reefs and marine life. You can relax on the white-sand beaches, swim in the turquoise waters, or explore the mangroves and lagoons by kayak. 
  • Isla Baru: This island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and has some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. You can sunbathe on Playa Blanca, snorkel in the coral gardens, or visit the Aviario Nacional, a bird sanctuary with more than 2,000 birds. 
  • Isla Tierra Bomba: This island is the closest to Cartagena and has a mix of rustic and luxurious resorts. You can enjoy the calm and clear sea, play beach volleyball, or visit the Fort of San Fernando, a colonial fortress that offers stunning views of the city. 

Visit our Cartagena travel guide and discover everything you can do in the city. 

Why Medellin is a Must-Visit Destination for New Year in Colombia

Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Medellin is famous for its pleasant climate and vibrant culture. New Year’s Eve in Medellin is a spectacular affair, with fireworks lighting up the sky over the city’s picturesque hills. The locals are known for their warmth, and you’ll find welcoming celebrations in every neighborhood.  

Center of Medellin city colombia

Stay in El Poblado 

El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood for tourists and locals alike. It is a trendy and lively area that has many hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops to choose from. You can find accommodation for any budget and taste, from luxury hotels to boutique hotels to affordable hostels.

To know more, read our blog on the best hotels in Medellin

Ruta de la luz 

One of the most iconic attractions of Medellín during the holiday season is the Ruta de la luz (Route of Light). It is a spectacular display of lights and festive decorations that illuminate the city. The Ruta de la Luz features around 26,000 handmade figures, 8 million LED bulbs, 6 tons of metallic paper, 680 kilometers of LED hose, 180 tons of iron, and other elements that are installed in various spaces. 

You can admire the Ruta de la Luz by walking, biking, or taking public transportation along the main avenues and parks of the city, such as Parques del Río, Edificio EPM, Parque de los Pies Descalzos, and Parque Norte. You can also visit the nearby towns of Sabaneta and Envigado, which have their own light displays. 

Pueblito Paisa 

Another must-see spot in Medellín, especially during this season, is the Pueblito Paisa. This tourist attraction, created in 1978, is located on top of the Nutibara hill and represents a traditional Antioquian village. As if it were frozen in time, this village, with elements from the 19th and 20th centuries, lights up and is also a strategic point from which to get a panoramic view of the city. 

At the Pueblito Paisa, you can enjoy the architecture, the crafts, the gastronomy, and the history of the region. You can also take advantage of the cultural events and shows that take place there, such as concerts and dances. 

Night hike on Medellin’s hills 

The capital of Antioquia has a beautiful attraction in its mountains. From there, you can see a colorful and diverse landscape of buildings and nature. 

 At night, especially in December, the city and its surroundings are illuminated by the Christmas lights. You can enjoy this view by taking the Night Route to the Cerro Pan de Azúcar, which goes through the trails of this area, passing by natural spots to the circular garden that connects to the urban zone. 

This is a great opportunity to connect with nature, exercise, and marvel at the beauty of Medellín from a different perspective. You can also visit other hills, such as El Volador, La Asomadera, and El Picacho, which offer similar experiences. 

Party at the Best Bars and Clubs in Medellin 

Medellin is famous for its nightlife, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. You can find various venues to suit your mood and music preference, from salsa and reggaeton to rock and electronic. An option is to join the street parties in El Poblado, where you mingle with the locals. You can also head to one of the many bars and clubs in El Poblado or other areas. Some of the best places to party in Medellin are: 

Envy Rooftop 

Envy Rooftop, perched atop Hotel The Charlee in Medellin, offers stunning city and mountain views alongside a unique aquarium-style pool. With live DJs, weekly events like live bands on Wednesdays, and brunch on the last Sunday of each month, it’s a vibrant spot for nightlife. Special New Year’s parties feature live music, DJ sets, and eco-balloon releases. Open Sunday to Tuesday from 4 pm to 12 am and Wednesday to Saturday from 2 pm to 2 am, this elegant venue requires a dress code for a chic experience.

Salon Amador 

Located in Medellin’s Poblado neighborhood, Salón Amador is a nightclub that honors 19th-century entrepreneur Carlos Coroliano Amador. Hosting top national and international DJs, it features house and techno music in a historic building with a state-of-the-art sound system. The club, which accommodates 600 people, is perfect for New Year’s celebrations, with special live DJ performances starting at 11 pm. Open Thursday to Sunday from 10 pm to 4 am, Salón Amador also offers a bar and lounge area for a complete nightlife experience.

Watch the Fireworks 

One of the highlights of New Year’s Eve in Medellin is watching the fireworks display over the city. The fireworks start at midnight and last for about 20 minutes. You can see them from different locations around the city, such as: 

  • Cerro Nutibara: This is a hill that boasts a park, a museum, and a replica of a traditional Antioquian village. It also has a lookout point that offers panoramic views of the city and the fireworks. 
  • Parque de los Pies Descalzos: This park is known for its zen garden, bamboo forest, and fountain. You can sit and watch the fireworks with your family and friends in its large open space. 
  • Parque Lleras: This is the main square of El Poblado, where you can find many bars, restaurants, and clubs There you can join the street party and watch the fireworks with the crowd in a festive atmosphere. 

Visit our Medellin travel guide and discover everything you can do in the city. 

Grand Celebrations in Bogota for New Year in Colombia 

The capital city, Bogota, hosts grand New Year’s celebrations that cater to all tastes. From massive street parties on the bustling Avenida Septima to elegant dinners in the city’s finest restaurants, Bogota has it all. If you’re seeking a vibrant urban celebration, Bogota is the place to be. 

Read our blog to discover the best hotels in Bogota

Bogotá night view from Monserrate

Watch the Fireworks at Plaza Bolívar 

One of the most popular events in Bogota is the annual fireworks display at Plaza Bolívar, the main square of the city. Thousands of people gather around the square to witness the dazzling show of lights and colors that illuminates the sky and the historic buildings. You can also enjoy live music, street performances, and food stalls that offer delicious local cuisine.  

The fireworks start at midnight, but you should arrive early to secure a good spot and join the festive atmosphere. The show is free and open to the public. 

Party at Andres Carne de Res 

Andrés Carne de Res is a famous restaurant and dance club in Bogotá that offers a unique experience for its guests. The original location is in the town of Chía, about 30 kilometers away from the city center, but there is also another branch called Andrés DC in the heart of Bogotá, in the Zona T area. 

The restaurant is known for varied menu, featuring Colombian and international dishes, such as grilled meats, seafood, salads, soups, desserts, and more. The restaurant also has a wide selection of drinks, including cocktails, beers, wines, and spirits. 

The club also hosts live shows, performances, and special events, such as New Year’s Eve party. 

The New Year’s Eve party at Andrés Carne de Res is one of the most popular and exciting events in Bogotá. The party starts at 9:00 PM and lasts until dawn. The ticket includes a welcome drink, a buffet dinner, a champagne toast, a souvenir, and access to all the entertainment options. 

Hike to the Cerro de Monserrate 

For a breathtaking view of the city and a spiritual experience, hike to the Cerro de Monserrate, a hill that rises above Bogota and hosts a monastery and a statue of the Fallen Christ. The hike is about 1.5 miles long and takes about an hour to complete. You can also take a cable car or a funicular if you prefer a more comfortable ride.  

At the top, you can admire the panoramic view of the city, visit the chapel and the market, or have a snack at the cafe. The hill is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.  

This is a great option for the morning or afternoon of December 31st, before you get ready for the dinner and party celebration. 

Explore the La Candelaria Neighborhood 

La Candelaria is the historic and cultural heart of Bogota, where you can find some of the most important and beautiful attractions of the city. You can walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the colonial buildings that house museums, churches, and cafes. Some of the highlights of La Candelaria are: 

  • Gold Museum: This museum displays more than 30,000 pieces of pre-Columbian gold, as well as pottery, textiles, and stone. It also has a room that simulates a gold offering ritual, where you can see a spectacular light and sound show. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Botero Museum: This museum exhibits the works of the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero, who is known for his exaggerated and voluptuous figures. It also has a collection of paintings by other renowned artists, such as Picasso, Monet, and Dali. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance is free. 
  • Catedral Primada: This is the largest and oldest cathedral in Colombia, built between 1807 and 1823. It has a neoclassical style, a dome, and a bell tower. The cathedral is open from Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The entrance is free. 

Join the Bogota Christmas Route 

Bogota is a wonderful city to visit during the Christmas season, as it is decorated with beautiful lights and displays that create a magical atmosphere.  

The Bogota Tourism Board has created the Christmas Route, a route through the city that takes you to all the parks and plazas with Christmas lights and markets. You can also enjoy concerts, shows, and activities that celebrate Colombian traditions and culture. Some of the places that you can visit along the Christmas Route are: 

  • Parque El Virrey: This park has a large Christmas tree and a nativity scene made of recycled materials. There are also musical performances and a market where you can buy handicrafts and food. 
  • Parque Nacional: This park has a light show that represents the biodiversity and regions of Colombia. It also has a giant globe that projects images of the world and a tunnel of stars that leads to a wishing tree. 
  • Plaza de Bolívar: This square has a spectacular projection and mapping show that tells the story of Bogota and Colombia. It also has a Christmas tree and a fountain that changes colors. 

The theme and design of the lights may vary from year to year, so the past descriptions are based on decorations from previous years. 

Visit our Bogotá travel guide and discover everything you can do in the city. 

New Year Full of Nature in Santa Marta, Colombia 

For those who prefer a more serene New Year’s experience, Santa Marta offers a peaceful coastal celebration. The city’s laid-back charm and connection to nature make it a perfect destination for a tranquil getaway. 

aerial view of santa marta

Stay in a Beachfront Hotel 

Santa Marta has many hotels to choose from, but nothing beats staying in a beachfront hotel that offers stunning views of the sea and sunsets.

Read our blog to discover the best hotels in Santa Marta. 

Visit the Tayrona National Park 

The Tayrona National Park is one of the most beautiful and diverse natural parks in Colombia, covering an area of 150 square kilometers of tropical forest, coral reefs, and sandy beaches. It is home to a rich wildlife, such as monkeys, birds, reptiles, and fish. You can hike, camp, snorkel, or relax in this natural paradise. You can also visit the archaeological site of Pueblito, where the remains of an ancient indigenous village sit. Some of the best beaches and attractions in the Tayrona National Park are: 

  • Cabo San Juan: This is one of the most popular and picturesque beaches in the park, with clear turquoise water, white sand, and palm trees. It has a camping area, a restaurant, and a lookout point. 
  • Playa Cristal: This is one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Colombia, located inside the park. It has clear turquoise water, white sand, and coral formations. You can swim, snorkel, or sunbathe in this spot. You can also enjoy fresh seafood and drinks at the local stalls. To get to Playa Cristal, you need to take a boat from the town of Taganga. 
  • La Piscina: This is a calm and shallow beach that is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. It has crystal clear water, golden sand, and rocky formations. It is also surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife. 

Enjoy the Nightlife and Gastronomy in Santa Marta 

Santa Marta has a lively and diverse nightlife and gastronomy. You can join the New Year’s Street parties in the historic center and the marina, with live bands and DJs. Or the Rodadero and Taganga are two of the most popular nightlife destinations in Santa Marta. Some of the best places to party and eat in Santa Marta are: 

La Puerta 

Located in the historic center of Santa Marta, La Puerta Bar is an iconic venue known for its vibrant musical selection, ranging from salsa and champeta to vallenato and crossover. Open Thursday to Saturday from 7 pm, the bar features performances from renowned groups like Systema Solar and Li Saumet. With sophisticated decor, colorful lights, and a diverse drink menu, it also serves delicious dishes like laing, making it a must-visit for an exciting night out in Santa Marta.

Crab’s Bar 

Crab’s Bar, situated near Parque de los Novios, is a top spot in Santa Marta for rock music enthusiasts. Operating since 1999, it offers a lively atmosphere with live music, games, and a terrace with a giant screen. Open Thursday to Saturday from 8 pm, the bar serves a variety of drinks and snacks, providing a refreshing alternative to the mainstream music scene and catering to guests aged 18 and over.

Explore Santa Marta’s Historic and Cultural Attractions 

Santa Marta has a rich and fascinating history and culture, dating back to the pre-Columbian, colonial, and independence periods. You can learn about the past and present of the city by visiting some of the museums, churches, and monuments that showcase its heritage and identity. Some of the best historic and cultural attractions in Santa Marta are: 

  • Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino: This is a historical estate where the liberator Simon Bolivar spent his last days in 1830. It has a museum, a botanical garden, and a monument dedicated to Bolivar and the American nations. You can learn about the life and legacy of Bolivar, as well as the history and culture of Colombia.  
  • Cathedral of Santa Marta: This is the oldest church in Colombia, built in 1766, with a neoclassical style. It is also the burial place of Rodrigo de Bastidas, the founder of Santa Marta. The entrance is free. 
  • Tayrona Gold Museum: This museum displays the gold and pottery artifacts of the Tayrona culture, the indigenous people who inhabited the region before the Spanish conquest. It also has a room that explains the history and customs of the Tayrona people. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The entrance is free. 

Visit our Santa Marta travel guide and discover everything you can do in the city. 

San Andres Islands for New Year in Colombia 

San Andres, a Colombian island paradise in the Caribbean, provides a unique setting for a tropical New Year’s celebration. It is part of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that boasts a rich biodiversity and a unique culture. San Andrés is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its stunning beaches, coral reefs, and warm culture.

Beach of San Andrés island

Here are some of the best things to do in San Andrés to celebrate the new year: 

Relax at the Beaches 

San Andrés has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, with soft white sand and clear turquoise water. You can enjoy the sun, the sea, and the breeze, as well as swim, snorkel, or kayak. Some of the best beaches in San Andrés are: 

  • Spratt Bight: This is the main beach in San Andrés, located at the north end of the island. It has a wide and long stretch of sand, a boardwalk, and various hotels, restaurants, and shops. You can also rent jet skis, banana boats, or parasailing equipment. 
  • San Luis: This is a quieter and more secluded beach, located on the island’s east side. It has a rustic and natural charm, with wooden houses, coconut groves, and coral formations. You can also see the sunrise over the sea. 
  • Rocky Cay: This small island can be reached by walking through the shallow water from the main island. It has a sandy beach, a shipwreck, and a coral reef. You can also visit the nearby Acuario, a natural pool with colorful fish and starfish. 

Read our blog to discover the best hotels in San Andres. 

Dive in the Coral Reefs 

San Andrés is surrounded by a coral reef that forms part of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, one of the largest and most diverse marine protected areas in the world. The reef hosts a rich marine life, including fish, turtles, rays, sharks, and dolphins. You can dive in the reef and explore its beauty and secrets, as well as learn about its conservation and importance. Some of the best dive sites in San Andrés are: 

  • Blue Wall: This is a vertical wall that drops from 15 to 40 meters deep, covered with sponges, corals, and sea fans. You can see barracudas, groupers, snappers, and moray eels. 
  • Trampa Tortuga: This shallow reef has a turtle-shaped rock formation, hence its name. You can see turtles, stingrays, lobsters, and octopuses. 
  • Nirvana: This is a shipwreck that sank in 1988, lying at 12 meters deep. You can see the remains of the boat, as well as schools of fish, crabs, and shrimps. 

Enjoy San Andres’ Nightlife and Gastronomy 

San Andrés offers a variety of nightlife and gastronomy options. You can party with locals and tourists in the street or bars and clubs, listening to reggae, salsa, electronic, and more. Some of the best places to have fun and eat in San Andrés are: 

Coco Loco 

Located on Av. Colombia near the beach, Coco Loco is a vibrant bar and disco club in San Andrés, perfect for lively evenings. It features a spacious dance floor, stage, and bar, with music predominantly in Latin genres like bachata, merengue, salsa, and reggaeton. Known for its signature drink, the coco loco, made with coconut water, coconut cream, rum, and lime juice, the bar also offers a wide selection of other beverages. While it gets crowded and noisy during peak hours, Coco Loco is ideal for those seeking an upbeat nightlife experience.

La Regatta 

La Regatta Restaurant, located on Newball Avenue in San Andrés, offers delightful Caribbean cuisine with a stunning view of the sea. Built on wooden stilts over the water, it provides a unique and romantic dining atmosphere. The extensive menu includes seafood, fish, lobster, and local favorites like coconut rice and ceviche. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM and dinner from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM, La Regatta is a must-visit for a memorable dining experience in San Andrés.

Explore the Historic and Cultural Attractions 

Some of the best historic and cultural attractions to visit in San Andrés are: 

  • San Andrés Old Point Mangle National Park: This is a natural park that covers an area of 310 hectares of mangrove forest, lagoon, and sea. It is home to rich wildlife, such as crabs, birds, and fish. You can also visit the Old Point Lighthouse, a historic landmark that dates to 1870. The park is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, so you can enjoy a relaxing walk among the mangroves on the last day of the year. 
  • Baptist Church: This is the oldest church in San Andrés, built in 1847 by the English settlers who brought the Baptist faith to the island. It has a simple and elegant architecture, with a white façade and a wooden tower. The church is open for worship services on Sundays at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, but you can also visit it during the week to admire its history. If you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve spiritually, you can join the special service that starts at 9:00 pm on December 31. 

Visit our San Andres travel guide and discover everything you can do in the city. 

Salsa-Fueled Celebrations in Cali for New Year in Colombia 

Cali, the salsa capital of the world, knows how to throw a party. New Year’s Eve in Cali is a rhythmic celebration filled with lively salsa music and dance. Join the locals as they take to the streets to dance the night away or attend one of the many salsa clubs for a vibrant and energetic New Years’ experience. Cali’s infectious energy will have you moving to the beat all night long. 

Salsa dancers of Cali Colombia

Read our blog to discover the best hotels in Cali.

Attend the Feria de Cali 

The Feria de Cali is the biggest and most famous festival in Cali, and it takes place every year from December 25th to 30th. The Feria de Cali is a celebration of salsa music and dance, with concerts, shows, parades, and competitions. You can join the locals and dance to the rhythm of salsa in the streets, parks, and stadiums. Some of the highlights of the Feria de Cali are: 

  • Salsodromo: This is the opening event of the Feria de Cali, where thousands of dancers perform a spectacular choreography along a 1.5 km route. You can watch the show from the stands or join the crowd and dance along. 
  • Superconcierto: This is the main concert of the Feria de Cali, where national and international artists perform live on a huge stage. You can enjoy different genres of music, from salsa to pop to reggae. 
  • Encuentro de Melomanos y Coleccionistas: This is a meeting of music lovers and collectors, where you can listen to rare and vintage vinyl records of salsa and other genres. You can also buy, sell, or exchange records with other enthusiasts. 

Visit the Cristo Rey Monument 

The Cristo Rey is a giant statue of Christ that stands on a hill overlooking Cali. It is one of the most emblematic landmarks of the city, and a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists. You can reach the Cristo Rey by car, bus, or cable car, and enjoy the panoramic views of Cali and its surroundings. You can also visit the chapel and museum at the base of the statue, where you can learn about its history and significance. 

Watch the Fireworks 

Another exciting way to welcome the new year in Cali is to watch the fireworks display. The fireworks start at midnight and last for about 10 minutes. You can see them from different locations around Cali, such as: 

  • La Ermita: This is a beautiful Gothic church in downtown Cali, where you can admire its stained-glass windows and architecture. It is also a good spot to watch the fireworks from its plaza or nearby streets. 
  • La Loma de la Cruz: This is a hill in San Antonio, one of the oldest and most charming neighborhoods in Cali. It has a park with a cross that symbolizes the faith of Cali. Watching the fireworks from its viewpoint or nearby cafes is a recommended plan. 

Dance in Cali’s Nightclubs 

The best way to end your New Year’s Eve in Cali is to dance until dawn at one of the many clubs and bars that offer salsa music and entertainment. You can find different options for all tastes and budgets, from upscale lounges to cozy pubs. Some of the best places to dance in Cali are: 

Zaperoco 

Zaperoco Bar, known as the Temple of Salsa, has been a beloved salsa club in Cali since 1993. Located on Av. 5 Nte. #16-46 in the San Vicente neighborhood, it features live music every Thursday, creating an unforgettable experience for salsa enthusiasts. With its bohemian theme, cozy atmosphere, and small dance floor, Zaperoco offers a wide selection of drinks, making it a must-visit spot for an authentic salsa night in Cali.

Las Brisas 

Las Brisas is a resort and event center in Cali, renowned as the Temple of the Rumba Caleña since 1974. It features pools for adults and children, trails, and expansive green areas, perfect for family outings. The center also offers a typical Vallecaucano restaurant, social and business events, and live music shows, providing a vibrant and joyful experience for all visitors.

Visit our Cali travel guide and discover everything you can do in the city. 

Pasto’s Black and White Carnival for New Year in Colombia 

Pasto is the capital of the Nariño department in southern Colombia, and a city with a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Pasto is famous for its Blacks and Whites’ Carnival, a UNESCO-recognized festival that celebrates racial harmony and diversity. You can experience the best of Pasto by doing these things on New Year’s Eve. 

Las Lajas Sanctuary by night Ipiales Nariño

Read our blog to discover the best hotels in Pasto. 

Explore the City Center 

The city center of Pasto is a charming and historic place, where you can admire the colonial architecture, visit the museums and churches, shop at the handicrafts market, and taste the local cuisine. Some of the must-see attractions in the city center are: 

  • Plaza de Nariño: This is the main square of Pasto, where you can see the statue of Antonio Nariño, a hero of Colombian independence. It is also surrounded by important buildings such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mercy, the City Hall, and the Palace of Justice. 
  • Gold Museum: This museum showcases the gold and silver artifacts of the ancient cultures that inhabited the region, such as the Pastos, Quillacingas, and Awa. You can also learn about their customs, beliefs, and rituals. 
  • Taminango Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions: This museum displays the works of local artisans who preserve and promote the traditional crafts of Pasto, such as wood carving, pottery, leatherwork, and carnival masks. 

Watch the Fireworks 

Another exciting way to welcome the new year in Pasto is to watch the fireworks display that lights up the sky over the city. The fireworks start at midnight and last for about 10 minutes. You can see them from different locations around Pasto, such as: 

  • Morasurco Hill: This is a hill that overlooks Pasto from the north-east side. It has a park with a cross that symbolizes the faith of Pasto. It is also a good spot to watch the fireworks from its viewpoint or nearby restaurants. 
  • Las Lajas Sanctuary: This is a stunning church that is built on a bridge over a gorge near Ipiales. It is one of the most beautiful and impressive religious monuments in Colombia. It is also a good spot to watch the fireworks from its plaza or nearby hotels. 
  • Laguna de la Cocha: This is a lake that is located about 20 km from Pasto. It is one of the largest natural lakes in Colombia and has a scenic landscape with islands and forests. It is also a good spot to watch the fireworks from its shore or nearby cabins. 

Early Blacks and Whites’ Carnival events 

The best way to end your New Year’s Eve in Pasto is to enjoy one of the many events that are part of the Blacks and Whites’ Carnival. The carnival officially starts on January 2nd with the Children’s Carnival (Carnavalito), but there are many pre-carnival activities that take place on December 31st. You can find different options for all ages and preferences, from cultural shows to comedy acts to concerts.  

The Arrival of the Castañeda Family 

The arrival of the Castañedas is a vibrant and traditional parade held annually on January 4th as part of the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos in Pasto, Colombia. Starting at 2:00 p.m., the parade winds through key city streets like Calle 18, Carrera 27, and Avenida Boyacá, culminating at the Plaza del Carnaval, where the family is ceremoniously welcomed by the mayor and other dignitaries. This free public event features lively music, dancing, and confetti, enhancing the festive atmosphere.

Participants don costumes representing various family characters, including Pericles Carnaval, his wife Doña Eulalia, their children, relatives, friends, and servants, often carrying symbolic props like animals, furniture, and musical instruments. The parade celebrates the hospitality of Pasto’s people, symbolizing the encounter, return, tradition, and collective memory of the pastusos and nariñenses, as they welcome a traveling family en route to the Santuario de Las Lajas.

The Concert of the Year 

The Concert of the Year is a musical event that takes place on January 6th, the last day of the Black and White Carnival. It is a celebration of the diversity and richness of the Colombian culture, featuring artists from different regions and genres.  

The concert is held at the Plaza de Nariño, the main square of the city, and attracts thousands of spectators who enjoy the music and dance until dawn. The concert is free and open to the public, and anyone can join the party or watch it from the nearby streets. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m. and end at 6:00 a.m. the next day. 

Visit our Pasto travel guide and discover everything you can do in the city. 

We hope this guide has been a valuable resource in helping you prepare for your New Year’s journey to Colombia. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! (Happy New Year!) 

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About Author

Frank

Frank

Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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