Festivals in Colombia - Our Top 5 • Lulo Colombia Travel

5 festivals in Colombia you must know about if you are visiting the country

Colombia is famous for its color, beautiful landscapes and kind people. So, if you are thinking about things to do in Colombia, you cannot miss the festivals in Colombia.


Learn from this article and organize your trip so that you can enjoy some of the most important festivities in the country.


1.    Cartagena International Film Festival (FICCI)


This is the oldest cinematographic festival in Latin America and one of the most important festivals in Colombia. Created in 1959 to celebrate the cinematographic scene in the continent, the festival has projected more than 5,000 movies and has gathered guests from all over the world.


The festival is run by Corporación Festival de Cine de Cartagena and has become a platform where producers, directors, actors and actresses, and members of the industry in Latin America can promote their work.


During the festival, more than 140 films are presented, some of which are shown for the first time.

The organizers of the festival also came up with the Indian Catalina Award in order to recognize the best productions on Colombian national TV.


Some of the categories are best soap opera, best series, best actor and actress, best score, etc. Also, there are some categories dedicated to investigation and opinion shown, as well as special programs.


When: The event takes place in March.

2.    Festival of the Sea


Every year, by the end of July, Santa Marta presents the Festival of the Sea one of the most cheerful festivals in Colombia. It celebrates the birthday of the oldest city in Colombia.


During this festival, the Santa Marta Bay, the Coco beaches, and Rodadero welcome people from all over the city and the country. The festival also hosts other types of events like parades, musical shows and contests.


Additionally, there is the National and International Sea beauty pageant, where the contestants must prove their sporting skills.


Another very famous event is the gastronomic festival, which takes place in the Simón Bolivar Park. Famous chefs prepare some of their best cuisine while incorporating traditions from the Caribbean.


When: The event takes place in July.

3.    Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogotá: one of the most famous festivals in Colombia


This festival was created in 1988 by Fanny Mikey and Ramiro Osorio. From the word go, this event has been an opportunity to integrate the cultural and artistic scenes of Latin America.


Today, it gathers people from all over the world, as well as some of the most famous artists and shows from all around the world.


One of the biggest highlights of the festival is the number of activities and events that take place. This is because in only 17 days the festival manages to present numerous shows in the streets and theaters.


During the festival there are different events. For example, street theater, theater for children and young people, concerts, etc. Do not miss one of the greatest festivals in Colombia!


When: The event takes place between March and April.

4.    Hay Festival


Every year, Cartagena prepares to receive people from all over the country and the world, to celebrate culture in one of the most important festivals in Colombia.


For a week, Hay Festival presents shows, workshops, conferences, exhibitions and many more activities. The festival gathers important representatives of the cultural scene and Nobel Prize winners. It also provides an opportunity for the world to discover the work of upcoming authors.


Some of the main features of the festival are the projects it develops and its alliance with international institutions like BBC and El País. For example, Hay Joven is an exclusively targeted space created for university and high school students. At this event, different universities from the region offer talks on literature, the environment, creative and cultural industries, etc.


Also, Hay Festival and BBC Mundo have created a digital complementary festival, which brings together some of the guests at the festival, as well as big national and international authors, to discuss current issues, books, trends and their own vision on specific topics. This digital festival can be enjoyed on the BBC and Hay Festival websites.


When: The event takes place in May.

5.    Petronio Álvarez Pacific Music Festival


The festival was created to recognize the work of composers, musical groups, and researchers of Afro-Colombian music. After 23 years, the festival has become the most important event of Afro-Colombian culture in Latin America, and one of the most important festivals in Colombia.


It is a space that gathers and celebrates the Afro-Colombian heritage through their music, food and ancestral knowledge.


The event takes place annually in the Ciudadela Petronio, a place located in the Alberto Galindo Sports Complex of the city of Cali, and gathers around 600,000 people.


Here you can find some of their most traditional food and beverages, as well as crafts. During the event, around 200 exhibitors, all coming from the Pacific Coast, present some of their traditions.


During the festival more than 3,500 artists play traditional instruments; such as violin, marimbas, clarinet, drums, guasás, and flute, in order to share the history and traditions inherited from the first people.


When: The event takes place in August.



Colombia is a country full of wonderful experiences for travelers. If you are lucky and pick your travel time well, you could have a chance to experience one of the wonderful festivals of Colombia!


If you need help or guidance with the planning process of your trip to Colombia, don´t hesitate to contact us. We have a team of travel experts looking forward to help you have the best holiday of your life.

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