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Medellin Christmas Festival de las Luces y Alumbrados Navidenos 2024
The Festival of Lights is one of the most important celebrations in Medellin, where countless colourful lights adorn the most iconic public squares and plazas. It has been voted one of the top 10-holiday lights destinations in the world by National Geographic.
- Are you visiting for the festival? Stay in the gay district Poblado and take a taxi to the Christmas lights. It’s a 10-minute drive. Stay at the 14 Urban Hotel, a 4-star boutique hotel with high-end amenities and delicious breakfast options. Highly recommended.
The Festival of Lights
- Typically late November until the 7th of January – More than 4 million tourists visit Medellin during the holiday season as millions of Christmas lights transform the city at night. A series of cultural events and concerts are held during the festival. The Christmas lights in Medellin are known as “El Alumbrado” – The Lighting.
- The Museum of Antioquia offers free admission for everyone during the holiday season. Christmas lights illuminate the area around the Medellín River and La Playa Avenue. Over a hundred other locations over 16 sectors around Medellín are also decorated in recent years, including Botero Park, Nutibara Hill, 70th Street, 80th Street, 33rd Avenue, and Las Palmas Road. The main park by the gay district of Poblado is also transformed with light displays.
- The lights are switched on from late November; however, the official start date for the festival is Dec 7, the Day of Little Candles. Little Candles Day (Día de las velitas) is a widely observed traditional holiday in Colombia. It is celebrated on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, a public holiday in Colombia. The lights are switched on each evening at 6 pm.
- El Alumbrado is the perfect time to visit Medellin with balmy weather and a carnival-like atmosphere as the city pulses with new life. The sidewalks are packed with food stalls as giant 3d figures twirl along the Medellin River.
- Stay close to the gay bars and the Christmas light displays at the Marquee Medellin, rated “Wonderful” by guests with an outdoor pool with panoramic city views.
- BOOK A NIGHT TIME CHIRSTIMAS LIGHT TOUR.
- The starting point of the Lighting is on La Playa Avenue, and its main attraction is on the Medellín River. The main route of Lighting starts at the Pablo Tobon Uribe Theater, down La Playa to Bolívar Park. Since 2013, a projector plays videos on the façade of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Medellín. The route then takes Carabobo Street to San Juan Street, then to the Medellin River, and parallel the river, from the San Juan Bridge to the Guayaquil Bridge.
- Many of the gay bars and clubs along the streets of Poblado host special themed Christmas events and parties during the season. Bars are transformed with Christmas lights and many of the large clubs host special parties, especially during the public holidays and on New Year’s Eve.
- For a “Wonderful” stay check out the Landmark hotel, close to the gay bars, featuring a stunning rooftop pool, superb onsite restaurants and modern gym.
- Colombia’s second-biggest city, Medellin, has a thriving gay community. Most of the gay scene in Medellin is located around Parque Lleras in El Poblado or Pueblito Paisa, (paisas are people from Medellin) the heart of the city’s tourist district and home to the best bars, shops, clubs and restaurants. Other gay bars are dotted across the city in the downtown area known as Candelaria and Laureles.
- Stay close to the gay centre of Medellin at the Lettera Hotel, a beautiful 4-star hotel with spacious rooms and a wide variety of breakfast options. It is just a two-minute drive to the city’s busy bars and nightlife.
Medellin Gay Bars
The following gay venues are the most popular in Medellin and host memorable parties and theme nights during the gay pride festivities:
- Bar Chiquita – Friendly neighborhood bar with a large outdoor terrace, the perfect place to watch the world go by.
- Donde Aquellos – Flirt with local hot Colombians and enjoy a mix of pop and salsa music on the large outdoor terrace.
- La Cantina de Javi – Popular with locals and one of our top recommendations for an authentic experience.
- Ink Bar 33 – In the Laureles district close to the Viva gay club, complete with dance floor and happy hours.
Medellin Gay Clubs
- Viva Discoteca – Large gay club with theme nights on Saturday evenings with two dancefloors playing everything from Crossover music to Reggaeton. In Colombia, “crossover” refers to an eclectic mix of music where anything from salsa, vallenato, and merengue, to pop, Reggaeton, and electronica is played.
- Industry Club – Popular club with two dance halls playing electro music and full of hot circuit boys. Open on Fridays and Saturdays.
Here are the hotels we recommend with good reviews, close to all the action:
Map of Gay Medellin
Recommended Hotels in Medellin
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We have chosen hotels in Medellin that keep you close to all the shops,restaurants & bars
5 Star, Luxury
- 5 Star, Luxury: Unique terrace with hot tub and BBQ.
- Close to the gay district.
- Modern furnishing, sofa bed.
- Luxury self-catering rooms with daily cleaning, free Wi-Fi, and plasma TVs.
4 Star, Readers Choice
- 4 Star, Readers Choice: 24-hour front desk, free WiFi.
- A short walk to the gay bars.
- Air-conditioned, private bathroom.
- Offers continental or American breakfast, airport transfers, and room service.
4 Star, Great Value
- 4 Star, Great Value: Outdoor pool, fitness center.
- Close to the gay district.
- Air-conditioned, minibar.
- Located in Poblado’s commercial heart, with spacious rooms and wellness facilities.
14 Urban Hotel
4 Star, Location
- 4 Star, Location: Bar, shared lounge, city views.
- A short taxi ride to the gay bars.
- Air-conditioned, flat-screen TV.
- Free WiFi, 24-hour front desk, and room service in a vibrant city location.
Video Medellin Christmas Lights
Highlights of the Festival de las Luces y Alumbrados Navideños