Home to the hip-shaking cumbia, “fire water” spirits, and mouth-watering Caribbean cuisine, Colombia is no stranger to a party. From salsa masterclasses to fruit-filled spreads – here’s how anyone, anywhere can throw a Colombian fiesta at home.
The first step to kickstarting a Colombian dinner party is setting the scene. Like many South American countries, color plays a huge role in everyday life in Colombia, especially when there’s a big celebration. Splash your dining room with Colombia’s iconic reds, yellows and blues with cheerful bunting, flowers, napkins, glasses or tablecloths. To achieve Colombia’s Caribbean feel, use tropical fruit or leaves as a vibrant centerpiece.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Blast the cumbia
You’ve transformed your house into a Colombian paradise, but something vital is still missing: music. Colombia’s streets, no matter what time of day, are constantly thumping with the sounds of accordions, guitars and tambores (drums) – and that’s without a major parade, festival or street party going on. The country’s most recognizable sound is cumbia, Colombia’s very own version of salsa. To take your guests straight to Cartagena, find a cumbia playlist on Spotify or Youtube and let the contagious rhythm take effect.
Welcome guests with a punchy ‘aguardiente’ cocktail
Aguardiente or fire water is Colombia’s favorite (and strongest) spirit. While you’ll find hardcore Antioqueños (Colombians from the Antioquia region) knocking it back neat, a safer way to drink it is shaken into a cocktail. Aguardiente makes a mean mojito and orange sour, but can also work with lots of different flavors – so feel free to get creative. To soak up the alcohol, serve your cocktails with a few bowls of salted plantain chips, Colombia’s most popular savory snack.
Start with a Colombian street food feast
Colombia has a big street food culture. In fact, many of its most recognizable flavors were created on two-wheeled carts, not in Michelin-star restaurants. To give your guests a little taste of everyday Colombia, put on a tapas-style starter so everyone can try something new. You’ll be spoiled for choice here, but empanadas (a fried or baked pasty filled with chicken or minced meat), arepas (corn cakes that can be served with cheese, meats, eggs and spicy salsas), and papa rellena (meat, onion, and egg-stuffed potato which is then deep-fried) should definitely be at the top of your list.
Follow up with a taste of the Caribbean
Arguably home to Colombia’s best food scene, the Caribbean coast offers some of the country’s most beautiful flavors. The most famous ingredients here are fish, plantains and tropical fruits. Take your guests to dreamy white sands and blue seas with a dish of lightly seasoned and fried or baked red snapper (or another white fish that you can get hold of) served with fried plantains, a small side salad and – the pièce de résistance – coconut rice.
Finish off with ‘buñuelos’ and coffee
Most commonly eaten as a Christmas Day snack (but now found on almost every street corner every day of the week), buñuelos are fried dough balls filled with cheese. The dish may sound a little odd as a dessert, but cheese is a popular accompaniment to a bitter after-dinner coffee in Colombia. If nothing else, it’s sure to turn heads.
Get the fiesta started with a salsa masterclass
A cup of strong Colombian coffee (and maybe a couple of aguardiente shots) later, your guests might just be ready for one final surprise. You don’t need to splash out on a salsa teacher to throw a dancing party at home – although this would get you serious brownie points. There are plenty of easy-to-follow online salsa lessons that you can simply hook up to your TV. Push back some couches, and you’re ready to boogie the night away in your living room.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.