Though Colombia has many famous festivals such as the Barranquilla Carnival, the Black and White Carnival in Pasto, and the Feria de Cali, it also has plenty more unusual events that most people haven’t even heard of. Whether celebrating donkeys, foodstuffs, or other quirks of life, here’s our pick of the best.
The Arepa de Huevo Festival in Luruaco
An entire festival dedicated to a deep-fried corn snack stuffed with a fried egg: only in Colombia! The arepa de huevo (a flat corn cake with egg) is a staple of Colombian coastal cuisine, and was first created in Atlantico department, itself more famous for the Barranquilla Carnival. Every year – usually in June or July – the small town of Luruaco, which is considered the true birthplace of the arepa de huevo, holds a festival celebrating their famous fried treat, which includes contests for the best, biggest, and even most innovative arepa.
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.
The San Antero Donkey Festival
The small coastal town of San Antero is home to arguably the strangest-of-the-strange when it comes to Colombian festivals: the San Antero Festival of the Donkey. What started out as an Easter parade, with a donkey carrying Judas to a bonfire, soon became something much more unique and different, as locals dispensed with the religious element and simply celebrated the donkey instead. It’s a five-day festival every Easter, which features a donkey parade, with donkeys in costume, and even a King and Queen donkey of the festival!
The Villa de Leyva Kite Festival
Villa de Leyva is one of Colombia’s prettiest little towns, and it is also home to one of Colombia’s best festivals: the Kite Festival, or Festival of the Winds. Held every August – when the winds are at their strongest in the region – the festival is three days of fun for kite-lovers everywhere, and features kite-flying contests, and prizes for the best homemade kite, team flying, and long-distance flying.
The San Andres Crab Festival
Every year on January 1, San Andres Island witnesses a very special and unique event: the Crab Festival. Locals prepare various special dishes made with crab – including rice and crab, crab cakes, and crab empanadas – and, as with any Colombian Caribbean festival, there’s drinking and dancing aplenty too.
The Yipao Jeep Parade
This festival is dedicated to the iconic Jeep Willys which are so uniquely connected to the cultural identity of Colombia’s coffee region; first imported to Colombia from the USA post-World War II, the jeeps soon became intrinsically linked to the area, and they are celebrated annually in the small town of Calarca (as well as in many other towns in the area) with parades, and competitions to see who can load their jeep the most or perform the most dare-devilish stunts.
The Tibasosa Feijoa Festival
The pretty little town of Tibasosa is generally not a place that many tourists tend to visit, but it has a claim to fame with its Feijoa Festival. Feijoa is a tasty local fruit (some say it tastes like bubblegum) which is grown in abundance in the areas around Tibasosa – every year, locals gather to pay homage to the source of so many local jobs. It’s not every day that you can spend three days celebrating a fruit.
The Villeta Panela Festival
Villeta, near Bogota, claims to be the ‘Sweets Capital’ of the region, and every year holds a festival dedicated to panela – raw sugar cane used as a sweetener throughout Colombia. The panela theme is a loose one, and the festival features parades, folk music performances, and they even crown the Queen of Panela.
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.