Cartagena de Indias, Columbia, is home to rich history, culture, and traditions. It is a picturesque town boasting lively nightlife, beach clubs, private pool parties, yacht excursions to scenic islands, magnificent colonial architecture, and colorful buildings, making it an ideal tourism destination in the Columbian Caribbean.
While the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted tourism and closed down numerous businesses in the hospitality industry, mass vaccination campaigns have allowed tourists from the U.S and Canada to flock to Cartagena for Christmas celebrations.
Unlike other Latin American cities, Christmas celebrations in Cartagena start in early December. Here is how you create a memorable Christmas experience in this beautiful beach town. Read on!
Enjoy the Day of the Little Candles
The Day of the Little Candles is a traditional event celebrated by locals and tourists in Cartagena, Columbia. This year’s celebration will start on December 7, allowing locals and tourists to spend quality time with their loved ones.
As a tourist, you will leverage numerous opportunities to socialize and mingle with locals and relish music, food, dance, and other entertainment options. Remember, this is the unofficial Christmas beginning in Cartagena, but it is delightful.
People stay awake all night and light candles across the city, making the streets look magical and lively. The best part of this Christmas-related event is lighting the candles and making wishes. Promoting religious harmony, positivity, and unity is a beautiful moment of the Day of the Little Candles.
Experience Las Novena
Las Novena is a unique nine-day praying event celebrated throughout the city. Families participate in this tradition to prepare for Christmas. The primary objective of Las Novena is to teach children about religion, understand the philosophy and teaching of Jesus, and how to live a positive, honest, and faithful life.
La Novena prayers start nine days before Christmas. Families from all neighborhoods in Cartagena sing and pray villansicos and make wishes. The purpose is to connect with the lord and create a sense of spirituality.
The best part of Las Novena is that children participate in the prayer every evening for night nights and receive gifts from elders on Christmas Eve. Participating in this tradition in Cartagena is a one-of-a-kind experience for tourists, particularly families.
Relish the Unique Christmas Decorations
Cartagena has beautiful light displays and unique Christmas decorations, creating a charming environment for locals and tourists. You will see Christmas trees, ornaments, snowflakes, and other decorations in a neat and lovely display.
In addition, Christmas enthusiasts also decorate sailing ships and light tunnels and add unique displays to the streets that leave locals and tourists in awe. Cartagena has a tropical atmosphere with clean air, making it neat to watch the walls and clocktower with exceptional lighting. Don’t forget to visit the public parks and plazas to see fantastic Christmas decorations.
Don’t Forget the Christmas Eve Meal
People in Columbia enjoy the Christmas Eve Meal on December 24. Remember, this is where the official Christmas Celebration in Cartagena starts, allowing families to get together and spend quality time while relishing quality meals.
After enjoying the delicious dinner, adults go out and party. So, if you travel to Cartagena during the holiday seas, you will find many restaurants serving special meals for Christmas Eve.
We recommend booking or reserving your table in advance because most restaurants are packed with locals and tourists. Some of the best foods to eat for Christmas Eve are pastels, also known as tamals. You can also enjoy dishes made from veggies, meat, corn meal, rice, plantain leaves, and seafood.
Go Out and Party
Because Cartagena is an international tourist destination, it has plenty of clubs and bars to enjoy the vibrant nightlife. Cartagena has got your back covered whether you want a more laid back and relaxed environment to spend romantic time with your partner or nightclubs packed with dance floors.
You can also find places to go and have cocktails, wines, or beers. We recommend looking for a rooftop bar with live music in the evening to celebrate Christmas in style. Rooftop bars have quality cocktails, classics, beer selections, and high-end bar food options.
Christmas in Cartagena is a special time of year. It is a year-round tourist destination, allowing tourists to celebrate Christmas with liveliness, energy, and enthusiasm. It is the best city for family get-togethers, festivals, local food, dance clubs, nightclubs, and private yacht parties.
Most tourists opt for Prime Cartagena’s packages for groups to make the most of their trip in this beautiful Caribbean town. Prime Cartagena is a professional and experienced company with an excellent track record and reputation, offering the best tourism packages with world-class amenities at affordable prices.