December is already special and in Bogotá, you can feel it everywhere. Follow this holiday checklist and enjoy more than a tradition, a wonderful experience!
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO DURING THE HOLIDAYS?
Last year my family visited for the holidays. I was very excited to experience our first Christmas in Bogotá together, so to ensure that everybody had a great time, a month earlier I planned a list of things for us to do during the holidays. We almost did everything on the list, so this year, I am planning to do a new one and adding more local events to try! Keep reading to see what you need to include on your own holiday checklist for Bogotá:
For coffee lovers, try the special holidays drink from Juan Valdez
Many commercial places around the world change their menu depending on the season and Colombia is one of them! Stores, restaurants, and parks not only put up Christmas decorations, they also offer totally new products. In Juan Valdez’s case, they add new drinks to their menu! Juan Valdez serves one of the best coffees in the country and they have an extensive variety of coffees in stock!
Take the Christmas lights tour in Bogotá or Boyacá, it’s worth it!
Want a bright night? You can find many tour buses that will guide you through the most illuminated neighborhoods in the country! Don´t know what bus should take? Enter www.colture.co and be careful on the events (it may appear the information). You can also wait until the “Ciclovía Nocturna” (Night bicycle ride) event to take this Christmas light tour on your own!
Be creative with your own Christmas decorations around your home!
Why just enjoy the outside decorations when you can also have some inside! Be part of the culture! Get a Christmas tree, some Christmas lights, or even just a wreath, and add some decorations to it! Remember to buy candles too; they will work for another occasion and also help light up your home!
Quick tip: in December, around the streets of Bogotá, you can find pine cones. which look nice as a decoration on the dinner table.
Visit malls and enjoy the Christmas decorations
In December, some nights are cold, but that doesn’t mean that you should stay at home. Going to a mall is also a great indoor activity! You can walk around, browse the stores, enjoy a snack, or drink a coffee while enjoying all the beautiful Christmas decorations and of course, taking advantage of the Christmas sales!
Invite some friends to cook a stuffed turkey, lentils, or other traditional Colombian dishes for the holidays
Be sure to include a Colombian person when you invite your friends over to cook traditional Colombian dishes, that way not only will they help you make it, but they can judge the results too! It’s also an amazing idea to share your own country’s traditional holiday dishes with your guests; that way, all of you can try and experience new things.
Watch a play at Teatro Colón or maybe to a different theater
The holidays are the perfect excuse to watch a seasonal play in theaters. In Bogotá, you will find lots of them, but the main ones are Teatro Colón and Teatro Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. In my family we have the tradition of watching the Nutcracker every couple of years. Last year, we watched it in the Cafam Theater put on by kids from an academy and it was really cute and beautiful, so prepare to be amazed by some local talent!
Follow the “agüero” list for Christmas and New Year’s Eve; it’s for good luck!
“Agüeros” are in every country, but during the holidays, it gets intense! This is a tradition that people do to bring themselves luck, but in a very peculiar way. The Colombian “agüeros” are really fun to do or even just to watch others do, so I recommend joining in and trying at least two or three; you’ll have fun!
Enjoy a light show in the Planetario; I know I did!
The Planetarium of Bogotá hosts beautiful light shows on a dome screen. You can watch the stars and feel like you are in space and listen to famous bands like Queen, Soda Estéreo, or The Beatles (the artists change all the time) while watching abstract silhouettes and shapes created by only lights. You can bring the entire family; it’s very entertaining.
Costs for the music light shows:
Adults: $ 10,100 COP ($ 3 USD approx.)
Elders: $ 5,000 COP ($ 1 USD approx.)
Kids: $ 9,000 COP ($ 2.60 USD approx.)
Download traditional Christmas music for the holidays:
Yes, Colombia has its own special music for Christmas and it’s great for dancing! This unique genre should be downloaded for December first on your phone, iPod, computer and any other device you use to listen to music, this way you will start the holidays the right way.
Fun fact: “Villancicos” is the Spanish word for Christmas carols.
What are you waiting for? Save this list on your cell phone by downloading it and start checking things off this December. This list I made will give you everything you MUST do here in Bogotá for the holidays, but you can edit it and add your own things. Leave a comment and let us know other things that should be added!
Share this article with your friends and remember to treasure every second of your journey in Bogotá, especially this time of the year!
Also, read these articles you might also find helpful:
New Year’s Eve and Christmas traditions in Bogotá: Agüeros
Top Colombian Christmas songs: a playlist to listen to in December
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