Every year, Colombia’s capital city becomes a crazy Halloween party where kids and grownups join together to celebrate, dress up in fantastic over the top costumes, and go trick-or-treating. Celebrate Halloween in Bogotá as you’ve never done before!
Colombia is a country with many holidays and celebrations of its own, but Halloween is by far one of the biggest nights to be in its capital city. With not only a lot of old houses and creepy ghost stories (everyone in Bogotá has one), this city is an amazing place for grown-ups and kids eager to celebrate this pagan celebration that originated within the ancient Celtic tribes. Here are some of the things you need to know about Halloween and how it is celebrated in Bogotá.
Halloween for adults
Bogotá is a great hub for adults looking to celebrate while wearing ridiculous costumes. The city’s nightclubs are obsessed with Halloween and doing costume contests where the winner can get a very nice chunk of money. People in Bogotá are obsessed with these contests that are held for both individual and group costumes, so you should make sure you prep in advance if you want to stand out.
If you work in Bogotá, you can expect to be asked by your colleagues to dress up as something or at least wear a wig with some funky glasses. If you are surrounded by offices, you can expect to see loads of executives wearing their getups, or if you visit the bank or a café, some cashiers will be dressed up, which is always great fun.
Halloween for kids
Up until 2001, Halloween in Colombia was called “Día de los Niños” (Children’s Day), as the main focus was on providing a great time for kids on this special day. Luckily for all of those like me who never grew up, it is now more inclusive for people of all ages who are still enjoy the classic trick-or-treating tradition.
It is very common nowadays that kids, teenagers, and some grownups take to the malls during Halloween festivities to trick or treat in all the shops, as malls have become a much more sensible choice for parents rather than knocking at some random people’s houses. Another common practice is that if you live in an apartment block or in a “conjunto” (closed gate community), kids will come around and trick or treat at your door, so you should definitely be prepared and get some sweets in advance at your local store and let them sing their favorite song that goes like this:
Triqui Triqui Halloween — Tricky Tricky Halloween
Quiero dulces para mi — I want candy for me
Y si no me das — If there is no candy for me
Se te crece la nariz — Your nose will grow
Few tips to keep in mind
- If you really want to stand out, I advise you to invest some time and make your own costume. You can go to San Victorino, a really cool neighborhood where you can find all sorts of really affordable accessories like wigs, hats, and full-body costumes.
- If you want to attend a night club, make sure you book a table in advance because these places are extremely popular and you don’t want to spend hours in a queue. A very popular go-to during the Halloween season is Andrés Carne de Res; the place is very famous for its thematic Halloween parties and great atmosphere!
- It always rains on Halloween; it’s almost like a rule so be prepared to be a bit wet and cold.
- If you left your costume decision to the very last minute, try shopping at Cachivaches. Locals go there for last-minute costumes and Halloween decorations. A costume can cost on average $45 USD/150,000 COP, which is not very cheap but saves you the hassle.
- If you hate clubs, at least attend a house party. People always use this event as an excuse to celebrate in their houses and parties are always epic.
- If you are celebrating Halloween in Bogotá on a low budget or are keen on checking out the local scene, but not getting involved in the action, you should definitely go for a walk around the Chicó area (Parque 93, Zona T and Calle 85). Last time I did, it was awesome. I saw 8 guys dressed up as clowns getting out of a mini cooper decorated like a clown car, a guy dressed up as Obama waving at people while his “security guards” walked around his car, and some really cute girls dressed up like Barbie dolls in their boxes.
There are some really cool things you can do on Halloween in Bogotá that don’t require getting wasted or stuffed with candy. For instance, you can attend the yearly zombie walk, which always supports a good cause, or go and have a thematic Halloween dinner in a speakeasy restaurant with Houspoon.com.
Don’t forget to read our article of tips to survive and have fun in Halloween night in Bogotá here. And for other cool celebrations in the city, read about or version of San Valentine: día del amor y la amistad.
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