This post is part 5 of 5 in the series Flower Fair Festival in Medellin, Colombia

Festive buses, called chivas, are a staple in Medellin, Colombia and in the entire Antioquia region. They were introduced in the early 1900s when a bus chasis was imported from the US and modified to carry agricultural products as well as people. The first basic models were quickly livened up with bright colors and even given nicknames from their drivers. Today, chivas are an artistic point of pride used as everyday transportation and available for hire as chauffeured party buses. As if the chivas that roam the streets of Medellin, Colombia aren’t festive enough, during the annual Feria de las Flores Flower Festival, owners kick it up a notch by adding flowers galore. Here’s what it looked like as drivers put the finishing touches on their chivas before they were paraded through the streets of Medellin.

Chiva

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Chivas and flowers Medellin Colombia

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Decorating a chiva Medellin Flower Fair

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Chivas y Flores

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Chivas y Flores Medellin Colombia

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Colombia Chivas flower fair

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Chivas y Flores parade Medellin flower fair

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Chivas y Flores parade

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Chivas in Medellin

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Chiva Colombian bus

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Desfile de Chivas y Flores Medellin

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Desfile de Chivas y Flores la Feria de las Flores Medellin

Buses in Medellin getting dressed up for the city’s annual Flower Festival.

Flower Festival Medellin travel tips

Every year the Flower Festival in Medellin brings in thousands of tourists and hotels fill up fast. During last year’s Flower Festival we managed to get a room at 61 Prado Guesthouse and we highly recommend it to any traveler who likes spotlessly clean and comfortable rooms at reasonable rates (US$35 for a private double room with bathroom) in a homey environment just a few blocks from Medellin’s famous metro system.
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