Traveling during a holiday that’s shared in your home country is a great way to fast-track to the heart of a foreign culture as you compare local traditions with your own. That was certainly true for us as we traveled from our base in Sogamosa to small towns in the Andes of Colombia as they geared up for Christmas with their own unique takes on crèche Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, and light shows. Here’s what Christmas looks like in the Andes of Colombia.
Corrales: Big lights, small city
The town of Corrales is a tiny, sleepy place for most of the year but it puts on a big holiday light show for Christmas drawing gawkers from around the country who come for the festive display of lights which are placed on anything that doesn’t move. Don’t miss the town’s famous golf-ball-sized Genova chorizos while you’re there.
The Christmas light show in Corrales, Colombia included one display that did more than just twinkle and flicker. Check it out in our video, below.
Salt Cathedral: world’s deepest nativity scene?
Hundreds of feet underground lies a Nativity scene that is on display year round. It’s part of the Salt Cathedral in the town of Zipaquirá and every figure is carved from salt.
Boyacá: battle of the nativity scenes
As we traveled through the department of Boyacá we noticed that every town’s nativity scene had a poster next to it announcing its participation in a department-wide contest to find the very best interpretation of this Christmas classic which is called a pesebre (crib) in Spanish. Here are our favorites.
Check out our video post to see the Christmas traditions in the Colombian town of Villa de Leyva which are dominated by three nights of fireworks. And don’t miss our photo essay about the amazing Ruta de Navidad Christmas light displays in Bogota.
Here’s more about travel in Colombia