Christmas lights take center stage in Medellin, Colombia
If you travel to any big city during the holiday's you'll undoubtedly be greeted by an impressive display of Christmas lights. New York City, Paris and Edinburgh, Scotland are all famous for their elaborate displays, but if you're in the midst of a South America tour during the holiday season you should make a point to stop in Medellin, Colombia, which is well-known for its Christmas spirit.
The second-largest city in Colombia, Medellin has long been a substantial tourist draw thanks to its numerous festivals and museums, but it really stands out once the calendar flips to December. Almost the entire city is lit up during the weeks before Christmas, with everything from animated light displays to 3D figurines bringing the holiday spirit to the South American metropolis. While there is no bad place to check out the festivities, there are certain areas of the city that are better than others.
Anybody who has made the trip to the city during the holiday season can tell you the lights are at their best along the banks of the Medellin River. Located in the center of the city, the river is highlight of the season because it features a number of exquisite fountains, all of which are illuminated to give the city a spectacular glow once the sun sets.
To get the full effect of Medellin's Christmas light display, experts recommend making the climb up Cerro Nutibara, which will bring you approximately 80 feet above the city streets. From this vantage point, you'll be able to see nearly the entire city's lights - and it provides an especially good view of the Medellin River.
If you can't make it to Medellin by Christmas, the good news is that the festival runs past the holiday. In fact, the city often keeps its lights up through mid-January.