March in Colombia: A celebration of film, folklore and plenty of Jamming
From the rhythms and music festivals of Girardot and Ricaurte to the natural connection in Minca, Santa Marta. Five activities to enjoy Colombia in March.
With its patchwork of parks within walking distance of Ibague’s centrally located Plaza de Bolívar, Tolima’s departmental capital is also known as the Music Capital of Colombia. Located on a ridge of the Central Cordillera that separates the agricultural heartland of Valle del Cauca with the lowlands of the Magdalena River, Ibague earned its musical distinction for being at the crossroads of genres and influences, many of which combine folkloric dances. One of the city’s most imposing buildings is the Conservatory of Tolima, where audiences can enjoy many free concerts, as well as in Parque de la Música or facing the acoustic shell in Parque Centenario named in honor of native guitarists songwriters Garzón y Collazos. All these locations welcome visitors March 16 to 23 when the city hosts the 34th edition of the Festival de la Música Colombiana.
While Bogotá’s gastro scene has evolved to offer visitors every choice, from Colombian classics to a global repertoire, the country is home to plenty of culinary creativity. If visiting Cali, the capital of Valle de Cauca, La Comitiva – Para Compartir is a must. As its adage suggests – Food to be Shared – this restaurant in the residential neighborhood of San Fernando celebrates traditional Pacific recipes and regional ingredients. Among the house signature dishes: the rice and seafood Atollado Valluno. La Comitiva: Calle 4 No. 34 – 32.
On the southwestern edge of Cundinamarca is Ricaurte, and even though many pass-through this small historic town to reach Girardot with its resorts, gated communities and Republican market facing the Magdalena River, on the weekend of March 21/22, the town will host Jamming Festival. Included in a line-up of 50 reggae, pop and hip-hop acts are Caifanes, Shaggy, Orishas, Vicentico, Damien Marley and Aterciopelados.
As glamping becomes á la mode in many regions of Colombia looking to expand their accommodation alternatives, the town of Minca in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, has plenty of great spots to connect with natural wonders of this coastal mountain range. From luxury pods to the back-to-basics overnight camping trip, this eco-focused community one hour from Santa Marta offers plenty of jungle trails for hiking, cascading waterfalls and stunning views of the Caribbean coast.
The International Film Festival of Cartagena (March 11 – 16) turns sixty this year and milestone for showcasing the country’s rich cinematic talent. From red carpet screenings to networking sessions, the sunlit plazas and buildings of the walled city welcome award-winning producers, directors and internationally renowned actors. Joining a slate of other prestigious film festivals, FICCI 60 is both a celebration of the silver screen and a city steeped in historical narratives. www.ficcifestival.com