Colombia has been one of the most pleasant surprises of our travels so far; we hadn’t originally planned to visit, but were told such good things about it by travellers we met that we decided to set some time aside for it, and I’m really glad we did. I absolutely LOVED spending time in Colombia; the one and only thing I’m a bit miffed about is that we couldn’t spare more than three weeks, so I feel like we only managed to scrape the surface of this friendly and beautiful country. I’ve already planned to come back to explore it more extensively, but here are my favourite memories from our short time in Colombia.
You can read all about our Colombia adventures here.
The Carnaval de Blancos y Negros (Blacks and Whites Carnival) is a huge festival celebration (the largest in South America) that takes place in Pasto from the 2nd – 7th of January, although some celebrations start from December 28th. This celebration arose from a mixture of Andean and Hispanic traditions; beginning as an Indian celebration to the moon goddess for good crops, and then adding in traditions from Spanish and African cultures and including special days such as January 5th when slaves were given a holiday from the King of Spain. The modern festival is a celebration of imagination, community, all the various cultures of the people that make up the city, and lots of fun and play. In 2009, UNESCO named it as one of the ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.’ AJ and I were incredibly lucky that our move from Ecuador to Colombia coincided with the time of the carnival and we were able to experience this incredible celebration. What’s most surprising is that the Carnaval is nowhere near as well-known as it should be, which makes it a little difficult to find a lot of information on attending it. Therefore, I’ve put together this guide to attending the Carnaval de Blancos y Negros.