EPM Alumbrados – A Lighting Event You Can’t Miss

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Nestled in the heart of the mountainous Antioquia region, Medellín transforms into a radiant spectacle each year with the EPM Alumbrados, a beloved festival of lights. Join us as we explore this breathtaking holiday event under the Colombian sky.

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Festival highlights

About the EPM Alumbrados

The EPM Alumbrados, also known simply as the Medellín Light Festival, is an annual tradition that dates back over 50 years. Sponsored by Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), this festival is a gift to the city’s residents and visitors, celebrating the joy and spirit of the holiday season. 

The festival features miles of light displays, including animated designs and interactive light art installations that narrate tales of Christmas and local culture.

Each year, this captivating event draws thousands of international visitors, eager to experience one of Colombia’s must-see Christmas spectacles. EPM Alumbrados combines breathtaking light displays with cultural activities, making it more than just a visual treat—it’s a celebration of holiday spirit and local traditions.

Featured at the festival are various types of lighting displays that enchant all who attend:

  • Light sculptures: These are intricate designs that blend traditional holiday themes with modern artistry.
  • Light projections: Dynamic patterns and vivid colors light up buildings and streets, adding a magical touch to the cityscape.
  • Light art installations: Interactive installations that engage visitors, allowing them to become part of the art and light fusion.

Festival Dates

EPM Alumbrados marks the start of the festive season every December, lighting up the city with a dazzling display that lasts until January. This annual celebration begins just as the holiday cheer starts to fill the air. 

During these months, the city becomes a canvas for brilliant light shows that capture the joy and excitement of the season.

In its yearly run, the festival offers a splendid opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in a sea of lights. It’s an enchanting experience, ideal for celebrating both Christmas and the New Year. As the lights twinkle, they bring together friends and families, creating shared moments of delight and wonder.

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An image inspired by EPM Alumbrados

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The popular lights festival yearly illuminates the city of Medellín, Colombia. Each year, the festival turns the city into a mesmerizing landscape of lights, celebrating the joy and warmth of the holiday season. 

Situated in the heart of Colombia’s mountainous Antioquia region, Medellín becomes a destination for visitors seeking the magical experience of this renowned festival of lights.

The nearest airport to the festival location is José María Córdova International Airport, which serves Medellín and its surrounding areas. 

From the airport, visitors have several options to reach the EPM Alumbrados:

  • Taxi: Available directly outside the terminal, taxis offer a direct and convenient way to get to the festival areas. The ride typically takes about 45 minutes depending on traffic.
  • Bus: Buses run regularly from the airport to the city center. Once in the city center, you can transfer to the metro or a local bus that will take you closer to the festival locations.
  • Car Rental: For those who prefer driving, several car rental agencies are located at the airport. Having a car allows for flexibility to explore the city at your own pace.

If you liked this festival, you can also check out these other amazing festivals of lights:

Llum BCN Lights Festival

Sharjah Light Festival

Festival Hours

Visitors can experience the magical glow of the festival from 6:00 PM to Midnight every day during the run of EPM Alumbrados. These hours ensure that everyone has the chance to see the lights at their most brilliant, under the cover of darkness. 

Ideal for after-dinner walks, the timing allows for a leisurely exploration of the twinkling displays. So, whether you’re ending your day with a bit of sparkle or just starting your evening adventure, the festival is ready to dazzle.

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An image inspired from the EPM Alumbrados in Medellin, Colombia

How Much Does it Cost to Attend the EPM Alumbrados

Attending the EPM Alumbrados is completely free, allowing everyone to enjoy the stunning light displays without the worry of admission costs. This accessibility invites families, students, and tourists to experience the festive cheer and vibrant culture of the event. 

With no entrance fee, visitors can save their money for other activities around the city, like dining out or picking up souvenirs. It’s a perfect opportunity to soak in the dazzling lights and enjoy the holiday spirit on any budget.

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Another image inspired by the breathtaking EPM Alumbrados in Colombia

Weather and What to Wear

During December and January, the weather in Medellín, Colombia, is quite pleasant, making it an ideal time to visit the EPM Alumbrados. The city, often referred to as the “City of Eternal Spring,” typically experiences mild temperatures ranging from 16°C to 28°C (about 60°F to 82°F)

Although the days are warm, the evenings can feel a bit cooler, especially when spending time outdoors enjoying the festival lights.

To ensure you’re comfortable while taking in the dazzling displays, here are some clothing recommendations:

  • Light jacket or sweater: Ideal for cooler evenings by the river where the main light displays are located.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Essential for exploring the extensive festival grounds.
  • Breathable fabrics: Opt for clothes made from cotton or other breathable materials to stay comfortable during warmer daytime hours.
  • Umbrella or raincoat: December and January can occasionally have rain, so it’s wise to be prepared for showers.
  • Hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from daytime sun while enjoying the city’s sights.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

When visiting the EPM Alumbrados, finding the right place to stay is crucial for a complete festival experience. Medellín offers various hotels that cater to different tastes and budgets:

Ibis Medellin

  • Location: Cl. 20 #44 16, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: A 3-star hotel in the lively El Poblado district, perfect for visitors looking for a combination of comfort and convenience.
  • Amenities: Offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, and air-conditioned rooms.

Medellin Marriott Hotel

  • Location: Cl. 1a Sur #43a-83, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: A luxurious 5-star hotel located in the upscale area of El Poblado, providing guests with top-notch services and amenities.
  • Amenities: Features free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, free parking, and a hot tub.

Hotel 47 Medellin Street

  • Location: Cl. 47 #45-47, La Candelaria, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: Positioned in the vibrant La Candelaria district, this 3-star hotel is close to markets and cultural landmarks.
  • Amenities: Includes free Wi-Fi, a hot tub, and complimentary breakfast.

Where to Eat

Exploring the local dining scene is a must when visiting the EPM Alumbrados, and Medellín has a variety of restaurants that cater to all palates. Here’s a closer look at some popular spots:

Restaurante La Provincia

  • Location: Cra. 42 #3 Sur 81 Local 303, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: Known for its sophisticated ambiance and expertly mixed cocktails.
  • Foods Served: Offers dishes like pudding de ciruelas, torta de cangrejo con aderezo de curry verde, and ensalada de peras.

Champi (Medellín Es Sabor)

  • Location: Cl 10 #37-24, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: A Colombian restaurant with a cozy outdoor seating area, perfect for enjoying the local flavors.
  • Foods Served: Features menu items such as plancha de pollo, arroz de mariscos, and costillas ala bbq.

Canalla Medellin

  • Location: Cra. 37 #8a 29, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: A vibrant spot famous for its happy hour, great cocktails, and a selection of vegetarian options.
  • Foods Served: Serves dishes like arroz de verduras, paella de carnes, and ensalada cesar.

More Things to Do in the Area

Exploring Medellín extends beyond the EPM Alumbrados, with many attractions that provide a deep dive into the city’s culture and natural beauty. Here’s what you can do and see in the area:

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Jardín Botánico de Medellín

  • Location: Cl. 73 #51d-14, Aranjuez, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: Known as the Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden, this expansive 14-hectare area is a haven of tranquility and biodiversity in the city.
  • Activities to Explore: Wander among 4,500 types of flowers and watch for some of the 139 recorded bird species.

Aquarium Medellin

  • Location: Cra. 53 #73-75, Located in Parque Explora, Aranjuez, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: This science museum is a part of Parque Explora and offers an educational experience focusing on aquatic life.
  • Activities to Explore: Explore diverse aquatic ecosystems and learn about marine and freshwater species from Colombia and beyond.

Pueblito Paisa

  • Location: Calle 30 A, AutoSur, Located on Nutibara Hill, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
  • Description: A charming replica of a traditional Antioquian village, Pueblito Paisa sits atop Nutibara Hill, offering panoramic views of the city.
  • Activities to Explore: Experience the traditional architecture, local cuisine, and artisan shops that give a glimpse into Colombia’s past.

A Sparkling Conclusion: Final Thoughts on EPM Alumbrados

As the EPM Alumbrados lights up Medellín, it brings with it a wave of festive cheer that captures the hearts of all who visit. This festival not only brightens the city but also fosters a sense of community and celebration among locals and tourists alike. 

Whether you’re strolling through the twinkling streets or enjoying the vibrant cultural activities, the memories made here will glow long after the lights dim. 

So, come and experience the magical atmosphere of the EPM Alumbrados, where every light tells a story and every moment is a celebration of light and life.

FAQ

Is parking available at the EPM Alumbrados?

Yes, there are designated parking areas near the main venues, but spaces can fill up quickly due to high demand.

Are pets allowed at the EPM Alumbrados?

Yes, pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash and supervised at all times.

Is smoking permitted at the festival?

Smoking is not allowed within the festival grounds to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all visitors.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the EPM Alumbrados?

Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks, but alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

Are there restroom facilities available at the EPM Alumbrados?

Yes, there are portable restrooms located throughout the festival area.

Is the EPM Alumbrados accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the festival is accessible, with pathways suitable for wheelchairs and special viewing areas designated for better accessibility.

Are there any age restrictions for attending the EPM Alumbrados?

No, the festival is open to all ages and offers a wonderful experience for both young and old.

What should I do if I get separated from my group?

Plan a meeting point in advance, and if separation occurs, head to the nearest information booth for assistance.

Sources: https://medellinguru.com/christmas-lights/ 

https://medellinliving.com/guide-to-christmas-lights-in-medellin/

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