Medellín has the largest Christmas lights display in the Aburrá Valley but there are eight other municipalities in the valley that also have Christmas lights in 2020. To really see the 2020 Aburrá Valley Christmas lights, it is worth visiting other municipalities such as Sabaneta, Envigado and Bello, which also have beautiful Christmas lights displays worth seeing.
After living over nine years in Medellín, this year was the second year I went to see the Christmas lights displays in all the municipalities in the Aburrá Valley. And I was impressed with several that are definitely worth seeing.
In this article, we have 30 photos of the Christmas lights displays in all 9 municipalities in the Aburrá Valley with Christmas lights this year. Note that Girardota did not have Christmas lights this year.
This year Medellín has 28 million Christmas lights And I believe the other eight municipalities in the Aburrá Valley likely have well over 7 million more Christmas lights. So, the total number of Christmas lights in the Aburrá Valley is probably well over 35 million lights for 2020.
This article first has photos of the Christmas lights displays in the 9 municipalities in the Aburrá Valley in alphabetical order. And then provides my personal recommendation of the top five Christmas lights displays in the Aburrá Valley worth seeing.
Some Municipalities are Turning off Christmas Lights
Unfortunately Medellín suspended its Christmas lights display until January 3 due to the pandemic and we confirmed that Sabaneta also turned off its Christmas lights on December 21.
The mayor of each municipality in the Aburrá Valley can decide to turn off Christmas lights as a coronavirus preventative measure.
Barbosa had its Christmas lights on December 21 but we haven’t confirmed if Christmas lights were turned off in the other six municipalities.
We confirmed that Bello and La Estrella will keep their Christmas lights on except for December 24, December 25, December 31 and January 1. Also, Envigado will keep the Envigado Christmas lights in its main park on until January 9, from 6:30 pm to midnight.
You can still see the Christmas lights in Medellín and other municipalities in January, as they should be turned back on.
1. Barbosa Christmas Lights
Barbosa, Antioquia is a pueblo or small town located less than an hour from Medellín. Barbosa is a close and great getaway from Medellín with streams, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, hiking, horseback riding and many other things to do nearby. It’s located at the northern end of the Aburrá Valley.
Surprisingly, Barbosa is off the beaten path and hasn’t yet been discovered by many foreign tourists. This is due to Barbosa not being in any of the English-language Colombia guidebooks and not much information about this pueblo is available on the Internet.
Barbosa is located only 22 miles (36 kilometers) from Medellín. And it’s a separate municipality with a population of over 50,000 and is located north of Girardote.
The Christmas lights display in Barbosa are located at Parque Simón Bolívar, which is the main park in the Barbosa municipality and is also known as Parque Principal. The Christmas lights display in Barbosa in 2020 is much smaller than last year.
Also, at this park in Barbosa is Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua, which is a beautiful Neo-Romanesque-style church that has many pieces of religious artwork.
2. Bello Christmas Lights
Bello is the municipality directly north of Medellín in the Aburrá Valley. Bello turned on its 2020 Christmas lights on December 4, 2020. I heard from a Colombian friend that the Christmas lights in Bello were very nice this year and I can confirm this.
The Christmas lights in Parque Bello are much nicer this year compare to last year, as last year Parque Bello was undergoing construction.
Not many foreigners visit Bello for it’s Christmas lights. But this year Bello has a very nice Christmas lights display in its main park.
The 2020 Christmas lights in Bello can be found in the following locations:
- Parque Principal (the main park) aka Parque Bello
- Unidad Deportiva Tulio Ospina
- Autopista Norte
- Museo Choza Marco Fidel Suárez
- Parque de Artes y Oficios
This year, the figures and lights in Bello have a Nordic theme with large gnomes.
We have a separate article about the 2020 Bello Christmas lights with more photos.
3. Caldas Christmas Lights
Caldas is a separate municipality in the southern Aburrá Valley with a population of over 55,000. And it’s located south of La Estrella, which is located south of Sabaneta.
The primary Christmas lights display in Caldas in 2019 is located at Parque Caldas where Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is located.
4. Copacabana Christmas Lights
Copacabana is a municipality located north of Bello in the Aburrá Valley. The primary Christmas lights display in Copacabana is located in the principal park in the municipality known as Parque Principal or Parque Copacabana.
5. Envigado Christmas Lights
Envigado, located south of Medellín, was the first municipality in the Aburrá Valley to turn on its Christmas lights on Nov. 18.
The 2020 Christmas lights in Envigado can be found in the following locations:
- Parque Principal (the main park)
- Parque San José
- Biblioteca Pública and Parque Cultural Débora Arango
- Parque de Los Urapanes
- Pasaje del Ley
- Pasaje de la Alcaldía de Envigado
- Calle de La Buena Mesa
- Carrera 42 (El Dorado gastronomic corridor)
- Carrera 42 and 43
- Calles 37 and 38 Sur
The theme for Alumbrados Envigado 2020 is “Santa y su fábrica de amor” (Santa and his love factory).
Also, we have a separate article about the 2020 Christmas lights in Envigado with several more photos.
6. Itagüí Christmas Lights
In Itagüí for 2019, the Christmas lights display is spread between several locations. Itagüí is located west of the Medellín river and is located west of Envigado and Sabaneta and south of Belén.
There are Christmas lights in Itagüí at the principal park in Itagüí (Parque Itagüí) and other parks in Itagüí including:
- Parque Artista
- Pauque Obrero-Brasil
- Parque Chimeneas
7. La Estrella Christmas Lights
La Estrella is the municipality located south of Sabaneta and La Estrella is the last station going south on the Medellín metro. The main Christmas lights in La Estrella are located at Parque La Estrella.
Parque La Estrella is likely the most popular park in La Estrella. It is a one square block plaza that has the Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá church on one side and many small local restaurants, bars and shops along the other sides.
8. Medellín Christmas Lights
One event that Medellín is really famous for is the annual Medellín Christmas lights display that is known as Los Alumbrados or Alumbrados Navideños.
This year there are two epicenters of the Christmas lights in Medellín for 2020.
The primary lights display for Christmas this year is at Parques del Río, along the river. The Parques del Rio location has Christmas figures over the river from the natural regions of Colombia according to their political division: Caribbean, Pacific, Andean, Orinoquia and Amazon.
The main location of the 2020 Christmas lights is at Parques del Río, along the river. Note the lights are on the east side of the river, unlike last year when they were on the west side of the river.
The secondary lights display is a traditional lights display inside the Parque Norte amusement park. In Parque Norte, the lights allow a trip through the nine sub-regions of Antioquia: their customs, natural and cultural beauty.
This year is the 53rd anniversary of Medellín’s Christmas Lights. The name this year is “The magic of Colombia lights up Christmas” (in Spanish: “La magia de Colombia ilumina la Navidad”).
The Medellín Christmas lights display in 2020 includes:
- 28 million LED lights, which is up from 27 million LED lights last year.
- 30,500 hand-woven figures, which is down from 32,000 hand-woven figures last year.
The Medellín Christmas lights display in 2019 includes:
- 27 million LED lights, which is up from 26 million LED lights last year.
- 32,000 hand-woven figures, which is down from 35,000 hand-woven figures last year.
Besides the main lights display inside the Parque Norte amusement park and Parques del Río, tou can also find Christmas lights this year in several locations in Medellín, including:
- Carrera 70 (Avenida Libertadores de América)
- Avenida Las Palmas
- Avenida La Playa
- Along the Ayacucho tram line
Furthermore, we have a separate article about the 2020 Christmas lights in Medellín with many more photos.
8. Sabaneta Christmas Lights
Sabaneta, the smallest municipality in Colombia located south of Medellín and Envigado, turned on its Christmas lights on November 27.
Last year in 2019, Sabaneta had over 5 million lights for its Christmas display. We have seen no number published about how many lights Sabaneta has for 2020. The Christmas lights display in Sabaneta in 2020 looks somewhat smaller than in 2019 but is still very nice.
The Christmas lights display in Sabaneta in 2020 is primarily located at Parque Sabaneta but there are Christmas lights in several other locations in Sabaneta, including:
- Parque Cuatro Elementos (a new park three blocks north of Parque Sabaneta)
- Churches in Sabaneta including Santa Ana, Los Dolores, San Felipe Apóstol, María Mediadora and Nuestra Señora
- Mayorca mall
Also, we have a separate article about the 2020 Christmas lights in Sabaneta with several more photos.
Aburrá Valley Christmas – What are the Best Christmas Lights Displays?
In my personal opinion the following are the five best 2020 Christmas lights displays in the Aburrá Valley:
- Parques del Rio in Medellín – the largest Christmas lights display in the Aburrá Valley that is impressive with lights across the Medellín River.
- Parque Envigado in Envigado – an impressive Christmas lights display with a big selection of food.
- Parque Sabaneta in Sabaneta – a very nice Christmas lights display plus a big selection of food.
- Parque Norte in Medellín – a nice Christmas lights display in Medellín’s amusement park with many food options.
- Parque Bello in Bello – a nice Christmas lights display worth visiting.
The Bottom Line: 2020 Aburrá Valley Christmas – Photos from 9 Municipalities
The bottom line is that it’s worth seeing the Christmas lights in at least a few other municipalities in the Aburrá Valley besides Medellín, if you have time.
Medellín has the largest Christmas lights display. But other municipalities in the Aburrá Valley also have nice Christmas lights displays and several of these are worth seeing. So, if you really want to experience more of the Aburrá Valley Christmas, visit some of the Christmas lights displays in other municipalities in the valley.
In my experience, the busiest Christmas lights displays in the Aburrá Valley in 2020 are in Medellín, Bello, Envigado and in Sabaneta. And if you go to the Christmas lights displays in other municipalities, the crowds will be less.
Unfortunately Medellín suspended its Christmas lights display until January 3 and we confirmed that Sabaneta also turned off its Christmas lights on December 21. The mayor of each municipality can decides to turn off Christmas lights as a coronavirus preventative measure.
Barbosa had its Christmas lights on yesterday but we haven’t confirmed the other six municipalities.
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Editors note: updated on December 24, 2020 with information that Bello and La Estrella are keeping their Christmas lights on except for December 24, December 25, December 31 and January 1.
Editors note: updated on December 25, 2020 that Envigado will keep its Christmas lights on in its main park until January 9.