One event that Medellín is really famous for is the annual Medellín Christmas lights display that is known as Los Alumbrados or Alumbrados Navideños. In this article, we have over 20 photos of the Medellín 2020 Christmas lights (Alumbrados 2020) in Medellín.

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 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.

In addition, we published Christmas lights photos from Alumbrados in Sabaneta  and Alumbrados in Envigado. And we have a detailed guide to the 2020 Medellín Christmas lights.

You will be able to see 2020 Christmas lights in Medellín every night from November 30, 2020 until January 31, 2021 from 6 pm until midnight each night.

EDITOR NOTE on January 20: Medellín suspended its Christmas lights on December 22 to prevent crowds and the spread of coronavirus.

Medellín was planning to turn the lights back on in early January. However, we confirmed on January 20 that Medellín won’t turn back on its Christmas lights and is in the process of removing them. So, you won’t be able to see them in January.

2020 Christmas lights over the Medellín river at Parques del Rio

2020 Christmas lights over the Medellín river at Parques del Rio

2020 Medellín Christmas Lights

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.

EPM lighting will also reach several municipalities that were winners of the eighth edition of the “We Ignite La Alegría” contest: Santo Domingo, Dabeiba, Cocorná, Angelópolis, Arboletes, Copacabana, Puerto Berrío, Sabanalarga, Liborina, Alejandría, Caramanta, Betulia and Valdivia, as well as the town of Puerto Valdivia.

Willys Jeep Christmas lights display at Parques del Rio

Willys Jeep Christmas lights display at Parques del Rio

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.

Also, the pedestrian bridges across the river are closed. So, there is only one entrance to see the Christmas lights on the east side of the river.

The Christmas lights display at Parque Norte is nice but smaller than last year. Throughout Parque Norte are Christmas lights.

Christmas lights display at Parque Norte in 2020

Christmas lights display at Parque Norte in 2020

History of the Medellín Christmas Lights

The first public Christmas lighting in Medellín reportedly happened in 1851 at Plaza Mayor, which is currently the location of Medellín’s large convention center.

The modern annual Christmas lights display in Medellín began in 1955, when EPM was consolidated as a public utilities company. Starting that year, part of the city was adorned with a modest special lights display for Christmas that was jointly funded by EPM, the local government and the press.

By 1967, EPM started to manage Medellín’s Christmas event each year. In addition, the company became responsible for the design, installation and funding of the light display.

Over the years, the annual lights display for Christmas were broadened in scope. So, the lights at Christmas are now considered one of the biggest tourist attractions in Medellin. Tourists come from around the world to Medellín to see Alumbrados Navideños.

Furthermore, the number of lights installed in Medellín for Christmas has been growing over the past several years with a drop in 2018 due to belt tightening at EPM.

  • 2006 – 12.5 million lights
  • 2008 – 14.5 million lights
  • 2013 – 27 million lights
  • 2014 – 30 million lights
  • 2015 – 31 million lights
  • 2016 – 31 million lights
  • 2017 – 37 million lights
  • 2018 – 26 million lights
  • 2019 – 27 million lights
  • 2020 – 28 million lights

Most noteworthy, in December 2012, National Geographic included Medellín in its list as one of the 10 best places in the world to see holiday Christmas lights.  So, the Alumbrados Navideños Christmas Lights display in Medellín is considered world-class.

Photos of Alumbrados 2020

Here are several photos of the Medellín Christmas lights – Alumbrados 2020 – taken on the first night in Parques del Río  and Parque Norte on November 30 that started late, after 8 pm.

Large Christmas church at the entrance to Parques del Rio in 2020

Large Christmas church at the entrance to Parques del Rio in 2020

Several figures are inside the church

Several figures are inside the church

Christmas display in Parques del Rio

Christmas display in Parques del Rio

One of several Christmas houses in Parques del Rio in 2020

One of several Christmas houses in Parques del Rio in 2020

Another of the many Christmas lights displays in Parques del Rio

Another of the many Christmas lights displays in Parques del Rio

A bird figure over the river at Parques del Rio

A bird figure over the river at Parques del Rio

A cow figure over the river at Parques del Rio

A cow figure over the river at Parques del Rio

Christmas figure at Parques del Rio in 2020

Christmas figure at Parques del Rio in 2020

Another of the many Christmas figures at Parques del Rio in 2020

Another of the many Christmas figures at Parques del Rio in 2020

Christmas figure at Parque Norte in 2020

Christmas figure at Parque Norte in 2020

People walking though Parque Norte on November 30 for Alumbrados 2020

People walking though Parque Norte on November 30 for Alumbrados 2020

Christmas figure at Parque Norte in 2020

Christmas figure at Parque Norte in 2020

Parque Norte has street performers

Parque Norte has street performers

Parque Norte also has a stage with live music

Parque Norte also has a stage with live music

Walking inside Parque Norte for Alumbrados 2020

Walking inside Parque Norte for Alumbrados 2020

Christmas figure inside Parque Norte in 2020

Christmas figure inside Parque Norte in 2020

Street performers in Parque Norte in 2020

Street performers in Parque Norte in 2020

Train figure in Parque Norte

Train figure in Parque Norte

Other Places to See the 2020 Medellín Christmas Lights

Besides the main lights display inside the Parque Norte amusement park and Parques del Río, you will be able to see Christmas lights in many places throughout the Aburrá Valley metro area.

You can also find Christmas lights this year in several locations, including:

  • Carrera 70 (Avenida Libertadores de América)
  • Avenida Las Palmas
  • Avenida La Playa
  • Along the Ayacucho tram line

Also, there will be lights at the main parks of the 16 comunas in Medellín such as Parque Poblado and the first Laureles park. Each year there are also Christmas lights at Pueblito Paisa.

Alumbrados Sabaneta 2020: Photos of 2020 Christmas Lights in Sabaneta

Alumbrados Sabaneta 2020: Photos of 2020 Christmas Lights in Sabaneta

In addition, Christmas lights can be seen in the main parks in other municipalities in the metro area including Parque Envigado, Parque Sabaneta and Parque Bello.

Furthermore, the December holiday season and Christmas lights display are very important for the economy in Medellín. The many tourists visiting Medellín during the holiday season help the hospitality and commerce sectors in the city.

Each year up to 4 million people see the Alumbrados Navideños display in the city. And last year an estimated 90,000 tourists visited Medellín to see the world-class Medellín Christmas lights.

How to Get to the 2020 Medellín Christmas Lights Displays

The primary lights display for Christmas this year is at Parques Del Río. The easiest way to get to this park is via the Medellín metro. To get there take the A line of the metro to the Exposiciones station and take the Metroplus bus line to the Plaza Mayor station and the entrance to Parque Del Rio is nearby.

In addition, any taxi driver in Medellín will know where Parques Del Río is located. But make sure you go to the park on the east side of the the river, not the west side where the Christmas lights were last year. Note the pedestrian bridges crossing the river are closed.

The secondary Medellín Christmas lights display in 2020 is inside Parque Norte.

Admission to Parque Norte in the evening to see the lights display located in the amusement park is free. But if you want to use the park attractions you must buy an entrance ticket.

The best way to get to the primary Christmas display at Parque Norte is to take the Medellín metro Line A to the Universidad metro station. Parque Norte is located very close to this this station.

Universidad Metro Station

Universidad Metro Station

Also, there isn’t much parking at Parque Norte. It has only about 300 parking spaces for cars and 50 spaces for motorcycles. So, we recommend not driving.

Any taxi driver will also be able to bring you to the secondary Medellín Christmas lights display. Just tell the driver: “El Alumbrado, Parque Norte, por favor”.

Water fountain at the EPM building at the end of walking through the Parques del Rio Christmas lights

Water fountain at the EPM building at the end of walking through the Parques del Rio Alumbrados 2020

The Bottom Line: Alumbrados 2020 – Medellín’s Christmas Lights

Alumbrados 2020 is a must-see thing to do if you are in Medellín in December or January.

And if you are looking for a reason to visit Medellín, the world-class Alumbrados Christmas lights in Medellín are considered by many to be a very good reason.

The Christmas lights in Medellín are in two locations this year. The Parques del Rio location has many more Christmas lights and is more impressive.

The Parque Norte location was nice but a disappointment for me compared to last year, which was much larger last year.

So, if you only have time to see one of the two primary Christmas lights locations in Medellín, we highly recommend the Parques del Rio location.

Also, the Christmas lights display is extremely popular with families. So, you will see many families with children at both primary locations for the 2020 Christmas lights in Medellín.

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Editors note: updated on December 23, 2020 with information that Medellín’s Alumbrados lights are suspended until January 3.

Editors note: updated on January 20, 2021 with information that Medellín will not be turning on its Christmas lights in January as planned and is in the process of removing them.

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