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Feria de Las Flores Medellin – The Most Instagrammable Week of the Year

Did you know that Colombia is one of the biggest producers of flowers in the world? They supply more than 60% of the flowers sold in the US.

The prime source of these Colombian flowers is the area around Medellin – a benefit that comes with a climate that has given Medellin the nickname of the City of Eternal Spring.

So it should come as no surprise that the biggest week of the year is the Feria de las Flores medellin.

⇒ Read my complete post on the best Things to do in Medellin 

feria de las flores medellin winner
Love the red trim in this winner at La Feria de las Flores

Colombia and Medellin’s passion for all things floral comes to a head for one magic week in August each year known as Feria de las Flores Medellin.

The main way the flowers are displayed during this flowers festival is on silletas. These wooden contraptions used to be strapped to the backs of the workers. Flower growers and workers often had to carry their masters up steep hills.

The Silletas are now used to make jaw-dropping floral displays and floral arrangements that are judged in the competition that is the peak of this flower festival Colombia…. More of that to come!

If you’re planning your Colombia Trip don’t miss my Colombia Itinerary 2 Weeks post.

The Medellin flower festival takes place over a week and literally takes over Medellin. Amazing displays appear everywhere as do major street vendors. Even the stairs of the metro stations are decorated with this festival of flowers Medellin.

There are multiple events every day leading up to the ultimate event of Fiesta de last Flores– the major flower parade known as Desfile de Silleteros.

There is an official Feria de Flores website or check out this Youtube Festival de las Flores Medellin video to get a good sense of what the Feria de las Flores Colombia is like.

Also, I recommend visiting the two best sites for ex-pats and tourists in English leading up to the Medellin festival of flowers to hopefully get some good intel on the big event. These are Medellin Living and Medellin Guru.

Medellin Feria de las Flores Key Events

1. Plaza de las Flores – Parque Norte

This park is conveniently located near the Medellin Botanical Gardens (see below) so I thought I would combine both into one visit. I was a little disappointed. I may have gone too early in the week – however, it was all happening at the Botanical Gardens so maybe not.

Men preparing the silleteros of the feria de las flores
Preparation of the Silletas

It is a big area to cover and I did a full circle. There were lots of stands selling food and drinks but not a lot of impressive flower displays which is what I was after.

I did see some locals preparing their Silletas which was great and there were a few of the fully assembled round floral displays.

flowers in a wooden crate on hay
Lovely flowers waiting to be arranged

If you are travelling with kids then this could be a good thing to do as it is more interactive and food based. However, if you are after amazing floral displays this wasn’t the place.

Read my complete guide to the best restaurants in Medellin

wooden silletero decked out with flowers
A finished Silleta

2. Medellin Botanical Gardens – Orchids, Birds and Flowers Exhibit

This was the highlight of the flower festival Medellin for me.  The Medellin Botanical Gardens are huge so make sure you go in the correct entrance (you need to pay about COP18000 for entry – so if you have to pay you know you are in the right place).

Upon initial entry, it is quite overwhelming how much is on display and the number of people.

pink floral animals on display at the medellin botanical garden
Amazing Pink Animals
floral display Feria de las flores medellin
The colours of Cano Cristales

The first area you will enter is basically people selling loads and loads of plants and flowers of all descriptions. Move forward through this area and then take a left as you are looking to get to the centre of the gardens – the Orquideorama.

This is where the most amazing floral displays are on show – move over Chelsea Flower Show.

display of hot air balloon botanical gardens
A Floral Balloon
Festival de las flores display of orange and pink flowers
Such powerful colours!
medellin flower festival display of upside down sunflowers
Stunning upside down sunflowers
flower display at medellin botanic gardens
A floral egg!

This large area houses many essentially flower installations – the reproduction of different themes and scenes created from flowers. There were some stunning displays.

Everything from village scenes to hot air balloons to animals to more arty displays to giant butterflies. Don’t forget your camera and I would also recommend taking video footage. Allow at least one hour to explore this area.

⇒ Read all about the Best Things to do in Bogota in 24 hours.

3. Flower Carpet

The Flower Carpet was a unique display put on at the popular Santa Fe shopping centre. The ground floor of the shopping centre was taken over by an enormous mosaic flower carpet – well I think they were flowers.

They looked like flowers but they had a slightly odd texture. Rising out of the carpet was a 3 story high peacock, again created from flowers. The peacock is stunning and it is definitely worth checking it out from a couple of different levels and angles.

This was one of the most instagrammable elements of the Colombia festival of flowers.

⇒ Read all you need to know in my things to do in Guatape post

floral peacock at santa fe mall
The peacock!

4. The Parade of Desfile de Silleteros

The Desfile de Silleteros is the culmination of the festival de las flores Colombia. Traffic is shut down on the main street that runs along the spine of Medellin.

Hundreds of Silleteros make their way on a long walk with a heavyweight on their backs in between floats, musicians etc etc. Like a giant parade in any big city with roads closed chaos generally reigns.

You can buy some pre-booked seats but you of course only then get to see one spot in the parade. It can be very difficult to get visibility in the sea of people.

I chose to watch the parade on tv instead. A bit rubbish I know but I couldn’t face the massive crowds and I had surmised that it would be difficult to get any decent photos so what was the point. And I also knew about number 5 below.

Read my guide on how to choose a Pablo Escobar Tour Medellin for You– complete with all the different tour options.

5. Winners and Non-Winners of the Medellin Flower Festival Displays

For the 3 days after the parade, the winners of the various prize categories from the parade are assembled in Plaza Mayor so that everyone can get a good up-close look. I highly recommend going along to this.

There were a few people there but I got some great shots of the winning displays and the prize silletas. They also have the winners of the commercial awards there as well eg businesses that generated floral displays using their brands.

There is no cost to see the winners and I believe they are generally in the plaza for a few days.

⇒ And don’t miss my complete post on the 8 most charming Cartagena Boutique Hotels.

floral display plaza mayor medellin of winners
Bring on the winners
2 floral displays of boats
Floral boats

The balance of entrants is on display at the South Bus Terminal Station on Carrera 65.. I didn’t go and see these as I was a bit flower festival exhausted by this point but based on Plaza Mayor it would definitely be worth a look.

floral display at plaza mayor
A winning Silleta
flowers on display plaza mayor
And another silleta
winner display plaza mayor
One of the big Silleta Winners

I really enjoyed being in the city during the Feria de flores Colombia and the Botanical Garden displays were the highlight for me. The city did feel busy but not insanely busy and it felt very special to be in Medellin during its peak event.

It was also a really lovely different thing to do – and highly photogenic. I would absolutely recommend making the effort to visit Medellin during the festival de las flores.

Useful Links

I have written about Colombia for several websites:

The fantastic don’t miss it Communa 13 Tour

The brilliant free walking tour as well as a fab food tour

A guide to Colombian Food

festival de las flores display
Up close on the Silletas of the fiesta de flores

Boutique Hotels in Colombia

Top 5 Highlights of Cartagena

floral display in plaza mayor
A Shaggy Silleta at the Medellin Flower Festival

Boutique Hotels for the Medellin Flower Festival

I would highly recommend staying in the El Poblado area for first-time visitors as it is full of great restaurants and shops and easy to get around.

It is also very tourist-friendly and just makes life a bit easier so you can enjoy Medellin. I think it is one of the best value Medellin hotels as well.

⇒ I had a fantastic stay in the Art Hotel Medellin read my review of Art Hotel Medellin.

feria de las flores medellin at santa fe mall
The Amazing Floral Carpet

I also used the gym at the Charlee Hotel and it was lovely. It also has a great central location in Medellin and a fantastic rooftop bar and pool.

The rooms at this Medellin hotel are gorgeous and they also have a great restaurant on the ground floor. The Charlee is one of the best hotels Medellin has on offer.

⇒ Read reviews of Hotel Charlee on Trip AdvisorBook Now

I have also read good things about the Diez Hotel Medellin 

⇒ Read reviews of the Diez Hotel Medellin on Trip AdvisorBook Now

For a quieter option in the centre of town check out The Sites Hotel Medellin

⇒ Read reviews of The Sites Hotel Medellin on Trip AdvisorBook Now

And Hotel Loyds Medellin is another good El Poblado hotel option.

⇒ Read reviews of the Hotel Loyds Medellin on Trip AdvisorBook Now

How to Get to Medellin:

Medellin has an international airport – however, there is not a load of international flights in and out. Iberia flies direct from Madrid but generally, you will go via Bogota.

There are however loads of domestic flights in and out of Medellin. As Colombia is large and hilly flying internally is common and very reasonably priced.

I used the national carrier Avianca several times and found them very safe, good service and quality and very reasonably priced.

Click here for deals and availability on international flights to Medellin

Click here for deals on flights Medellin to Cartagena and Medellin to BogotaAir

I flew to Colombia with Iberia – read my Iberia Business Class Review. You can also read my Air France a380 Business Class Review and my American Airlines Premium Economy 777 Review – they both fly to Colombia.

medellin flower festival display
A display featuring flower workers

The airport is about 45 minutes by car from El Poblado – the main tourist area in Medellin. It is a long and windy trip down a mostly single lane road. They are currently building a tunnel from the airport into Medellin but that is still under construction.

A private taxi will cost you about 70,000 COP. It is not recommended to use one of the taxi apps to and from the airport as they have been stopped and not allowed to continue.

A shared taxi can be taken from the Taxi Colectivo Aeropuerto near San Diego Mall. It will cost you less than 20,000 COP but will not leave until it is full (4 passengers).

There is an airport bus which goes from a stop on Palmas near San Diego Mall and this costs about 10,000COP.

⇒ Click here to see Car Rental Options from Medellin

display at the medellin botanic gardens
Such stunning colours


If you are travelling solo and looking for tours of Colombia try these options:

Exodus Holidays Colombia

Just You Colombia

Explore Holidays Colombia

G Adventures Colombia

Who Paid for What in this Post

I covered all of the costs associated with my trip to Medellin and Colombia. This post does contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I just wanted to make sure that you knew.


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Monday 5th of April 2021

Great article! A silletero is a person, and the flower stand they carry is called a silleta. (In case you wanted to fix the captions on your photos.)

The Boutique Adventurer

Friday 9th of April 2021

Thanks so much for letting me know that and your kind words. I have updated the article and the captions.

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