Destination Weddings in Colombia
Escape in an Amazon safari, explore archaeological ruins, walk on Caribbean beaches, hike on high-mountain treks…today’s Colombia offers you the opportunity to be immersed in the dream-like quality of South American culture. The diversity and beauty of Colombia provides an eloquent backdrop for a romantic beach wedding or private mountain getaway. The warmth of the locals, heart-stopping vistas and stable democracy welcome you to the new Colombia.
Surrounded by plush green mountains is Medellin, the second largest and one of the most beautiful cities in Colombia. Medellin has amazing culture and amazing warmth for a South American metropolis. During the last week of July Medellin celebrates Fiesta de la Flores, “The flower festival” There are parties, music events and parades throughout the city. This eclectic celebration brings together all the elements of Colombian culture and is very representative of the way people live their lives here. The city has an amazing public transit system, and taxis are very inexpensive. There is world-class shopping, dining and nightlife making for a very modern and vibrant city.
Just an hour outside of Medellin is Santa Fe Antioquia, a safe and tranquil town known for quiet weekend getaways and festive weddings. Padre Juan Ramon, the priest at the local church, Inglesia de Santa Barbara, says “The reasons why couples choose Santa Fe are simple. The quiet, safety, and the human quality brings people here.”
The top choice for weddings in Santa Fe is the affordable 40-room Hotel Mariscat Robledo. It requires a complete buyout for weddings and provides the wedding party with housing, a venue for the reception and daily meals. The hotel is located in front of a charming small plaza and has a pool and separate dining areas.
For weddings under 50 people the Hostal Tenerife is a great choice. This private home has a swimming pool and picturesque private yard. The go-to wedding planner is Valentina Restrepo of Bodas Santa Fe; who runs the wedding planning business with her American husband.
A little closer to Medellin sits Hacienda Fizebad, a Colombian style ranch. An all in one option, this venue offers lodging, an onsite chapel and indoor and outdoor wedding accommodations. Its close proximity to Medellin allows guests to venture into the city with the option to retreat to the Hacienda life. Over 80 horses make this location an equestrian paradise as well. On my horseback tour I explored the grounds and was taken back by the beauty and serenity of this beautiful place. Jesse Salinas of Fremont, CA raves about his Fizebad wedding experience, “We had 40 friends fly 3000 miles to join us and they continue to rave about their amazing Colombian experience! We love our friends and their experience was important to us. This was priceless!”
La Extramadura is a great choice for the couple that does not want to sacrifice luxury at their wedding. Located atop a hill, overlooking Medellin, this wedding location offers luxury in a romantic castle like reception space that also accommodates lodging for guests. Adjoining Saboneta neighborhood is fantastic at night, and is safe.
The white sand beach island of San Andres, in the west Caribbean measures roughly eight miles long and two and a half miles wide. San Andres has one main city on the north end of the island, and it is surrounded by numerous smaller islands that are accessible for day trips or private beach weddings. Many hotels and resorts are located throughout San Andres. The Decameron Aquarium, set on a miniature island, offers water views from every room. The hotel also offers a plethora of guest activities during the day and entertainment at night. The Decameron Marazul is also an all-inclusive hotel and offers wedding arrangements to their guests. Our top pick for a small reception site is La Regata restaurant owned by a married couple, Gulio and Gloria. The restaurant sits on a dock featuring a rustic maritime theme with an amazing seafood menu. Beach weddings are popular on one of the two small islands located 5 minutes away from shore by motor boat.
Couples from around the world travel to the Northern Colombian city of Cartagena to get married. The beautiful maze of walls, forts, bastilles and pebbled stoned streets provide the perfect backdrop to romantic weddings and family celebrations. Outside the city is Bocagrande, a modern strip of high-rise hotels and beaches. One of the breathtaking wedding options in Cartagena is Teatro Adolfo Mejia, a majestic theater, popular among celebrities, where the ceremony is performed on the stage. Once the ceremony is over the curtains lift and the stage transforms into a dynamic and elegant reception area. This city offers world class weddings and has a number of great resources to help with destination weddings. With any destination wedding it is recomended that a knowlegable, local wedding planner takes care of all the planning details. Here are some great resources that I found on the trip for the top wedding planners: Catalina and Simona (www.bodaseleganza.com) and Carmen Cecilia Cayon (www.carmenceciliacayon.com)