We planned our vacation to Colombia just in time for the Medellin Flower Festival (Feria de la Flores). It has been a while since I had been in the city for the celebrations and I wanted my son to see how beautiful the city looks at this time of the year.
While I was trying to plan the activities, I found out that there is so much going on that most people are aware of. So, I decided to take some of the tours that most people that lives in the city has probably never taken. Locals are missing out on so much, and I am glad I did some research and found out about El Dia del Silletero in Santa Elena.
The tour guide picks you up at your hotel. If you are local they pick you up at your house. Once everyone is on the car they give you a souvenir, a typical poncho to wear during the tour so you start feeling the festivities. You head on the road to Santa Elena as the drivers tells you about the city and also stops to shows you the beautiful view of Medellin from up in the mountains.
The first stop is a Finca Silletera (place where the flowers are grown to build the silletas). We went to Finca Silletera los Girasoles owned by Joaquin Zapata. During this part of the tour you learn from the own flower growers what is the process to grow flowers and fruits. They are all organic and do not use chemicals in the process. The explain about the different type of flowers and they offer you coffee. They also have available food for purchase.
The Silletero (flower farmer) is available to answer all the questions you might have and they also have some silletas for you to see and even try to lift them. They can weigh up to 120 Kg ( 55 pounds). You learn how the Feria de Las Flores started.
You get back in the car and head towards a very cool stop, an eco-hotel. During this stop you can enjoy some traditional food and relax with the view. Since you are up in the mountains the air is fresh and there is plenty of plants and animals to enjoy.
The tour continues to another Finca Silletera. At this farm you meet with another silletero and he will tell you everything about the story of the silleteros, anecdotes and you can see a silleta being built. If you are lucky they might even let you put a flower on it.
You also learn about the type of silletas and how they choose the winner and what prizes they get if they win.
The last part of the tour before heading back to Medellin, is to visit the main park in Santa Elena, where you can find the monument to the Silleteros and also do some shopping for street food or drinks. The park is covered in flowers and everyone in town is on party mood.
This a a very unique experience that everyone that visit Medellin during La Feria De Las Flores should do. They also have plans available to visit at night, in case you are traveling without kids.
If you are interested on learning more about Finca Silletera Los Girasoles visit their website
Our awesome tour guide was Irne Franco from Asoguian, He is available for trips in Colombia and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and also on his cell phone (011) (57) 316-888-2565