There was a time when the only people who were celebrating Valentine’s Day in Colombia were the businesses who were making a killing shipping flowers to the US that week. But with the influx of foreigners over the last few years and the country’s growing interest in foreign trends, Valentine’s Day seems to be on the rise in Colombia. (Image above courtesy of Hotel Hevilat).
Sure, it’ll probably never be as big in Colombia as Dia del Amor y la Amistad, celebrated the third Saturday of September, but there seem to be more businesses trying to get in on the Feb. 14 holiday this year. Here are some of those businesses for those of you looking for a place to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Medellin.
HEART-SHAPED PIZZA AT BIGOTES
My favorite pizzeria in Medellin is getting a Valentine’s makeover, table cloth and all. Bigotes is offering a Valentine’s package at its three locations that includes a heart-shaped medium pizza with up to four toppings, two cups of wine or sangria and a German dessert. Reservations at least two days in advance are required. Noon to midnight on Feb. 14 at Bigotes Carlos E. Restrepo, Calle 53 #64 A39, Medellin, 034-230-1916; Bigotes Cristo Rey, Carrera 52 #3 Sur 58, Medellin, 589-8742; Bigotes Sabaneta, Calle 67 Sur #44-22, Sabaneta, 367-0747; Facebook.com/BigotesMedellin; 65,000 COP ($20.86) per couple.
LIVE MUSIC AT BARRIO CENTRAL
For live music on Valentine’s, head to Barrio Central. Folk and country singer/songwriter Benny Wise will be performing at this expat-owned cafe and bar in Laureles, which is also offering a Valentine’s package that comes with pizza or a cheeseboard and sangria or wine. 8-11 p.m. Feb. 14 at Barrio Central, Circular 2 #68-123, Medellin; 4 540-7965; facebook.com/barriocentralcafebar; 5,000 COP ($1.60) cover and 70,000 COP ($22.46) for Valentine’s package.
PICNIC AT CASA HOTEL SAN LUCAR
Take the Valentine’s celebration outside with a romantic picnic at Casa Hotel San Lucar. This intimate eco hotel is offering a package that includes a meat and vegetable fondue dinner and couples contests. 1-10 p.m. Feb. 14-16 at Casa Hotel San Lucar, Calle 23 Sur #15-115, Envigado; 316-694-1428; facebook.com/HotelSanLucar; 90,000 COP ($28.88) per couple.
DINNER AND MARIACHIS AT ANGUS BRANGUS
This long-time steak and seafood restaurant has you covered Valentine’s Day weekend. Angus Brangus has put together a special package for couples that includes sangria, an appetizer, two main courses and dessert. Oh, and a live mariachi band. Noon to 11 p.m. Feb. 14 and noon to 1:30 a.m. Feb. 15 and 16 at Angus Brangus, Carrera 42 #34-15, Medellin; 574-232-1632; twitter.com/angusbrangusmed; 165,900 COP ($53.24) per couple.
SPEND THE NIGHT AT HOTEL HEVILAT
If it’s a little peace and quiet you want, head outside the city to this hotel near San Antonio de Pereira. During the month of Feb., Hotel Hevilat is offering a Plan Valentin that includes a one-night stay, breakfast, a romantic three-course dinner, chocolate-covered strawberries and two glasses of sangria. February (all month) at Hotel Hevilat, Km 6 via La Ceja-Rio Negro; 310-517-5086; facebook.com/hotelhevilat; 350,000 COP ($112.32) per couple.
SEX SCHOOL AT SIESTA KEY
Venezuelan sexpert and radio host Yeilove is appearing at Siesta Key to host La Escuela de Sexo. Details are scarce, but one can assume this event, which has a capacity of 100, will feature sex advice from “la maestra de sexo.” Visit Siesta Key for tickets. 9 p.m. February 14 at Siesta Key Medellin, Calle 10 at Carrera 40 #10-44, Medellin; instagram.com/siestakey.com; 60,000-80,000 COP ($19.25-25.67) per person.
ONE WITH NATURE AT BOTANICAL GARDEN
Here’s another picnic option for those who like to get in touch with nature, only this one takes place at the Botanical Garden. Couples will be seated in the decorated area outside of the In Situ restaurant and can expect sandwiches, chips, drinks and wine. 2-5 p.m. Feb. 16 at Jardin Botanico, Calle 73 #51D-14, Medellin; 574-444-5500; botanicomedellin.org; 120,000 COP ($38.50) per couple.
ROMANTIC DINNER AT NOCHES EN PALERMO
Celebrate Valentine’s with Argentinian flare at this new-ish Bello steakhouse. Who doesn’t like Argentinian food? Noches en Palermo is offering a Valentine’s package that includes an appetizer, two entrees (choose from ojo de bife [ribeye], noquis [gnocchi], and their traditional or vegetarian hamburger), and two glasses of sangria (Full disclosure: My friend co-owns the restaurant). 3-10 p.m. Feb. 14 at Noches en Palermo, Calle 24a #50a-53, Bello; 312-652-9214; facebook.com/nochesenpalermo.com; 60,000 COP ($19.25) per couple.
SPEED DATING AT BORNEO
Don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day weekend? Women 35-45 years old and men 38-52 years old can meet other single professionals at this speed dating event at Borneo. Better reserve your spot soon, as there’s only room for 15 men and 15 women. 6-9 p.m. Feb. 16 at Borneo; Carrera 34 #8A-29, Medellin; 312-777-1097; facebook.com/eventosdemedellin; Admission is 79,000-109,000 COP ($25.35-34.98) per person.
DANCE AT FONDA LA VECINDAD
Once you’re done with dinner on Feb. 15, make your way to Fonda La Vecindad for some dancing. Nacho Acero is scheduled to sing romantic salsa at this Valentine’s Day celebration. And because this is a fonda we’re talking about, you can probably expect Valentine’s-themed costumes and decor. 8 p.m. Feb. 15 at Fonda La Vecindad, Carrera 70 #43-18, Medellin; 310-847-7864; facebook.com/fondalavecindad; No cover.
Luis covered soccer and then celebrities for the Chicago Tribune for 10 years before leaving the newspaper to backpack around the world. You can read about his adventures on his blog Extra Underwear and follow him on Instagram at @ByLuisGomez