What could be better than an afternoon of poetry, music, and run-ins with the best South American writers in the most romantic city in Colombia?

Sean O’Riain



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The Hay Festival: Culture within the Reach of All

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  • Place: Cartagena, Bolívar
  • Region: Caribbean
  • Date: 29.01 - 01.02 every year
  • Duration: 4 days.
The Hay Festival in Cartagena

The Hay Festival in Cartagena

Every year during the month of January, the Walled City becomes a first class stage that brings together the greatest exponents in the fields of literature, film-making, journalism, music, and art.

The Hay Festival is an encounter with culture, literature, and the love of words. In the course of the four days of this large cultural and literary movement offered by Cartagena, writers, artists, journalists, poets, musicians, and creators from Colombia, the United States, Canada, Latin American countries, and even farther places like Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and India, Lebanon, and Senegal get meet directly with the public.

Hay Festival draws a large crowd, who flock to the discussion boards held at different locations in the city.


Numerous people participate in the discussion groups that take place in various sites and settings throughout the city. These get-togethers and meetings take place not only in large salons. Frequently, speakers are seen strolling the streets of Cartagena, sitting in small colonial plazas, eating in a restaurant, or enjoying a cup of coffee or an ice-cream in the company of the people interested in asking questions or simply listening.

The idea behind all of this is to create bridges between normal citizens and great creators, thus giving rise to more open, multi-cultural societies.

Aside from the sessions directed to adult publics, the event offers spaces for children, like the famous Hay Festivalito (Hay Kestival for kids), the Concurso Nacional de Cuento (national story contest), culture displays, and various workshops.

More information: Hay Festival website.

Celebrate ideas, to share stories, and to talk about love and death and politics and religion and wars and families and all the stuff of life– in theatres, in bars, and in the street, over breakfast and late into the hot night. /Peter Florence, director of the Hay Festival/.

Did you enjoy the Hay Festival? Visit more of Cartagena:


Calle 28A Nº 13A-15 Piso 36
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