1. Festival De La Cultura Wayúu
This is a great opportunity for young families that would prefer a safer option to visiting the Wayuu settlements. This is a festival of the Indigenous Wayuu people. It is a celebration of the culture in the capital of the region they are so prominent with 40,000+ population in La Guarjia and it takes place 27th until the 28th of February. There is native food such as roasted goat meat, friche and mazamorra. Authentic Wayuu artisans will present their native handmade dresses, accessories and traditional bags. There is also Wayuu people playing native music, dance and rituals with traditional instruments and there is a story telling contest between the neighbouring tribes.
2. Francisco El Hombre Festival
Francisco Moscote Guerra, better known as Francisco the Man is the legend of which this great festival is named after. The legend of Francisco tells of a man and his accordion. The music you will hear most often in Riohacha will be the ‘vallenato’ music. The aim of this festival in riohacha is to promote the artistic quality of contemporary vallenato music. It looks at all the stars of Vallenato music around the area and rewards them for their contribution. This particular music event is very tourist friendly and they make it so tourist can get a good grasp of this particular type of Colombian culture. The various types of vallenato music expressed will be traditional, new wave, romantic and modern so there is a good taste of music for everyone to hear.
The Saturday before Ash Wednesday every town on the Caribbean coast celebrates the pre lent feast known as Carnaval and Riohacha is no different. The locals make the claim that Riohacha’s Carnival was the first of its kind in Colombia. There are fun activities on during the day with arts and crafts sessions, music, displays of art work and hand crafted bags, there is also the crowning of the queen of the Carnaval.
4. Festival Cuna De Acordeones
Just south of Riohacha there is the city of Villaneuva this is where the ‘Festival Cuna De Acordeones’ takes place. This festival was set up to ensure the preservation, conservation and promotion of Vallenata music, one of Colombia’s most beautiful treasures. The festival provides many different musical contests between different age groups and creates an exciting atmosphere with great music for everyone to enjoy. There will also be dance competitions, craft shows, Horse racing, sporting events and different academic events about the Wayuu culture.
5. Music Events
If you enjoy Vallenato music there is Prism quartet, Saxophone quartet (October) and Jose Luis Martinez on the violin are both on in September. There is numerous different events on in the cultural centres in Riohacha such as Banco de la República, Casa de la Cultura or Centro Cultural Municipal throughout the year so make sure to check it out.
6. Festival Del Dividivi
This festival is celebrated in the middle of the year on June 29th until July 1st celebrating the creation of the Department of La Guajira. It has been case every year since 1969 created by mandate of then mayor of Riohacha, Ernestina Serrano. The main attraction of this festival is the contest and the crowning of ‘The Queen of Dividi’ this is done in a public area of Riohacha ad draws a crowd. Its great spectacle in which everyone enjoys
7. Feast of The Virgin Of Los Remedios
On the 2nd of February The city unites in celebration of its patron saint Nuestra Señora de los Remedios or as some call it the “Old Mello”. The people Riohacha get dressed into their finest clothes and meet at the cathedral for a mass, after the mass there is a parade were leaders and people of authority are heavily involved. There is meetings between business people arranged a different times of the day, it has become day to get deals done over faith. There is great musicians playing music at the event and artists with their tasteful artwork on display.