Plan on spending from noon till 8 in Castrillo on Sunday. While the baby jumping starts at 6 p.m., there is a collection of daytime activities that usually are in one of three places: the church, the town square or the main looping circular promenade around town. The primary activity is what’s called the “run” when El Colacho, a drummer, and a sober group of undertakers saunters through town as the devil tries to whip those on the parade route.
Be prepared to drink some wine. After each of the runs around town on Sunday, everyone gathers in the town square and wine is brought out along with locally-cooked pastries. The prime time for this activity is after the noon church ceremony and first afternoon run around town. During the afternoon, people gather in the one commercial establishment in town, Bar Manso, for more drinking.
Wear long pants. Given that Castrillo is almost a half-mile elevation, it can be cool there so dress in layers, but most importantly, wearing long pants means you’re less likely to show any welts from El Colacho’s whip. Believe us, we’ve seen some ugly leg welts.
As with any festival connected to religion, it’s important to be respectful. Although El Colacho has an admittedly ridiculous component to it, there are people who take it seriously.
See El Cid’s remains in an amazing cathedral. Before or after El Colacho, visit the gorgeous Gothic cathedral in Burgos that contains there mains of El Cid, the infamous soldier of fortune from 1,000 years ago.
Fly into tiny Burgos Airport (RGS) in northern Spain via major cities like Barcelona. From there go by taxi or rental car. Alternatively, you can fly into Madrid and take the two and a half hour train ride to Burgos.
If you want to bypass the lengthy feast prior to El Colacho, you could just make this a day trip. However, if local color and the lowkey aspects of this festival are right up your alley, this could be your favorite part of visiting Spain.
We recommend you stay in Burgos, 27 miles away, since there are no hotels in Castrillo. Our favorites are Via Gotica and AC Burgos. Give yourself at least a couple of days in nearby Burgos. This is a city of nearly 200,000 people on the rise. With the new Museum of Human Evolution open, being named the Gastronomic Capital of Spain for 2013 (try Morito and Casa Ojeda restaurants), a medieval, pedestrian-only downtown and the Camino de Santiago pilgrims coming through town every day, Burgos has a lot to offer. And, if you stay later in June, you can also experience Fiesta Mayores de San Pedro y San Pablo that takes full advantage of this beautiful, labyrinthine center of the city.