Barranquilla Image: hood.jonathan (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
Barranquilla Colombia lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Magdalena River on the northern coast. This strategic location has made Barranquilla a destination for vacations, even if it’s one not as famous as the islands of the Caribbean. In the country’s fourth-largest city, you’ll find everything you need for a fantastic getaway—easy access to sandy beaches, year-round warm weather, and plenty of things to do both on and off the shore. It’s also a place to connect with history and experience nature at its most beautiful. Barranquilla is also home to a grand Carnival celebration at Mardi Gras, one of the biggest cultural celebrations in all of Colombia.
Barranquilla Colombia History
Today’s Carnival celebration has a deep connection to the city’s long history. Barranquilla’s story began long before the city was officially established in 1813. Unlike many cities in South America, Barranquilla was not a Native stronghold or a major Spanish Colonial city. The port city, today home to nearly 2 million, gradually grew in importance over the years. It earned the nickname of La Puerta de Oro de Colombia, the golden gate. After the city was born in the 1800s, its annual Carnival celebration became increasingly important over time. The cultural celebration is enjoyed before the beginning of Lent. The four-day festival, finished on the day before Ash Wednesday, features dances, songs, and games—all important reminders of Colombia’s unique heritage. The festival is so important that the National Congress of Colombia declared it part of the country’s cultural landscape, and the United Nations declared it a “masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.”
Even though Carnival lasts for four days, it’s joy is spread year-round at the Museo del Carnaval, which opened in 2011. Barranquilla Colombia is a city rich in museums and cultural sites worth visiting on Mardi Gras or any other time of the year. The Museo Romantico features items from the city’s history, everything from the Carnival Queens costumes to the typewriter Gabriel García Márquez used to create his first novel. The Museo Aeronautico stands as a tribute to the city’s contributions to the aeronautics industry. You’ll also find a modern art museum and folk music on the list of things to do here. The city’s restaurants are another attraction, serving a mix of seafood, cosmopolitan cuisine, and traditional Colombian fare. On the natural side, the Barranquilla Botanical Garden is a delightful place to see native plants and animals.
Barranquilla Colombia Hotels
Barranquilla Colombia Hotels
As expected for a modern city, it’s not difficult to find places to stay once the sun goes down. The city is home to hotels and hostels that can suite everything all types of budgets and vacation plans. Most of the hotels and lodging properties are located with a few miles of the Ernesto Cortissoz Airport. You can emjoy modern comfort at the Howard Johnson Verrsalles Hotel near the river and historic comfort at the 18th century Majestic Hotel (pictured) in the center of the old town (viejo prado).