Barranquilla is a busy, cosmopolitan city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It is most famous for its Carnaval de Barranquilla, held on the four days before Ash Wednesday in February. It is an important sailing port and a renowned party town.
Carnaval de Barranquilla is the second-largest carnival in South America, behind Rio de Janeiro. It is a four-day party of fancy dress, parades, street bands, and dancing. Remember to book your accommodation well in advance.
The local nickname for Barranquilla means 'party' and you don't have to wait until carnival to do that in this city. Try the Washington area for some of the best restaurants and clubs.
The city has some lovely Art Deco buildings and other attractions such as the Teatro Amira de la Rosa and the Antiguo Edificio de la Aduana in the old Customs building.
The museum has an excellent collection showcasing Barranquilla and Caribbean history and culture.
The Castillo is a great place to enjoy the beach, watch the sun go down, and enjoy good food and drink in a historical setting.
Barranquilla has a tropical savanna climate with high temperatures all year round. Cooling winds from April to November make it a pleasant time to visit.
Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport (BAQ) is to the south of the city and has international flights from Miami, Quito, Panama City, and Curacao. There are also plenty of domestic flights from other Colombian cities. A taxi into town will cost COL$30,000 and the bus fare is COL$1,800.
Route 90/A connects Barranquilla with cities on the coast, such as Cartagena to the west. Route 45 runs from Bogota in the south.
Barranquilla is well connected by bus from other Colombian cities and to Caracas in Venezuela. The fare from Cartagena is from COL$15,000.
Hotel Villa Giron on Carrera 38 has good basic accommodation in a reasonable area, while Hotel Barranquilla Plaza on Avenida Alberto Assa offers luxury in the city's most upscale neighborhood.
Riomar - this is the coastal city area on the banks of the Magdalena River. It has some major commercial developments and shopping centers.
Norte-Centro Histórico - this is the historic center of the city with most of the main shopping sites and larger hotels.
La Playa - this is a beach area to the north of the city with an active fishing and agricultural industry.
A number of bus companies serve the city with fares from COL$1,300.
Taxis cost COL$6,000 for the meter drop and then COL$6,000 per mile.
Roads in Barranquilla can get busy and the traffic will sometimes seem chaotic to visitors. Car rental is from COL$120,000 per day.
Barranquilla's main shopping malls are CC Villa Country BAQ and Centro Comercial Buenavista, both in the north of the city. Local crafts are sold from stalls on 72nd Street and 46th Avenue.
A quart of milk in Barranquilla costs COL$2,375 and a loaf of bread is COL$2,000.
Narcobollo on Carrera 43 offers hearty local fare at budget prices, while Cocina33 on Carrera 52 features fine Colombian dining with a focus on seafood. A meal in a casual restaurant will cost COL$10,000, with mains in a high-quality restaurant costing COL$25,000.