BARRANQUILLA (Colombia)Barranquilla (1,300,000 inhabitants) is Colombia’s 4th city on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Magdalena River. The port of Barranquilla, the ‘Golden Gate to Colombia’, is the largest in the country. In the 19th century, Colombian coffee was transported to Barranquilla via the Magdalena River. Steamboats (1823-1914) navigated the area despite shallow waters, fast currents and sandbanks.
In the last century, thousands of immigrants from Syria, Palestine, France, Germany, Italy, China and Japan arrived at the seaport. Barranquilla has a Caribbean, international and modern atmosphere and had Colombia’s first railway, telephone and airline company (now Avianca). There is chemical, plastic, automotive, furniture, cement, metal and shipbuilding industry. There is also a free zone.
Business meetings, music festivals and the famous carnival, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, attract many tourists. Business hotels and luxury retail outlets are located in the northern part of the city. Budget hotels can be found in the 19th century centre at Paseo Bolívar and Plaza San Nicolás. In Barrio El Prado, there are villas in Art Deco style (1930-1935).
The Malecón, a 5 km long promenade along the Magdalena River, with restaurants, sports fields, parks and picnic areas is the place to stroll, exercise and relax early in the morning and after 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Swimming, however, is prohibited.
The climate is hot and dry, cacti, dividivi trees, cayenna, and tropical fruits grow there. The location is also home to iguanas, lizards, squirrels, parrots and turtles. The zoo (Zoológico) accommodates both Colombian and endangered species.
The Museo Romántico is a unique attraction and houses the clothes of carnival queens, letters from freedom fighter and hero Simón Bolívar, and historical photographs. Museo del Caribe displays the history of Caribbean Barranquilla. Antigua Aduana (the Old Customs House) has been restored to its former glory.
Puente Pumarejo is an impressive 3.2 km long bridge over the Magdalena River.
Seaside resorts with beautiful beaches are an hour away in the northwest, including Pradomar, Salgar, Sabanilla and Puerto Colombia. When there are heavy rains, rubbish washes in from the Magdalene River.
Cumbia is Colombian Caribbean music. Artist Shakira is the pride of Barranquilla. Near the stadium in Parque Metropolitano, there is a huge metal statue.
In addition to Colombian cuisine, there are Syrian-Lebanese, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian and Brazilian restaurants.
Want to experience Colombia with a Caribbean twist? Barranquilla is expecting you!
|Colombian peso (COP)|