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Barranquilla is a city on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia.


Barranquilla is a cosmopolitan and primarily industrial city, often visited by businessmen of all nationalities. However the main attraction for tourism is its carnival "Carnaval de Barranquilla," that takes place during the four days before Ash Wednesday. In November of 2003, UNESCO proclaimed it as one of 28 different "masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity".

Barranquilla is also called by its residents and Colombians in general "Curramba" (from a language game, in synthesis, Curramba is a reference to "party") and the Golden Gate to Colombia (Puerta de Oro de Colombia), this due to its location on the delta of the Magdalena river, making it the most important commercial sailing port to the Atlantic Ocean for the nation.

Residents are known as "Barranquilleros" and are often characterized by their outgoing and friendly attitude and relaxed behavior.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Visitors arrive to the city traditionally by plane at Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport (BAQ). It's on the far south side. The fare is usually USD 8-12 to get to the city center by taxi, there are buses for aprox 2,200 COP. If you want to get a bus straight to Santa Marta, take the green bus for "Calle 30" and ask the driver to drop you near the Brasilia bus station on Calle 19. You will have to walk about 15 minutes from where he drops you off, but you have avoided paying for a taxi!

As of 2019 the airport is undergoing major renovations. The first flight to Bogotá leaves very early (Before 4 AM).

International direct flights are available to Quito, Miami and Panama City. Domestic non-stop flights arrive from Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Bucaramanga, Montería, San Andrés, Valledupar and Uribia.

Airlines serving this airport are: American Airlines [7], Avianca [8], COPA [9], Latam [10] (formerly LAN), Wingo [11] and EasyFly [12].

VivaAir VivaAir [13] returns to Barranquilla on late June 2019 with 2 non-stop flights to Bogotá and a daily flight to Medellín.

Airport car rental services can be arranged from abroad with: Localiza, Alkilautos, Hertz, National Car Rental and Avis.

By bus[edit]

Buses run by the terminal as well and will get you into the city for $0.55 or less, with the drawback of a significantly less comfortable ride experience.

Barranquilla can also be a connection to other cities of the northern coast of the country, provided the traveler doesn't have a flight connection to anywhere else in Colombia already. Long-distance bus fares (in US dollars) to some cities are :

Since the bus station is quite far away from the city center, and since buses departing from there are generally slow and stop at every village, it might be a good option to travel with bus companies operating direct links to Cartagena, Bogotá or Santa Marta from around the city center. One of these is Berlinastur [14], departure to Cartagena or Santa Marta every hour, 16COP, terminal at calle 96 with carrera 46. The Transmetro's Alimentador A-71 or A-94 runs from the Terminal (Portal de Soledad) to the city (Parque Cultural), and also many "unofficial" colectivos, ask people in the street.

Cochetur runs air conditioned van services for travel among Cartagena, Baranquilla, and Santa Marta. Price per person is around 25,000 pesos and trip time to either of the other cities is around 2 hours.

Riders are recommended to check prices and ask to see the various buses with different lines to compare the quality of the ride before buying a ticket. Not all buses are air conditioned and be ready for buses to take on locals selling snacks, drinks, and trinkets.

Get around[edit]

Moving around in Barranquilla depends largely on the traveler's budget, language barriers and spirit of adventure.

By rental car[edit]

Renting a car is an option for visitors with a more comfortable budget, the daily fare for an economy vehicle being around 150,000 pesos a day (43 USD), and with gasoline prices of about 8,000 pesos (2.30 USD) per gallon. However, driving in Barranquilla can be obviously tricky if you don't know your way around or the changes in traffic during rush hour. Rent a car services can be dealt with from abroad or upon arrival to the hotel, may that be the case.

By taxi[edit]

Taking a taxi is among the most convenient options for a newcomer. As of 2018, the minimum fare is now 6,000 pesos (1.72 USD). They may be a bit more expensive at nighttime, Sundays, on national holidays or during rush hour. Taxis in Barranquilla do not have a meter: the fare is decided by the driver on the basis of distance, travel time and daytime vs. nighttime.

Ride sharing services have become very popular in recent years, although Uber is hardly used in Barranquilla. InDriver is the preferred application and differs from Uber in that riders must offer prices and wait for nearby taxi drivers to accept or counter-offer the fare with a higher price. A good tip is to offer COP 5,000 for close destinations, and never more than 18,000 unless you are heading out of town or if it is far and late at night. Please note that all ride sharing services are still illegal in Colombia, and InDriver drivers who use private vehicles as opposed to yellow taxis will ask the rider to sit in the front seat so police do not catch them offering rides for money. A safe assumption is to always sit in the front seat if the vehicle is not a standard taxi car.

By bus[edit]

For those with more spirit for adventure, buses are another option. In this case, talking to the driver may not be necessary, but knowing someone in town is definitely of great help when choosing the right route. Additionally, an excellent smartphone app calle Q'Ruta exists that allows users to plan routes throughout the city, and provides photos of the buses and timetables. Standard bus fares are 2,200 COP (0.63 USD) and 2,300 COP for Sundays and holidays. To get off the bus, you fill find a button on either the railing next to the door or above the door to press to let the driver know you want to get off. Be warned that the buses do not wait until you are seated before they move, and often start back up before both your feet are on the ground when getting off. They also start and stop abruptly, so hang on.

Barranquilla also has a Transmilenio of its own, the Transmetro. You need to buy a transport card. A trip to anywhere costs COP 2,300 (January 2019) for ordinary days, and COP 2,400 for Sundays and holidays. It runs across the city and to bus terminal at Soledad.

By mototaxi[edit]

Mototaxis are an illegal way of transportation that has grown in popularity over the past 3 years. These consist of motorcycles charging significantly less money than a regular cab to take you virtually anywhere, but this mean of transportation is riddled with risks for personal safety, as these drivers have the tendency to be reckless.

By motocarro[edit]

In some neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, motocarros are a popular and inexpensive transportation. Note that these three-wheeled vehicles are usually not allowed to circulate on major roads, so check with the driver before getting in.

See[edit][add listing]

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Every year by the end of February or early March (fourty days before Ash Wednesday), Barranquilla hosts its famous "Carnaval de Barranquilla" (carnival of Barranquilla), which is currently the second largest carnival in the world. It's a four-day-long celebration in which the true partying spirit of the city is unleashed. Parades, dances, concerts, quirky costumes, and many cultural manifestations take place all over town. For more information visit [15]

Barranquilla also houses the beautiful and famous Teatro Amira de la Rosa, the old Customs building-Edificio de la Aduana, that serves as library as well as a museum; the Museum of Gold; and many other great places to visit. There are also a large number of art deco buildings built from the late thirties into the fifties. (See the book Barranquilla-Ciudad Art Deco By Gustavo Garcia)

Another place to visit is "Bocas de Ceniza", where the Magdalena River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Carnaval de las Artes, (5) 3792786, [1]. Jan 01 - Jan 31. It is an International Event in which the people pay tribute to the great creators of the arts, while they talk a little about their lives and works. Organized by: Fundación La Cueva  edit
  • Loa de Baranoa, (5) 878 72 22 – 878 912, [2]. It is the oldest religious & popular tradition of Atlántico. It represents the Epiphany of the 'Señor de gran esplendor', the tradition has been held in the last 152 years in the municipality of Atlántico. Organized by: Baranoa City Hall  edit
  • Carnaval de Barranquilla, 3796621-3705772, [3]. It is considered one of the most festive and colorful carnivals of the world. Declared Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Organized by: Carnaval S.A / Barranquilla City Hall  edit
  • Plataforma K, 3303700, [4]. Mar 01 - Mar 31. It is a creative business and fashion event. Companies of the design and fashion sector launch their different products, through four scenarios, these events can be extended throughout the year. Likewise, the platform K also carried out Business conferences, runway, Pop Up Store and Virtual Platform. Organized by: Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce  edit

FICBAQ: International Film Festival of Barranquilla, represents a commitment to convert Barranquilla a place of film promotion. Organized by: Fundación Cámara Oscura Website:

Festival de la Ciruela in Campeche: In Baranoa, on the third weekend of this month, the people of Campeche and Baranoa show to the country the result of their harvest of plum, a fleshy fruit of large seed that is enjoyed both greenish and ripe. Contact: Roque Tolosa Navarro - Calle 6A No. 14-141. Organized by: Fundación Cultural Agropecuaria Festival de la Ciruela

Festival del Dulce in Sabanalarga: In order to keep the traditions of the Holy Week, this weekend will be held in the Barrios Sabanitas and Cementerio Sabanalarga, Atlántico, the Festival del Dulce Organized by: Organización folclórica Cebras Recocheras

Holy Week in Santo Tomás and Sabanalarga: In these two municipalities of Atlántico the way the local people celebrate the Holy Week has no equal. Their activities include processions, exhibitions and craft samples. Organized by: Santo Tomás City Hall- Sabanalarga City Hall Website: –

Apr 01 - Apr 30 April Encuentro Nacional e Internacional de Teatro de Barranquilla (ENITBAR): A scenario for the formation of citizens throughout culture and the scenic arts Organized by: Fundación Cultural y Social Cofradía Teatral. Phone: 300 704 3792 Website:

May 01 - May 31 May Cine a la Calle: It is an International Outdoor Short Film festival held in the main educational and cultural centers of the city; It includes an academic program with national filmmakers. Organized by: Fundación Cine a la Calle Phone: 3490269 Website:

Fiesta de la Cruz: Masses, Eucharist celebration and other religious manifestations in the Barrio San José of the municipality of Campo de la Cruz, there’s no regional event without fandangos, cumbias and other folk dances.

Jun 01 - Jun 30 June Fiesta de la Música: With the idea of ​​reinforcing the citizen consciousness, based on music, these events are held in different stages of the city. Organized by: Alianza Francesa Phone: 3490269 Website:

Festival Nacional Son de Negro: Held in the municipality of Santa Lucía, the festival offers a natural way of appreciating the Afro-descendant legacy as well as the mixture of three ethnic groups that are part of Colombia. Organized by: Corporación Son de Negro Phone: (5) 8724339 Website:

Festival de la Arepa de Huevo en Luruaco: it takes place in the last weekend of June, in which all the traditional vendors of egg arepa compete for achieving the awards for the most delicious arepa, the biggest arepa, the smaller arepa and the most innovative arepa. Organized by: Municipality of Luruaco Phone: (5) 8749047 Website:

Festival del Arte y la Cultura de Suán de la Trinidad: the cultural meeting of arts that has been positioning year after year and counting with international guests and of course the municipalities of Atlántico, during the Festival there are performances of the different artistic areas, folkloric and other musical groups. Organized by: Suán City Hall

Jul 01 - Jul 31 July Poema Río: The International Festival of poetry of the Caribbean "Rio and Mar de Palabras" Organized by: Corporación Luis Eduardo Nieto Arteta Phone: 3157289375 Email: [email protected]

Festival de la Máscara y el Bejuco: The handicraft exhibition in the municipality of Galapa, epicenter of the bejuco, a native plant of the region, the bejuco is used for the people of the region to make different handicraft products Organized by: Galapa City Hall

Aug 01 - Aug 31 August Festival Internacional de Cuenteros “El Caribe Cuenta”: A meeting between Colombian and Ibero-American narrators, who gather to strengthen the oral narration in the Colombian Caribbean Region. Organized by: Fundación Luneta 50 Phone: 3604988 Website:

Sabor Barranquilla: An event that promotes the culinary wealth of the Caribbean Region. It Includes trade fair and academic events. Organized by: Colombian Red Cross y Fenalco Phone: 3531448 Website:

Sep 01 - Sep 30 September Barranquijazz: It is considered the most important International Jazz and Latin Jazz Festival in Colombia and the Caribbean. Organized by: Fundación Cultural Nueva Música Phone: 3532919-3535162 Website:

Nov 01 - Nov 30 November Salón Internacional del Autor Audiovisual: It is a non-competitive space where renowned national and international film and audiovisual arts professionals exhibit their work and share experiences with the audience. Organized by: Cinemateca del Caribe Phone: 3684101-3684100 Website:

Feria Agroindustrial del Atlántico en Sabanalarga: An event where the attendees have the opportunity to know about the livestock and the latest innovations in the country's agroindustrial sector. Organized by: Corporación de Ferias del Atlántico. Phone: 3609108 E-mail: [email protected]

Dec 01 - Dec 31 December It is a religious expression that takes place in the Municipality of Suan, where the main activity is a procession through the streets of the town, bazaars and fairs. At dawn on 8 December, the population lights up the sign of respect to the Holy Mother of God, putting candles on the doors of their homes. Organized by: Barranuqilla City Hall.

El Prado, Alto Prado y Bella Vista Historical Distric (Centro Historico)

This neighborhood, located between carrera 50th and 60th and between 53rd and 75th streets, was the first planned urban development in the country, where the principles of modern urbanism were applied for the first time, it was destined to house exclusive homes.

Barrio El Prado, a trip to the past ', the origin of this place in the city of Barranquilla goes back to the 1920s when the Atlantic capital was in "full industrial and commercial peak and experienced great economic growth."

  • Museo del Caribe, Calle 36 No. 46-66, +57 5 372 0581, [5]. 9 AM - 5 PM. A great collection of the history of Barranquilla and the Caribbean. Modern displays featuring immigration, native cultures, ecology, food and else. A special chamber dedicated to author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Closed: first Monday of the month (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday). COP 11.000.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Barranquilla is a large, complex city. Daytime activities are mainly of shopping and eating, but nightlife is active all year round, with bars and nightclubs open from Thursdays to Sundays in most cases. Some of the main party spots in town are La Troja, Trucupey Latin Disco,Discolo, Kapitol and Frogg Leggs if you plan to dance.

For a more relaxed environment some options are Luna Negra, Beba Genobeba, Old Times (an 80's retro bar) and some spots known as "estancos": These are basically liquor stores with or without tables, where music is played on weekends. Commonly people gather in these places to drink listening to music from the place itself or from their own car audio systems (in Barranquilla sound restrictions are quite lenient). As well there are magnificent restaurants in the area known as "Washington" such as Naia, Mix where the tourist can experience an elegant, chic night.

Some places are known as "puntos frios" or "mundo de la cerveza" (world of beer), in which you should be able to get beer pretty much any day. There are also small tiendas (convenience stores all over the city).

If you are lucky enough to go during Carnival you will find yourself in a place in which everybody is up to party for entire days with no rest.

Take "Chiva", an old-style bus full of people, music and dancing! The bus takes you to several nice discos in Bquilla. Typically on saturday nights. Here is a good one: "La Chiva de Juan". Calle 34 # 72-197. Tel: 3600264. Cell: 315-7420885.

  • Go bowling at: Titos Bolo Club, Carrera 51B No. 94-110. Titos Bolo Club is a classic bowling place where you have to write down your own score. Price is 27.000 pesos per hour and lane + shoe rent.  edit
  • Drive Gokart at Xtreme Karts - Carrefour Prado, Carrera 56 No. 75-155. 10 am - 10.30 pm. Here you can drive gokart in the basement of the supermarket Carrefour in Altos Del Prado. It's a lot of fun to race with your friends. Price is 9.000 pesos for 6 minutes.  edit


The language and culture!

Neotropical Spanish School is a small size Spanish School focused on quality giving classes in Barranquilla and Santa Marta, 8 USD/hour with one student per teacher,6 USD per person in small groups. Course material included. For more info see homepage: Neotropical Spanish Classes For reservations: [email protected]

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are many shopping centers with national and international brands. The biggest two are Buenavista and Villa Country, both located to the north.

If what you want is artisanal souvenirs, the corner of 72 street and 46 avenue is the place to go. There you will find kiosks selling cheaper artisan work and a store by the name of "Artesanias de Colombia", where more certified, yet more expensive souvenirs can be found. At the down town you will also find these for a lower price but usually of lower quality. You can also find the true and authentic artesanias in nearby towns, many of which are worth visiting.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Regional specialties[edit]

Local delicacies include arroz con coco and sancocho de guandul (a soup made of pigeon peas or "guandules" and meat), bocachico frito (fried fish from the Magdalena river), sancocho, and fritos (fried foods), including arepas and empanadas. If you wish to try local food, good choices are:

  • Restaurante Bar Mi Bohío Puerto Rico, Calle 116 #90-116, +57 5 377 3406. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.. One of the many local seafood restaurants in Las Flores along the Magdalena River. This is an excellent place to dine local with a view of the Magdalena River.  edit
  • Mag Mondongo
  • Narcobollo. So called because it is so famous for its bollos that when Narcobollo's founders began selling them out of their home, the neighbors called the police because they suspected them of selling narcotics due to the high volume of costumers coming in and out.
  • La Mano Costena
  • El Tremendo Guandul
  • El Portal del Marisco (seafood).
  • Wakita Terra Firme at Las flores


  • Doña Linda (Arabic food)
  • El Arabe Gourmet (Lebanese food)
  • Pepe Anca (try their pepper steak. pricey but worth it)
  • La bonga del sinu (steak)
  • El Merendero (steak)
  • Cafe de la Casa (Colombian gourmet sandwiches, salads, drinks with outdoor lounge area)
  • Bora Bora (Thai)
  • La vera cucina italiana (Italian)
  • Nena Lela (Italian)
  • La Caprichosa (Pizza) Very good pizzas. You can order by pieces (very huge pieces) for only USD 1.50, and it will be enough to keep your stomach up.
  • Pastelaria Dulcerna Calle 98 #53. At the Country area. The place to get dessert.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Local drinks[edit]

The predominant local beer is Águila, which is, in fact, popular nationwide and is also the cheapest one. However, Club Colombia is a Colombian beer with great flavor and quality, and just a little more expensive. Club Colombia is sold in three varieties: gold, red, and black, all with subtle flavor differences. Local craft beers can also be found, the most popular being Fulana. International beer is available widely, with Heineken being the preferred brand.

The spirit of preference by locals is rum, in a variety of national and international brands. Another popular drink, aguardiente (an anise-flavored liqueur derived from sugar cane), is worth a try. Aguardiente literally means "burning water", and it honors its name. Scotch is a common drink as well, although it is a little more expensive and hence is consumed by the elite. The preferred brand is Old Parr.

Almost any type of liquor is available: whiskey, vodka and tequila some of the most prevalent.

  • Embassy Pub, Carrera 50 No. 82-264. Embassy Pub is the best pub in town to enjoy good international food, plus great cocktails, shots, spirits, beers and music, all in all an environment that is reminiscent of the famous pubs in northern Europe.  edit

Dance clubs[edit]

  • Frogg, Calle 93 #43-122. Hugely popular among college students, this disco plays largely electronic music with the occasional reggaeton and champeta anthems.
  • Lives Megaclub, Carrera 53 #70-191. Opened in 2012, Lives is Barranquilla's most popular gay bar. Just about any weekend, special events ranging from guest DJs to famous go-go dancers are hosted on stage. The entire bar consists of five ambientes, or scenes with different kinds of music. There is a patio in the back for smoking. Saturdays typically have a COP30,000 cover for open bar until 2 a.m.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Villa Giron, Carrera 38N #41-31. Clean. Friendly staff. A bit dark and institutional feeling. Restaurant on premises. Doubles (matrimoniales) available starting at $10, or $8 w/o air-conditioning.  edit
  • Hotel Olimpico, Carrera 42 #33-20. Clean. Friendly staff. Free WiFi. This area is not particularly safe at night. Doubles with Fan: ~35.000 COP.  edit
  • Hotel Tachirama, Carrera 45 # 34. Single with fan COP 14000 (Feb 2015). Near the Bolivar stature in the centro. Surrounding can get dodgy after dark.  edit

There are many inexpensive hotels in the area between the above hotels. Walk around and ask to see rooms, they're all quite decent. Generally the ones not listed in the guidebooks are a bit cheaper. The hotels around the Terminal in Soledad are pricey for the quality you get and are far from the centre. The cheapest deals are in the centro.


  • Howard Johnson Hotel (Former Versalles Inn), Cra. 48 # 70-188 (Half a block from intersection of calle 70 - busy and wide street - and carrera 48), +57 5 368 2183, [6]. checkin: 13.00; checkout: Noon. Recently renovated, nice mid-range hotel. Weekend special: you stay 2 nights and pay for one, breakfast included. Small swimming pool. There is a station for the new bus system just 3 blocks away. 180,000.  edit
  • Hotel Country International. Carrera 52 # 75-30, Barranquilla. email: [email protected] Nice staff, good breakfast.


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  • Hotel El Prado. Very large and dated.
  • Hotel Puerta del Sol
  • Hotel Dann Carlton
  • Hotel Barranquilla Plaza
  • Hotel Sonesta
  • Hotel Hilton Garden Inn
  • Movich Buró 51 [16] Modern hotel. Very nice SPA. Located near restaurants in the north of the city.


Internet access starts at about $0.60. There are tons of places that serve up access for $1.00 or less, but shops are typically tucked up in centros comerciales (malls) without signs out on the street.

Get out[edit]

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