Barranquilla is located at the height from 4 mamsl to 98mamsl, depending on the area of the city. The distance from Barranquilla to Bogota is 764 mi (1230 km) and the travel takes approximately 24 hours. Barranquilla doesn't have a specific foundation date, the city was born spontaneously due to the agglomeration of indigenous and Spanish who settled the area approximately since 1530. According to Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes, this place was a canoe pier, where diverse goods were sold as salt and prawns, among others.Its history starts with the independence of the Spanish power, in the Free State of Cartagena in 1813; at this time it was called first Billa de Barlovento as recognition, to finally be Barranquilla and its celebration date on April the 7th.In the middle of the 19th century, the city acquires importance as sea and river port of Colombia and thanks to steam boat, Cali achieve being in contact with cities as Cali or Medellin, transforming into the entrance door of new products and travellers from all over the world. In the 20th century the city consolidates as city mainly of business and is called "the Gold Door of Colombia". Nowadays it's known as a city of great cultural wealth and with the Carnival of Barranquilla, the biggest festival of the country.
Travel tips for Barranquilla
The main areas of the city are usually safe, but be aware not to walk on your own during the night, especially if it's in forest areas and when the night comes.It's preferable to avoid the roads that haven't been paved, since there can be thefts and assaults. Neighborhoods as La Luz, El Bosque, Santa Maria, Las Malvinas or Rebolo present a higher risk, that's why it's recommended not to get through those areas late on the evening nor with valuable items or objects visually flashy. Be cautious as well with the motorcyclists at night, because they can represent an imminent danger.The official currency of the country is the Colombian peso (COP).If you have planned to move around the regions in Colombia, you might be asked to have the yellow fever vaccine. Other vaccines that you should consider -in case you travel to the jungle- are the tetanus vaccine and the hepatitis A/B.The electric current kind used in Colombia is 110-volt AC (110 V), with a frequence of 60 Hz. We recommend you to have a plug adapter if you travel to places that use other voltage to avoid that the electronic devices suffer a short-circuit and don't work.
Best time to visit Barranquilla
The best time to visit Barranquilla is from December to April, that corresponds to the dry season. And also it's a good moment the "Veranillo de San Juan", last weeks of June, beginning of July.
Climate in Barranquilla
The climate of Barranquilla is tropical of savannah with an average temperature of 81.5 °F (27.5 °C) and you feel a lot of humidity in the air.The rainy season is more pronounced from August to November, while the dry season is from January to April.
Things to do in Barranquilla
The city is seat of the Barranquilla Carnival, declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation, where all the cultural varieties and the Caribbean Colombian Coast folklore are expressed. There are several tourist attractions in the city as the Caribbean Cultural Park, which is home of a museum focused in the Colombian Caribbean Region.
Nightlife in Barranquilla
Location: Dirección: Calle 53 no 46 Hours: 21:00 - 23:59 / 00:00 - 04:00 Rates: it doesn't say Be a witness of the Barranquilla rumba in Trucupey, with large spaces to enjoy with your couple or friends. You will have a fun moment listening to good music, seeing important artists and enjoying the variety of cocktails that the place offers you.
Location: Carrera 21 Calle 47 C Hours: 18:00 - 23:59 / 00:00 - 04:01 Rates: it doesn't say Zona F offers a perfect place to spend nights with lot of fun, with rumba rythm and the most varied Latin America rythms. You can taste the drinks and cocktails they have in the bar to cheer up. There are other environments as La Fabrica and Fundingue taht have different themes that will keep you awaken to dance.
Location: Cra. 53 #79-142 Hours: 18:00 - 23:59 and 00:00 - 01:30 Thu - Sun Rate: it doesn't say If you prefer drinking ans sharing with your friends or you are just starting the evening, you can go to the Bourbon Street that has a complete menu of drinks and snaks. The decoration is quite interesting and the weekends there is life music.
Where to eat in Barranquilla?
Pizzeria The Meeting Point
Location: Calle 99 No. 52-54 Hours: 4 p.m. - 10:30p.m. Mon - Thu / 4:00 p.m. - 00:00 Sat and Sun Rates: 29 800 - 89 265 COP Enjoy the cozy warmth that offers this place, besides its delicious pizzas and pastas at not so expensive rates. It's located in a not so noisy area, you can enjoy it with friends or family with a soft music that will make you relax. May be it's not a very big place, but the diners are satisfied due to the good service and product they serve.
Location: Carrera 49c 76 - 225 Hours: 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Rates: it doesn't say Submerge in a whole experience of Barranquilla in Cucayo, with a tropical atmosphere, wherever you look. Taste the typical dishes of the area and share with friends and family the party and joyful environment of the people in this territory of Colombia. Just taste the montadores de jaiba, mote de queso or a cayeye, flavors that will let you enchanted and that you can taste in one of the 2 rooms, one with rumba music and the other more relaxing to chat and be calm.
Mailia - Restaurante Mediterraneo
Location: Carrera 48#74-72 Hours: 12:00 - 15:00 and 18:00 - 22:01 Rates: 29 600 - 120 100 COP Mailia is a restaurant surrounded by natural gardens, a well maintained terrace and a good service, so you just have to go to this restaurant in Barranquilla. You can taste the arroz al saigon or share with friends a bandeja de mariscos Mailia del Mar, the salmon al romero or llanura de mariscos. You will be delighted not only with the taste of the food, but also with its appealing presentation, that is presented in keeping with each beautiful room of the place.
The tourist places to see in Barranquilla are:
Zoo of Barranquilla
Location: Calle 77 N° 68-41 Hours: 9:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m. Rate: 11000 COP for children and adults You can go through the distance of 20000 square meters to get to know the most varied species of flora and fauna of Colombia, with animals as the condor, the manatee, flamingos, spectacled bear, otter, the eagle, various types of monkeys and many others. You can also celebrate events as parties, or see the Live Museum with trained animals or seeing the children feeding to some animals. At the end of your visit you can go to the shop of the zoo to buy a souvenir.
The Caribbean Museum
Location: Calle 36 #46-66 centro Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Rate: 13000 COP Adults - 9000 COP Children up to 12 years old The Caribbean Museum is part of the Parque Cultural del Caribe, a cultural complex that also includes the Mediateca Macondo (media library), the Biblioteca Infantil Piloto del Caribe (a children library), the Cocina del Museo restaurant and the Jardin de las Mariposas (Butterflies garden), among others. Here you can admire tools, musical instruments, animal horns and even accordions, which show the great diversity of the Caribbean culture. At this place you can interact with nearly all you see, what let you learn in an unforgettable and teaching way. Other rooms of the place can be rented for events and there are also green areas around to spend the afternoon.
Plaza de San Nicolas
Location: Historic center of Barranquilla Hours: all day Rates: free entrance The construction of this square of San Nicolas is unknown, but it's impossible to imagine it separately from the birth of Barranquilla. The square has its origin in the 18th century and afterwards there have been several restructurings with some good episodes and other not so good, but always accompanied by the iconic church of San Nicolas, a construction of neogothic style, delared a Bien de Interes Cultural de Caracter Nacional (Good of National Cultural Interest) by the Culture Ministery in 2005. The church of San Nicolas was proposed to be converted into cathedral beginning the 20th century, but at the end this honor was given to the Templo de Maria Reina; the same hapenned with the steam navigation that was so relevant in Barranquilla, but then it was abandoned.
Plaza La Paz
Location: Cra 54 No 53-123 Hours: all day Rates: free entrance The square La Paz was built in 1986 with the purpose of commemorating the visit of Juan Pablo II Pope during his apostolic pilgrimage through Latin America. It's a place where frequently there are cultural events that include concerts, beauty reigns, parades, among others. Its location is well positionned, since on the surroundings you can find shopping centers of easy access to the urban transportation. The square his accompanied by the Metropolitan Cathedral of Maria Reina, construction of modern style that harbors impressive works as the image of the Cristo Liberador Latinoamericano, mosaics to San Jose, to Maria Reina and stained glass windows of the Catholic church sacraments.
Bocas de Ceniza
Location: Following the street 106 N°90 Hours: doesn't say Rates: doesn't say It's the crossing point between the Magdalena river and the Caribbean sea, there you can appreciate a relaxing atmosphere, but also defiant due to the proximity of huge water masses. You go through by train and during the journey you can admire the large variety of species that live in the surroundings. You will find the fishermen houses of the area, and you can also practice that activity with your equipment. We recommend to take comfortable shoes to walk around.
Vía Parque Isla de Salamanca
Location: Route to Bogota, PuebloviejoHours: doesn't sayRates: 16000 COP Adults - 8500 COP ChildrenThis natural and special landscape is located at 25 mi (40 km) from Barranquilla and there are more than 200 species of birds. It's made of little islands that in total make an area of 56.000 hectares, where you can see swamps, bogs and beaches. It's recommended the entrance with a guide who will make you appreciate the place, to see all the beauty and diversity of Colombia. Don't you forget the insect repellent.
The things to do in Barranquilla
Location: Puente PumarejoFear doesn't have to stop you, feel the adrenalin making your heart beat strongly. There is no similar emotion to feel the wind in your face, while you descend in great speed once you have decided to jump. Practice it alone or with company; you will see that after trying it, you will be someone different.
Fly with paramotor
Location: Playa Mendoza, on the way between Barranquilla and CartagenaYou will ascend between 30 to 500 meters, feeling the wind on your face in Mendoza beach, sat in your comfortable chair with a professional instructor. It's similar to paragliding, but you have on the back like a huge fan that propels you in the desired direction, you will see from the sky all the city; you can even film the experience , to have an adventurous souvenir of your stay in Barranquilla.
Typical dishes in Barranquilla
Arroz de lisa
It's the typical dish of this part of Colombia. First of all they let the lisas (a kind of fish) get dry to be shreded and take out the bones, while the rice is cooked with onion, garlic, paprika, tomatoes and spices as cumin, salt and pepper. All the ingredients are boiled together for 20 minutes and then you can get the best out of this gastronomic delight with lemon and some spicy sauce if you wish.
Arroz con chipi chipi
Chipi chipi is a little mollusk that is boiled with rice and sea soup, a little paprika, onion and oil. When the rice is ready you can serve it.
Sancocho de bocachico
It's a delicious dish that consists in a fresh bocachico (a kind of fish) marinated with garlic and salt, that is boiled with banana and manioc and is served with white rice and raw cane sugar water. Enjoy the soft flavor of the fish during the pleasant twilight in Barranquilla, you will see how it recovers you to carry on with your trip through this beautiful city.
It's a tasty recipe from the plain that is made for the pleasure of the diners. It's based on veal seasonned just with salt, roasted in ember; some people even roast it with bear, and it's served with potato, manioc or banana.
How to reach Barranquilla
Barranquilla by train
Nowadays there isn’t a train transportation in the municipality, although there is a project of creation of an inter-city train that connects Barranquilla with Cartagena and Santa Marta, but there is no date to start the project.
Barranquilla by flight
The direct distance from Bogota to Barranquilla is 438 mi (705 km). The international airport Ernesto Cortissoz is located in the municipality of Soledad, which is placed at 4,4 mi (7 km) from the city of Barranquilla and has a diversity of available flights. The main airlines that operate in the place are Avianca, Aerolineas de Antioquia (ADA), Viva Colombia, Copa Airlines , EasyfLy, besides other abroad airlines as Insel Air and American Airlines. Some of the destinations that the airport covers are Bogota, Medellin, Bucaramanga, Monteria and out of the country borders Panama, Miami and Curacao.
Barranquilla by bus
From Bogota to Barranquilla there are 627.6 mi (1010 km) on the highway that take approximately 15 hours. The main bus companies that cover this route are Copetran, Expreso Brasilia, Berlinas del Fonce and Fronteras. The main origin cities of the buses destination to Barranquilla are Medellin, Bogota and Cali.
Accomodations in Barranquilla
Hostal Mamy Dorme
Location: Calle 68 with Carrera 61 No 66-131 Rate: around 26 000 COP It's a colonial mansion with a low-cost rate and services as free wifi and free parking lot; some rooms have private bathroom and others shared bathroom. The kitchen is shared and there is also a garden. Even if they say that the reception desk is open 24 hours, try to be there before 11:00 p.m. You will see bunk beds in your room, but those beds won't be necessarily occupied by someone else, so don't you worry.
The Meeting Point Hostel
Location: Carrera 61, 68-101 Rate: approximately 30 000 COP The Meeting Point Hostel is placed close to the historic center, offers shared kitchen and terrace, free wifi and also the bathroom is shared. You can also take advantage of bike rent. Don't be surprised if you see a pet, they are accepted.
Hotel San Nicolas Colonial
Location: Calle 33 No. 42-28 Rate: 42 000 COP The services you can have are screen TV, private bathroom, free wifi, air conditioning and some of the rooms have living-room. It's a good place at an appropriate rate; the wifi may not be stable all the time and you must pay through a transfer before your stay and then the staff of the hotel will contact you to tell you the directions.
B&B Grand Royal Inn
Location: Calle 80B No 42-10 Rate: 90 000 COP At this B&B all the rooms have air conditioning, cable TV and private bathroom, there is 24hours reception desk service, there is a garden, shared kitchen and laundry service. You can also ask for transportation from the airport and it's located at just 20 minutes from the Caribbean sea. It's possible that the wifi is not stable in the rooms but it's great in the common areas.
Location: Cra 53 No. 68 -217 Rate: 90 000 COP If you stay at the Caribe Princess Hotel you can ask transfers from the airport, cable TV, minibar and in the common rooms areas fresh flowers. The accomodation includes continental breakfast for you to enjoy it, besides the good service of the staff.
Hotel Atrium Plaza
Location: Carrera 44 N° 74-86 Rate: 320 000 COP Enjoy your stay in large and illuminated rooms that have cable TV, minibar, private bathroom and depending on the room that you choose, there is also view to the Magdalena river. Take pleasure of the afternoon in the pool tasting the delicious dishes of the restaurant and the varied drinks that you can find in the bar. Although the rate may be expensive, the service and exclusiveness that the hotel offers will do that you are more than satisfied.
Important dates in Barranquilla
The Carnival of Barranquilla
4 days before the Ash Wednesday
It's the most important and biggest festival of Colombia, a complete festival of multiculturalism where you can see giant action figures of superheroes, animals, mythological beast, monsters and disguised dancers with animal masks, devil masks and dancers of multicolored dresses. The Carnival of Barranquilla is a celebration of contraries, life is celebrated but the death of Joselito Carnaval revive to celebrate the following year with more joy. A celebration that everybody should live, at least once in a lifetime.
Día de Barranquilla
April the 7th
The Barranquilla day is preceded by the Batalla de las Flores (battle of flowers) where floats of diverse folklore groups are exhibited and the head of the celebration is the Reina de las Flores. The following days there is also party, the Gran Parada de Tradicion, the Festival de Orquestas. After four days of celebration, the end is the Entierro de Joselito Carnaval (burial of Joselito Carnaval), showing in an ironic and funny way the death of Joselito because of his fun-loving and drinking too much, so the following year he can revive with all the energy to celebrate again.
Fiesta del Bollo y del Frito
A few years ago this festival has been propelled, where various preparations are sold and you can find see sweet bun made of manioc, corn, cheese and coconut among other desserts. It has been a success from the beginning and its popularity has increased with the passage of time, so it's an event gastronomical but also cultural, since it harbors the most diverse and original preparations of this Barranquilla dessert.