Barranquilla is known as Colombia’s Golden Gate due to its importance as the largest industrial modern city and seaport of the Colombian Caribbean. In the XIX century Barranquilla was Colombia’s main seaport and by mid-XX century it quickly became Colombia’s fastest growing and most cosmopolitan city, welcoming immigrants from all over the world, especially from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its people are well-known for their witty, friendliness and idiosyncrasy.
It is strategically located nearby the Caribbean Sea on the west bank of Magdalena river delta.
Barranquilla hosts the Historic Centre with its ‘Paseo de Bolívar’ – Bolivar’s Path; buildings and structures from the Republican period of immense historical value and the barrio El Prado with its neo-classical architectural buildings, one of which is the famous Hotel El Prado. Nearby Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla Zoo is a wildlife sanctuary of Colombian fauna, and the beautiful Santa Veronica white-sand beach and Puerto Velero – with its ‘Sombrero Vueltiao’ Restaurant emulating this traditional Colombian lapped hat.
The city is most famous for its worldwide-known Carnival, held annually preceding Ash Wednesday. It is one of the main festivals in Colombia and the second largest Carnival in the world second only to that of Rio de Janeiro. The streets are transformed into a mainstream of popular dancing (Cumbiamba) characters with Joselito Carnival as its main character; the Dancing Schools, El Diablo (The Devil), the popular ‘Marimondas’, etc. united in celebration from a shared yet mixed heritage. It was declared Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.