Barranquilla sits on the northern coast of Colombia along the Caribbean Sea just a couple latitudes above the equator. Average temperatures hover around the eighties throughout the entire year, and rain in the late spring and fall often flood the streets.
The city dates from at least 1629 but was officially established in 1813. It became Colombia’s main port and earned its nickname as La Puerta de Oro de Colombia (The Golden Gate of Colombia). It is the fourth most populated city in Colombia after Bogotá (the capital), Medellín and Cali.
Also called La Ciudad de los Brazos Abiertos (City of Open Arms), Barranquilla is known for its hospitality and warmth.
Its most important cultural celebration is Carnaval, four days of festivities beginning the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. Originating from Spain during colonial times, the tradition merges its European roots with elements of African and Colombia’s indigenous cultures – cultures of communities forced into submission to colonizers.