Colombian Travel Tips | 5 Ways to Enjoy Carnaval De Barranquilla

A collage of pictures of the biggest carnival in Barranquilla Colombia.
Experience a whole new kind of cultural adventure in Barranquilla Colombia.

Barranquilla Colombia is a place for an exciting cultural experience. Although the culture of Colombia is a bit similar to a lot of other Latin American countries, Barranquilla’s local culture, however, has a few special elements that make it distinctive and unique. Its colors and flavors are mostly visible during their festivals and fiestas, one of which is the second-largest carnival in all of Latin America ---- Carnaval de Barranquilla.

Although it’s not as touristy as its neighboring cities like Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia, Barranquilla has something to offer that other Colombian cities can’t, an immersive and authentic experience of the Colombian culture. Carnaval de Barranquilla is a yearly festival celebrated days before the build-up to Ash Wednesday. For the year 2020, the festivities are scheduled to start from February 22 until February 25.

If you’re planning on going next year, take note of these few travel tips that will help you make the most out of your Carnival experience:

  • Book a hotel as early as possible
    As the second biggest Carnival in all of Latin America, it is expected that Carnaval de Barranquilla will draw a large crowd of tourists in the city. To get cheaper accommodation and avoid not having any place to stay in, we highly recommend booking your accommodation as early as possible.
  • Dress like a Barranquillero
    Dressing up like the locals is the best way to go if you really want to get into that carnival spirit and will have you immersed in that whole carnival experience. If you’re worried about where to find one and how much it costs, you don’t have to because the accessories and costumes are very cheap in pop-up markets around the city. There is no excuse for not dressing like a human fruitcake to enjoy the Barranquilla Carnival.
  • Watch the parade and enjoy the parties
    Barranquilla no doubt has a fun and vibrant nightlife, but just wait until you get a taste of its very own street parties on the day of the carnival. Although the parades may cost a few bucks, it is guaranteed worth it. The street parties, on the other hand, are free. It takes place everywhere across the city. Here, you’ll get to party all day and all night long!
  • Share and Drink Aguardiente with Locals
    Here’s a little tip: the fastest way to gain friends in Barranquilla is through drinking and sharing their national drink, Arguadiente. Expect that as you walk along the city’s streets, locals will be offering you drinks. If you don’t feel comfortable receiving drinks from total strangers, it’s ok to turn it down politely. Locals in Barranquilla are friendly and courteous enough not to force it down your throat.
  • Get in there and get messy!
    With all that you have read above, the most important tip we could ever give you is just to have fun. Get in there and get messy! Just let all your worries slide down and for that moment, just enjoy that unique cultural experience you have in front of you. At the end of everything, you have sweat, dirt, and an amazing experience to tell and keep as a memory.

The experience you’ll get from Carnaval de Barranquilla will surely leave a mark in your heart. Make sure to follow these tips and your Carnival experience will definitely be one for the books!

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