A Travellerspoint blog

Colombia: Barranquilla Carnaval

Who lives it, is who enjoys it (Quien lo vive, es quien lo goza)

sunny 40 °C

En Barranquilla me quedo...

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Just outside of Barranquilla's main stadium is an enormous statue of Salsa legend Joe Arroyo..
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...forever keeping time with his claves and just one symbol of Barranquilla's dedication, passion and appreciation for their homegrown music.

Barranquilla is the fitting home to the second biggest Carnival on earth!

Carnaval

To get you started here is a video I put together of snippets recorded in Barranquilla and surrounds during carnival time

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Barranquilla's Carnaval is second only to Rio's... Google the stats ;-)
It's a wonderful, welcoming, boisterous and enormous festival spanning the many flavours and variances of Colombian music and dance.

WELCOME

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As soon as landed at Barranquilla airport, I could hear drums!
A huge welcoming party of drums and dancing awaited new arrivals... and certainly got you amped!

Music

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Music is a hugely important part of Colombia's culture and identity - especially in Barranquilla and Cali.
Both cities share similar characteristics.... I have no idea if they identify with each other - but to this visitor they are similar in their fervent passion for home grown music.

La Troja is one of the best, rawest, and boisterous Salsa joints on earth - optimising the revolutionary, reactionary, anti-establishment roots of Salsa that came out of the Bronx 50 years ago.
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Barranquilla celebrates the wondrous cultural diversity of Colombia through music and dance of maily Cumbia, Vallenato, Champeta, Salsa and some Reggaeton.
We also saw international representation; Chinese, Brazillian and a variety of European floats
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In Barranquilla music is played LOUD... everywhere, in restaurants, bars, loungerooms...everywhere.... and especially during Carnaval.
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Lodgings

It's very unwise to decide on Carnaval in the week leading up to the event. You need to plan ahead!!
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Prices quadruple for this week and rooms sell out months ahead, and so it's essential to book in a timely fashion.
My friends and I were lucky to be offered a room at a family house, which was a true blessing.

Parades and Activities

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The wikipedia entry sums everything up perfectly
here

The different floats, choregraphy and music was incredible.
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The atmosphere is really special, with countless numbers of people gathering along the very long road, either paying big for seats in the stands, a bit less for non tiered chairs or standing in limited free spaces.
Seats for the stands were quite pricey, but we managed to find roadside seats for a reasonable 20k pesos.
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Everyone makes an effort to dress festively, and has a great time, enjoying food and drinks.
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We saw some really remarkable showcases!!
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Carnavalada

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This is the main point for evening festivities and showcases!
We saw many awesome Cumbia performances and others
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Calle 84

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This is Barranquilla's party street, with a myriad of venues to choose from.... all blasting Vallenato, Merengue, Salsa, Champeta and the occasional Bachata tune.
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The music is turned up to 11 t every joint so music can blend in from next door.
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Nonetheless the atmosphere was awesome to the max!
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Food

Barranquilla has seriously amazing food, both during Carnaval at the stall, and also very interesting restaurants.
We went to Totumazo for traditional soup... it was the best meal I had in Colombia!
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Riomar

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We found a magnificent train ride that leads out along the coast with seriously amazing views and tranquility.
The marvellous little train carries you along the 7km slither of land that separates the beach facing the Carribean Sea and Magdalena River
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It's an awesome day trip!!

Museums

Carnaval Museo

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We stopped by for an interesting peak at the history and artefacts of the Carnaval.
This is an informative stop for any Carnaval goer!

Museo del Caribe

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This impressive building, has some seriously impressive displays and activities within it.
It really shows how unique the Carribean region of Colombia is, and when contrasting to the rest of the country; how amazingly diverse Colombia is in terms of culture and terrain

The holographic music showcase is tremendous and worth the visit alone!

♥ Barranquilla

When you go to Carnaval, graciously accept being doused in corn flower and sprayed with foam... and do your best to keep up!
Barranquilla is a friendly Carribean City of Colombia, proud of their city and significance of Colombia's diverse, rich cultural tapestry.

Sad to leave, but see you next year!
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Parque Tayrona next...
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Posted by SkinnyFists 10:31 Archived in Colombia Tagged barranquilla carnaval_colombia vallenato salsa_colombia

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