Attractions in Barranquilla, Colombia: What to do and where to go
Barranquilla has different tourist attractions like Bocas de Ceniza, the site where the Magdalena River and the Caribbean Sea meet; the Barranquilla Zoo, which was the first zoo that was inaugurated in Latin America; the Pumarejo Bridge, the longest in Colombia; the giant Estadio Metropolitano (the Metropolitan Stadium); the Puerto Colombia dock, which was once the second longest in the world; the Totumo Volcano; the Amira de la Rosa Theater; the Romantic Museum and many other important spots. Discover these important aspects of the city which can offer wonderful sensations of beauty of this large and pleasant city.
Amira de la Rosa Theater
This forum is located between the areas called El Prado and Abajo del Rio and is where the rich culture of Barranquilla comes from. This lovely theater has one of the most modern infrastructures where theater plays, art exhibits, concerts and shows of a number of artistic impressions are performed all throughout the year. The stage curtain of the theater is 55.77 feet long by 26.25 feet wide and depicts the local legend of the "Hombre Caiman" (the Alligator Man) and was painted by Alejandro Obregon.
This popular museum (the name of which translates to "the Romantic Museum") can be found in an old mansion that was built during the Republican Period of Colombian architecture. Here you can find memories of the pastimes and the different, typical objects that represent the history of this city.
At the Romantic Museum, you can find a variety of things like the different dresses of the Queen of Carnaval, a replica of the old street called Camellon Abello and the old Alfonso Fuenmayor typewriter that the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez used to write his novel "Leaf Storm". There are also letters from Simon Bolivar as well as photographs, records and old newspapers.
Located under the shade of enormous, old trees, this beautiful zoo offers visitors a chance to see the interesting habitats of animals from all over the world, especially those from the marvelous Caribbean.
The zoo has more than 550 animals of 140 different species, some in danger of extinction, like the South American condor, the eagle, the flamingo, the Spectacled Bear and the manatee. There are also lions, chimpanzees, toucans, reptiles, bats and the cottontop tamarin, this last is a species that can only be found in a section of white forest located in this region of Colombia.
The Barranquilla Carnaval is one of the most important cultural and festive events in the city of Baranquilla and all of Colombia. Here you can find traditional cumbias, comedic shows, religious processions and flamboyant costumes, as well as modern and unique parade floats that have the same sparkling charms of those of old, immortalized with the passage of time.
This splendid "carnaval" runs up and down the streets and plazas of the city, from south to north, until reaching the corner of Avenida 40 (40th Avenue), parallel to Rio Magdalena and Calle 17, in the southern part of this Colombian city. The corners where these streets meet make these two avenues the best stage for popular carnival art in Barranquilla.
The Carnaval de Barranquilla was selected by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia as the most important cultural manifestation of the country, with even the UNESCO including it as part of its list of humanity's cultural heritage. This spectacular event takes place during the month of February so don't miss out on your next trip to Colombia.
Bocas de Ceniza
Barranquilla is important logistically because it is right next to the mouth of the Rio Magdalena and the Caribbean Sea. Bocas de Ceniza ("Mouths of Ash" in Spanish) is a magnificent place to discover and it is most known for being the access point of the Port of Barranquilla.
Nowadays, trips are organized on flat barges that leave from Las Flores to the Pumarejo Bridge and then come back up to Bocas de Ceniza. The area allows for excursions on private boats or ships along the river, fabulous dining experiences or the chance to explore the swamps and the river inlets.
Antiguo Edificio de la Aduana
This historic construction ("Old Customs Building" in English) was built in 1919 by the English architect Leslie Arbouin. The building was restored and modified in 1994, and is important to importation and exportation from the local port in Barranquilla. Starting from its reopening, it has been given several new uses. There is the Biblioteca Piloto del Caribe (the Caribbean Pilot Library), the Archivo Historico del Atlantico (Historic Archive of the Atlantic), the Modern Art Museum, the Hans Federico Neumann Center of Musical Documentation and important administrative offices of Baranquilla.
Parque Cultural del Caribe
This park (Cultural Park of the Caribbean) is a space that is dedicated to the promotion of the cultural, historic and natural heritage of this part of Colombia. This modern complex sits on 5.4 acres of land and is located in the historic center of Barranquilla. Among the many attractions it includes, there is the Museum of the Caribbean and its many interesting installations. There is also a forum for events and a public plaza that is about 3 acres large, with a playground and park areas. There is also a room dedicated to the life and work of the great Nobel Prize winner, Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
La Estacion Montoya
The Montoya Station was constructed at the end of the 19th century by Barranquilla Railway and Pier Co. and it is located right next to the Customs Building. The station was used in those days as a terminal for trains connecting Puerto Colombia with the river pier of Barranquilla.
Volcan de Totumo
The Totumo Volcano (also known as the "volcano of mud") is located in the Caribbean region that is between Barranquilla and Cartagena de Indias. This small volcano is only about 49 feet tall and people come far and wide to see this exotic spot to enjoy this wonderful geographic accident and to take advantage of the curing properties of the mud. To visit this place is to see another marvel of Mother Nature.
Cartagena de Indias
The marvelous city of Cartagena de Indias was named a part of the heritage of humanity given that there are a number of monuments that are touristic, cultural and commercial, wowing visitors. There is also a modern part with skyscrapers and beaches filled with people. The most important attraction is a beautiful old city called "El Corralito de Piedra" (The Corral of Stone), surrounded by a wall that served as protection against pirate attacks.
The main entrance of this older part of Cartagena is the Torre del Reloj (the Clock Tower) or the Boca del Puente (Mouth of the Bridge), constructed about the time of the wall, in the 19th century. Within the walled city, you can find the Plaza de los Coches (Plaza of Cars), surrounded by colorful houses with wooden balconies. In Old Cartagena, there are also important buildings that functioned during the colonial era, like the Casa del Marques del Premio Real, the Casa de la Aduana, the Church and Convent of San Pedro, which was constructed in the 17th century by the Jesuits. You can also find the remains of Pedro Claver, a very famous missionary advocate for the slave population of 17th century Cartagena.
Santa Marta possesses one of the most beautiful and spectacular bays of the Americas. It is an ideal spot to have fun, whether it is at the beach, resting and relaxing in middle of a calm seaside landscape, or surrounded by the mountain air charm of nature, both of which you can enjoy in Santa Marta. The beaches and the Sierra Nevada are two of the most important tourist destinations that are close to Barranquilla. Nature, a selection of excellent hotels and wonderful sites for water sports can all be found here.
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
This marvelous park is located about an hour and a half from Barranquilla and is made up of a series of inlets, reefs and rocky cliffs. This is where you can see a gloriously divine landscape. The Park has wide beaches (the most well known being those in Bahia Concha) are famous for a water park with cabanas and restaurants. There is also Neguanje and Canaveral, beautiful beaches in the middle of lush Caribbean flora in Colombia, where you can also find places to camp.
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