Barranquilla is known as the golden gate of Colombia due to its importance as a one of the busiest ports in the Caribbean during the XX Century. It is situated 13km inland from the Caribbean Sea and at the mouth of the Magdalena River which slices Colombia in half from north to south.

Barranquilla was the first city in Colombia to use the telephone, the first traffic lights and many other inventions. With such advances it quickly became the most cosmopolitan city in Colombia welcoming foreigners from all over the world. The area of Barranquilla was first settled by the indigenous Kamash people. The city itself was never formerly founded but the universally agreed date for this event is 1629 and the first reference to the area in Spanish chronicles was made by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés in 1533 in which he describes the journey made by Pedro de Heredia, the founder of Cartagena, and the mention of an interesting region that would make for a good port.

In the XIX century Barranquilla became Colombia’s principal port and by the mid 20th century it had become the fastest growing Colombian city. However, with an economic slowdown in the 1980s Barranquilla fell into a decline which it has been battling ever since.

In addition to being known for the generosity of its inhabitants the city is most famous for its Carnaval celebrations. This is one of the main festivals in Colombia and the second largest Carnaval in South America behind only that of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The streets are transformed into a mass of dancing bodies united in infectious celebration and you can witness indigenous, African and other dances from a shared yet mixed heritage.

It is for this reason that this unique celebration has been declared as an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.