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The Golden Gate of Columbia

BAQ, Barranquilla

Barranquilla, known locally as the 'Golden Gate of Colombia' due to its location on the delta of the Magalena River, hosts one of the world's largest carnivals each year.

Without doubt the most popular cultural event in this unique, colourful and vibrant destination, the Carnival de Barranquilla takes place four days before Ash Wednesday each year and is claimed to be second only to the world-renowned Carnival of Rio. It is the most important folklore celebration in the region and was proclaimed one of the 28 different masterpieces of the oral and tangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2003.

People come from all around the world for this carnival, which displays traditions going back to the 19th century, and the entire city stops as the party takes over. With dances like the African congo and Spanish paloteo as well as a wide range of Colombian music and instruments, history has never been so much fun.

Kicking off the festival with the Battle of the Flowers, one of the main events of the carnival, the following day sees the Great Parade and then on the third day there is an Orchestra Festival with Latin and Caribbean bands.

Lasting three fun-filled days, the Carnival of Barranquilla is the perfect destination for those wishing to explore another culture while having as much fun as is possible.

As the slogan for the festival says, 'Quien lo vive, es quien lo goza' ('Who lives it, is who enjoys it.')