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A quick walk from the Catedral Metropolitana is another important landmark, Casa del Carnaval, where dancers and musicians go over the start of the celebration. It's a Republican building from 1929 situated at the edge of the traditional and Carnival neighbourhoods Abajo and Montecristo, donated by the family of a businessmen and patrons of the Carnival, Caridi. The house was restored in 2000 for strengthening of the Carnival of Barranquilla.
Casa del Carnaval is seat of the Fundación Carnaval de Barranquilla (Fundation of the Carnival of Barranquilla), and organizer and manager of the Carnival. Impressive brightly-coloured murals immediately draw attention of passers-by and visitors. Most of them have carnival motifs, Marimonda (Spider Monkey) is the main character of the Carnival. Located within Casa del Carnaval is Museo del Carnaval which exhibits murals, costumes, objects, photos and musical instruments related to the Carnival.
The lady from the reception explained about the Carnival and showed us around. She was quite impressed by my big interest and curiosity and gave me a lovely brochure about Barranquilla Carnival as a present.
I just loved Casa del Carnaval! It was certainly the highlight of my visit of Barranquilla.
more pics in the travelogue
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Carrera 54 No. 49B-39
Phone: +57 5 379 6625
Strolling the streets of El Prado, the most enjoyable neighbourhood of Barranquilla, we came across the imposing building. We found it was Catedral Metropolitana María Reina. Its construction started in 1955 and was officially completed in 1982. Behind the cathedral lies Plaza de la Paz where there are always some activities and many people.
This modern structure is not very attractive from the outside but the interior has some pleasant surprises, including some beautiful stained-glass window designs and two wall mosaics using coloured German glass. One of the highlights is also an over-the-altar 16-tonne, 16m-high bronze sculpture by Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt, one of the most important sculptors of Colombia and Latin America. Please have a look at his work.
Updated Sep 29, 2009
Address: corner of Calle 53 and Carrera 46
One of the most loved and revered venues for barranquilleros is undouptedly the Teatro Amira de la Rosa. It was the constant and persistent effort for 30 years to build a cultural centre. With the support of Banco de la Republica the theatre was inaugurated on 29th of June 1982 by then president Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, with the presentation of the gala performance of the Ballet of Canada.
Teatro Amira de la Rosa has been a point of convergence, social epicenter of the city and artistic meeting point, where major national and international events take place. There are dance and theatre performances, workshops for children, conferences and writers readings. The area around the theatre is surrounded with gardens and green areas for outdoor shows, such is the famous festival Barranquijazz.
The Municipal Theatre was named after Amira de la Rosa, poet and artist from Barranquilla, who contributes to the creation of the Hymn of Barranquilla.
Updated Sep 28, 2009
Address: Carrera 54 No. 52-258
Phone: +57 5 349 1117
La Guajira (Spanish pronunciation: [laɣwaˈhiɾa]) is a department of Colombia. It occupies most of its namesake peninsula, the Guajira Peninsula in the northeast region of the country, facing the Caribbean Sea and Venezuela in the northern most part of South America. The department capital city is Riohacha.
Various indigenous tribes populated the vast arid plains, such as the Wayuu, Guajiros, Macuiros, Anates, Wayunaiki, Cuanaos and Eneales among others prior to the Spanish arrival to the Americas. In 1498 Alonso de Ojeda navigated around the peninsula of La Guajira, but the one who disembarked in what today is La Guajira was Juan de la Cosa. During the colonial era the territory was disputed by the governors of Santa Marta and Venezuela due to deposits of pearls. English pirates, French, Germans also disputed the territory. Martin Fernandez de Enciso found the city of Nuestra Señora Santa Maria de los Remedios del Cabo de la Vela, first village in the territory but due to constant attacks, in 1535 Don Nicolas de Federman had to refounded as the village of Riohacha and in 1544 was moved present-day Riohacha. In 1871 the region is separated from the Department of Magdalena and is created La Guajira as part of the national territories. In 1898 was created the Intendance of La Guajira.
In 1911 the Colombian government created the Commissary of la Guajira, followed by a wave of Middle Eastern immigrants (Christians maronites) from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan, countries under the Ottoman Empire arrived to La Guajira in the c. 1930s and establishing mostly in Maicao. In 1954 was once again created the Intendance of la Guajira and Riohacha was declared a municipality. Finally in 1964 the Department of La Guajira was created.
The economy of the department is mostly based on royalties from the coal mining at Cerrejón, which produced 24.9 million tons of export coal in 2004, Natural gas exploitation and salt mine. A popular tourist destination is Cabo de la Vela, a small fishing village located on the tip of the peninsula in the Guajira desert.
Written Aug 26, 2009
Riohacha, Rio Hacha or Rio de la Hacha (English: River of the Axe - Wayuu: Süchiimma), is a city and municipality in the northern Caribbean Region of Colombia by the mouth of the Ranchería River and the Caribbean sea, capital city of the Department of La Guajira. Founded by Conqueror Nikolaus Federmann in 1535, Riohacha was named after a local legend "The legend of the Axe". The area is mostly desertic and inhabited by Amerindians, predominantly by members of the Wayuu ethnic group. During colonial times Riohacha was a very important port due to findings of vast amounts of pearls. In recent years the city became one of Colombia's medium importance maritime commercial ports as well as a multicultural center for the Department. It is mentioned several times in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, and seven times in the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, both written by Gabriel García Márquez.
Written Aug 25, 2009
THE BEACHES NEAR BARRANQUILLA AREN'T TOO BAD. MY FIANCEE SAYS THE BEACHES IN SANTA MARTA ARE NICER. WE SPENT AN AFTERNOON AT ONE BEACH AND IT WAS NICE. BEER, POP, AND FRESH COCOCUTS WERE AVAILABLE. THE OCEAN WAS NICE AS ITS BEEN AWHILE SINCE I SWAM IN SALTWATER. TRY THE COCONUT MILK. ITS GOOD!!!!
Written Jan 30, 2004
One of the most impressive old churches in the city, this church creates a certain holy and solemn feeling inside. Situarted in El Centro, like most of the touristy places. And be sure to take a look inside, it is truly spectacular.
Written Jun 9, 2003
This should actually also belong under the off the beaten path category, since this amazing place is nicely undiscovered by hords of tourists... Ok, about 100 km away from B/quilla there is one of the few mud volcanos left in the world. The volcano, called Volcan el Lodo del Totumo, provides you with an amazing experience. First you climb up the slippery wooden staircase (more like a ladder actually) to the top of the mountain, where you'll find a small pool of mud. Although it's only about 5x5 m large, the volcano is more than 300 m deep. You climb into the mud and then you just relax, look at the clouds and the sun, have a nice massage and enjoy the funny but great feeling of not being able to move properly and laugh at the cold bubbles that reach the surface, coming from 200 meters below you.
Afterwards you climb down and go the lake right next to the volcano, to wash off the mud. There are some women there, who'll offer to wash you, but you have to tip them afterwards.
This is truly an amazing feeling and it only costs about 5000 pesos (2 US $). Next to the volcano there are also food-stands and rather primitive toilets and cabins for changing your clothes.
Written Mar 17, 2003
If you are already in b/quilla you cannot miss the increadible colonial city called Cartagena. it's been called the most beautiful city in colombia, an dthere is a lot of truth to that. full of beautiful colonial houses, massive churches, street cafes, craftsmen, providing a nice view on the sea - you shouldn't miss it. but that is only the old town (the "walled city"). in the other parts you can find clubs, restaurans, bars, nice hotels, a beautiful beach, but also the poor neighbourhood with it's horribly dirty streets, smelly marketplaces and noisy atmosphare. but there you can find the cheapest accommodation... definately a city worth visiting...
Written Nov 15, 2002
Stroll down the narrow cobblestone streets lined with balconies of old Spanish mansions such as Bodegón de la Candelaria and Casa del Marques de Valdehoyos. You can tour some of these houses; the tourist office has a complete listing of places open to the public. The cathedrals and palaces face cool, shady plazas where one can buy little cups of coffee (tinto). The church San Pedro Claver (picture) is a nice old building well worth a visit.
Written Sep 7, 2002
1 Review and 18 Opinions This is one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed at. I and my guests suffered from food poisioning...