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Carnival of Barranquilla – One of the world biggest carnivals

Carnival of Barranquilla - Women dancing during a carnival dressep up with colorful costumes with rhinestones
The one who lives is the one who enjoys it.
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Carnaval de Barranquilla 2018

The next big Colombian party is coming. The Carnaval de Barranquilla will take place in the Colombian Caribbean coast, in the Golden Gate of Colombia, Curramba, la Bella: Barranquilla.

The Carnaval de Barranquilla will take place from February 10 to 13. Due to its variety and cultural richness, the carnival received two important recognitions. The first one is the “Cultural Patrimony of the Nation” granted in a National Congress of Colombia declaration on November 2001. The second one is “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity », granted by Unesco in Paris on November 2003.

History of the Carnaval de Barranquilla:

The Carnaval de Barranquilla brings together emblematic expressions of the memory and identity of the people from Barranquilla, the Colombian Caribbean and Rio Grande de La Magdalena.
One of the most popular costumes is the Marimonda. It is made of a mask with a long nose (that looks like a penis), big ears, a suit with patches, a jacket and pants in reverse. It is also accompanied by a scandalous whistle. This costume was created by a common barranquillero with the aim of bothering and making fun of the ‘high society’. 

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The lower class (in several cases slaves) took advantage of their bosses. Indeed, they succeeded in mocking them and enjoy the carnival without being recognized. Nowadays, it’s also common for famous people to participate in carnivals wearing that disguise so that they don’t get recognized.
Today the concept has changed and the Marimonda now symbolizes the funny guy and “mamador de gallo”.
This great party begins with the “Precarnival” with the following events:

  • Lectura del Bando
  • Coronación de la reina
  • Carnaval gay
  • Carnaval de los Niños
  • La Guacherna
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Day 1:

On Saturday, the Carnival of Barranquilla begins officially with “la Batalla de Flores” and the “Rey Momo Parade”.

Day 2:

The second day takes place at la Gran Parada of Tradition and Folklore, or simply Gran Parada.

Day 3:

On the third day of the carnival, there are two events: la Gran Parada de Fantasía and the Orchestras Festival.

Day 4:

As a closing ceremony you will see the burial of Joselito Carnaval, the drunk. It symbolizes the end of the festivities and the carnival.
Undoubtedly, it is one of the most awaited and important festivals in Colombia. In case you would like to get more information and history, you can visit the official website of the Carnaval de Barranquilla.
Because this carnival is so rich in culture, energy and experiences, you certainly shouldn’t miss it for anything in the world. Go and enjoy the joy and craziness of the Colombian Caribbean!

Last minute recommendations:

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If you want to get to the Carnival and save some money, you shouldn’t take a plane straight to Barranquilla. You should plan your trip to Cartagena and book a bus from there to Barranquilla for 20,000COP or less. It surely is the best option if you want to avoid spending all of your money just in the plane ticket. That way, you will save up to 250 to 350,000COP.

Furthermore, you need to save some money for the housing. It is indeed going to be very expensive. If you don’t wait the last minute, you can find options between 25,000 COP per night (in the homes of families in Barranquilla) and 100,000 COP (AirBnB, Hostels). But you really should book your housing in advance. Otherwise you will get poor quality hostels for a very high price and you will be far from the center. 
If you decide to travel to a different place, don’t forget to check our article about the best travel tips in Colombia.

¡Feliz carnaval!

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