Barranquilla and carnival time!
Barranquilla is a big coastal town and not really visited by tourists much but for carnival the place erupts and the second biggest carnival in South America is staged. The whole town is elaborately decorated in all sorts of colourful decorations and everyone in the town is dressed up for the long weekend. Even quite far out of town, shops, taxis and restaurants are all decorated and the carnival weekend is even a national holiday!
As with most carnivals the parade is held during the days, this is accompanied by street parties, food and dancing. Throwing flour over each other is a big thing with most people (and cars and houses!) covered by the end of the day, as well as this people are constantly shooting foam canisters at each other!
The parade was far from as elaborate as the Rio carnival but interesting as it has a much more local feel. The parties go on mainly from Saturday to Monday or Tuesday and go long into the night!
The main floats have the usual different costumes and music and it's said that many of the people on the floats have been doing the same for generations. The street parties of an evening have thousands of people partying all around as well. Most of the 'bars' are purely people's homes that have had big speakers and BBQs set up in the front gardens to make the place act as a temporary street venue! All ages party as well with some of the older people getting the most involved! Traditional Latin music is heard all around town!
We met up with a decent group of friends as well which made the last night fun. We only stayed for the main 2 days, and that was plenty of time!
Would definitely recommend if someone is visiting Colombia around the time. The locals were really hospitable and made us feel a part of every party!
After carnival we planned on at least a few quieter days, heading over to Santa Marta and the Tayrona national park region! Bit of trekking and recouping!