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Carnivals of the World – Barranquilla

Winning blue birds in the tombola, declaring foam-war to your neighbours, mingling with the most patient children ever, drunk happy people all-over, loud music and an audience completely masqueraded … Then you know: I am in the middle of the Carnival in Barranquilla!

This year I went to take a look at the second large carnival parade on Saturday, the 1st of March, in the southeast of the city Barranquilla: the parade of the Batalla de Flores de la Calle 17 at the Simon Bolivar neighborhood. The biggest parade is Batalla de Flores on the Vía 40 but is more expensive and therefore not the locals first choice.

Figures like the Marimonda, Congos, Negrita poloys, the son of Cumbia and even the Queen of Carnival came by.

Everyone waited impatiently for the passing of the parade ... the cheering people came dressed up in all colors of the rainbow to watch the carnival. Luckily there were enough sideshows to keep people entertained while waiting: a carousel for children, tombola games, dozens of interested people to chat with or just fun to stare at, a skatepark nearby ... They were needed because it took a while until the parade had taken off.

The event featured a security plan laid out by the National Police, Civil Defense, Red Cross, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transportation and fire men, among other district entities to ensure the safety of those attending. But why there were so many people with and without costumes walking upstream on the blocked street will always remain a mystery. Just as the fact that some parents were putting their baby in the hands of every carnival queen, dancer and costumed person to take pictures, not only once but on EVERY single wagon passing by! Oh my god! Really sad for those kids – having 200 pictures taken while lying in the arms of strangers.

What was the difference with the parade on the Vía 40?

  • Less tourists (I did not see any other foreigner to be honest).
  • Quite a bustle of people but still less compared to the Vía 40 which made it more relaxed.
  • The parade is further away from the city. From the northern part it was like a 30min drive away. A taxi cost like $ 20.000 cop/taxi.

This year there were more wagons (comparsas) which were participating compared to last year, BUT because of this a big delay came up. Respect for all the kids who were waiting like me for 3 hours! The parade came at our seats aprox. at 5:30pm when  it already got dark. That is why I don’t have that much pictures of the parade itself.



  1. Make sure you're at the start of the parade. In the end, all the dancers are exhausted.
  2. Please parents: don't disturb the parade all the time by taking stupid pictures! Just enjoy it - good memories will never been forgotten.
  3. Look for a place in the shadow.
  4. My chair in the 2nd row and in the shadow cost me $ 7.000 cop.

Here you can read another travel story about Carnival Barranquilla
Here you can find more tips about Carnival Barranquilla