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Caribbean coast and islands: Revel in Colombia's Barranquilla Carnival

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Revel in Colombia's Barranquilla Carnival

The UNESCO-listed Carnival of Barranquilla, held annually over four days leading up to Ash Wednesday, is reputedly the second largest fiesta of its type after Rio de Janeiro’s.  Extravagant, exuberant, entertaining and exotic, it shows off the diversity and flamboyance of Colombian culture as a whole and that of the Caribbean region in particular.

This colourful spectacle fuses elements of both African pagan ceremonies and Catholic rituals, touched with inspirations from indigenous traditions. The result is an over-the-top display of music genres and dance, with participants dressed up in lavish costumes. The carnival was once considered a holiday for slaves of African origin, but now it has been embraced by many Colombians and foreign visitors as an opportunity to celebrate these traditions in a massively ebullient way.

Choose between a one day experience or dive in for the whole four day period of delirium, attended by over 1.5 million people watching or taking part.

What our experts say

Carnival kicks off with what for me was the most intense and dazzling of all the parades: the day-long Battle of the Flowers, with floats, dance troupes and gyrating processions. The costumes are amazing; joyous men and women capturing the floral theme with huge colourful headdresses...

Konrad M

Konrad Mludzinski

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