These days, when people picture Colombia, Medellin and Bogota take the spotlight, but that’s quickly changing. Boasting one of the fastest growing economies in the Southern Hemisphere, “Quilla” or “Curramba”, as the local Barranquilleros affectionately call it, is a warm, extremely friendly, cosmopolitan city. It sits perfectly on the Western coast of the Caribbean, less than a two-hour drive in all directions from the most visited vacation spots in the region.

Originally a bustling main port in the early 1600s, Barranquilla was the first city in Colombia to have a railroad and an international airport. The city has a long history of tradition and culture heavily rooted in song and dance. Barranquilla is perhaps best known for its annual, week-long Carnaval making it the third largest street party in the world. Famous celebrities such as Shakira, Nina Garcia, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sofia Vergara and Miss Universe Paulina Vega also call Barranquilla home.

With a distinct accent, dialect and culture, Barranquilleros are unlike all other Colombians. With cultural influences from the Lebanese, French, German, Jewish, Italian and Turkish communities, Barranquilla is essentially a melting pot. The city is growing quickly and richly as more people come from around the world to experience the new Curramba. The weather in the city is hot, but it does experience cool tropical breezes during winter months. Sitting with family or friends on patios is a common activity for most in the city.

Barranquilleros are open and approachable and truly enjoy coming together to talk, sing and dance. The city has a vibrant heart unlike any other Colombian city and is a wonderful place to call home. As expatriates of North America, we’ve immersed into the culture and have grown to love Barranquilla.