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Nice comparison of the two cities. I may go to carnival this year with some friends. When is carnival in Barranquilla? And if I can´t find a place to stay in Barranquilla is Cartagena close enough?
Hi Mary, Carnival in Barranquilla is February 10 to 13 this year. Cartagena is about 2 hours from Barranquilla by road. So, a bit far. There are air-conditioned shared van services for Cartagena to/from Barranquilla but make your reservations early. Taxis and buses are other options but buses will be slower. We plan to publish a guide to Carnival on this site soon.
I went to carnival in Barranquilla last year. Had fun but it was miserably hot and I got sprayed with foam twice, so don´t wear something nice. Carnival was definitely worth going to but I could never live there. In my opinion, Barranquilla is a pretty ugly city with not much to do and too hot for me.
I agree with this comparison but I would add that Barranquilla is a pretty ugly industrial city with many grey buildings. And taxi drivers will try to rip you off if you are foreigner in my experience. Expats that decide to live in Barranquilla have not done their homework so this article should help. LOL I recall reading one blog about Barranquilla that ended up moving to Medellin after not too long.
Yes, that blog about Barranquilla you mentioned is “Barranquilla or Bust” – https://barranquillaorbust.com/. Started out in Barranquilla but ended up in Medellín 🙂
Thanks Jeff another great comparison post. All things considered, I’d pick Medellin. Would love to go to Carnival though!
In my opinion this is an accurate comparison. Barranquilla is a hot and boring city. Any expat that chooses Barranquilla as a place to live in Colombia did not do their due diligence. About the only thing worthwhile in Barranquilla is the once a year carnival.
For me, the contamination is really a big issue, having asthma. For example, today I can’t go to my everyday walk, as there is a windstill and thus much contamination. Luckily living in Bello, a liitle bit fresher air.
If my wife to be (marrying her in July) accepts, we are making a long time plan to move to Barranquilla. I have been living two years in Guayaquil having about similar climate and it did not stop me making 3-4 hours afternoon walks, of course in parklike walking alleys typical to that city.
From Guayaquil I made twice a week bus trips to Salinas, to walk on beaches western side of the peninsula. You said it is about two hours to Santa Martha or Cartagena, so why can’t we do the same in Barranquilla?
Also I feel it is cold here in Bello especially on clouded and rainy days and at night. I hate any a temperature below 20 grades. My wife is born in Cauca Walley, so I think she could well be in warmer climate.
Speaking of keeping information up-to-date (re. your last post), I have seen mosquitoes in El Poblado. My apartment is on the 7th floor.
Since then, I heard another one yesterday. By no means a huge problem, but there are mosquitoes even in the better parts of Medellin 🙂
Thanks, I updated the article to add my experience living in a two story house where I have seen a few mosquitos.