A charming city, Malambo is a municipality located to the north of Atlantico department in Columbia. This city is situated by the Magdalena river and it is one among five cities that form the metropolitan area of Barranquilla.The handicrafts made by the indigenous people were breathtaking and when the Spaniards arrived in 1959, Malambo became an important city. Fertile lands created by the Magdalena river encouraged agriculture and animal rearing. The cultivation of cash rich crops like cotton, rice, yucca and millo made Malambo the center of industrial establishment.
January is the coldest month in Malambo with day temperatures of 24 C° and night temperatures below 8C° . Summers are hot and August and September are the hottest with day temperatures of 32 C° and night temperatures of 25 C°. December is the best time to visit Malambo as the climate is pleasant. The currency used in Malambo is the Columbian Peso.
Points of interest
The sunny city of Malambo is an urban paradise. A city that is calm and away from the normal tourist pathway, but it reflects the true spirit of the cultural and heritage of this area. With the arrival of the Spanish in the 19th century, their influences can be seen in the architecture and planning of this city. Take a walk and discover this beautiful city that has a couple of treasures. The main square is the modern part of this city, but it is interfaced with antique buildings. The Santa Maria Magdalena Church located in Malambo is one among the ancient churches that is still used in worship today. This heritage monument has a distinct facade, while the interior is bright and cheerful. Located in the urban structure of this city, it has been declared a heritage historic monument.
The event called Hip Hop Malambohop is a popular festival targeting the youth of this city. This is an event that encourages the dancing skills of the youth and makes them compete on a national level. Malambo encourages the dancing skills of their forefathers. Today, the dance of the indigenous tribes and the rhythms of the African slaves has amalgamated and a new and faster dance form has evolved. You can see the youngsters practicing and maybe learn a few steps too!
The Carnival of Barranquilla is an UNESCO World Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Make a trip to Barranquilla, it is thirty minutes from Malambo. A festival of color, rhythm and dance. The Barranquilla's Carnival is a classic example of a triple cultural diversity. It has the influences of European, Indian, and African along with the Catholic festivities of the Spaniards. An ethic diversity as the aboriginal ceremonies, the musical heritage of the slaves from Africa combine with the colonial culture.
This carnival begins before Ash Wednesday and reaches its climax on Saturday after the Batalla de las Flores or the Battle of the Flowers. This is a symbolic battle that is enacted with carnival characters. There is a colorful parade with floats, costumed locals and dance groups. The hooded figures or the marimondas with their long noses, the dwarfs with massive heads called gigantonas stand out in the parade. The queen of the parade accompanied by an entourage of princes and princesses, throws flowers into the crowds. The Grand Parade is on Carnival Sunday, a merry time as the dancers perform the Garobato, a symbolic dance of the victory of life over death , the Hilanderas and the torito folk dances, a classic fusion of dances with elegant swaying of the hips. A wonderful experience!
The city of Barranquilla is just 11 kilometers away from Malambo. It is the location of the Museum of the Caribbean. This is one of the best museums in this region as it introduces the visitor to the history and culture of the whole Caribbean coast of Colombia. Inaugurated in 2009, the museum is spread out over five levels of interesting paraphernalia, highlighting the biodiversity, culture and history. Browse through the photographs and video presentation on display. There is an entire section dedicated to this region's music and literary achievements. Take a guided tour that is available in English to appreciate this museum.
The Museo Romantico is located in a historic mansion from the 18th century. A charming museum that pays respects to the illustrious personalities of this area by displaying important artifacts from their lifetime. You will discover old letters from Simon Bolivar, the Great Liberator and the typewriter that the world renowned author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez used to write one of his books. The Carnival dresses from the previous years are on display, they add color and excitement to the museum.
The hacienda located on the outskirts of Santa Marta is 75 kilometers from Malambo. This is the place that Simón Bolívar, the great leader of Colombia's independence spent his last days before his death. The hacienda was a sugarcane farm and processing center from the beginning of the 17th century. It even had its own sugarcane mill and a distillery. Owned by a Spaniard, Joaquín de Mier who was an active supporter of Columbia's independence, Simón Bolívar was invited to spend time at his home. A historic site as several monuments have been built to honor Bolivar. The Altar de la Patria is the most impressive, it is a large central building. Walk to the right and you will see the Museo bolivariano that has amazing works of art donated by local artists, Latin American artists and artists from the numerous countries that Simón Bolívar helped liberate from colonialism like Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
The Jardín Botánico is on this ground. Take a stroll along the best gardens of this region. Covering about 22 hectares, the Jardín Botánico has numerous trees from other countries and has an extensive collection of the local flora. The trees are ancient and beautiful. A serene atmosphere that leads to a new convention center and concert hall that is due for inauguration.
A Republican building that was constructed in 1929, the Cathedral Metropolitan is an important landmark in Barranquilla. It is just under 12 kilometers from Malambo. This Republican building is in the corner of the traditional and carnival neighborhoods of Abajo and Montecristo. Donated by patrons of this city who wish to continue the local traditions and customs of this area. Foundation of the Carnival of Barranquilla is at the Casa del Carnavel and they are the managers of the colorful Carnival of Barranquilla. The walls are decorated with colorful and dramatic murals that are vibrant and welcoming. Visitors will find the murals intriguing, notice the Marimonda, this is the Spider Monkey that is one of the carnival motifs. The Museo del Carnaval is in the Casa del Carnaval and it highlights the costumes, photographs, exhibit mural, and several musical instruments that are used during the carnivals. Exploring the Casa del Carnavel gives an insight into the volumes of work involved in planning and executing the wonderful Carnival of Barranquilla.
The Cathedral Metropolitan Maria Reina stands close to the Plaza de la Paz that is always bustling with activity. This is a modern building with a plain facade, but the interiors are impressive. Notice the two wall mosaics that are decorated with German colored glass and the colorful stained-glass window. The altar is adorned with a 16 tonne sculpture that is a 16 meter high bronze by Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt, a renowned sculptor of this country.
The Pumarejo bridge is one of the earliest bridges built in this country. This bridge was constructed over the river Magdalena, so that there was a road connection. Take a stroll and cross this bridge that connects the Island of Salamanca with the city of Barranquilla. Admire the flowing river in a scenic landscape. The bridge was completed in 1974 and it is 1500 meters long. It was named after its promoter, Alfonso López Pumarejo.
Located in the city of Cartagena, the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is about 95 kilometers from Malambo. Standing tall on the Hill of San Lázaro, this castle was strategically built to alert the local inhabitants of the approach of the enemies either by land or by sea. It was constructed in the year 1536 by the Spaniards during the colonial era. This majestic castle is well preserved and though renovations were made over the centuries, it still maintains its authentic architecture.
The Gold museum is one of the finest museums located in this country. It is in a grand mansion that is also called the Casa de la Aduana or the Customs House. Take a trip to Santa Marta that is about 75 kilometers from Malambo and visit this museum. On display are several Tayrona objects that consists of pottery and gold artifacts. There are artifacts of the indigenous Kogi and Arhuaco people. Browse through the interesting collection of historic finds from the archaeological digs around this region. Notice the model of the Ciudad Perdida that is as impressive as the real one!
75 Calle 14 Santa Marta.
The food at Malambo has a distinct flavor, they enjoy cassava buns with plain rice that is served with the wholesome stew made with pigeon and other salted meat. Salted meats are popular in this region and they even have a festival that celebrates the different types of preserved meats. Indulge in Patacón, black bean rice, chipichipi, cucayo and caribanolas. The sweet dishes are exotic with delights like coconut candies, Easter candy, pies and cakes. Try the local drinks like the boil, tamarindo, zapote or the nispero.
How to get there ?
Ernesto Cortissoz airport is the airport closed to the city of Malambo. It is about 13 kilometers to the city center. There are many taxis waiting at the arrival gate, but be aware that the taxis do not run on the meter and it is advisable to negotiate the rate before entering one. The main bus terminal is a distance and it is easier to hire a taxi. The popular shuttle companies that cover this route are Berlinastur (berlinastur.com) and Cochetur.
You could take a bus directly from Santa Marta or Cartagena into Malambo. The long distance buses are colorful and bright, just like this country! The Busetas are smaller buses that are used inside the city. These buses go on routes that the normal buses can not enter. The fare is the same as the normal buses, but they do not follow a timetable. Taxis inside the city are cheap and it is easier to get around the city on taxis, the taxis have an app for your cellphones or you can call a number and they will pick you up. These taxis have fixed rates and it is better to book a taxi that hail one off the road.