The Port of Barranquilla lies on the banks of the Magdalena River about 24 kilometers upstream from its mouth to the Caribbean Sea in Colombia. It is the country’s biggest Caribbean seaport. Decline in river cargo traffic since World War II and increases in road transport have tended to shift ocean-going traffic to Colombia’s Pacific port, Buenaventura. However, the Port of Barranquilla still handles a lot of coffee and petroleum from inland regions. Natural gas pipelines from northern Colombia also come to the Port of Barranquilla.
Modern Barranquilla contains manufacturers of cement, chemicals, cardboard, shoes, and beverages. It is also home to Atlantico University and the University of the North. With an international airport and an operating port, the Port of Barranquilla is an important gateway for tourism on the Caribbean. In 2003, over 1.3 million people called Barranquilla home.
There is no evidence of habitation prior to 1629 in the Port of Barranquilla, and the city has no official record of its early history. The city was legally established in 1813 with the status of “village.” In 1834, over 11 thousand people lived there. During World Wars I and II, many European immigrants came to the Port of Barranquilla, and waves of people from the Middle East and Asia also came to the city.
The Port of Barranquilla was the country’s first port, and it has the nickname of “Colombia’s Golden Gate.” It boasts the first airport in South America, and the second oldest commercial airline (still in operation) in the world – Avianca.
The Port of Barranquilla was Colombia’s second biggest city in the 1940s. Municipal problems, however, brought a decline in its residents’ standard of living. Over time, it was eclipsed. Today, it is Colombia’s fourth biggest city and the most populous of Colombia’s cities on the Caribbean. The modern Port of Barranquilla supports a busy trade industry and some of the most important companies in Colombia.