Carnaval de Barranquilla

Mardi Gras in Barranquilla

This is one of the continent's biggest street parties. It's held in February on the four days before Ash Wednesday, so the date changes each year. Much like the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, there are street bands, masquerade and fancy dress, live performances, and a riotous, slightly unhinged atmosphere as the town drinks and dances itself into the ground.

It can be rough and ready, and you need to keep an eye on your possessions and your companions, but let your hair down and it could be a highlight of your trip.