Barrancabermeja is first and foremost an oil town. This detail is not lost on the visitor as a massive refinery looms large over this sweltering settlement on the Magdalena River. Temperatures rarely dip below 30潞C (85潞F) and more often edge near 40潞C (105潞F). Barrancabermeja was the first city in Colombia with an international airport, since its refinery drew in prospectors from all over the world.
Until the early 2000s, Barrancabermeja was plagued by urban violence resulting from the conflict in Colombia. To this day, the citizens talk of three different Barrancabermejas. The first being the refinery, which is pretty much its own city; the second being the leafy and pleasant middle-class neighborhoods like Las Colinas; and the third being the poor barrios on the other side of the tracks, which were held by the guerrillas up until recently.
Barrancabermeja is a great place to mix it up with the locals, as the people are very friendly and accommodating. Don鈥檛 be surprised if you are invited on day trips to nearby ci茅nagas, where you can swim in the cooling waters, enjoy various aquatic sports and lunch on freshwater fish.
City Code: 7
Altitude: 126 m