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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

Population: 300,000


Other places nearby Barrancabermeja: Momp贸s and Puerto Berr铆o .

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Barrancabermeja's Best Hotels


This colonial-style building stands tall, affording great views over the Magdalena River. Once you stroll through its welcoming doors, you鈥檒l note the swimming pool and the air-conditioned lobby. ...
Barrancabermeja, Colombia

San Carlos

Just down the hill and around the corner from Pipat贸n, the San Carlos is another hotel aimed at the engineering crowd. Each of the 30 rooms and seven apartments have air conditioning, cable TV, ...
Barrancabermeja, Colombia

Hotel Cacique

Just next door to the Pipat贸n is the characterless and charmless Hotel Cacique. It really does live in the shadow of its neighbor and is nothing more than a location for businessmen coming through ...
Barrancabermeja, Colombia

Hotel Bachue

Located in the center of town, the Bachue underwent a complete renovation in August of 2007 of everything down to tiling in the bathrooms and linen on the beds. The entry still has a 1970s feel to ...
Barrancabermeja, Colombia

San Crist贸bal

Although the San Crist贸bal is in the city鈥檚 Zona Rosa, this respectable hotel is definitely separate from the many seedy, rent-by-the-hour options nearby. The price for one of the 40 rooms is ...
Barrancabermeja, Colombia

Things to See and Do

Oil Museum

Walk around the port of Barrancabermeja and the importance of the oil industry becomes clear when you see the dozens of oil rigs that line the coast and the statue of Christ dedicated to oil. The Oil ...
Barrancabermeja, Colombia
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