kids are all right—as long as they know their heritage. Help them brush
up on history and geography, and honor the 40th anniversary of UNESCO’s
World Heritage List, by booking a family trip to some of the planet’s
most noteworthy places. We combed through the list’s 936 cultural and
natural treasures to choose destinations of sublime beauty and
historical significance that will inspire travelers young and old.
See National Geographic World Heritage Guides >>
The Carnival of Barranquilla, Colombia
Photograph by Ivan Pisarenko, Archivolatino/Redux
Kid Appeal: Four days of choreographed dance, music, and kaleidoscopic costumes make for one of South America’s most eye-popping street festivals.
The Event: Fire-breathers. Floral floats. Masquerade revelers in the guise of monkeys, jaguars, and skeleton spirits. Teams of drummers pounding out entrancing beats. Costumed dancers twirling in a colorful swirl. Glittery face paint and feathery headdresses. Satirical speeches and songs.
The Carnival of Barranquilla is both a raucous pre-Lent party and a multicultural celebration of the indigenous, European, and African roots of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It's also on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, a special designation for living traditions and practices that help tell the tale of our shared humanity.
Staged largely on the city’s streets over the four days before Ash Wednesday, the annual event is one of the world’s largest carnivals. Spectators, standing on the sidewalks or seated on grandstands, watch the festival’s coordinated series of events, beginning with Saturday’s Battle of Flowers, which features the carnival queen, floats, and exotically costumed dance troupes; Sunday’s Grand Parade of more traditional cumbia and garabato dancers; Monday’s Fantasy Parade of flamboyant revelers; and Tuesday’s symbolic funeral of Joselito Carnaval, the personification of the festival, who dies from too much fun.Next