Hotel El Prado
El Prado, a grand hotel that stands as a testimony to Barranquilla’s golden days as Colombia’s gateway to the world, is now on the nation’s registry of historic places. When it opened in 1930, it boasted of being the first luxury lodging in Colombia
, with private bathrooms and telephones in every room. Narcotraficante
interests acquired the property in the 1980s and made it an operations center, which drove away legitimate guests. But after government seizure and decades of decline, things are once again on the upswing. Don’t miss the expansive pool and its shady vegetation, especially when the mercury soars (day passes are available). And afternoon aperitifs or lunches beneath these palms are always a welcome respite.