After facing the river, Barranquilla will also look at its sea with a sustainable environmental recovery project that will boost tourism and opportunities for the communities of La Playa and Las Flores.

Can you imagine getting off an electric train, with your family, on a Barranquillera beach, to enjoy the sea, the sun and the breeze, play sports or eat a delicious fish while listening to the swaying of the waves?

The truth is that you can do it with a project that has already been launched. Because, although many do not know it, Barranquilla does have a beach and the city is determined to show its face, in the same way that it has already given it to the Magdalena River.

“This is an important work for Barranquilla and for Colombia because it will take us to the most magical corner of Latin America. The point where they meet the Mallorquín swamp, the Magdalena river and the Caribbean sea. will come up Puerto Mocho, our beach, and then he is going to take us, after completing the works of the APP of the Magdalena River , to the mouth of Bocas de Ceniza , a magical place that will now allow us to do tourism. We are going to endow this tourism that we have done informally so that the world can come and see it," said Mayor Jaime Pumarejo in an inspection that he carried out this Thursday of the land where the tourist train will pass, in the company of the Secretary of Public Works, Rafael Lafont; the manager of Puerta de Oro, Ricardo Vives, and the manager of Edubar, Angelly Criales.

And it is not a simple government announcement. The construction of the project Tourist train-Pedestrian promenade, which has already been tendered, awarded and contracted by the Edubar Urban Development Company , is a key component in the comprehensive recovery of the Mallorquín swamp.

"Here where we are is the train station where we will receive visitors, where they can buy tickets, where they will listen to an induction about what they are finding in this complex in the Mallorquín swamp, and this will be one more offer from the Ecopark to bring employment, quality of life and sustainability to Barranquilla”, added the district president.

starting engines

One of the purposes of the project is the recovery and adaptation of the existing road infrastructure in the sector of Las Flores , specifically the railway line where many years ago the trains from Bocas de Ceniza moved to the interior of the city and that today are used for tourist purposes in a precarious way by inhabitants of the sector with gasoline-powered artisanal trains that visitors popularly call "the little train".

“Within the complex of the Mallorquín swamp, an important component is the Puerto Mocho beach, for multiple reasons, but mainly for two things that we must highlight: first, the ecosystem of the swamp depends on the marine bar, because it is the one that regulates the exchange of salt water and fresh water, which is why the intervention of the marine bar is important, and additionally to capitalize on an opportunity that Barranquilla has had dormant, which is its beach, because we do have a beach”, explains the manager of Golden Gate Caribbean Development Company, Ricardo Vives.

the tourist train Flowers includes a route along the western cutwater, which has contact with the Cienaga de Mallorquín, the Magdalena River and the Caribbean Sea. With the aim of connecting Mouths of Ash This line will be reactivated to the city, optimizing connectivity and improving the tourist infrastructure of the sector, as well as its immediate surroundings, through a series of support equipment.

Thus, the project proposes a connectivity between the current tourist sector of the neighborhood Las Flores and the beach of Puerto Mocho, through a train track, strip of pedestrian path and cycle path, with a series of rooms and facilities strategically arranged for a wide use of the ecotourism characteristics of the tajamar.

the tourist train Flowers will have activities along its route, with new on-site interactions such as a rail line, pedestrian path and bike path, and three train stations: Mouths of Ceniza, Manglario and Puerto Mocho.

During the tour the visitor will find commercial sites, squares, viewpoints. This, in turn, will contribute to the economic development of the sector by improving accessibility conditions, road safety and beach conditions.

“What we will see first will be this large parking lot, which will be the arrival center for visitors, then we will begin to build the station, which will be the entrance area to the Puerto Mocho beach and that mythical space, then we will begin to see how they begin to make the rails of the train, then the walls of the containment zone and then the boardwalk, where we are going to walk. Then the train will arrive, which is currently under tender. The process is open and we are receiving offers from anywhere in the world for the construction of this electric train. There will be two wagons of approximately 70 passengers that will be coming and going from here to Puerto Mocho," said the mayor during the tour.

The project Tourist train-Pedestrian promenade It currently has a 6% advance in its initial works, which include interventions that are being carried out, including clearing and stripping of material, excavation for retaining walls, filling in selected material and figurative reinforcing steel for retaining walls.

This is a project that will be carried out in phases, thus leaving open the possibility of future growth for a wide use of the ecotourism characteristics of the cutwater.

A new tourism in Barranquilla

The full recovery of the Mallorquin swamp, hand in hand with the recovery of the Puerto Mocho beach, it will guarantee the environmental stability of the swamp, but at the same tourism it will promote a new tourism that Barranquilla has not yet explored: sun and beach tourism.

“The only way to get to that beach is through the cutwater, a hydraulic work that acts as a barrier between the river and the swamp, and will allow us to reach our only beach, with a sustainable connectivity project on the cutwater. For this reason, an electric train and access roads, both pedestrian and bicycle, are being planned, which will give Barranquilla residents 2 more kilometers of a kind of tajamar boardwalk to make the experience of arriving at the Puerto Mocho beach a friendly experience with the environment, but above all attractive for tourism. The train will be the public transport that will connect the beach of Puerto Mocho with the urban area of ​​Las Flores”, says Vives.

On the beach, stabilization works will be carried out on the bar, which correspond to the soil part, and then a very touristic approach to the new offer of booths and gastronomic services, a system of paths, sports fields and, most importantly, the beach management. Together with DIMAR Stripes for bathers, motor boats, sports, transit and other activities will be organized.

"Very soon we are going to open the call for the change of the name of the beach so that the people of Barranquilla can call it what inspires us, soon we will open that call too," announced Pumarejo.

Social impact

The entire complex of the Mallorquín swamp comprises 1,200 hectares, between the roundabouts and the body of water, and this intervention will have a great impact on the city, and to some extent metropolitan and departmental. The administration of Mayor Jaime Pumarejo is betting that this comprehensive recovery project will bring many benefits to neighboring communities, especially in the township of La Playa and the Las Flores neighborhood. It is estimated that the social impact will directly influence more than 20,000 inhabitants of the area who will see significant improvements in their quality of life.

“First it is tourism, which brings employment. We are bringing Las Flores the things they need. More visitors will come every day and that means more people in the restaurants. I imagine hostels in Las Flores, where people who come to watch birds or do sailing, rowing or kitesurfing stay in this place. So there will be a transformation for the benefit of the community, and the same will happen with La Playa. In two years we will see the complete change of these communities, but it will be a lasting change, a sustainable change that goes with a perfect combination between environmental sustainability, job creation and the recovery of neighborhoods like this one”, explained the mayor Pumarejo .

With the Secretariat of Economic Development and the District Opportunity Center It has been working with the communities of fishermen, case makers and with the families that live in the area because job opportunities and better income will come for them, on multiple fronts: guided tours, expeditions, artisanal fishing, hiking tourism, observation of poultry, in addition to consumption in establishments, as well as hostels and other commercial services for visitors to the sector. "Clearly there is a great opportunity for economic development for the people who live in the area and for social development that comes hand in hand with economic growth," says the manager of Puerta de Oro.

June 29, 2022 — Ven Vive Barranquilla

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