The Guide: Sofia Vergara

You need more than a few days here

Come for a week and divide your time between Barranquilla and Cartagena, which are only about two hours’ drive apart. Both cities are beautiful with stunning coastline views.

The best way to spend your time?

Eat! I’m passionate about Colombian food so when I’m home I catch up with arepas (a corn cake) and fresh fish. It’s all delicious.

If it’s your first day, just relax

Barranquilla is one of the most relaxed places there is. The first thing you should do is grab an Aguila (Colombian beer) and just get to know your new surroundings.

If you’re looking to eat like a local

Sancocho is a very traditional dish – and it’s one of my favourites. It’s a soup but with meat, vegetables and sometimes even fish.

This is a coastal city so the seafood here is very good.

if you want to shop

You need to go to places that you can only find in Colombia.

There is a fantastic open-air market in Barranquilla that is a must-see. For me it sells the tastiest fruit in the world, plus there’s so much other delicious street food.

There are some rules for an evening out

If you want to go out in Barranquilla you have to be ready to dance all night – we simply don’t allow sitting down. There are dance clubs all over the city, but if you head for Calle 84 there are lots of places to enjoy and they’re all especially busy at the weekend.

The perfect option for the next day

Head just out of the city to the Totumo natural mud baths set inside a volcano. It’s a very famous attraction – and one that will be relaxing after a big night out.

You have to come for the carnival

This is one of the most famous in Latin America – the only one bigger is Rio. It’s spectacular, so if you’re here in February come along and help celebrate our heritage.

The best day?

Simple. Have a breakfast of arepas and fresh fruit on the beach, do some shopping at the local markets, then go and watch our very good football team win at the national stadium. End the day by dancing until the early hours of the morning.