Palenque – The First Free Black Town of the Americas

Discovering the earliest struggles for freedom in Colombia

Watch our first video about our experience visiting the town of San Basilio de Palenque. The town was designated as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.

Why is Palenque Important? – Palenque is the first Free Black Town of the Americas, a designation earned by the first Palenqueros led by Benkos Bioho. They escaped from Cartagena in 1599, founded Palenque, and declared themselves free from slavery. For more information, please visit Colombia’s Official Tourism site.

How to Get There? – Palenque is about 1.5 hours away from Cartagena. We used Juan Ballena Tours to hire our driver and tour guide for the day. Visit their website for more information.


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