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The Ultimate Guide to Medellín

· Colombia,Destinations,Travel,Culture,Guide

Medellín, Colombia

Sun shining through the clouds parting over the distant city skyline of Medellin, Colombia with high-rise buildings.

If you look at Colombia on a world map, you'll see that it's located in South America bordering Venezuela, It has a tropical climate and a harsh rainy season in April, May, October and November. The winter into early spring (Dec - March) is the best time to visit Colombia.

Hotel prices are likely to be higher and cheap flights harder to come by while Colombia tourism is at its' peak, but you'll beat the dull weather back home on an unforgettable vacation in Colombia. Trips from the USA to Colombia are a cinch with quick stops in other close tropical destinations.

Don't worry if you aren't staying in the restaurant and bar district Parque Lleras, Uber is a reliable form of transportation in and around the city. A yellow taxi is another easy way to get around. Skip any haggling by making sure the meter is running. I'd recommend completely avoiding unmarked taxis.

Hotels in Medellín, Colombia

Accommodation options range from hostels and apartment rentals to luxurious Medellín hotels. Although features like hot water and wi-fi are common in most places, be sure to look for these amenities, among others, while searching where to stay in Medellín.

In the posh El Pablado neighborhood with the best rooftop view in the city and heavenly treatments, the spa and accommodations at the InterContinental Medellín are sure to leave you floating on cloud nine.

This budding tourist mecca is still building its' roster of hostels, but Selina is an option with luxury, style, and community. As a hostel/hotel company with a fully-equipped working space, this is the best place to stay for digital nomads.

side by side photos of uchuva and pineapple fruit on a plate next to uchuva jam and a photo of a trio of deserts

Left: I found my new favorite jam! The sweet and tangy Uchuva is an exotic berry that has natural healing properties.

Food & Drinks

Coffee junkies and non-drinkers alike can't go to Colombia without a cup of authentic Colombian coffee. You can get a piping hot cup of goodness on almost every corner, so we focused on trying traditional Colombian foods.

One portion of bandejas paisa from Mondongo's, pork rind, one fried egg, potato, ground meat, plantain, rice, arepa, and beans next to an avocado, banana, bowl of lime slices, and limeade drink.

I got a true taste of Colombia's national dish at Mondongo's. Each part of it compliments the others perfectly in the traditional and most popular Colombian meal, bandejas paisa.

The dish includes red beans cooked with pork, white rice, carne molida (ground meat), chicharrón (pork belly or pork rinds), a fried egg, plantain, chorizo, arepa (corn cakes), hogao sauce, black pudding (morcilla - made from pork blood among other ingredients), avocado and lemon.

A plate with two large empanadas, salad with carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes, next to a fork and knife on a napkin.

We fell in love with the Caribbean Colombian cuisine of La Niña Juani Antojos de la Costa on Carrera 33. Every morning we found ourselves getting there early for the freshly made empanadas and to beat the rush.

A diagonal view of a bowl of tuna tartare with a watercress garnish and sliced french bread on a plate at Oci.Mde restaurant

I had the freshest tuna tartare of my life at OCI.Mde Colombian restaurant. The food was superb, and the ambience was even better in this trendy restaurant. Make sure you check operating hours because once lunch is done, they don't open again for dinner until 6:30pm!

Established in 1991, Hacienda is one of the best restaurants to try traditional Colombian food. At any of its' 6 locations, you'll get desserts, liquors, and dishes that are native to the region all served with exceptional hospitality and flair!

A hand holding a shot cup of aguardiente, a clear licorice-flavored alcohol from Hacienda - La Strada.

Traditional Colombian Aguardiente (a clear, licorice-flavored liquor) served in style!

Medellin's brick-colored skyline with trees and mountains in the background

Places to Visit

Gardens & Parks

You might be wondering what is Colombia known for, and I'll tell you. Medellín has endless gardens and parks to saunter through. We spent an afternoon at the Jardín Botánico de Medellín (the Medellin Botanical Garden) identifying various native plants and sitting by the lake. We even saw a tiny monkey hanging in a tree!

Other parks and gardens to consider are Parque Arvi (just 45 mins outside of the city via the gondola), Parque Sabaneta, and Park of Bolívar.

Museums

The Museum of Antioquia itself is art. The architecture alone is stunning, and once you're inside you'll enjoy the comprehensive collection of Fernando Botero, a Colombia-born artist.

If you appreciate modern and contemporary art, then the prestigious Medellín Modern Art Museum, with artworks by expressionist painter Débora Arango, may be worth your while.

A man with a straw hat standing next to a man in plaid shirt in front of a red and multicolored city tour paisa party bus.

Things to Do

Visit an original Colombian Coffee Plantation to learn the process of harvesting coffee beans and finish the tour with a tasty cup of José.

cloudy sky with white storied building and trees that used to be Pablo Escobar's home and office

Pablo Escobar Tour, rebranded as the "City Transformation Tour", takes you to seminal spots in the cities' tumultuous past, promotes its' triumphant present, and highlights its' bright future.

red and white cable cars and gondolas against the green mountains and house in Medellin, Colombia.

Witness the breathtaking views while riding the world-class Medellín Metrocable, also called the gondola lift, that climbs to up to 1,309 feet and runs from Medellín to the enchanting Parque Arvi.

Street art in comuna 13

A walk through Comuna 13 will show you the exquisite street art and escalators that transformed the city and restored its' pride after being the most dangerous neighborhood in Colombia.

Medellín offers a lot for the thrill seekers with the chance to see the tropical region on ATVs.

Paragliding takes you flying over the urban and rural landscapes for the bird's eye view of it all. Even though I was nervous to run off a climb during take off, it was so serene and calm once we were in the air. The landing was a different story.

Check out our paragliding adventure!

A street at nighttime with bright string lights, trees and restaurant in el poblado medellin
Men waiting in line and entering the Mad Records night club in Medellin at night with string lights

Nightlife

Parque Lleras has it all. During the day, you can stroll through the park, have a nice meal at one of the open restaurants, and browse the boutique shops and handmade artwork. At night, take advantage of the live music and DJs at the bars and nightclubs filled with festive drinks and dancing any night of the week.

Leave a comment below with your must-do activities in Medellín!

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