Top 5 Things to do in Medellin
Once considered as the most dangerous city, Medellin has transformed from its unfavorable reputation to become one of the best travel destinations in South America. Apart from improved public safety, investors in Medellin have invested heavily in urban development, including the first metro system in Colombia and cable cars that service poor neighborhoods situated on the high mountainsides.
Why you should visit Medellin?
Today, Medellin is one of the best tourist destinations in the world, with millions of tourists visiting and even settling after retirement. Tourists enjoy visiting Medellin every year because of its beautiful mountains, friendly locals, warm weather, and a vibrant culture among other reasons. If you’re looking for an exciting place to visit or even settle, you should highly consider Medellin. Some of the top 5 things that you can do while in Medellin include:
1. Outdoor Adventure Activities
One of the things of the 5 things to do in Medellin depends on the warm Medellin weather will make you purr. Medellin has a wild array of adventurous activities. From paragliding to mountain climbing, here are 3 outdoor activities that you can explore beyond the city walls.
Very few views will make you smile more than soaring above the terracotta-colored buildings, the olive-green mountains, and giant waterfalls of Medellin. It is located just about 40 minutes from San Pedro, which is the main takeoff spot. To view these breathtaking landscapes, your pilot will take you on a 20 minutes tandem flight in a harness. If you would like to acquire your own flying license, you can choose to join the course which includes both theory and practical with an experienced instructor, and single flights that come with radio assistance.
To go rafting in the mighty Samana River, you will take a three-hour drive that will lead you to explore the last untouched rainforest and river in Antioquia. The rainforest boasts biodiversity comparable only to that of the Amazon. However, rafting in the Samana River isn’t for the faint-hearted. Its exhilarating white-water expedition charges to the wild jungle, so you will need an experienced guide.
Rafting will also give you the opportunity to try out the fresh Colombian food prepared by the fire. You’ll shelter in hammocks and camp under the stars as you listen to the tropical rainforest. Get to learn about gold mining and traditional fishing practices from the locals who’ll welcome you with big smiles at the site of your raft in the wild country.
One of the best climbing spots is the giant El Peñol in Guatape rock. This is an enormous granite boulder that has routes with sport climbs, which can take you to the top part of the rock. Even if you are not a seasoned climber, you can visit Guatape due to its stunning views.
2. Cultural Tours
Also commonly referred to as the City of Eternal Springs. Medellin is a vibrant city surrounded by beautiful mountains that provides both locals and tourists alike with several cultural activities to enjoy. Some of the best cultural tours in Medellin include:
One of the popular day trips from Medellin is the excursion to Guatape. When you climb to the top part of the El Peñol rock, you’ll have a great view of the big human-made lake. You shouldn’t miss the Guatape tour due to its colorful zocalos.
You can’t visit Medellin without touring an authentic coffee farm. One of the main reasons why most people visit Medellin is because of its coffee, which is famous worldwide. However, you won’t have to travel deep into the heart of Colombia to a working coffee farm. You can find some of the best farmers growing the finest coffee in the whole of Colombia in Medellin. This will allow you to see the origin of your favorite coffee on a full day coffee tour.
Are you aware that Colombia is the second world largest producer of roses and other flowers?. Just outside the Medellin city boundaries, you will find an array of farms whose key specialty is cultivating flowers. These flowers bloom into special arrangements that are referred to as Silletas which are prepared by experienced silleteros or flower arrangers and farmers. A break from your city life into nature may be just what you’re craving for. This tour is run in August.
Put on your favorite walking shoes and enjoy Medellin’s culinary landscape as you tour local restaurants. Visit some of the local food joints as you delight your taste buds with the yummy Colombian gastronomic specialties. Whether you want to take your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you will easily find Colombian favorites like arepa or bandeja Paisa.
Your Medellin visit won’t be complete without touring Comuna 13. Colombia has had a significant transformation, and no other place embodies this attribute like Comuna 13. Therefore, when traveling to Medellin, don’t forget to include this neighborhood which has a wild past but a brighter future. Apart from learning about the rich Colombian history, you’ll also discover new ways of how art can be woven into history in a true atmosphere.
3. Night Life
Like most of the other cities in Colombia, Medellin will offer you a great cup of coffee, tropical weather, and nice people that you will want to hang around with. However, Medellin is also famous for its nightlife. The city comes to life at night with partygoers, great music, and the best night clubs in the entire country. Some of the things that you can do at night include:
According to CNN Travel, Medellin is the hottest culinary scene in South America. There are a variety of new restaurants popping up every day. In fact, Medellin has been labeled as the City of Eternal Springs due to its perma-pleasant weather and its reputation as a foodie destination. You can enjoy yourself at night in one of the chef-owned and operated restaurants with innovative menus.
After paragliding and exploring the natural Medellin beauty, you can enjoy the local cuisine as you wind down at night. It is worth noting that the city is quieter during the weeknight and you can wait for the weekend to see Medellin at its best. However, the slow weekdays can allow you to get a taste of the local cuisine. Some of the Colombian food that you can try include Ajiaco, Arepas, Bandeja Paisa, Empanadas, Trucha, and Mondongo.
Medellin nightlife has something for everyone, from dancing in the salsa clubs to sipping mojitos in the plazas. Although there are several nightlife areas in Medellin, the best one is Parque Lleras. Here, most of the clubs are closed during the day and come to life at night with beautiful lights. The number of people increases, especially over the weekends when locals from all corners of Medellin flock here for alcoholic drinks and to enjoy a night full of fun.
To fully understand Latin America, you have to immerse yourself fully into the dance culture, especially salsa. Colombians have an innate ability to salsa, and the only way you can fit in is by putting on your dancing shoes. Unlike most clubs in the USA, nightlife in Colombia doesn’t allow wallflowers. However, if you never had the opportunity to learn salsa back at home, you can learn the salsa basics and enjoy the Medellin nightlife while doing it.
4. Visit Towns (Pueblos)
Located in a narrow valley, Medellin is one of the most beautiful cities in Colombia with skylines that reach for the heavens, tall office buildings, and high-rise apartments against the jagged peaks visible in all directions. What’s more, Medellin is situated near other remarkable Pueblos which add to the natural marvels, cultural experiences, and local flavor. Some of the towns that you should visit while in Medellin include:
Guatape: Your trip to Medellin wouldn’t be complete without visiting Guatapé. This town is located next to a sizeable human-made lake used for hydroelectricity. This town is also home to El Peñón de Guatapé, a gigantic rock which will offer you fantastic views.
Santa Fe de Antioquia: Also referred to as “The Mother City,” this town is reputable for its well-preserved cobbled streets and colonial architecture. The people here are friendly, and the weather is also good, and it’s the perfect place if you want to escape the big city of Medellin. Plus, a road trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia will take you through spectacular landscapes.
Barbosa: This is a small town located about 35 minutes from Medellin. Because it is hidden from the rest of the world and there is little information about it on the Internet, most tourists don’t know about this gem. Barbosa is a great getaway from Medellin. It boasts streams, natural swimming pools, and waterfalls. It is also a good place to go hiking and horseback riding.
Jardin: If you are planning to spend a longer time in Medellin and visit a destination with few backpackers, then colonial Jardin is the right ticket. Jardin has an unchanged colonial architecture which dates back 140 years ago. This is a place where locals ride down the streets on horsebacks while wearing their cowboy hats, and they congregate in the central square every Saturday night. If you want a quiet retreat away from the busy city, this is an excellent getaway.
Jericó: Often hailed as the Athens of the Southwest, Jerico, has all the ingredients of a great tourist destination. It has well-preserved colonial architecture, religious attractions, and stunning natural landscapes for hiking or paragliding. What’s more, Jericó is among the best coffee towns in the entire country. You should also include this Pueblo on your bucket-list because it overlooks the Rio Cauca canyon which is the second longest river in the country.
Visiting, setting-up your business, or living in Medellin would have been an impossible task two decades ago, but the story has changed. Medellin is a landmark for both business and travel. In fact, a recent post on the Huff Post describes Medellin, Colombia as the ultimate invest and live destination. Medellin has seven economic sectors that you can invest in, including: industries, agribusiness, chemicals, renewable energies, manufacturing, and creative business. Some of the reasons why you should invest in Medellin include:
The city has invested heavily in social urbanism and has promoted public policies that support mass transportation systems. These policies have greatly improved the quality of life of the locals. The administration system has also taken great measures to solve inequality and violence problems by also investing in underprivileged communities.
Quality of Life
Living in Medellin is much more affordable than living in Western Europe or North America. Live and Invest Overseas estimates that the monthly budget of living in Medellin is approximately $1,100 which can even be lower depending on where you decide to live. You also get to save more because of the low utility expenses. The year-round spring climate means that you won’t need to use your HVAC system. The town also has the best hospitals in the country, rare power outages, and reliable internet.
Located in the heart of Colombia, Medellin is strategically located at the entry point for the Latin Market which is close to the U.S. It shares the Chicago time zone for a period of 6 months and the East Coast for the other six months. Therefore, time zones are compatible with the U.S. because they can share the same schedule with New York.
The second largest city of Colombia, Medellin, is the hottest tourist spot today. Despite its drug- and war-plagued history, this city was considered the most innovative city of the year in 2013 by Wall Street. Tourists enjoy visiting Medellin because of the friendly inhabitants, numerous outdoor adventures, cultural tours, the lively nightlife, the beautiful neighboring towns, and the several investment opportunities.
What type of plan would you like to do in Medellin? Medellin Vip can help you to organize your itinerary and everything you’ll need to have an amazing weekend.