ABOUT MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA
Things To Do In Medellin
Visit The City of Eternal Spring
Since we’re headquartered here, we thought that we would talk about it a little bit before moving onto the itineraries. We believe that Medellín is the best place in Colombia to start a motorcycle trip.
Medellín is truly a cosmopolitan city with a million things to do. Everyone loves it here and the city is a fantastic travel destination with a wealth of fun activities.
People-watching in Parque Lleras - Medellín’s premier nightlife hub is a brilliant spot for some people watching, especially on Thursday through Saturday nights when the city’s hip young crowd hits the streets. Good food and even better clubbing attract locals and tourists alike, fusing into one huge partying scene that spills out of cool bars and clubs. The “park” in the name is a bit of a misnomer: this is essentially just two city blocks full of cafés, restaurants, bars, and people.
Take the cable-car to Parque Arvi - Parque Arvi is a large nature reserve on the north-eastern fringes of the city. Taking the cable car to the top makes a perfect half-day trip and gives you a birds-eye view of the city while flying over neighborhoods and taking in sweeping views of the valley below.
Visiting Parque Arvi Is Pretty Simple:
Take the Metro train to the Acevedo station.
Get off there and take the Santa Domingo cable car and ride it all the way to the top.
Get off there and transfer to the Parque Arvi metrocable. This will take you the rest of the way to the park.
Essentially a collection of five distinct parks, Arvi boasts almost 150 species of exotic birds and butterflies and a lot of endemic flora. Open-air produce markets are the norm on weekends. With more than a dozen walking routes ranging between 1.5 and 4 hours, guided tours departing every half hour, a butterfly farm, zipline and so much more, Parque Arvi has enough to keep you busy for days on end. Make sure to bring some extra money as well as a jacket, or even a rain jacket, as it can get chilly and sometimes rain.
Paragliding in Medellin - The mountains of Medellín make it the perfect place to go paragliding and get some stunning aerial views of the city. Located just outside of Medellín and 10 minutes from our office, is the town of San Felix, known as the paragliding capital of Medellín.
Guided Tour Of Comuna 13 - For decades, Comuna 13 was the kind of place not even the authorities could enter. The most dangerous hood in the most dangerous city in the world, however, has undergone one of the most spectacular transformations in all of Colombia and now offers fantastic guided tours to those who wish to see beyond the sparkly façade the city has tried hard to build. Brilliant street art and colorful characters are the primary reasons to visit this suburb. New infrastructure includes escalators and a brand-new cable car that has made life easier for locals. It has also literally opened up this fascinating place to outsiders.
Pablo Escobar Tourism - Given Narcos’ extreme popularity, Escobar tourism has actually become pretty popular. You can visit his grave in the Jardíns Montesacro Cemetery in Itagui located in the south part of Medellín. You can also take guided tours of the most prominent Pablo-related places around Medellín. This kind of dark tourism is not exactly well-received in the country but there are a few tours that are heavy on the history without feeling like they’re glorifying the most murderous drug-lord there was. Escobar was, at the end of the day, a pivotal character in Colombia’s history and, when done well and with respect, these kinds of historical tours can be very insightful.
Real City Tours - Real City Tours offers walking tours of Medellin. The tours are free although you have to book in advance. The guides are excellent and explain the history of the country as well as the transformation of Medellin in a really good way. It’s a very comprehensive and well-done walking tour and well well worth your time. You’ll definitely want to tip the guide when the tour is done.
Eat breakfast (or dinner) at Las Hamacas or La Variante - Located one block from our office, these two restaurants have authentic Colombian food at great prices, but the best part may be the views. Located on a hill outside of the city, the restaurants have panoramic views of Medellín and the entire Aburá Valley.
Medellín has two airports but the one that you will fly into is a nice international airport called José María Córdova International Airport (MDE) which is located just outside of Medellín in a town called Rio Negro. The airport is relaxed and easy to navigate. It's not massive and chaotic like Bogotá with 30 million people traveling through. Getting to and from the airport is quick and easy and due to the opening of a new tunnel it now only takes 20-30 minutes to get from the airport to the El Poblado section of town, the part of Medellin that is most visited by travelers. Once you get off the plane the flow is pretty calm and straightforward. First thing, you go through immigration. Depending on what time you arrive there can be some pretty long lines in immigration but they usually aren't that bad. The people at immigration will ask to see your passport, where you will be staying, and how long you will be here. Have the address of your hotel ready because they’re going to be asking for it.
Next, pick up your suitcase and go through Customs. Here they may wave you through without inspecting your baggage or you may be subjected to a random inspection. The inspection is usually pretty quick and straightforward, and you are soon on your way. Don’t worry, they aren't trying to shake down foreigners and tax people for things in their suitcase.
Once you clear customs, it's time to find a taxi, and there will be no shortage of people asking you if you want to take a taxi. Blue and white taxis are airport taxis. You may wish to use these or call an UBER. If you’re approached inside the terminal by a person trying to sell you a taxi ride, we advise you not to book with them and to instead go directly to the taxi stand just outside the doors and book your trip with them.
The City of Eternal Spring is a pretty self-explanatory nickname for Medellín. Medellín is the perfect and most livable Colombian destination and upon landing, you will find yourself in perfect springtime weather. Most days we wake up to nice cool mornings with temperatures around 17°C degrees (63°F) which rise to high temperatures around 27°C (82°F) in the afternoon before dropping back to cool temperatures again in the evening.