Medellin is located at 1495 m a.s.l., just 261 mi (420 kms) away from the capital Bogota. It is known as "The eternal spring city" or the "mountain's capital" nicknames that reflect it's attractive weather. It's history stars a number of indigenous tribes that lived on the region since V b.c. The first contact between the spaniards and the people of the Valley of Aburrá happened in 1541, although due to the lack of precious minerals and the resistance from the locals, the area was initially abandoned.In 1616 Medellín was founded with the name of "Poblado de San Lorenzo". In 1826, Medellín was named as capital of the Antioquia department by the National Congress. Modern day Medellín is a prosperous city in constant industrial and social development.
Travel tips for Medellin
-Bring light clothes to feel comfortable under heat.-Even during the rainy season, the day maintains nice temperatures. Being in Medellin is always very pleasant.-Bring comfortable shoes, if it's for long trekkings better, since the city counts a large variety of places that you can visit by foot.-In Medellin all the museums open from Tuesday to Sunday. You will find a great variety with different thematics. Visit them, to learn about the city and country's history.-If you go to the Plaza Cisneros you will find a helpful tourist information office.-If you have planned to move around the regions in Colombia, you might be asked to have the yellow fever vaccine. Other vaccines that you should consider -in case you travel to the jungle- are the tetanus vaccine and the hepatitis A/B.The electric current kind used in Colombia is 110-volt AC (110 V), with a frequence of 60 Hz. We recommend you to have a plug adapter if you travel to places that use other voltage to avoid that the electronic devices suffer a short-circuit and don't work.
Best time to visit Medellin
The best time to visit Medellin is the period from December to February, the dry season. But also July is a good moment.
Climate in Medellin
Medellin waits for the travellers with its temperate climate, subtropical and monsoon, with temperatures between 64 °F (18 °C) and 82 °F (28 °C) depending on the season.Owing to its location in a mountainous territory, full of vegetation, the environment is cold and pleasant with soft winds, reason why it's known as the city of the eternal spring.
Things to do in Medellin
Medellin is a very important historic destination, from the beginning was a dynamic business center, exporting a great diversity of resources. Among the most interesting tourist attractions to visit are the urban center, the bothanic garden and the Arvi park.
Nightlife in Medellin
Dulce Jesus Mio
Location: Carrera 38 N° 19 - 256 Hours: 8:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Rates: 10000 COP Enjoy the most coloured and funny of the paisa culture, its dances, costumes and party spirit in this place of charming decoration, with live shows, celebrities who liven up on the tables, delicious appetizers and drinks that will make happier your rumba nights in Medellin.
Location: Carrera 13 N° 93B -49 Hours: n/d Rates: 8000 COP - 30000 COP Surround yourself with the warmest and most familiar Latin atmosphere at this nightclub of live shows and good music. Let you go by the great variety of its cocktails and feel the emotion in each sound and dance of the Kukaramákara party.
Trilogia Live Bar
Location: Carrera 43G N° 248 Hours: 8:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. Rates: 15000 COP - 50000 COP Stages that spin around with live music bands? Do you believe it? This peculiar and innovating night entertainment is the one you find in Trilogia, where the band plays on a rotatory stage for the delight of the spectators. The music is so varied that you can listen from 80's rock to the last rythms. The only thing that is not varied is the food menu and the staf can be slow. But it's recommended if you look for good music and a different diversion type to live your nights in Medellin.
Where to eat in Medellin?
Location: Calle 10 N°38 / Carrera 70 N° C3 - 44 Hours: 11:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Rates: from 15000 COP - 60000 COP The typical gastronomy experience of Medellin is waiting for you in Mondongo's, where each plate is served abundantly and without delay. The attention of the staff is personal and we must emphasize it, as well as the seasoning of the meals. The store is modest, but large and welcoming, but it's easily full in lunch time as is one of the best restaurants of the city. You must taste the unmissable mondongo, considered by lots of diners the best of Latin America.
Romero - Cocina Artesanal
Location: Calle 10 con Carrera 33. Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Rates: from 24000 COP - 45000 COP A restaurant of pizzas and pasta prepared handmade in a great environment, where you will be looked after on the best way. But there are also other dishes at the menu, very varied, even with vegetarian plates. We suggest the volcan de nutella o the tomato soup, that you will want to taste again.
Location: Carrera 42 N° 4 Hours: 12:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Rates: from 76000 COP- 300000 COP The exclusiveness of this restaurant is due to its great quality, service and the exquisite flavor of its plates and wines. In La Provincia international plates are served, standing out the ones made of shellfish, all of it served with the finest wines. If you look for the best, but a more expensive, find it here.
The tourist places to see in Medellin are:
Location: Calle 53A, Antioquia Hours: all day Rate: free entrance The park was opened in 1892 and has on the center an equestrian statue of the liberator Simon Bolivar from 1923. It's one of the main culture focal points of the city, since, besides being surrounded by the main historic constructions, at the park there are outdoors artistic activities made for the delight of the general public.
Catedral Metropolitana de Medellín
Location: Carrera 48 N° 56 - 81, on the north of the Parque Bolívar. Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Rate: free entrance The official name is Catedral Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepcion de Maria and was built during the second half of the 19th century. The construction took more than 55 years and was finished in 1930. Nowadays it's the biggest historic construction in Medellin. Inside the cathedral we can find art works of different kind as the Spanish stained glasses or the marble sculpted fountains. In 1982 the cathedral was declared national monument due to its historic and cultural relevance for Medellin.
Location: Calle 53, on the downtown Hours: all day Rate: free entrance This square is the last dwelling of the voluptuous sculptures from a Colombian plastic artist of fame, Fernando Botero. The 23 statues were placed in 2002, coming from various countries of the world, integrating to the renewd and joyful urban life.
Jardín Botánico de Medellín
Location: Calle 73, N 51D Hours: 9.00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Rate: free entrance The city center is not only rich in architecture and culture but also in wild nature. Its catchphrase is The garden is yours, and so this place welcomes each visitor with several environments, suitable for a quiet hiking, observing the plants variety and the flowers. Inside the garden there is a restaurant and the most noted attraction ordquideorama, a place where orchids are born all the time.
Location: Calle 30A N° 55-64, Cerro Nutibara Hours: 5.00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Rate: free entrance This place is a replica of a typical Antioquia town, located at the peak of the Nutibara peak. There you will find typical restaurants with the best paisa gastronoy, besides handicraft street market with a wide variety of options not to return with empty hands.
Location: Via to Piedras Blancas (taking the metro cable) Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Rate: free entrance Nature trails, indigenous routes lost in time, ideal areas to camp an calm hiking is what waits for you at this eco-tourist park of more than 1700 hectares of misty forests, inhabited by the flower diversity and wild fauna of Medellin.
The things to do in Medellin
Paragliding in Medellin
Location: km. 6, Corregimiento San Félix - at 50 min. from Medellin Rate: 95000 COP x 10 min. of flight The heights that surround Medellin are the perfect scenary to leap in an out of the ordinary adventure. You can see as eye of bird all the extension of the valley of Aburra and the river Medellin, challenging the mountains from the highest point. To practice this sport you will fly with an instructor.
Location: in front of the dam Porce III, at 74.6 mi (120 km) from Medellin Rate: 80000 COP Pure adrenalin is what you will experience if you jump from this height of 70 meters, surrounded by the lush jungle and the breeze of these mountains. Are you ready to feel that unique discharge of adrenalin, going thorugh each centimeter of your body? Don't you dream, Medellin is also a synonymous of adventures.
Cavalcades at the Parque Arvi
Location: Parque Arvi Rate: 143500 COP Take pleasure in all the nature and landscapes of the Parque Arvi with total comfort, going across large distances among before inaccesible trails, with the safety of a horse. The route has guides, experts in horse breeding and break through the lush forest area.
Typical dishes in Medellin
It's a filling food, of unbeatable quantity and variety of flavors. The most representative you can taste in Antioquia region. The main feature is that is served in big plates, full of varied food. In a tray like that you can find beans, pork rind, chorizo, rice, fried eggs, avocado, banana and corn cakes. It's a plate as to be satisfied for a while.
Arroz con pollo
A classic among classics. It's prepared frying the garlic and onion for afterwrds add chicken pre-boiled. Then you add paprika and peas with salt and pepper and spices as you like. At the end you add the rice, and your dish is ready to your delight.
Brevas con arequipe
the breva is simillar to the fig, but not so sweet. To prepare this dish you make an incision to the brevas and boil them in water for 10 min. During the process you add sugar and lemon drops. After boiling, you cut the fig in two without separating them completely. And then you fill it with arequipe (condensed milk).
One of the most traditional dishes is made of banana, vanilla essence, sugar and milk cream. This plate is put in oven until being a sweet delight for lunch time.
It's a typical Colombian soup, but the preparation is different in each region. When you prepare this substantial soup, you boil various meats and vegetables, seasoned with spices of diverse flavors as cumin and pepper. It's a very nutritional dish with a lot of calories, just ideal if you need to reinstate energies after a long route in Medellin.
Arepa de choclo
Choclo is nothing different but corn, also called chocolo. Arepas are little omelette prepared with ground choclo and put on a banana leaf, and roasted later in a grill. Inside you put white cheese, cut in little strips or ground. Ready succulent plate to taste!
How to reach Medellin
Medellin by train
There is no route of trains available that connects Bogota to Medellin. Besides that, inside the city there is the Metro de Medellin that goes across the main streets of the city. Furthermore, there is a service of tramway and cable railway for the to the places of great height.
Medellin by flight
The distance between Bogota to Medellin is 148,5 mi (239 km) in a straight line. Aeropuerto Internacional Jose Maria Cordova is the international airport in Rionegro (Antioquia) that has a lot of flights. There are direct flights from cities in Colombia as Bogota, Pereira and other cities abroad as Madrid, Bilbao, London and Miami. The most frequent airlines are Avianca, Satena, Latam and Copa Airlines and the most common international airlines are United Airlines, Air Canada, Iberia, KLM and British Airways, among others.
Medellin by bus
The distance from Bogota to Medellin, on the highway, is about 301 mi (484 km), travelling by bus for 8 hours. There are many bus companies that cover this route, as are Expreso Bolivariano, Fronteras, Brasilia, Rapido Ochoa and Arauca. Those terrestrial companies leave from cities as Ipiales, Florencia, Cucuta, Neiva, Cali, Pasto and Palmira, among others.
Accomodations in Medellin
Arcadia Hostel Medellín
Location: Calle 11A N° 31a - 188, El Poblado Rates: 23000 COP - 94000 COP It's a low-cost hostel well placed, but it's only recommended for back-packers and travelers with low budget that won't be disturbed by the modest service. Inside you will find a shared cooking, living room, terrace, wifi and rooms with private or shared bathroom. The breakfast is excellent, is one of the services that you will enjoy during your stay.
Location: Calle 5g N° 32 - 181 Edificio Pacande 301, El Poblado Rates: 20000 COP - 98000 COP This lodging is a good option if you don't have a high budget for accomodation (the quality-cost relationship is great). The personal attention is pleasant and the rooms are comfortable and very clean, all of it in a central location, at 700 meters from the Parque Lleras and at 2.4 mi (4 km) from the Pueblito Paisa. You will have a shared kitchen, a living-room, a terrace and private/shared bathrooms.
Hotel Botero Medellín
Location: Carrera 50A N° 53 - 45, La Candelaria Rates: 70000 COP - 105000 COP Close to the Parque Bolivar, the Hotel Botero has wifi, sauna, gym and a smart decoration, well furnished. In the morning benefit from the excellent american breakfast which consist of Colombian coffee, fresh juice or chocolate, breads, jam and eggs.
62 Prado Guesthouse
Location: Calle 61 # 50A - 60, La Candelaria, Medellin, Colombia Rates: 68000 COP - 123000 COP It's located in one of the most exclusive places of Medellin, close to the Plaza Botero and the Antioquia Museum. The place is decorated on the European style. The rooms are not the exception, besides being properly furnitured. Inside this calm hotel you will have wifi, cable TV, restaurant, breakfast à la carte and private bathrooms.
Casa del Reloj
Location: Carrera 35 N° 7-2, El Poblado Rates: 336000 COP - 2085000 COP This exclusive lodging is located on the heart of the Zona Rosa, with appartments which offer air conditioning, screen TV, large and pleasant beds and long distance wifi. Some appartments are so roomy that have their own living-room and kitchen. Doubtlessly, one of the most agreeable experiences in accomodation, but expensive, even if it's justified by the quality of the staff and the exclusiveness of the services offered.
Important dates in Medellin
Feria de las Flores
ending July, begining of August
It's one of the most waited for events in Medellin, celebrated every year, and with a length between 10 and 12 days from 1957. The visitors will live an amazing experience admiring the parade of silleteros (people who charge flowers on their back) and the traditional flowers exhibition that colour of spring all the environment of the city.
Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria
February, the 2nd
This day the city celebrates one more year of the patron saint of the city, the Virgen de la Candelaria, with a massive audience to the temple of her name.
Feria Taurina de la Macarena
in January and February
The lovers of the tradition and passion of the called wild festival can not miss this fair, where the most noted representatives of the bullfighting are joined.