Medellín has been without a doubt one of my favourite cities to date. To come from one of the most dangerous cities in the world, to completely transform itself into the city you see today is truly incredible. After our mugging in Bogota, we were hesitant about Medellín (to say the least), but a 2 night stay, turned into a 4 night stay very quickly and here are some of my highlights of our stay in Medellín.
El Poblado is known as the tourist district in Medellín. Its where the bulk of accommodation is, but also where so many trendy little cafes, shops and restaurants surround the place. Some were so trendy, that you wouldn’t have been able to tell what city you were in. We felt completely safe in this area, which definitely contributed to our extended stay.
Comuna 13 is the specific neighbourhood in Medellín that was once considered to be the most dangerous. We decided to do a tour – since we were still a bit on edge about wandering around a once dangerous area on our own. We chose the Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour which despite its name, wasn’t overly graffiti influenced until the last half. It was significantly more focused on the transformation of Medellín and how it has developed its poorer neighbourhoods and made them accessible by the use of Metro, Cable Cars and Electrical Escalators up the mountains. Our guide Walter, made the tour really enjoyable and there was so much we would have never learnt if we had just gone to this area on our own.
Botero Plaza was definitely a highlight for me as I am a fan of the artwork created by Fernando Botero. Botero was born in Medellín, and donated a several of his sculptures to the city. They decided to create a plaza with all of these pieces on display, 23 pieces if I’m not mistaken. The building behind the plaza is also quite spectacular with its black and white chess board design.
Guatapé is an excellent day trip from Medellín. We did a tour with Guatapé Tours and we found the whole thing to be well organised. On our way, we stopped at a typical Colombian town Marinilla and then onto El Peñol to climb all 659 stairs up the big rock (for what Colombians say is the best view in the world), and then to Guatapé to marvel at the colourful town and enjoy its zocalos.
Medellín is definitely a city I would love to revisit some day!