Medellin – a hip and cool place

As it is for Cartagena I think there is also enough information available about Medellin. So just in short our 2 cents: We liked Medellin a lot! (Maybe “Bogota is the new Berlin”, but Medellin is also a hip and cool place). We didn’t spend there as much time as we’ve loved to (because we also wanted to travel to the coffee region and also not to leave the boat to long alone). Also the climate is really “cool” compared to the hot and often a bit humid Caribbean side of Colombia!

Our highlights: Parque Arví (alone the fantastic view from the cable car going there makes it worth visiting, but also the Parque itself is well worth visiting), el Poblado (a district with many bars and restaurants), “comuna 13” (formerly one of the most dangerous places in the worlds and now a tourist attraction). Medellin is the only city in Colombia with metro. There are many universities, lots of creativity and possibly a very good place to run a startup.

Comuna 13

“Comuna 13”, was one of the poorest districts of the city, in the 80s and 90s it was the scene of bloody and deadly clashes between rival drug cartels, between guerrillas and paramilitary groups and between hostile criminal gangs.
Now it is a vivid example of the transformation of the city towards a hip and creative center. You will find many graffiti and other street art there. The new escalators make the district easily accessible for locals and tourists.

Medellin was also our starting point for a trip to Guatape (spectacular views over some artificial lakes!) and round-trip in the coffee region (including Aquadas, Salamina and Manizales).


Guatape is a colourful touristical town especially known for the nearby “rock”. You can climb that rock and enjoy an amazing 360° view. There are about 700 stairs to go all the way up. The lakes around the rock that make this area so special are artificial. The whole area was flooded in the 70ies for a huge hydro-electric power plant. This resulted in some locals being relocated and tourism having a much bigger role in that area. 
Guatape is about 2 hours form Medellin by bus. The buses go every 30 minutes (during rush hour even more often) from the Terminal del Norte. The bus terminal can be reached by metro (station: Caribe).

Coffee region

We put our impressions from the coffee region in a separate article.

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