Medellín used to be known by many to be the most dangerous town in the entire globe. It has developed over the previous fifteen years into one of Colombia’s most modern cities. The city has gotten much safer, and there is a great metro and cable car system that might compete with the best in Europe. There are also many parks, new buildings, libraries, restaurants, and a thriving tech community.
The city has undergone significant development, and the citizens are proud of their accomplishments. There is a strong sense that Medellin is one of the top places for remote workers and has become one of the world’s “it” towns. Tourists abound, and foreigners (particularly young digital nomads) are staying and retiring here in droves. It was the most cosmopolitan and international city I’d visited in Colombia.
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1. Wander Parque Arvi
This park deserves its entry. The gondola is in the mountains surrounding the city and may be transported from the subway to the park’s gate. The park spans 16,000 acres and includes walkways going to more than 1,500 years. At the park’s entrance, there is a small market and hiking paths. Visitors must now receive a guided tour. It costs 50,000 COP for each trail (the majority of trails are 2-4km in length). Bird viewing tours are also available.
Guatapé is the top day-trip destination from Medellín. It’s a colorful pueblo (village) on the edge of a lake approximately two hours from town. You can tour the surrounding area by speedboat or party boat. It is particularly popular with backpackers who stay a night or two here). The primary attraction is El Peñol, a granite monolith with over 700 concrete stairs cut into its side. For a few thousand pesos, visitors may ascend to the summit and enjoy incredible 360-degree panoramas of the area.
3. Free Walking Tour
One of my preferred activities to accomplish when visiting an unfamiliar town is to take a free strolling walk. They’re ideal for gaining a general impression of a location while simultaneously connecting you with a local expert who will respond to your queries. Do not take any other trips; this is the only free walking tour you will require, and it is the most enjoyable in town. You will receive a wealth of knowledge, and the guides are excellent. Make sure you tip at the end!
4. Comuna 13
This was once the most dangerous region of Medellín. Murder, narcotics, and violent crime were common (the neighborhood is still unsafe to visit at night). You used to have to go through guards to enter this region; if you didn’t live here, you weren’t let in. This has made parts of the neighborhood safer and increased business and trade. It has significantly altered the fabric of the neighborhood. Locals are even flocking here now, assuming that if tourists are visiting, it must be nice!
5. Cementerio Museo de San Pedro
Built in 1842, this cemetery also serves as a museum. Visitors may view the monuments and tombs of many prominent Colombians while learning about their lives and contributions. There are many big marble mausoleums and statues here. Keep a watch out for unusual occasions like midnight tours and movie nights. The cemetery is modest, but it is next to the botanical gardens, so you can visit both.
6. Museo de Arte Moderno
The Museum of Modern Art, located in a refurbished industrialized building, is a beautiful work of art on the premises. There is a lot of exposed area, which gives it a very charming vibe. Many people have a love-hate relationship with modern art (it’s not my personal favorite, I admit), but I quite loved my time here. The collection is tiny, but there is a lovely photographic section on the lower floor. Even if it isn’t your thing, spending a few hours here will give you a flavor of the city’s current art culture.
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