Medellin was…not bad.
We didn’t love it or hate it. It’s a beautiful city. The consistent red brick buildings against the massive green hills and mountains are like nowhere else we’ve been. We were in Medellin for 10 days. You must remember that in a large city like Medellin, someone could have completely different experiences based on location, food, events, and so on.
We stayed in an Airbnb that I do not suggest. We left a week early because the noise from the bars was so loud we literally couldn’t sleep with earplugs and noise canceling headphones.
The Laureles Neighborhood is great – but you’ll need to request a quiet room. We did this through Inntu Hotel. It’s a four star hotel and I think we paid $35 a night for it. SO. WORTH. IT. There was still noise outside but God bless high quality windows and insulation. Our second half in Medellin was much more enjoyable than the first half.
The Inntul Hotel also handled our taxi to the airport and had a rooftop hot tub and terrace. I only mention this because I think a rooftop area enhances the Medellin experience. The city is one to be SEEN, and it’s eternal spring weather allows for clear views.
You can definitely find all sorts of cuisine in Medellin. From traditional Colombian food to Lebanese, American, Italian and more. Below you’ll find a few of our favs during our 10 days in Medellin. Our top Neighborhoods were El Poblado and Laureles.
Chef Burger – one block from the Inntul Hotel (our second accommodation)
Semilla for coffee and pastries – spacious co-working space with fast WiFi
Delmuri Cafe – breakfast, coffee and a sweet
Café Revolución – cafe, good WiFi
Caduff Pasta Fresca – handmade pasta
Fenicia Comida Arabe – Lebanese food
Hija Mia Coffee Roasters – westernized FOR SURE. Kiwi guy and his Colombian wife own it. You can count on fancy pants avo toast here.
This hike was NOT easy. And we definitely waited until 2pm to start the hike in order to have the lighting we wanted for photos. That meant completing the hike at the heat of the day. Medellin was hazy early in the day, so the goal was to make sure that we had the least amount of haze possible. Cue the afternoon hike.
It is up hill. Period. It’s an out-and-back trek and 2.5 miles round trip. We reached the top in about 45 minutes.
The best part about this hike is that it’s free and you get views of Medellin almost immediately. You may reach the workout equipment half way up and think “oh we don’t need to go all the way up.” BUT YOU DO. It’s not until you reach the VERY TOP that you get 360 degree views. It’s 100% worth it.
While in Medellin, one of our followers told us about Guatapé. We looked it up, and decided to rent a car and take a weekend trip.
We stayed at the Luxé by The Charlee. I have a separate post coming on Guatapé but I will say that your experience will depend on your villa if you choose Luxé by The Charlee. There was no front office, but the location is gorgeous and there are plenty amenities like jet skies, boats, kayaks and paddle boards.
We also did the El Penol hike (photos coming in Guatapé blog). We paid 5,000 for parking, 20-30k per person to enter the hike.
All in all, we’re glad we went to Medellin. If you’re going to be in Colombia or have a desire to visit Colombia, absolutely make time for Medellin. But be prepared for beggars and hagglers. That was one of my least favorite things about this city. Sitting at dinner while people on the street interrupt your dinner multiple times to ask for money. I was also told by several locals to not wear jewelry or watches, and to carry any cash/cards close to my body. It just kind of puts a damper on a place.
Go to Medellin, be careful, stay in a nice neighborhood, get outside, and eat good food.
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