This past December, we had so much fun exploring the beautiful country of Colombia! During our stay we had the chance to visit Medellin, Guatape, Tayrona, Cartagena and the Islas Rosario and they were all amazing. A fun little thing I like to do when I visit a new country, is to rate the country by these three things: are people nice? Is the food good? and is it cheap? . . .and guess what? Colombia, had all three! 😉
Since there wasn’t a direct flight from Houston to Medellin, I decided to fly United, Houston to Bogota and then hopped on a quick flight on Avianca to get to Medellin and to our other destinations around Colombia.
Pro tip: Avianca is part of Star Alliance like United, so you can still get the miles! 😉
Plaza Botero: This park displays 23 sculptures by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, and it’s located in the “Old Quarter”. Around the park you can find multiple spots to snag a snack.
Pueblito Paisa: This old Antioquia town replica is located on the top of the Cerro Nutibara. This spot also offers a spectacular bird’s eye view of the city, surrounding mountains and valleys!
Metrocable: This “attraction” is literally just a fun type of public transportation. Medellin is one of the few cities that have cable cars as public transportation and the reason behind it is that some the of the poor areas in the city are in hills, so it’s easier for them to get there this way. Pro Tip: When you purchase your metro card, just by a one-way ticket because you can just stay on and circle around!
Comuna 13: This neighborhood used to be one of the most dangerous areas in Medellin, but since 2002 the government has invested in this area by starting community projects and even bringing in a couple of outdoor escalators to help the elderly and disable people in the area get around. All of these changed have caught the attention of tourists and since then, this neighborhood has become one of the most colorful and lively areas in the city! Pro tip: Get a local guide from the neighborhood to give you a tour, some speak English too!
Fun Fact: A couple of Reggaeton singers, including Medellin native Maluma, has filmed music videos in this neighborhood!
Since we didn’t have much time, we decided to take a day trip to the neighboring town of Guatape with a local tour agency called MAXITOURS.
During the tour we got to visit the famous Peñón de Guatape, a large rock that visitors can climb (675 steps) to get a great view of the area and its lively town full of colors and cute artisanal shops. We also had the chance to ride a boat along the Guatape Reservoir and even had a chance to see an old, abandoned mansion that once belonged to famous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar!
We stayed at the Viaggio Medellín Grand Select Hotel. We got a great deal on Expedia and the hotel was in a good location and even included breakfast.
If you are looking for a something more upscale, check out El Cielo, which also has an amazing restaurant!
Or if you are traveling solo or trying to meet new people, stay at Masaya!
We had a fantastic experience at El Cielo, where we had a 15+ course menu that was made to include all of your five senses! It was an amazing experience!
Get some authentic Colombian dishes at Mondongo!
Chill out and hang at the Masaya where you can grab a beer or a coffee.
Make sure to also try some local snacks and treats at a food truck or in the market to have an authentic taste of Colombia!