Medellin - misunderstood city


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South America » Colombia » Medellin
October 21st 2015
Published: October 21st 2015
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I am sure when most people hear the word medellin they thnk of a dangerous place. Pablo Escobar, drug cartels, violence and crime. For years Colombia has been telling people that things have changed from the 80s but I am not sure that the majority of the world is listening. The young and open minded who visit, yes, but probably not most people who are at home. "Is it scary?" "Are you ok?" were more common questions than "are you enjoying yourself?" and "whats it like?"

I can tell you that Medellin is a fabulous place and not once did I ever feel in any sense of danger. We were meant to stay for 4 nights, instead it ended up being 11! Huge testament to how much i loved the place. We stayed in El Poblado neighbourhood which is probably one of the better ones and more tourist orientated. We stayed in one hostel for a few nights but it was a lot louder than we expected (room next to bar which went on til wee hours) so we moved to a more chilled place and managed to get an amazing double room for a reasonable price, rather than shared dorm. After leaving the north, the escape from the heat was most welcome. Called the city of eternal spring, medellin boats an amzing climate where day time highs varied from 22-29 and overnight lows of 12-18. So the daytime was nice weather but you didnt even need a fan overnight and could actually feel cosy, a feeling i had missed!

We met an irish girl in Santa marta who was travelling herself and she came along with us, her name is Corrina and we both get on great with her. Tourism wise a lot of the sites are from above as it is situated in a valley, asnd there are various cable cars taking you up high and into the barrios and parks. The views are amazing and a good wayto see normal city life, as el poblado is very upmarket and not very representative of the city as a whole. Apparently it only has 2.2 million inhabitants, but looking at it it seems way bigger. We also visited Comuna 13, a colourful area where street art is permitted and is so vibrant. We walked through these neighbourhoods with nothing but smiles and hellos, caught local buses with locals helping us with where to go. As i say , the stereotypical colombian with a gun ready to kidnap you couldnt be further from what we expereienced.

We took the opportunity to go paragliding, something i had never tried. I didnt get any pics due to obvious reasons but it was such a relaxing experience and amazing to feel like a bird! We also done a walking tour where the local guide took us to markets, non touristy areas as well as all the top sites, whilst explaining the history of the city. She gave us loads of tips which helped with the rest of our trip.

Everyone we spoke to told us we had to go to a town called Guatape, 2h outside medellin. There there is a big rock with spectacular views, a beautiful colourful town and boats which take you round the huge expanse of lakes. We walked 740 steps (nearly killed me) b ut it was so pretty. I then tried the typical Medellin food dish which is probably the best and most varied dish I have had in colombia (normally meat, rice and beans). The weather was glorious and we went on a kind of colombian party boat where all the locals were doing their dancing and having beers, it was great to


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us before the colombia game
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landing
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from the top of the rock
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from the boat
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colourful guatape town
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my lunch
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met this absolute beauty


29th October 2015

Medellin - Spanish Classes in Medellin
Hi Helena, Sounds like you fell into the same trap most people do when they come to Medellin. A lot of people never leave. The one thing I'd say to your readers is to stay in Laurleres rather Poblado as it gives more of a Colombian feel. Poblado is a bit touristy and getting even more so. Also your readers should check out Envigado as it has many great local bars and the people are extremely friendly. I've been here 2 months now taking Spanish classes in Medellin in Colombia Immersion. I'd highly recommend it. Like most of your readers who decide to come here I may never leave.

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