Medellin Travel Guide
Introduction to Medellin
If you had told friends and family that you were going to visit Medellin as recently as ten years ago, they would have freaked out, as up to 20 people per day were getting slaughtered in the streets at the hands of the henchmen of drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar.
Things changed quickly since though, as the drug trade settled into the background, and the civil war that had rocked the nation of Colombia began to subside as both sides have begun to seek peace agreements.
These days, people are focusing on Medellin’s potential as a business hub and centre of the arts, which are both things that have increased quality of life immeasurably in this city. if you are looking for a digital nomad hub in Latin America, or you are just seeking a place to chill out for an extended period during your backpacking trip here, Medellin is a place that has much to offer.
Cultural Attractions in Medellin
Culturally minded travelers will want to make the Museum of Antioquia their first stop in Medellin. Filled with the artworks of local sculptor Fernando Botero and mural painter Pedro Nel Gómez, observing what you find in this institution will give you an understanding of the cultural life of this Colombian city. It also contains works from many other Colombian artists, as well as photographs, sculptures, and other forms of creative expression from around Latin America.
While Medellin is a city more famed for its modern architecture rather than the Spanish colonial styles found in other Colombian cities, one building that bucks this trend is the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica, which is located in the downtown core.
Built in the Romanesque style, this cathedral is one of the world’s largest Christian churches built of adobe brick, with over 1.1 million bricks forming its exterior walls. The paintings and the stained glass windows within are among its top highlights, with no less than 76 of the latter type.
Want to see a typical central Colombian village, but don’t have time to make a side trip from the cities? The living history museum known as Pueblito Paisa will give you an opportunity to get a feel for what rural Columbia was like in prior generations.
A spot on replica of a Colombian town as it appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, It contains all the meeting places and businesses that one would expect in a place of this size, from barber shops to churches, as well as a Spanish colonial plaza.
Other Attractions in Medellin
If you are looking for a place to observe the natives of Medellin going about their daily business in a stunning setting, spending some time in Plaza Botero is just the place to do it. With over 20 sculptures installed in the square courtesy of artist Fernando Botero (the person from which this public space takes its name), a fountain, and plenty of trees planted around the plaza, this is a relaxing place to enjoy a fine day in Medellin.
Looking for a great place to get a panoramic photo of the city of Medellin? Taking the Medellin Metrocable up to Arvi Park will give you a vantage point that will allow for sweeping shots of a city that is filled with red brick buildings, and luxurious condo apartments.
As for the park itself, There are over 54 miles of walking trails, and many opportunities to practice outdoor sports such as mountain biking. Don’t miss the outdoor food market, which will give you a chance to sample Colombian cuisine in this part of the country.
Looking to get out of the city on a day trip? One of the best places to go is to Laguna de Guatape, which is a man-made but beautiful lake situated in the countryside just outside of Medellin. Created by a hydroelectric dam that flooded the valley, this place once served as a rural getaway for the drug lord, Pablo Escobar.
Spectacular views can be had from a mass of rock that was deposited here 70 million years ago; the long winding staircase leads up the side, so don’t look down on the way up, and you will soon be enjoying epic views from the top.