We took a small luxury bus from Salento to Medellin which costs €15,- per person and took about 6 hours. Our bus ride eventually took 8 hours because we had to stop several times due to landslides that blocked the road. After being on Curacao for a while, I was really excited to visit a big modern city. We stayed in Poblado which is a nice area with a lot of hotels and restaurants. If we didn’t walk, we would take a taxi and mostly use the app Tappsi. It works the same as the Uber app, you order a taxi, you get a license plate and the name of the driver and you can rate the taxi after the ride. It’s safer to order a taxi via the app and especially for tourists, because the drivers know you’re going to rate them.
We stayed in hostel/hotel Selina but I would not recommend to stay here. Not only is the hostel/hotel pretty expensive compared to other hotels in the area, we got the worst service we’ve ever experienced in a hotel. After the first day we got woken up by construction work on the roof of our room at 06:30 AM. We got another room but this one was half the size of the room that we booked, but they kept insisting it was still a Deluxe Room. At almost the end of our stay, they offered us dinner at their restaurant, but we already ate there and had other dinner plans for our friend’s birthday at El Cielo (more about this great restaurant later on in the blog). We never heard a ‘sorry for your inconvenience’ once, not even when I send an email afterwards to Selina (it’s a big hostel/hotel chain). I actually haven’t heard back from them at all. There are plenty of other nice hotels in Poblado to choose from!
Besides our bad hotel experience, Medellin is a modern and lively city and I’m definitely going back!
What to do in Medellin?
Again, I live on Curacao and the shopping options aren’t that diverse, so I go all out when I have the chance 😉 You can find multiple big shopping malls near Poblado. We visited Santafé Mall & El Tesoro Shopping Park.
Visit Guatape & El Peñol
Guatapé is a colorful small town about 1,5 hours drive away from Medellin. We decided to do an one day tour. We stopped at El Peñol first; the world’s third largest stone. You’re able to go to the top of the stone by a stairway of 675 steps. The breathtaking view is definitely worth the steps! After El Peño, we continued our trip to Guatapé which is one of the most colorful and cutest towns in Colombia.
Barrio Transformation Tour
One of my favorite things during our stay in Medellin: the Barrio Transformation Tour. With a small group and a tour guide we visited a barrio (neighborhood) of Medellin that we probably wouldn’t have visited on our own. Not because it’s not safe, but because it’s far from the area where we stayed in Medellin. And Medellin is huge! I loved walking through the lively streets of the barrio, meet the locals and to hear about the city’s history and transformations. We also learned a lot about the governments education & health system which was very interesting!
Ready for a little adventure? Go Paragliding! We booked our tour via Parapente San Felix. They send us a Whatsapp on the day we were going to paraglide, to confirm that the weather conditions were good and to send us the license plate of the taxi driver that was going to pick us up. At the paragliding spot, I was surprised to find out that we were going to land on the same spot as we were going to take-off. I thought that we would descent and land somewhere down the mountain. I didn’t know much about paragliding 😉 The view over the city & the mountain is breathtaking and I can’t even describe the feeling when you’re up in the air. An experience we will never forget!
Where to eat in Medellin?
Where shouldn’t you eat should be the question. There are so many different kind of restaurants in Medellin. These are the ones we enjoyed the most:
- Mercado del Ingresso. This indoor food market is food heaven for all the food lovers out there!
- La Causa. With a Peruvian & Japanse cuisine, it’s a combo of two of my favorite dishes: sushi & ceviche.
- El Cielo. This is not a dinner, but an experience! Our 13 course menu was full with surprises; from eating melted chocolate from your hands to finding out the plant on our table was eatable.