Twenty years ago Medellin was one of the most dangerous cities in the whole word. Even ten years ago travelers steered clear of the area. But with Pablo Escobar’s controversial legacy beginning to fade, the city has grown, developed, improved, and invited backpackers and other tourists to see the architecture, the pueblos surrounding it, and the commercial infrastructure. Today is a great stopping point on travels through Colombia.
We spent two full days in Medellin, mostly resting and recuperating from traveling so much to get there (another overnight bus!). Frankly, the best things I can do is make a list of the places we went with my recommendations and links to better sites than mine regarding the city.
We stayed at a great hostel with an amazing owner, but it was in the Belen region, a little far from interesting things to do in city center or the shopping areas. Above is a me in Botero Plaza, the statue garden, all sculpted by Fernando Botero who donated the sculpture to the art museum on the plaza about ten years ago.
Also in the city center, besides endless stalls selling cheap clothing, odds and ends, and soccer balls, are old churches. Because it was Sunday when we stopped by, we went to mass for a bit. It’s a great cultural experience (even if you can’t understand much), and I recommend that travelers go at least once during the time in Latin America.
We tried for ice cream, but that was a total failure. I have given up in ice cream of South America. I must admit, while I like to consider myself adventurous, I know that when it comes to food my tastebuds are very picky. So this dish (which was given to us by mistake) is a Little Debbie brownie surrounded by two odd flavors of ice cream (we couldn’t guess what it was), a pile of shredded cheese with chocolate drizzled over it, and three canned peach slices. As you can tell by the look on my face, I wasn’t impressed. So a word to to the wise: stick with soft serve. Or better yet, in Colombia, try Mimo’s. It’s the best soft serve I’ve found in months.
From Medellin we took a plane to Cartagena, which was an adventure in and of itself.
Suggested Medelling planning blogs: