Celebrities in Medellin

Enjoying fruit in Medellin, Colombia

Fruit stall in Medellin

Medellin was once the most dangerous city in Colombia, but it is hard to find any remanence of that time, with people super friendly, the city clean and a party vibe emanating on almost every corner.

Arriving in Medellin on Semana Santa, I decided to visit the stunning Arvi Park on the one day of the year that everyone in Medellin also visits the park – Easter Friday. But while waiting in line, my friend Brian enjoyed a celebrity experience, as at 6’6 tall he was a novelty for the locals and people were trying (and failing) to discreetly photograph him. After lining up for over an hour and making friends with the locals, we managed to catch the very last gondola to the top before the Metro was closed as the park was apparently full. We enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon touring the park and eating at the small but delicious farmers’ market.

After a free dance lesson in our hostel we headed out to the local party area, El Poblado Barrio, for dinner and dancing and joined the locals in the packed main square Parque Lleras.

Dancing: For the best Salsa dancing and bars, head to Barrio Colombia.

Tours: Take the Pablo Escobar tour to gain a fascinating insight into this city’s drug cartel history. For more ideas on things to do in Medellin here.

Day trips: nearby is the small town of Guatapé which is set on a stunning artificial lake that generates hydro electricity and provides the majority of Colombia’s power.

Painted roofs in a suburban barrio

Painted roofs in the suburban barrio

Transport: Medellin has an easy to navigate, cheap and safe Metro system that can take you pretty much anywhere in the city. Getting away from Medellin proved a little challenging, perhaps because it was Easter. But buses were running infrequently to Manizales and were booked out. Flights are often the same price, even when booking late.

Accommodation: I stayed at Paisa City Hostel. It has a kitchen, small bar, free dance lessons, roof top space, is very clean and the staff are friendly. Hot water drops in and out, and the hostel lacks a vibe. Estadio (Stadium) Station is a two minute walk and restaurants, bars and supermarket are a five minute walk.