Colombia | Medellin Wanderings
“I elected not to do a Pablo Escobar tour, since he brought so much pain and suffering to the people of Medellin.”

Dear Diary | 

December 8, 2020 – December 13, 2020

Here’s a high-level overview of my wanderings in Medellin and Guatape.

Medellin is a great city with better weather than Bogota

I treated myself to a nicer hotel.
The stolen phone and shitty hostels really broke my travel spirit.
So, I needed to reframe and recharge.


  • Explored the city
  • Met up with a friend of a friend
  • Admired the street art
  • Visited the cutest little coffee farm
  • Climbed a giant rock
  • Took a bus into a local neighborhood
  • Scaled the backside of a mountain
  • Learned what it felt like to be out after dark

And, elected not to do a Pablo Escobar tour,
Since he brought so much pain and suffering to the people of Medellin

Medellin Antioquia | Medellin

  • Transportation
    • I flew from Bogota to Medellin on Avianca
    • The drive from the airport into town is breathtaking, especially at night.
    • Taxi drivers will charge you an arm and a leg to get from the airport to the city.
    • The new tunnel makes the trip much shorter, but the toll is very expensive.
    • If you understand Spanish you can order an Uber and meet in the special location at the airport. 
    • My Uber driver made me pay the tunnel fee out of pocket plus the fare. 
    • But, the Uber driver on the way back paid the tunnel fee without asking me, so you might be able to negotiate with them.
  • Area to Stay | El Poblado
    • This is probably the nicest neighborhood in the city. 
    • It has a ton of cute coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and shops.
    • I didn’t partake in the nightlife, but I could tell it was the place to be from all the music and noise. 
  • Area to Stay | Laureles
    • I didn’t visit Laureles myself, but a lot of people recommended it. 
    • I wanted to, but things were pretty spread out, and I was spooked from having my phone stolen in Bogota.
  • Hotel | Celestino Boutique Hotel
    • Beautiful hotel for a reasonable price [~$57/night USD].
    • I needed a serious break from hostels, so I decided to treat myself.
    • I’m 35 years old, used to the finer things in life, and am a light sleeper.
    • So, hostels aren’t really my jam.
    • Plus, after 7 days, my new phone wasn’t fully setup which was a nightmare.
  • Restaurants & Coffee Shops |
    • There were a lot of decent options to choose from in El Poblado.
    • Azul Selva
    • Pergamino Cafe
      • This cafe was located directly across from the hotel.
      • It was perfect for getting some work done or reading a book.
  • Paso [Neighborhood] | Comuna 13
    • Historical neighborhood full of amazing street art.
    • Check out Airbnb Experiences for a guided tour.
    • I liked my tour but didn’t love it. I felt like I was being sold too much.
    • There weren’t a lot of tour options due to COVID.
    • Majority of people wanted to charge me a private tour rate, which I declined.
    • Airbnb Experience here.
  • Secret Hike 
    • Airbnb Experience here
    • This was super cool and wasn’t touristy at all.
    • This guide, Vanessa, spoke very broken English, but that made it more fun.
    • I loved her firecracker personality.
    • We took a bus to her childhood neighborhood [muy authentico] and hiked to the top of a mountain where only locals hang out.
    • Instead of going back down the way we came, we scaled down the back side.
    • We taught one another Spanish and English and shared some laughs.
    • We didn’t reach the neighborhood until dark.
    • Vanessa is fairly light skinned and super small, so two females wandering around at night wasn’t ideal.
    • We took the sky tram to the newly finished light rail downtown.
    • Finding an Uber was challenging and they kept canceling on me.
    • Luckily, Vanessa waited with me until I got one.

Guatape Antioquia | El Penol & Guatape

  • Coffee Farm & Guatape Tour
    • I was the only person on the tour.
    • Thankfully she was nice enough to take me.
    • The host is super sweet, but didn’t have much personality, so trying to have a forced conversation all day was a little exhausting. 
    • Plus, I wasn’t feeling my best.
    • The Finca La Rivera Coffee Tour in El Penol was hands down my favorite experience in Colombia
    • The farmer’s grandson, Justin, was too cute for words. He knew every step of the process and loved helping his grandpa.
    • It’s a family owned farm that produces ~2 tons of coffee a year, opposed to the larger coffee farms in the Colombian Coffee Triangle.
    • Airbnb Experience here.

Have you been or do you want to visit Medellin?
Drop a comment below.

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