I recently got to spend a few days in Medellín, Colombia. Sure, it was on business… but who says you can’t sneak in a little fun between work obligations. While I’ve spent an extensive amount of time in Europe, Asia, and North America… South America was a relatively new frontier for me. And to be perfectly honest, I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it! The locals were exceedingly friendly, the architectural and natural beauty didn’t disappoint, and (by American standards) everything was SUPER cheap. What’s more is that I met just about every class of traveller, from every part of the globe down there. That’s got to say something great about it, right?
So, I thought a prudent exercise might be to profile each kind of traveller I ran into to illustrate just how awesome this city is for my fellow globe wanders. I hope you enjoy it, and maybe I’ll see you down there on the next go around!
1. The Digital Nomad
There’s a HUGE remote worker presence in Medellín… and for good reason! The cost of living is extremely favorable, the WIFI is stable, and there’s no shortage of trendy coworking/coliving places throughout the city. Nomads will have no trouble finding their peers here, and when luxurious accommodations cost a fraction of what you’d spend on a studio apartment in New York or Los Angeles, the envy-inducing Instagram posts practically write themselves.
2. The Foodie
Latin cuisine already had a special place in my heart, but the food in Medellín absolutely sealed the deal. Whether it was the Chicharones I dug into upon arrival or the Tomahawk steak I enjoyed while salivating over a moonlit, cliffside vista… I’m pretty sure a few extra pounds were amongst the souvenirs that made it back to the States with me. I literally can’t think of a meal that I didn’t enjoy, and if you find yourself in Medellín, the locals will be more than happy to point you in the direction of their favorite eating establishment.
3. The Bachelor Party
Medellín has developed something of a reputation for partying… and after a few booze-filled adventures, it’s easy to see why. While a couple grand would afford you a somewhat modest experience in Vegas, the same amount will afford you absolute king-like treatment. I actually met a couple of entrepreneurs who just launched a business that’s PERFECT for bachelor parties. True Value Tours (TVT) offers 5-days trips that are meticulously crafted to emphasize seamless authenticity alongside ample debauchery. Beautiful women, VIP lounge access, choice accommodations… they’re practically selling the James Bond experience (minus the eye-patched super villain).
4. The Solo Traveller
Are your friends or family driving you nuts? Are you looking for a quick break from the regular grind? Well if so, you should definitely consider Medellín. It’s a quick hop, skip, and a jump from the United States, you’ll have no trouble meeting other travellers to make a few memories with, and the city is incredibly safe.* If you go ahead and book your trip, consider staying in El Poblado. It’s super walkable, very friendly, and you’ll have no shortage of Colombian authenticity to soak in.
* Travelling anywhere carries its own risk, and you should always exercise suitable caution regardless of where you find yourself.
5. The Budget Traveller
As mentioned above, Medellín is VERY affordable by Colombian standards. You’ll have no trouble finding a hotel room for $30/night that rivals what would cost $150/night in the States. Additionally, you’ll save big on food, drinks, and activities… even the most touristic of areas. Even the airfare to get there is unbeatable, thanks in part to the Colombian government subsidizing costs to promote tourism. I booked just two weeks ahead of time and paid around $600 for a round-trip ticket. If you’re more on the ball, you could probably halve that cost!
6. The Thrill-Seeker
Medellín isn’t just about city life! It’s surrounding mountains make for a fair bit of adrenaline-inducing activities. I myself went paragliding (for just $25 USD) and found myself in a dream-like state… soaring alongside hawks, getting lost in the ACTUAL clouds, and watching my feet dangle hundreds of feet above Colombia’s emerald-green landscape. And the options don’t stop there… skydiving and ATV adventures are amongst other ways in which you can really get your blood pumping.
Regardless of which category you fall into as wanderer and adventurer, I’m more than certain you’ll be able to craft an unforgettable experience in Medellín. So if you decide to go, be safe, take pictures, and have a blast!