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  • airplanemode_activeVuelos hacia Medellín (MDE)
Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia. It has over 3 million people and is the capital of the department of Antioquia. It's set in a valley running south to north just under one hour by plane from Bogotá. In 2013 Medellin was awarded the Innovative City of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, outranking rivals New York and Tel Aviv.
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  • filter_dramaUnderstand
    • Recent History

      Let's just get it out of the way up front: throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Medellín was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world for its size, and had a highly disproportional homicide and kidnapping rate. It was the home of the drug lord Pablo Escobar and the so-called Medellín Cartel, who virtually took over the city during that time. Since his demise in the mid-1990's, the cartel was disbanded and the city rebounded tremendously. In 1991 there were 6500 murders in the city, by 2009 the murder rate decreased to 2900 [url=http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1967232,00.html].]The rate of murders per 100.000 people has dropped from 184 in 2002 to 38 in 2013. [http://www.medellincomovamos.org/seguridad-y-convivencia[/url]

      In April of 2014 the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning regarding Colombia: Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Colombia each year for tourism, business, university studies, and volunteer work. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogota and Cartagena, but violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities. [http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/colombia-travel-warning.html].
      It is safe to say that the city is better off today than 20 years ago. Paisas, the residents of Medellin, are proud of their city's progress, and are ready to move forward with vigor. Many parts of the city are very safe - especially el Poblado where you can walk day or night, including Calle 10.

      Medellín is a vast city built north to south in the Aburrá valley and surrounded on either side by majestic mountain ranges. The wealthier classes live in the well-protected hillside neighborhood of El Poblado and Envigado (SouthEast) and Laureles (West and South of downtown). This is far removed from the action and commotion which are found in the city's center. There are the busy markets and a thriving street life that make up much of the city's charm. The city is home to a half-dozen universities, accounting for a vibrant cultural and nightlife scene fueled by thousands of young adults from all over the country. Medellín is also Colombia's second largest industrial center, and home to factories making everything from designer clothing to trucks. The city's northern hills are flooded with rural refugees from the ongoing civil war and their ingenuity in making a living is impressive. People sell anything from crayons to guinea pigs to garden earth in the bars in order to make a living.

      As a relatively newer city, the architecture has a decidedly modernist appeal, which goes hand in hand with the progressiveness of its residents. Medellin also has the first (and only) Metro system in Colombia. And, for international travelers, Medellín is perhaps most famous for the Botero Museum, whose namesake is one of the most famous modern artist alive today. It is also known for its perfect climate, as witnessed by its nickname "city of the eternal spring". Enough to make your trip worthy.

      Traveler be aware: The best advice is to use common sense. Remember, common sense is the least common of all senses. As modern and picturesque as it may seem, listen to advice from the locals as to neighborhoods to stay out of.

    • Metropolitan Area

      Medellín is surrounded by 8 smaller towns and together they form the Area Metropolitana [url=http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Área_Metropolitana_de_Medellín]]with almost 3.5 million people. These other towns are: Bello, Itaguí, Sabaneta, La Estrella, Caldas, Copacabana, Girardota and Barbosa. The neighboring town of Envigado does not belong to this administrative association even though it is closer than many of the mentioned above. Medellín is a true conglomerate of towns and you will find it difficult to tell the borders between these municipalities.
      Located east of Medellín is the valley of Rionegro [http://www.rionegro.gov.co/[/url] which is larger and higher in the mountains. This area holds some of the most important factories, recreational grounds and suburbs of the city, as well as the International Airport.

    • Climate

      The weather in Medellín [url=http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/local/COXX0020?from=recentsearch]]is quite mild, and the city lives up to its reputation as the City of everlasting spring. Average daily temperatures are 22ºC (71ºF) , range from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius (60º-85ºF). Humidity is comfortable in the 50%-70% range. Due to its proximity to the equator there is little variation in the seasons. Due to its altitude (1,500 Mts. or 5,000 feet above see level) and moderate overcast skies, Medellin stays cool, with an occasional couple hours of strong sunshine.

      As Medellín is located in a tropical country, the absence of air conditioners in Medellin often takes foreign visitors by surprise. Air conditioning is used in downtown areas. Cool air comes from the mountains surrounding Medellin on all sides, and provides Medellin with the perfect climate. At night the temperature is usually in the 10-15ºC (50-60ºF) range, and depends mostly on whether it is raining. The majority of restaurants are open air, without walls, because of the climate.

      There is a new weather info page from the city of Medellín at [http://www.clima247.gov.co[/url].

    • GPS coordinates & Official Time

      At the local airport Olaya Herrera the coordinates are Longitude -75,60 and Latitude 6,22.
      Altitude is 1.490 meters above sea level.

      You can check the official time at this link [http://horalegal.sic.gov.co]

  • filter_dramaTalk
    Spanish is the official language in Colombia. Few locals are bi-lingual - if they are, then English is usually their second language. In the more touristic areas you'll find signs written in both Spanish and English, but the difference between the languages isn't so pronounced that you'll be able to navigate far easier than in countries with a different script entirely. If you do get stuck, people are more than willing to try and help out.
    • Traditional idioms

      The conventional Spanish spoken by people from Medellín and its surroundings is closely related to ancient Spanish from the north (Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country) [http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombianismo#Dialecto_paisa_o_antioque.C3.B1o]

    • Urban Modern idioms or Parlache

      Under-served kids in the city have assembled a wealth of new expressions that have fascinated scholars and artists. Many local movies like La Vendedora de Rosas [url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0157154/]]depict this urban language called Parlache [url=http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parlache[/url]]in its own idiom. Dialectologist have gather together a dictionary [http://www.lalibreriadelau.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/10435?sid=c4ae2847d3b56010e152d5327ef906ec[/url].

  • filter_dramaGet in
    • International Airport

      Medellín is served by José María Córdova International Airport [url=http://www.airplan.aero/content/el-aeropuerto],]located in the nearby city of Rionegro. International non-stop flights are available to and from [[Quito[/url]], [wiki=0cb9cde516c38ed84dc1f3f2b5556ed3]Lima[/wiki], [wiki=0d2268d462cd08b20b7508c3fc0fde5e]Curacao[/wiki], [wiki=0127e714ebf6a3a25e4fdd721ecb36ed]San Salvador[/wiki], [wiki=0b4596f8efe110dc55bbe564213dfb33]Mexico City[/wiki], [wiki=0f5de708d2f6808ffb0c3893b2b8964a]Miami[/wiki], [wiki=c4e56d069dc336ed1bbb573ded103073]Ft. Lauderdale[/wiki], [wiki=8b1c40ce6629723de95905617aaf5743]Atlanta[/wiki], [wiki=d97e023dce2bb237a0d44f46d8ee9438]New York City[/wiki] and [wiki=6314044c3803213e9fd3f3ecf8c90d65]Madrid[/wiki] with easy connections to Buenos Aires, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Rio and other places.

      [wiki=770aeea4e450b3fef97ba33dc5d1926c]Panama City[/wiki] has 3 airports and there are non-stops flights to each of these airports from Medellín (Tocumen: COPA, Panama Pacifico International: Viva Colombia and Albrook: AirPanama).

      Airlines serving this airport are: American Airlines [url=https://www.aa.com],]Delta Airlines [url=https://www.delta.com[/url],]Avianca [url=http://www.avianca.com[/url],]Iberia [url=http://www.iberia.com[/url],]COPA [url=http://copaair.com[/url],]LAN [url=http://www.lan.com[/url],]Spirit Airlines [url=http://www.spiritair.com[/url],]JetBlue [url=http://www.jetblue.com/[/url],]AeroMexico [url=http://aeromexico.com[/url],]Insel Air [url=http://www.fly-inselair.com[/url],]AirPanama [url=https://www.airpanama.com[/url].]VivaColombia [url=http://www.vivacolombia.co[/url]]is the largest low-cost airline in Colombia and its hub is at this airport.

      Domestic flights have frequent service to [[Bogota[/url]], [wiki=e3bed28b347f26bfb1d0c9b9bda2712b]Cali[/wiki], [wiki=d4c664f7919646129d2771b6df9d77a3]Cartagena_(Colombia)[/wiki], [wiki=8b509f03d07fa64ed064953a4197ad01]Barranquilla[/wiki], [wiki=4f0c01b2d2380717417e6685ea0d48ab]Bucaramanga[/wiki], [wiki=ddec2d72d6c0f2fb5ea9c8586b9207c2]Cúcuta[/wiki], [wiki=bd0eafa39e382466f8b1c0cc3feee449]San_Andrés_and_Providencia[/wiki], [wiki=c9689ed7489e0f1f49bdcbebb5342fc5]Santa Marta[/wiki].

      A taxi from Rionegro's International Airport to the city is COP $70.000 depending on where you are going. Heading to the center or to Poblado takes around 45 minutes. Sharing a cab is common, you pay COP 15.000 per person (Capacity of 4 passengers in a car, 8 in a mini-vanl), they will drop you off at San Diego near a large shopping mall. Note this is a flat fee for most destinations in the city.

      Small buses are also available for around COP 6.000, the last stop is right by Metro Parque Barrio.

      Official airport buses depart and arrive
      to/from the airport behind the Hotel Nutibara (Cra. 50 & Ca. 53) approximately every 15 minutes until 9:00 p.m. for COP $9,000 (December 2015) per person. However, this area's safety is questionable after dark, especially for first time travelers. Take into account the journey takes a little more than 1 hour.

      There is helicopter service connecting the international and domestic airports. It runs every 30 minutes only from 6 AM to 6 PM. The flight takes 10 minutes. You can make the purchase online (Aviatur [http://www.aviatur.com/helicopteros]) or at the airports. The cost is COP 150,000 (around 52 USD) and the beautiful aerial views of the mountains and the city are free.

      Avianca has VIP lounges in both the domestic and international areas. COPA has a new VIP lounge in the international gates.

    • Domestic Airport

      There is a small local airport Olaya Herrera [url=http://www.aeropuertoolayaherrera.gov.co/ppal.php]]close to downtown and it is very convenient for regional and domestic travel, with non-stop flights to 23 destinations. This airport is only open during daylight hours (dawn to dusk or 6 AM to 6 PM).

      Airlines: Aerolínea de Antioquia -ADA- [url=http://www.ada-aero.com[/url],]Satena [url=http://www.satena.com[/url],]EasyFly [url=http://www.easyfly.com.co[/url].]Also charter flights from Searca [url=http://www.searca.com.co[/url].]The airline LAN [url=http://www.lan.com[/url]]operated at this airport until February 2015. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Olaya_Herrera_Airport[/url]

    • Bus

      Medellín has two bus terminals (North and South) managed by the same company and share a single website [url=http://www.terminalesmedellin.com].] Both terminals have mid-size shopping malls in the premises. For a complete list of the destinations and transport companies check the webpage.

      * The North terminal is much larger and it is connected with Metro station Caribe and the rail system (Although passenger rail transport in Colombia is quite limited). The buses serve cities North and East of Medellín (Cartagena, Santa Marta and Bogotá included).

      * The South terminal is next door to the domestic airport Olaya Herrera (closest Metro station El Poblado but not within walking distance). Serves towns South (Armenia, Manizales, Pereira, Cali).

      Usually you have to know your destination, then find out which company takes you there, go and purchase the ticket (only a few have online sales).
      There is a commercial website, Clickbus [https://www.clickbus.com.co[/url], that integrates the ticket sales for the largest companies.

    • Car

      There are four roads leading to Medellín from all cardinal points. From Bogota you can take Autopista Medellín and head west 7-9 hours with beautiful scenery. From Pereira, Cali and the south take road 25 towards Medellín. If coming from the Atlantic coast (Cartagena, Barranquillia) take route 25 south to Medellín (aprox. 11 hours). Of note, there is no road connecting Panamá with Colombia.

      * Trains are scarce and unreliable in Colombia. It is not possible to arrive in Medellín by boat.

  • filter_dramaGet around
    Most of the city of Medellín is built on a grid system. Carreras (streets) are abbreviated as Cr, Cra, K, kra or Crs and run parallel to the river from South to North.
    The calles (also streets) cross the Carreras and run from East to West. Calles are abbreviated as C, Cll or Cl.
    Avenidas, abbreviated as Av, are usually larger and main streets. The numerical system for the Avenidas is used but some have names that are more commonly used such as Avenida el Poblado or Avenida Oriental.
    There are a few streets called Transversales which usually refer to wide Carreras atop the mountains in El Poblado neighborhood. The most famous are transversal Intermedia, Inferior and Superior. Along Laureles neighborhood you can also find Diagonales and Circulares.

    Each address consists of a series of numbers, for example: Calle 50 # 65 - 8 which indicates that the building is on street 50 (Calle 50) 8 meters ahead from the intersection with street 65 (Carrera 65).
    The most central point, Parque de Berrio, is located by convention on the crossroads of Calle 50 and Carrera 50.
    • Metro and Metroplus

      Traveling through the city is easy and quick, with the Metro system [http://www.metrodemedellin.gov.co].
      It has 2 Metro lines (train)

      - Line A: From Niquia to La Estrella

      - Line B: San Antonio to San Javier

      Three Metrocable lines

      - Line J: San Javier to La Aurora

      - Line K: Acevedo to Santo Domingo

      - Line L: Santo Domingo to Parque Arví (pay extra COP 4,600)

      One electric streetcar line

      - Tranvía Line T-A: San Antonio to Miraflores.

      Two MetroPlus Bus lines [url=http://www.metroplus.gov.co]]

      - Line 1: Univ de Medellín - Av. Ferrocarril - Parque Aranjuez

      - Line 2: Univ de Medellín - Av. Oriental- Parque Aranjuez

      The Metrocable [url=http://www.medellininfo.com/metro/metrocable.html[/url]]is a sky train or cable car that has revolutionised transport in the city. The Metroplus system consists of long articulated buses powered with natural gas for a more environmentally friendly option. They run on exclusive roads and enclosed stations. A new Metroplús transfer station opened in October 2014, links both Metroplús Lines (1 and 2), with the Industriales Metrostation (Linea A).

      Trains run from 4:30h to 23.00h on workdays and from 5:00h to 22:00h on Sundays and holidays. Single tickets as of Oct 2015 are COP 2,000 (0.7 USD), including transfers between the Metro trains and MetroCable. If you need to change to Metroplus Line 1 and 2 or Tranvia you will need to pay again since there are turnstiles at the interchange or you may need to exit the station to get to the Metroplus/Metro.
      Tourist for a few days buy the 'Viaje Univiaje o Eventual' tickets for COP 2,000 each. It may be worth getting a Civica transport card if you are staying for a long time. There are offices at the main Metro stations where you can present your passport and get a free Civica card with your name. With the card, a journey cost COP 1,750 and you also get free transfer between Metro & Metroplus.

      A new electric trolley, tramway or streetcar (Tranvía or Line T-A) was opened on October 2015 with 3 stations and 6 stops, running for 4.2 km east of San Antonio station. This is open only to Civica cardholders until December 1st, 2015.

      Two new Metrocable lines (Line H and Line M) are under construction departing from the last stations of the Tranvia and heading east, are expected for 2016. Also under construction is a new MetroPlus Line 3 in Envigado and Itagui.

      The Metrocable to the ecopark Arví - Line L - costs an additional COP 4,600 for the 4.5 km trip up the mountains (The trip lasts 25 minutes). Transfer at the Santo Domingo station of the Metrocable K line.

      See the transit map at this link: [https://www.metrodemedellin.gov.co/images/stories/2012_img/mapa-esquematico_abril2013_baja.jpg[/url].

      There are official apps at the AppleStore and Google Play for mobiles, search for 'Metro de Medellin'. You can also plan your trip in Google Maps (using Google Transit).

    • Taxis

      Taxis are cheap and plentiful. All taxis have meters, make sure they use them (unless from the airport, there is a prix fix). The meters start at COP 2,700 and the minimun fare is COP 4,600. You can hail cabs anywhere and normally go without incident - consider making note of the licence plate if you feel it'll give you more confidence, because as gringos you can look like a target to some. As in most Latin American countries, their driving can be hair-raising, so hold on tight.

      Recently, there has been quite an explosive "boom" for taxi mobile applications, such as [url=http://tappsi.co/]tappsi[/url], or [url=http://www.easytaxi.com/co]easytaxi[/url], available as both Android and iPhone apps, these are being widely used by local taxi drivers, with response times of sometimes less than two minutes. So if you're in a place with internet access and need a ride, this is safest option.

      Uber works well in Medellín.

    • Buses

      If you want to go around downtown or neighborhoods near the downtown area without using Taxis, try using the Circular Coonatra [http://www.themedellinmap.com/Circular_Sur.html]. There are various routes, marked on the front and back of the busses. These cost about COP 1,800 and require exact change.

    • Tourist Bus

      TuriBus [http://www.turibuscolombia.com] is a modern hop on / hop off bus that goes around the city showing its parks, attractive neighborhoods, and historical areas; it costs COP 35,000 for 1 day, COP 56,000 for 2 days. While they do not guarantee this, many times their guides also speak English and are happy to translate for you. Routes start at 9AM, ends 6PM.

  • filter_dramaSee
    Pueblito Paisa is a reconstruction of a typical but tiny Antioquia village. It's located on top of el Cerro Nutibara and has a pleasant view of the city. It's within walking distance of the metro station "Industriales," but as the walk to the top requires hiking uphill for a while, visitors might find that a taxi ride is a smart choice.

    *Los Alumbrados, the Christmas lights decorating Medellin, make it the most beautiful Latin American city for the holidays. The lights stay up from the beginning of December to mid-January. The most impressive parts are centered around the Rio Medellin at the 'Puente de Guayaquil' and downtown. Large statues made of lights can be found throughout the city.

    *The Metropolitan Cathedral, which holds the record as one of the buildings in the world with the most bricks - over 1.1 million - is located next to Bolivar Park in the city center. Cra 48 calle 56. Metro station Prado.[http://www.arq-medellin.org.co/IGLESIA_CATEDRAL.htm].

    *Junin The Junin pedestrian street is a cobblestone street downtown from the Coltejer Building to Bolivar Park. It features aspects of the history of city with the Astor tea salon and the Versalles salon.
    • Museums and The Arts

      Museo de Antioquia [url=http://www.museodeantioquia.org],]Cra 52 #52-43, displays a collection of contemporary art including many pieces, paintings and sculptures of Fernando Botero, one of the most important sculptors in the world. The Plaza Botero holds several large sculptures just in front of the museum and is free of charge. Open: Mon - Fri 10 AM-5 PM and Sun - Holidays 10 AM-4 PM. Entrance is COP$10,000 (Nov 2012); students COP $4,000. Metro station Parque Berrío.

      * Museo Universidad de Antioquia [url=http://museo.udea.edu.co[/url]]houses six collections: Visual Arts, Natural Science, University History, Galileo Interactive Room, Human Being and Anthropology. The attraction for foreigners is the Anthropology Collection which has the largest number of pre-Columbian ceramic pieces in Colombia, with nearly 20,000 objects. Located in Bloque 15 of the University's main campus. Free admission, closed Sundays. Calle 67 N° 53-108, phone +57 4 219 5180. Metro station Universidad.

      * Casa Museo Fernando González [url=http://www.otraparte.org[/url]]was home to the local writer also known as The Philosopher from somewhere else or Otraparte. A good opportunity to see an old traditional home with gardens, personal belongings and learn more about his legacy. Monday-Friday 8 Am-8 PM, Sat-Sun 9-5 PM. Cra 43A # 27A Sur - 11 Avenida Fernando González (in the nearby town of Envigado), phone +57 4 276 1415 or 335 2501. Closest Metro station is Envigado, then take a cab or bus. The walk is almost 2 km, mostly uphill.

      * Museo Pedro Nel Gómez [url=http://www.colarte.com/museos/PedroNelGomez/recuento.htm?nomartista=Pedro+Nel+Gomez+Museo&idartista=14436[/url]]shows artwork by this local artist, Free Admission. phone +57 4 233 2633. Monday-Sat 9 AM - 5 PM. Sundays and Holidays 10 AM - 4 PM. Not near the Metro, closest stations are Prado or Hospital.

      * Museo Interactivo EPM [url=http://www.museointeractivoepm.org.co/museo/index.php[/url]]a 'please touch museum', great for kids. Tuesday-Fri 8 AM- 5:30 PM, Sat - Sunday 11 AM- 5:30 PM. Closed Mondays (or Tuesdays after a holiday Monday). Cra 57 # 42-139, located on Parque de los Pies Descalzos and next door to the Plaza Mayor convention center. Phone + 57 4 380 6950. Metro station Alpujarra or Cisneros.

      * Museo Etnográfico Miguel Angel Builes [url=http://www.yarumal.org/yarumal/museo.html[/url]]A large display of everyday articles crafted by natives from all over the country. Tools, textiles, jewelry, pottery, little boats, small tents. Cra 81, No. 52B-120, Phone: 57-4 421 6259. The museum is off the beaten path, closest Metro station is Floresta, but the walk is over 1 km.

      * The Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin (MAMM) now has two sites. The original is a small building near the Suramericana and Carlos E. Restrepo neighborhoods, hosting traditional exhibits. The new space in Ciudad del Río is a large and old industrial warehouse. Great café and restaurant on the premises. Opened in October 2009 near Metrostation Industriales. Original site: Carlos E. Restrepo, Carrera 44 Nº 19A-100. Phone +574 444 2622. Ciudad del Río, Carrera 64B Nº 51 - 64, Ph +574 230 2622 [http://www.elmamm.org[/url]

      *Medellin does not forget its troubled past. Opened in 2012, dedicated to the memory of the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. The museum's motto is 'remembering so as not to repeat'. Cameras are allowed.

    • Landmarks

      During the 1980s there was a local law mandating every new building to invest 5% of its budget in a work of art displayed to the public, usually a sculpture. The legacy is around 300 monuments and sculptures scattered throughout the city and the nickname of City of Sculptures [url=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sculptures_in_Medellín].]There are three places with a higher concentration of sculptures: the above mentioned Plaza Botero, El Cerro Nutibara close to Pueblo Paisa, and the gardens at Suramericana (Headquarters for the largest insurance company in the country).

      * After the wave of violence in the 1980s and '90s there was a resurgence in the field of education and the construction of modern libraries [url=http://www.reddebibliotecas.org.co/sites/Bibliotecas/Paginas/ParquesBiblioteca.aspx[/url]]in poor neighborhoods became a top priority. A few of them are masterpieces of architecture and a couple of them are easy to visit: Biblioteca España is atop the mountain and looks like giant black rocks hanging in the hills: Go to Metrostation Acevedo then take Metrocable to Santo Domingo station [url=http://www.reddebibliotecas.org.co/sites/Bibliotecas/parquebibliotecaespanasantodomingo/Hoja%20de%20Vida/Historia.aspx[/url].]Another library, is close to Metrostation San Javier [http://www.reddebibliotecas.org.co/sites/Bibliotecas/parquebibliotecajoseluisarroyave/Hoja%20de%20Vida/Historia.aspx[/url].

    • Parks

      The Parque de los Deseos (Wishes' Park) [url=http://www.antioquiadigital.com/guiamedellin/atra/deseos.htm]]near Antioquia University, has an Indian theme, beautified by the recently renovated planetarium, and large display of science experiments. You can find free open-air movies and discussions with film directors Saturdays at 7PM. Metro station Universidad.

      * The Plaza de Cisneros (o de la luz - Plaza of Light) [url=http://www.antioquiadigital.com/guiamedellin/atra/cisneros.htm[/url]]is in the heart of the city. It borders some beautiful buildings from the '20s, the EPM library, and a district that was full of drugs and poverty many years ago, but is now a place to visit and have a great time. Metro station Alpujarra.

      * Also visit the Parque de los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot park) [url=http://www.fundacionepm.org.co/parque_pies_descalzos[/url]]for a Zen experience in the heart of town. Outdoor cafés, cultural activities. The grounds are open 24 hours. The Museum of Water is also in this park. Hours: Tuesday to Friday (8:30 AM - 5:30 PM), Saturday, Sundays and Holidays (10:30 AM - 6:30 PM), with the last tour 90 min beofre closing. Cost: COP 6.000. Closed on Mondays. Metro station: Alpujarra or Cisneros.

      * Plazuela de San Ignacio depicts Colonial and Republican style buildings. In 1803 this little plaza witnessed the birthplace of the largest university in town. The main lecture hall or Paraninfo de la Universidad de Antioquia is still in use and open to the public, even though the university moved 45 years ago to a big campus 2 km. north. Cra 44 at calle 48. Metro station: Parque Berrio. Walk uphill six blocks east.

      * Parque de Berrio is in the heart of town at the crossroads of Carrera 50 and Calle 50. It is home to the Stock Exchange, the Bank of the Republic, La Candelaria Church and the busiest metro station. It has the unofficial meeting place for locals - right at the sculpture of the 'Fat Woman' or 'La Gorda de Botero'. Connects directly to Plaza Botero and Plazulea Nutibara. Metro station Parque de Berrio.

      * The Parque Periodista is a small square right in the center of the city. It is where 'bohemian' and 'alternative' people meet. The bars play music varying from reggae and old salsa to alternative rock. You will find most of the people hanging out outdoors instead of inside the bars. Metro station Parque Berrio.

      * Parque San Antonio is a large, newer development right downtown. It hosts a handcraft bazaar and a famous sculpture of a fat bird, bombed by criminals a couple of decades ago during the difficult times of violence. By request of the artist the piece of art has not been repaired. Metro station San Antonio.

      * The Parque de Boston is an attractive area that leads down to the main promenade La Playa where people can be found gathering at night to see street acts.

      *Mid-size gardens with a vast collection of orchids and many tropical flowers, plants and trees. The covered area for display of flowers is an architectural marvel. The annual orchid exhibit every August [url=http://www.sco.org.co[/url]]is world class.

      *Around 1,000 animals are displayed here.

      * Parque Juanes de la Paz has limited tourist appeal since it houses mostly sport courts and is in an underserved neighborhood. With the help of the world famous singer, work began in 2006 on a recreational park for the rehabilitation of the handicapped. The 68,000 square meter facility cost around COP$11 billion, financed in part by the government of Medellín. It was completed in 2008. [url=http://www.medellin.gov.co/alcaldia/jsp/modulos/I_gestion/avanceparejuenesymlc.jsp[/url].]Metrostation Tricentenario.

      * The Arví park on the eastern slopes of the valley, close to a beautiful dam. This park promotes ecotourism and it has a direct connection to the Metro through a Metrocable (opened March 2010). The several kilometer long ride goes up over the mountain and then over the tree tops into the park. [http://www.parquearvi.org[/url]

      * Parque El Salado is in a beautiful natural setting on the mountain overlooking Envigado. There are good paths for walking. The main attraction is a short canopy tour/zip line with about five stops. (The complete course is longer but the additional length is reserved for members). Take the Metro to Envigado and then take the connecting bus that goes to Parque El Salado. The bus ride itself is worth the trip as it winds its way through neighborhoods up the mountain with some great views along the way. [http://www.medellinparati.com/sitio.php?id=57]

    • Buildings

      Ferrocarril de Antioquia - Old train station is a fine building at the corner of City Hall and the Governor's Hall. It has a small exhibit area with free admission. Cra 52 # 43-31. Metro station Alpujarra. [http://www.antioquiadigital.com/guiamedellin/atra/ferroca.htm]

      * EPM building also called the Intelligent building for its computerized self-control. An icon of contemporary architecture. Cra. 58 calle 42. Metro station Alpujarra.

      * Edificio Coltejer has been the symbol of the city for over 40 years, shaped like a threaded needle for this textile company. Calle 52 cra 47 (Crossroads of La Playa Ave and Junín). Metro station Parque Berrio.

    • Neighborhoods

      Prado neighborhood - formerly it was the wealthy neigbourhood of the city so many huge houses were built there. It still has some of these beautiful old houses, though it should be visited with caution as it's near the center of the city. Metro station Prado.

      * El Poblado neighborhood - this upscale part of town is built in steep hills and has many modern buildings which complement the nearby Andes forest. Most of the trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants of Medellín are located in this neighborhood. Safe to walk around at any time. Recommended. Take metro to Poblado station and walk East on Calle 10 for approximately 1km.

      * West of the Medellin River are the middle class neighborhoods of Laureles, Estadio and Suramericana which are modern. Carrera 70 in Suramericana is where many of the best Salsa clubs are, and provides an excellent way to take a break from the trendiness of Zona Rosa and see some real Colombian dancing. The line B of the Metro runs along 'Estadio' near all major stadiums and sport facilities.

    • If you only have a day

      In the morning take the metro to a downtown station, visit some churches - most are open early in the morning - then head to the park outside Museo de Antioquia to see the sculptures, enter the museum at 10 am and visit until lunchtime.
      Have lunch either at the museum's restaurant or cafe, or take the metro to Metro station Universidad, enter Jardin Botanico (Botanical Gardens) and eat there. Relax a little while strolling the gardens, then go across the street to Parque Explora or Parque de los Deseos. Before sunset take the metro to Acevedo station, hop on the Metrocable for spectacular views on the way up, and a city of lights upon your return. Take the metro back to any station near El Poblado, go shopping and then for dinner and a bar afterwards.

  • filter_dramaDo
    • Sightseeing

      Toucan Café [url=http://www.toucancafe.co]]here you'll find a friendly tourist oriented café dedicated to the promotion of Colombian coffee culture. Exclusive to the Toucan Café is the Coffee Tasting Experience where you will learn everything there is to know about Colombian coffee from the bean to the cup. Then get your senses buzzing as you taste 4 or 5 local coffees in a tasting experience similar to that of wine tasting. Ever wanted to try your hand at making a fancy cappuccino, latte or moccachino using a professional espresso machine? Now you can at the Toucan Barista Workshop. Continuing the theme of Colombian coffee culture Toucan Café also have a full day Medellin Coffee Tour where you can travel through scenic countryside to visit a real working coffee farm where you will be shown the process of growing, harvesting, drying and roasting the coffee beans. If coffee is not your thing then perhaps the Medellin Chocolate Farm Tour will tantalize your taste buds. Lastly the Toucan Café's Medellin Graffiti & Hip Hop Tour is being touted as one of the must do tours when visiting Medellin. On this tour you'll learn the history of Comuna 13's dramatic change through urban regeneration and how both art & music play an important part in integrating the community.

      * zoOming [url=http://zooming.co[/url]]is a great option if you are looking for bilingual tours with a historical, cultural, social and environmental approach. They are a local company with a nice understanding of the city. You can also go with them to the beautiful outskirts of Medellinon day trips. Coffee tour is highly recommended.

      * Turibus [url=http://www.medellininfo.com/atractions/turibus/index.html[/url]]is a good option to get a general overview of the city. You can take it to many of the main tourist attractions for 28,000 COP (45,000 COP for a 2-day ticket). The tour lasts four hours and allows 20-30 minutes per stop for sight-seeing and photos, with a hop-on/hop-off service. You can get onboard Turibus at 7 different locations, the main one at the south side of Parque Poblado. Spanish is the only advertised language, however many times at least one guide speaks English and is happy to translate [http://www.turibuscolombia.com[/url].

      *Metrocable [url=http://www.urbanrail.net/am/mede/medellin.htm]]There are two cable car extensions of the Metro: For the line K take the a metro train to Acevedo station and from there take the Metrocable up to Santo Domingo for a nice view over the city. The cablecar is included in your metroticket. Go during the day and walk around to see what working class people live like. The area at the top sees tourists so there are little stands set up and people selling empanadas and other things. You can stop at a little bar and have a beer. Don't stray too far or off the beaten path in this neighborhood, though. For those so inclined, there are young people that give tours waiting at the top wearing t-shirts that said "guia" (guide). Also recommended is taking the metrocable located at San Javier up to La Aurora (J line). Although there is nothing special to see or do at the top of the cable car route, the trip itself is longer and more interesting than the cable car that goes to Santo Domingo. Change to Parque Arvi from the Santo Domingo stop. It is WELL WORTH the trip. Beautiful views. With one ticket you can take both Metrocable, just stay in the cable car at the end or go out and do a U-turn.

      *Stroll along lively Carabobo street, Carrera 52 [url=http://www.antioquiadigital.com/guiamedellin/atra/pasaje.htm[/url]]in the heart of downtown, recently converted to pedestrian-only. Safer during daytime. Metro stations Parque Berrio, San Antonio or Alpujarra. Along the street see Plaza Botero (read under Museums) and also:

      : Basílica de la Candelaria built in 1767, a National Monument. Cra. 49 # 50-85, just off Carabobo. [http://www.arq-medellin.org.co/IGLESIA_CANDELARIA.htm[/url]

      : Edificios Vásquez y Carré built at the turn of the XIX century by a French architect. Nowadays in public use, with stores, cafeterias, etc. Cra. 52 x calle 44. [http://www.antioquiadigital.com/guiamedellin/atra/vasquez.htm]

      : La Veracruz colonial church, built in 1682. Cra 51 # 52-58. [http://www.arq-medellin.org.co/IGLESIA_VERACRUZ.htm]

      : Palacio Nacional Circa 1928, is now a large shopping mall. Styled with Romantic and Modern influence. Cra 52 # 48-45. [http://www.medellininfo.com/shopping/PalacioNacional.html]

      * Biking in Medellin is challenging but worth it!

      Each Sunday and some holidays from 7AM-2PM many streets are closed to motor vehicles to allow biking, walking and any other human- (or dog-) powered transport. It's a great way to see the city and connect with the people. There are stands for renting bikes along the road as well as fresh fruit, food, etc. Police man almost every intersection.

      Everyday, there are FREE bikes with helmets at stations throughout Medellin and Arvi Park. Be sure to bring ID (either a driver's license or passport).

      * Free walking tours [http://www.realcitytours.com/] which runs twice on weekdays.

    • Entertainment

      Medellin has a very active cultural life. There are four major theatres in town: Metropolitan Theatre [url=http://www.elcolombiano.com/tm.asp],]Pablo Tobon Uribe [url=http://www.teatropablotobon.com[/url],]Teatro de la Universidad de Medellín [url=http://www.udem.edu.co/UDEM/Servicios/Teatro/[/url]]and Teatro EAFIT [url=http://www.eafit.edu.co/eafitcn/agenda[/url].]They offer a variety of Music concerts, Opera, Theater, Ballet and other events with international and local performers.

      *There are several good quality contemporary and classic theater companies, such as Matacandelas [url=http://www.matacandelas.com[/url],]Hora 25, Pequeño Teatro [url=http://www.pequenoteatro.net[/url],]Oficina Central de los Sueños [url=http://www.teatrooficinacentraldesuenos.com/Historia.htm[/url]]and Teatro Popular de Medellín [url=http://www.teatropopulardemedellin.com[/url].]There is an annual Theater Festival held in the last week of August, organized by Medellín en Escena [http://www.medellinenescena.com[/url]

      *The city sits to classical music orchestras: Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín [url=http://filarmed.com]]and Orquesta de EAFIT. [http://www.eafit.edu.co/EafitCn/CienciasYHumanidades/Pregrados/Musica/orquesta.htm[/url]

      * The annual opera program is held in September, organized by Prolírica de Antioquia. [http://www.proliricadeantioquia.com/]

      * Go to the movies: most movies are projected in their original language with Spanish subtitles. For independent flicks try the Centro Colombo-Americano [url=http://www.colomboworld.com]]with downtown and El Poblado locations.
      Commercial movies are available at most shopping malls:
      Cine Colombia [url=http://www.cinecolombia.com.co[/url],]Royal Films [url=http://www.royal-films.com[/url]]or Cinemark [url=http://www.cinemark.com.co/teatros.asp?tea=790[/url].]Price is around 10,000 pesos (4-5 USD).

      *The Arepa [http://www.thearepa.com[/url]: Medellin's English Magazine is a resource guide while in the city. They also have a weekly radio show talking about the events in the city.

    • Sports

      Medellín is one of a few cities in the world to have all sport venues located at the same place. At Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Girardot [url=http://www.inder.gov.co/unidades_deportivas.php?subpagina=0&pagina=1]]you will find football, track & field, swimming, diving, baseball, volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis, velodrome, ping-pong, karts, boxing, hapkido, judo, karate do, gymnastics, taekwondo, weightlifting, chess, roller skating and many more stadiums in one convenient location. The Unidad Deportiva was renewed for the South American games held in March 2010. Metrostation Estadio.

      *Watch a football game at one of the two teams based in Medellin, Atlético Nacional [url=http://www.atlnacional.com.co[/url]]and Independiente Medellín [url=http://www.dim.com.co[/url].]Attending a home game at the Atanasio Girardot Stadium is recommended for any football - soccer fans, or those wanting to experience the famed South American passion for futbol! Games generally take place on Wednesdays and either Saturday or Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the stadium. Metro station Estadio.

      *The neighboring town of Envigado also has a professional football team [http://www.envigadofutbolclub.net[/url]. Metro station Envigado.

      * Try the Skateboarding track at Parque Ciudad del Rio. Opened July 2009, this colorful bowl-like ramps allow lots of fun for skaters and spectators. Metro station: Industriales.

    • Fairs, Shows & Exhibits

      Visit the city during the first days of August for the local festival "Feria de las flores" (Flowers festival) [url=http://www.feriadelasfloresmedellin.gov.co/].]There are all kind of events during one week including the "Desfile de Silleteros" (Parade of flower carriers). July 31st - August 9th, 2015.

      * The freshwater Aquarium inside the Parque Explora [url=http://www.parqueexplora.org[/url]]opened in December 2008 and depicts a great variety of river and freshwater wildlife, abundant in Colombia. It is probably one of the largest aquariums [url=http://www.antioquiadigital.com/guiamedellin/atra/acuario.htm[/url]]in Latin America and certainly one of few specialized in freshwater fauna. Metro station Universidad.

      * Planetario Municipal was renewed with new digital equipment. Reopened in June 2012. See the outer space at the Planetarium [url=http://www.planetariomedellin.org[/url]]for COP 12,000. Closed on Mondays. Cra 52 # 71 - 112 at Parque de los Deseos. Phone +57 4 5168300. Metro station Universidad.

      * Medellin has one of the most important Poetry Festivals [url=http://www.festivaldepoesiademedellin.org[/url]]in the world. Every year usually during the month of July, poets from all around the world (including Nobel Prices) come to this amazing event.

      * Do a Full moon night visit to an old Cemetery [url=http://www.cementeriosanpedro.org.co[/url]](Cementerio de San Pedro) where former presidents and beautiful sculpted graveyards are found. Metro stations Hospital or Universidad.

      * The Convention Center Plaza Mayor [url=http://www.plazamayor.com.co[/url]]is the main site for big events including the fashion and textile industry related annual shows Colombiamoda (July 26-28th, 2016) and ColombiaTex (January, 2016) [http://www.colombiamoda.com[/url].

      * The International Tango Festival convenes with world renown artists. Free admission to many events. Annually during the month of June. [http://www.festivaldetangomedellin.com]

  • filter_dramaLearn
    Medellín houses many important universities and learning institutes. Most courses are in Spanish although with some exceptions, for example Universidad EAFIT offer a Masters in International Business which is taught in English. These days many students are required to learn a second language as part of their studies.
    • Universities

      Universidad de Antioquia with over 200 years is the largest and more important academic institution in town nd the second one in the whole country. Its old campus downtown has beautiful republican architecture while the newer campus (1960's) i a great example of modern architecture [http://www.udea.edu.co].

      * Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana has 2 main campuses. Careers that are strong: Medicine, architecture, liberal arts and engineering [http://www.upb.edu.co].

      * EAFIT emphasis on business, information technology and engineering [http://www.eafit.edu.co].

      * Escuela de Ingenieria de Antioquia [http://www.eia.edu.co/].

      * CES a health sciences university [http://www.ces.edu.co].

      * Universidad Nacional de Colombia has 2 campuses, good education in engineering [http://www.unalmed.edu.co].
      * ***Universidad de Medellín- 10 postgraduate and 10 undergraduate Bachelors

    • Learn Spanish

      Total Spanish Colombia [url=http://totalspanishcolombia.com/]]is a full immersion Spanish language school based in the Medellín, Colombia. They teach Spanish through fun interactive lessons to ensure that classes are both interesting and effective so that you can learn, retain and ultimately speak Spanish. Group, Private 1x1 and specialist Spanish classes are available at their recently refurbished school which is located in the safe vibrant commercial area of Parque Lleras. Maximum 6 students per class, They also offer students Free wifi, drinks, conversation clubs, language exchanges and cultural activities.

      *Toucan Spanish School [url=http://www.toucanspanish.com/[/url]]are one of the largest Spanish Language schools in Colombia. Conveniently located near Parque Lleras they have 8 spacious classrooms and cater for all levels of Spanish. Group classes start weekly and are small & personal with a maximum of 7 students. Private classes are also available to cater for those with limited time or for students who prefer a course at their own pace. The school is highly recommended because of the daily activities (most free) such as welcome lunch, tropical fruit tastings, salsa classes, city tours, coffee tasting workshops, graffiti tours, volunteering etc. Free wifi is available all day. Toucan Spanish also have the largest Homestay program in Medellin, available exclusively to students. Below the school is the Toucan Café where you'll find great coffee in a casual & friendly environment perfect for studying or practicing Spanish with the locals, and is the booking point for their range of culturally oriented tours.

      *Study Spanish COLOMBIA [url=http://www.studyspanishcolombia.com/study-spanish-colombia/spanish-classes-medellin/[/url]]If you're thinking of taking a Spanish lessons in Medellin or any other city in Colombia then Study Spanish COLOMBIA provides a wealth of free information about learning Spanish as well essential information such as student visa requirements [url=http://www.studyspanishcolombia.com/colombian-visa-requirements/[/url]]and accommodation options.

      *Medellin Spanish School [url=http://spanishinmedellin.com[/url]]A small school based at the Black Sheep hostel, run by the owners wife who has considerable years experience teaching passing through tourists.

      *Spanishola [url=http://spanishola.com[/url]Spanishola]are private Spanish courses to learn, refresh or improve your Spanish while in Medellín, with an experienced native teacher.

      *Private Spanish Classes Private Spanish classes with a native, experienced teacher. Professor comes highly recommended from former students. Classes start at COP 25.000 per hour. Contact kathe11-27@hotmail.com for more info.

      *Colombia Immersion [http://colombiaimmersion.com/[/url] is a Spanish language school that bridges the gap between a traditional classroom education and real-life fluency. Through modern methods, language hacks, and a focus on skills needed outside the classroom, the school presents a number of fun and innovative options to students. Full immersion, group, private, and interactive coaching classes are all available in their new school in the heart of Medellin's safe, exclusive, and happening neighborhood of Envigado. The school has received acclaim for its free events, such as salsa nights, graffiti tours, language exchanges, tropical fruit tastings, salsa and yoga classes. The school is notable for its exceptionally effective methodology (students gain functional fluency faster than any other school in Medellin), its small class sizes (6 persons or less), and ability to plug students into local culture. It is also the only school to offer an affordable, co-living opportunity with native Spanish speakers. Additionally, as a 24/7 environment for language immersion, students receive full access to the school's co-working spaces, relaxation areas, and private microbrewery.

    • Learn Tango

      After Buenos Aires, Medellín is the best place to learn how to tango -dance, sing-.

      * Che Tango Dancing school. Address: Calle 32 E # 80 A - 57, Barrio Laureles - Nogal. Phone: +57 4 412 8326 Mobile: +57 3 14 890 4557 email: che.tango.medellin@gmail.com [http://chetangomedellin.com]

      * A dance academy with good turnout. Call to book your place. Email: elultimocafem@yahoo.es

    • Learn Salsa

      Although [url=http://wikitravel.org/en/Cali]Cali[/url] is the irrefutable Salsa learning capital of Colombia, you have a few options in Medellin. There are quite a few Salsa schools and academies around (usually offering a host of other dancing styles as well). There are also private teachers who give classes at your place.

      *Santo Baile is located at poblado Medellin, you can learn Colombian Salsa with famous instructors from Cali and national champions from Medellín, this is the best Salsa dance academy in the city, we have the best quality of classes and you don´t need prior experience to dance, you will learn a variety of rhythms like reggaton, merengue, bachata, learn salsa and expect to have a lot of fun and meet people. Learn to dance with the best instructors in Santo Baile.
      .

      * Juan Rico is a private Salsa dance teacher, with 17 years of experience. Other dance styles such as Bachata, tango and Merengue and more are also available. Lessons are affordable with discounts for bulk orders. Phone: (+57) 300 242 8341, (+57) 318 388 0808

    • Learn Colombian Cooking

      This culinary school has occasional courses on Colombian Cuisine. INSARC Cra 40 A # 11B - 15. El Poblado, Lalinde. Phone: +57 4 4444 850. [http://insarc.com]

      * La Colegiatura is a small college with full degrees in culinary sciences and also shorter courses in basic and Colombian cooking. [http://www.colegiatura.edu.co]

  • filter_dramaWork
    Officially it is not legal to work in Colombia without a proper working visa. Visas can be obtained by employers on your behalf. There is a significant market for English and other language teachers.
  • filter_dramaBuy
    Colombia is famous for its coffee and Medellin is only a few hours from the coffee growing centers of Colombia. You can find coffee flavors of everything you can imagine, from ice-cream to arequipe (sweetened milk). The ‘Starbucks’ coffee culture is growing, with the most prominent brand being Juan Valdez coffee shops. The Juan Valdez chain is owned by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, and sells a variety of Colombian coffees.

    Aguardiente Antioqueño: Schnaps with a special flavor, much like black licorice.

    Ron Medellin: The local Rum, excellent! The quality of this rum was elevated to the highest standards during 2009 and the 8 and 12-year bottles are great presents.

    Despite the claim of being the textile capital of Colombia, Medellin is not a shopper’s paradise for clothes for North American tourists, but prices can be attractive to visitors from other latitudes. The main malls sell a limited variety of clothes, (especially men’s clothes), at only slightly discounted prices from the US, although there are always bargains to be found if you look hard enough. The style of clothes for women in Medellin is very revealing and sexy, so it perhaps more suited for gift buying than shopping for yourself. When planning your shopping for clothes bear in mind that the local weather is very mild, so the options for winter and summer clothes are limited. Near Parque Lleras you can find via Primavera, a little zone full of local young designer's shops with unique garments that you will surely won't see anywhere else.
    • Handcrafts

      On the first Saturday of the month there is the Mercado de San Alejo, an open market right on Parque de Bolívar, hours: 8.00 a.m. a 6.00 p.m. A large variety of local handcrafts sold primarily by the artisans themselves. Right in the middle of Parque Lleras from thursday to sunday you may as well find some handcraft being sold.

      * Centro Artesanal mi viejo Pueblo. Cr 49 # 53-30. Phone +574 513 7563

    • Shopping Malls

      A large shopping mall located in an unusual location: in very steep mountain overriding a creek. Many upscale stores, technology shops and good restaurants. El Tesoro is bilingual; they have an Information Center where tourists can get any information in English, every day from 14:00 to 21:30. Furthermore, it is possible to access this service calling 321 10 10 ext 111-112. And just for tourists to go shopping without any problem, the mall made a brochure with all the terms and expressions they need, in English and Spanish. Ask for it at the information desks.
      *Large shopping area with nearby hotels and restaurants.

      *The first shopping mall built in Colombia over 30 years ago is still a nice place to stroll, eat and of course shop. You will find good prices for top notch merchandise.
      *Outlet Mayorca is directly connected to a Metro station and also has a movieplex. [http://www.mayorca.com.co]. Metro Itagui.
      *Opened 2008. Houses an indoor gym.
      *Only 2 blocks from Poblado metro station. This mall is the place to go for anything computer or cell phone related. Many small shops selling all manner of electronic equipment and accessories. There is also a 5-screen movie theatre in this mall as well as a salon offering excellent massages (store #126).
      * The newest shopping mall in town opened May 2010, 5 levels of shopping, entertainment, food and more
      * Shopping mall with food courts, cinema, arcade, groceries shop and much more.

    • Stores

      For leather goods for women visit Bon-Bonite with 10 locations in town. Features many handbags in leather and ethnic materials, as well as shoes and accesories. [url=http://www.bonbonite.com].]Available In most shopping malls.

      * Underwear, for men and women, are plentiful and the variety is great. Women: Leonisa [url=http://www.leonisa.com[/url],]Tania [url=http://www.tania.com.co[/url].]Men: Unico [url=http://www.mymundounico.com[/url],]Punto Blanco [url=http://www.puntoblanco.com.co[/url],]GEF[http://www.gef.com.co[/url]. In all major shopping malls.

    • Money

      The local currency is the Colombian Peso (COP). Bank notes come in denominations from 1,000 to 50,000 pesos. Coins are available in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos. It is strongly recommended to use the exact change on taxis, because the drivers rarely have the exact amount. US dollars and Euros are rarely used, except for tourist oriented stores.

      Using Credit and Debit Cards is frequent in Colombia but not prevalent as in developed countries. Often times you will need a form of ID, like your passport or government ID to pay with a card. You sometimes may be able to use a copy of your passport, but not always. When paying with cards you will be asked for how many months you want to delay the payment ('cuantas cuotas' or how many months), your answer does not matter at all (just answer one for simplicity), this only applies to cards issued in Colombia, but the teller needs an answer to continue with the purchase.

      ATM limits: ATMs strictly limit withdrawals on foreign and domestic cards. You may only be able to get out 1,2 million pesos (Around USD 420) per day (in 3 separate transactions) on Bancolombia ATMs, so plan to visit the ATM often or hunt around for a more relaxed limit. There are 2 major international banks with local offices, if by chance you hold a card of any of these banks your rates are usually lower (Citibank and BBVA) CitiBank ATMs withdrawals limit is 2 million pesos (700 USD) per transaction. The largest Colombian bank is Bancolombia with ATM's everywhere.

      When withdrawing money from an ATM it is highly advisable to avoid any located on streets for safety purposes. It is recommended to withdraw from ATMs inside shopping centers. Be sure not to take a taxi straight after withdrawing, it is not unusual for people to be followed out and mugged soon after making a withdrawal. Keep an eye out to be sure you are not followed.

  • filter_dramaEat
    Colombian cuisine is varied and regional. The more typical dishes are referred to as comida criolla.

    Some examples are: sancocho de gallina (chicken soup), carne en polvo (ground beef), arepas de choclo (fresh corn tortillas), empanadas (meat-filled fried turnovers), ají (hot sauce), ajiaco (Bogota's chicken and potato soup), bandeja paisa, natilla, buñuelos (fried cheese puffs), hojuelas (fried puff squares), rice with coconut, Antioquian beans, sobrebarriga (flank steak) mantecada (bun made with lard), papas chorreadas, pandeyuca (yucca bread) and carne desmechada (shredded meat).

    A typical breakfast in Medellín consists of baked corn arepas (Flat unsweetened corn pancake) topped with butter and fresh white cheese, coffee or hot chocolate.

    One treat that will leave anyone stuffed is the "Tipico Antioqueño"; arepa con queso (small flatbreads with cheese on top), beans, chicken, rice, fried eggs, chicharron (salted and fried unsmoked bacon) and patacon (deep-fried plantain pancakes). Topping that off with a Colombian beer and a cup of "chocolatte" (pronounced the Spanish way - it's milky, sweet hot chocolate) makes for an excellent meal. An excellent place to eat typical food is Hatoviejo.

    There is a large variety of restaurants all throughout Medellin, especially concentrated around the ‘Zona Rosa’ which is in Poblado between Parque Poblado and Parque Lleras. You can find a fine display of places with whatever food you desire, with good quality for comparatively cheap prices compared to the US, although there is a shortage of authentic Greek, Indian and Thai restaurants. Sushi is increasingly popular and may be found at the larger malls or supermarkets that are more "international."

    Colombia also has an incredible variety of tasty fruits. A few of these are: guanábana, lulo, zapote, mamoncillo, uchuva, pitaya, feijoa, granadilla, maracuyá, tomate de árbol, borojó, mamey and tamarindo. Ask for a "Salpicón": a mix of fruits marinaded on orange or watermelon juice.

    Colombia is well known for its coffee, and Medellin is no exception. As with any large city, there are the usual chain restaurants, however the American "fast-food culture" has not made a huge splash in the country. Mc Donald's, Burger King, Domino's Pizza and most recently Hooters can be found there.
    • El Prado

      Very local, inexpensive food with cheap, fresh regional Almuerzos. Dressed up as though it were a touristy trap, but this place is for the locals. Super friendly service as well.

    • El Poblado

      Great food for the last 30 years. Mostly meat, regional dishes. Decorated as an old farm. Also outdoor areas

      * Small dishes with lots of flavour and color. Local dishes only,. A little pricey for the size, but worth it in quality

      * Simple and well done Colombian meals in this tiny place with lots of character. Prices used to be modest, now expensive.

      *Really good food, well prepared and well served. Closed Sundays.

      *Lunch menu available at discounted price. Closed Sundays.

      *Restaurant and Bar. Overlooks town, great outdoors.

      *Short and Exquisite menu.

      *Nicely prepared meals with option of 1 to 4 dishes in the Chef's Menu. Nouvelle Cuisine at its best. A short menu with the options changing every 2 months. Mobile: +574 311 8221

      *Reservations required. Seafood and steaks.

      *

      *Spacious and elegant.

      *Molecular cooking is a complex science, here you can sit down and enjoy it. Ignorance is bliss.

      *Modern cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. Eggs any style, bacon or French toast. Sandwiches (ciabatta or baguette), salads (Caesar, tuna, Thai or Italian) as well as delicious coffee and fruit juices.

      *Authentic Mexican food. Basic wine list.

      *Italian restaurant with nice crowd. Open terrace that overlooks the park.

      *Nice lunch menu for under 10,000 COP. Try the meat in a Bailey's sauce.

      * Great outdoors. Easy free parking

      *Watch NFL, college football, NBA, baseball, soccer and more international sports. Please call to see if we can get your game. Menu : Black bean nachos, chicken wings, burgers and sandwiches (grilled chicken, tuna salad, etc). Multiple plasma/LCD/wide screen TVs.

      * Lunch. Bakery. Salad bar. Cooking classes.

      *Next door to the museum. Open-air and open-minded café.

    • Laureles, Suramericana, Estadio

      Well done Italian food, home-made pasta. Great sauces.

      * Vegetarian buffet for lunch

      *Mainly Lebanese dishes in this unpretentious restaurant. Good food.

      * Some vegetarian Indian dishes.

      * Bakery, vegetarian, seeds, nuts, also gluten free food

      * Well served vegan dishes, low in salt - hey, the use of salt shaker is free -

    • Downtown

      Restaurant along carrera Junin downtown has basic Argentinean fare at reasonable prices.

      *Downtown location.

      *Canteen like local restaurant serving simple local food. The set lunch consists of soup, meat, eggs, rice, juice, dessert, ... To much to finish it all! Vegetarian option available. .

      *Reservations recommended. Nice restaurant located in the middle of the Botanical Gardens. The menu offers a combination of local food, some organic choices and all plates are well presented. Outside the restaurant there is a little garden with herbs and aromatic plants..

      * Daily menu, burgers.

      * Regional food.

      * Vegetarian burgers (Chickpeas and lentils), mexican vegan, lasagnas. Also features a Poblado location at Carrera 35 # 8A-75

    • Oriente - Eastern Suburbs

      At 40 km east of Medellín, great local food, old fashioned and homemade.

    • Multiple locations & Online - Delivery

      J y C Delicias offers typical arepas with a variety of toppings, good for lunch or dinner. A few locations: in Laureles neighborhood Carrera 76 # 33 A-62, phone +57 4 250 4861. In El Poblado Calle 4 Sur # 43 A-8, phone +57 4 312 6656, AND El Tesoro Shopping mall. $$.

      *A famous and traditional local restaurant with tow locations in town, and one additional in Miami for the homesick. Offers a local soup made up with tripe. If not adventurous you can go for regular beans and other delicacies. Additional location in El Poblado Calle 10 # 38 -38, phone +57 4 312 2346.

      *Traditional cakes, pastries and desserts. Tea house. Metrostation Parque Berrio.

      *Great desserts, pastries and the locally famous 'Pastel de Gloria' filled with guava paste and arequipe.
      Also downtown at Ave. La Playa Carrera 45 # 50-64. Many locations throughout town.

      *Meat, fish, soups, rices. Nice trays, still hot when the meal arrives to your home/hotel. You can also order via Microsoft Messenger.

  • filter_dramaDrink
    • Local Drinks

      Aguardiente - A popular alcoholic beverage in Colombia derived from sugarcane and anise-flavoured. The local brand is Aguardiente Antioqueño, commonly referred to as guaro, is usually drank straight followed by an ounce of water or slices of mango.

      * Ron - Rum is also popular with locals. The domestic brand is Ron Medellín Añejo aged either 3, 8, 12 or 30 years, typically served mixed with Club Soda, Coca-Cola or lemon juice.

      * Cerveza - Beer is available almost anywhere, the one most enjoyed by people is Pilsen [url=http://www.pilsen.com.co]]a light golden in color, German Pilsener or Lager type of beer. Also admired by locals and foreigners is Club Colombia a finer premium beer, made-up of 100% malt [http://www.cervezaclubcolombia.com[/url]. Other popular national beers include Aguila and Costena. A small company brews beer locally: Tres Cordilleras makes Wheat, American Pale and Amber Ales.

      * Refajo - A kind of cocktail made by mixing beer and the local soft drink Colombiana. It is refreshing and a little sweet.

      * Cocteles - Due to the great variety of tropical fruits and their juices your imagination will be boundless when creating Cocktails in Medellín. Start with Lulo juice with vodka, or try the many recipes with passion fruit (Spanish: Maracuyá).

      Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the main days to party in Medellín; the rest of the week the mainstream nightlife isn't really exciting. Bars close at 2AM, but you will find plenty of clubs that close at 4AM, and if you need to stay up later just look for the techno or electronica clubs.

      Colombians love to cook out and party.

    • Dance Clubs

      Babylon is best known for its Thursday night all you can drink, 34,000 pesos to enter for men, free for women, OPEN UNTIL 4AM. Located in Las Palmas. It's popular with gringos and 'gringo hunters'.

      * El Blue is a popular place with cross-over music (a mix of rock and local music). It's popular with gringos and 'gringo hunters'. Thursday is the night to go.

      * Palmaia is the newest, biggest and arguably best club in Medellin and has a capacity of 3,000 people. Standard crossover music with a boxing ring for girl-fights! Autopista Sur.

      * Circus is a new venue with great views over Medellin. Very popular with the beautiful, in-crowd and normally plays cross-over music.

      * El Eslabón Prendido is a great place to watch, or if you can, dance salsa. It's located in the centre so some precaution is necessary.

      *International and Local DJ's

      *Large 2-story dance club with mostly gay clientele

      *A fun tiny place. Classic salsa with songs coming from vinyl.

      *Live music Tuesday nights.

    • Bars

      There are a few districts for bars. Foreigners prefer Parque Lleras in El Poblado, safer, more upscale, nicer crowds. The middle class also mingle outside Museo de Arte Moderno, near Carlos E Restrepo neighborhood; and the so called Urban Tribes meet at Parque del Periodista (downtown). Other areas with bars are: Carrera 70 near Estadio, Carretera Las Palmas and Avenida 33 in Laureles.

      The area around Parque Lleras, (la Zona Rosa), has a concentration of restaurants, bars and is great for people watching. It is active on most nights and a must visit for those looking for Colombian nightlife. The major restaurants on the corner, El Rojo and Basilica are great for food, drinks and people watching. Occasionally they have live music or big screens when important football matches are played.

      Parque Lleras is interesting any night of the week although admitedly Thursday, Friday and Saturday are far more lively. There are places, mostly electronic music venues open till 6 or 7AM outside of the city limits as the laws forbid any bar to remain open after 3AM. People however gather around Parque Poblado until dawn drinking, smoking and chating. You can buy cigarettes, alcohol and anything else you could wish for from the street vendors until the last man standing.

      A more upmarket experience can be had at La Strada just south of Parque Lleras on Aviendo El Poblado. The centre features numerous bars, restaurants and clubs. La Strada has become the weekend destination for the more affluent of Medellin's residents. Expect to pay more for drinks and food than in la Zona Rosa, bars close at 1AM.

      Just outside of Medellin, there are some venues in the neighboring towns of Sabaneta, Envigado and Itagui. Sabaneta has not yet caught on with foreigners, making it the place to go if avoiding gringos is your thing.

      * Arte Vivo Mostly a local crowd. a great 80's and 90'live band (arguably the best in town) playing rock-pop greatest hits and local rock. Prices are affordable, with a nice upscale crowd, and beautifull women. Located in el Poblado across the Monterrey Shopping center (Calle 10 x Las Vegas).

      *Best sports bar in town. NFL ticket, UFC, NCAA, Basketball, Baseball, Rugby. The food is really good here, they make a really good steak sandwich. Great service, beautiful waitresses, wide selection of whiskey.

      *"El Alamo" The cheapest bar in Parque Lleras, free rum for girls. They show American football games if you need your fix.

      * B-Lounge is an electronic disco with rich, beautiful women as is...

      * La Kasa which are both good on Thursday nights as it's Ladies Night.

      * Has been a classic for local crowds for over 30 yrs. Informal, beer, chat

      * La Camerata has offered classic music to its costumers for over 25 years. Occasional live appearances. Calle 49 between carreras 64 y 65, near calle Colombia.

      * San Marcos bar and video has mostly gay clientele, located near Unicentro shopping mall Calle 34 # 66B - 53, Barrio Conquistadores. Phone +57 4 265 3666. [http://www.sanmarcosbar.tk]

      * Vinacure An incredibly trippy place - expensive to get in but definitely worth seeing once, entry is about US$4. The entire club is designed by a noted Colombian sculptor. Try to go when German, the owner, is about so you can check out The Naked Room, an interactive art exhibition that must be experienced (sometimes) naked. This is a very interesting, unusual and fun art-museum/bar. It's truly unique. To get there, take a taxi to the beginning of Caldas (carrera 50 No 100D Sur 07, Caldas). Or you can take a bus.

      *Since 1973, has been the meeting place for tango lovers. Live music, dance.

      *A classic bar right downtown. All social classes mingle here with nice music and local drinks. Dance. Only half a block away from the main Metrostation San Antonio (Lines A and B).

      *The whole place is a replica of a traditional 'paisa' town. The locals from the village will greet you and be your host, ask you to dance and party all together. Every midnight is new years' eve. Really fun.

      *Tangos, boleros. Ph +57 4 230 3259

      *Tango, et al.

  • filter_dramaSleep
    • Boutique Hotels

      email: ventas.medellin@arthotel.com.co

      *Only 14 large rooms with good service. Spanish courses available. The hotel arranges great tours outside the city.

      *La Casa is a Boutique Hotel located in the most exclusive area of Medellin known as Los Balsos el Poblado. Walking distance to popular attractions such as Oviedo Shopping center and a 5 minute taxi drive to Medellin’s exciting Zona Rosa & Parque LLeras.
      U.S. Phone Number: 310-728-6301

      *Mobile + 57 300 216 3744. A boutique hotel with decor inspired in all Colombian regions.

      OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS

      *Nice suburban hotel with beautiful grounds. Not noisy. Toll-Free from Colombia: 018000 940 440

    • Hostels

      On-site Spanish lessons, BBQ every Sunday. British owned with custom made oak bunkbeds with plug sockets built inside large lockers. Largest hostel roof terrace in the city, hot power showers, free wifi, bean bag chill out area, friendly staff, TV room + cable, laundry service, hammocks.

      * free wifi, breakfeast not provided but complements for the breakfeast are provided, in a big luxury all equipment kitchen. Very central location, on taxis and buses routes..

      * On-site Spanish lessons, BBQ every Sunday. Operated by a helpful Kiwi expat named Kelvin. Two meters long European sized beds, en-suite bathrooms, hot power showers, airy rooms, fully equipped kitchen, 5 computers with high speed internet access (2,000 COP/h), TV room + cable, free DVDs, hammocks.

      * Great foreign run backpacker hostel, with cheap dorm beds and private rooms, and a new addition with nicer private rooms and suites. High speed internet, free Wi-Fi, TV with Satellite. Terraces and patios, a fully equipped guest kitchen, laundry service, pool table, and lockers in the dorm rooms. Great atmosphere and good customer service and travel information. Avoid non-remodeled dorms.

      *guest kitchen, wifi, 24h reception and extremly nice and helpful owner. Cleanest dorm (and bathroom!) I've seen in Colombia

      * Brand new hostel with hotel-like amenities, bathrooms, furniture, etc. Dorms and private rooms with private and shared bathrooms. Jacuzzi and flat screen TV on the balcony. Great hot showers. Hotel-like experience. Breakfast and free Wi-Fi included. No soundproofing like most Colombian hostels, so sound carries. Bring ear plugs if a light sleeper. 20-min walk from Poblado metro station, but near all bars and restaurants. www.geohostel.com

      * Dormitory and private rooms/ Free Coffee/ Laundry service/ Internet(256k)/ Cable TV/ DVD/ Book exchange/ Hot showers/ Cooking facilities/ Garden/ BBQ/ Hammocks/ Lockers/ Garage/ Games and billiard pool/ Tourist Information.

      * Run by an amazing guy named Alejandro who goes out of his way help you experience Medellin. Seriously plush and very clean for a hostel, and close to the more up-market bars around El Poblado. Internet, plush lounge, kitchen, free tea & coffee, laundry service. 20-min walk from Poblado metro stop, but near all the bars and restaurants.

      * Operated by two nice and helpful Israelis, it is on of the cheapest hostels in town. Two meters long European sized beds, hot power showers, fully equipped kitchen, computers with high speed internet access, free WIFI, three common areas (TV area, dinning room, chillout area with hammock), pin-pong table.

      * A Colombian run hostel in the safe and modern Parque Lleras neighborhood, for a maximum of 15 people. Hot showers in some rooms. Fully equipped self-catering kitchen. Two outdoor patios, slow internet connection, cable and laundry service. The owner, Mayde, and her staff are a rather eccentric bunch that drinks and smokes up every night, so only consider staying here if you are looking to stay up all night.

      * At Tamarindo you will find a calm, warm and friendly atmosphere, great service, clean comfortable rooms, bathrooms and social areas, hot water all day, a fully equipped open kitchen, free linens and towels, lockers, DVD movies, no curfew, free Wi-Fi, internet service, laundry service, keyless entry and complete tourist information.

      * Amenities include free towels, internet, lockers, coffee, cable TV, and 24/7 security. Roof top bar, meals for cheap, book exchange library, guided tours available.

      * 24 hour staffed office, free breakfast, free internet & Wi-Fi, dormitories and private rooms, linen included, hot showers, laundry service, bar, book exchange, free bicycle, Cable TV with over 100 channels, DVD movies. Hammocks, fully equipped kitchen, free bag storage, free coffee & breakfast.

      * Brand new hostel which is steps away from the main night-life in town. Extra large compartmentalized private bunk beds. US TV programming, DVD, laundry, bilingual staff, pool table, free internet, WiFi, XBOX-360, private lockers, 24 hour reception, events, tour information, kitchen, hot water. Owner is American with plenty of experience in Medellin. Sports Bar located in the hostel (see 'Eat' section).

      *Mobile 314 657 6390. email: admin@pitstophostel.com

      *New hostel with comfortable Beds, included Linen, Nintendo Wii, Free wifi, Bar, Laundry Service, Hammocks, Sun Deck/Patio, Rooftop terrace, Library, 24 hour hot water, Bilingual staff, Lockers, Kitchen, Tour Information, 24 hour reception.

      *Clean sheets, pillows, blankets and towels. Cooking facilities, Hammocks, Hot water, Wi-Fi, Swimming pool.

      * Breakfast included, free Wi-Fi.

    • Apartments

      We bring you the best selection of furnished apartment rentals that are the ideal accommodation solution for short or extended stays, leisure holidays, vacation breaks, corporate rentals and relocations. Serving Medellin since 2006.

      *A portfolio of handpicked homes and apartments that include concierge service and full guest support. Recently awarded Top Villa Provider by Condé Nast Traveler.

      *Offering rooms in shared apartments, Medellin Room Rentals is allowing savvy travelers to stay in the comfort of an apartment for the same price as a hostel. The clientele is typically other professional travelers and Spanish language school students usually staying longer than a week and want all the facilities of home without the massive price tag of renting a private apartment.

  • filter_dramaRespect
    Clothing is usually casual but shorts or bermuda pants are unusual on weekdays. Only young locals will wear them on weekends. Sweaters and jackets are usually not necessary at daytime, occasionally needed at night.

    Refrain from joking about drugs, kidnapping or bombings. Many residents of Medellin were personally affected by the violence of the past, and today they consider themselves very modern, forward looking and ready to move on. They do not find these things to be funny. In addition, the police take the security situation very seriously, and you may find yourself detained. Accordingly, there is no official tourism built around the history of Pablo Escobar, and many people do not like to discuss him, although several hostels offer a Pablo Escobar tour. You will receive a lot of puzzled stares if you start asking how to get to the house where he was killed, etc.

    When on the Metrocable, remember that it is a functional part of the Metro system, and that many proud residents of the mountainside neighborhoods ride the system to and from work each day. Accordingly, refrain from gawking, commenting on or taking pictures of the neighborhoods below, especially if there are Colombians in your car.
  • filter_dramaStay safe
    Medellin is generally a safe city for tourism depending on the part of town you visit and the hours (like most other cities) and is much safer than in previous years. It was reported than in 2009 the murder rate in Medellin was the lowest in 30 years while murder rates have since doubled in 2010 in a new surge of violence. According to the US State Department, murders have involved tourists and U.S citizens, and there remains a risk of "terrorist" actions in the urban area. Much of the violence is concentrated within the city's hillside slums and amongst known drug traffickers, although richer parts of town have also been aflicted by the latest surge in crime. The poorer neighborhoods in the north-east and north-west of the city should be avoided at both day and night to avoid trouble. Most of the downtown area (or centro) is best avoided at night. El Poblado and Laureles are safer at night, but still travelers should be careful no matter how affluent the neighborhood. Most travelers to Medellin will tell you that they never found themselves in any danger while there, as the city center and touristy neighborhoods and attractions are all heavily policed. Thus, the following advice should not deter your plans to travel there, and should be taken as advice. As in most major cities, staying safe comes down to common sense, and even the locals follow the following advice.

    Don't travel alone after dark. Almost anyone who knows anyone who has gotten into trouble in Medellin will tell you that they were doing things that you shouldn't do in any city, i.e. walk around after dark alone, especially leaving clubs after having been drinking. If you must, travel with a few friends, and at night call a taxi instead of taking it off the curb.

    Avoid straying off of the main areas outside of the Santo Domingo Metrocable station, especially after dark; basically, try to stay within sight of the station and library, and you will be fine. Avoid areas of downtown at night, such as the Parque San Antonio area (including outside of the Metro station), Parque Boliviar, and areas directly to the north of Parque Barrio, where there is a lot of prostitution and other shady dealings. During the day, these areas are all perfectly safe with the normal precautions.

    As in most large cities, petty crime can be a problem; it is advisable to carry a color copy of your passport rather than the real thing, avoid carrying a wallet and to keep varying amounts of cash in several pockets, socks and bras. Only carry what you will need for the day, and always have enough hidden somewhere to get back to your hotel. However, at most tourist sites, the police have a very heavy presence, so you can feel safe taking pictures and walking around during the day. Avoid parks, muggers with knives wait for tourists in parks near hotels in the affluent areas of the city, such as El Poblado and Laureles, located west of downtown.

    Avoid accepting drinks from strangers. One common organized scam reported recently involves girls being overly friendly to gringos at a club, buying them drinks and then asking to go home with them. The drinks end up being drugged, and the girls make off with money, credit cards and other valuables. Note that it is not very common for Medellin locals to go home with other locals to hook up; rather, cheap hotels are used. So one should be suspicious of overly friendly girls asking to come to your hotel or residence from a club.

    Many people sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of the small-time vendors selling anything from fruit, ice cream, cigarettes, lottery tickets, cell phone chargers, trinkets, hats, etc. However, a simple "no, gracias" will deter them from bothering you.

    As Colombia is still a country with a "macho" mindset, women might be the subject of lewd comments, cat-calling, or whistling. If you feel you have to challenge this remain polite as you do so - it may be a new experience for the man.

    Do not, under any circumstances, make any jokes about the use of cocaine or bombs. The Colombian police take jokes as threats, and you may find yourself in a police station explaining yourself to unsympathetic police officers. Under normal circumstances, police officers are usually kind and helpful towards tourists.

    The age of consent in Colombia is 14. The drinking age is 18. Minors are not allowed to be in possession of alcohol at any time, and they may not enter night clubs of any kind. If a minor is found to be in a night club, the entire club will be immediately closed for violating a national law. (Enforced more in nicer neighborhoods)

    Always change your money at the airport or at a bank. Bancolombia is the largest national bank, is based in Medellín and has ATM's almost everywhere. "Street changers" offer tempting rates for your dollar, but be on guard. "Street Changers" palm several of the biggest bills for themselves. Do not flaunt large amounts of money around. ATM machines are your best bet for dealing with the complexities of various money changers.

    When using an ATM machine (only delivers pesos) it is wise to use machines in a mall (Spanish: centro comercial), one of the large superstores (such as Exito or Carrefour) or grocery stores (such as Pomona or Carulla), then take your time walking around a bit. Don't rush out the door. If someone is watching people at the ATM, they will wait for you to leave, and possibly rob you on the street down the road. Using ATMs on the street is not advisable in Colombia.
  • filter_dramaStay Healthy
    The water in Medellín is potable and delicious. However, bottled water is always available everywhere for the extra-cautious.
    *Altitude is generally not a problem for foreigners since Medellín is approximately 1,500 mts (4,921 ft) above sea-level (about the same as Denver, USA or Davos, Switzerland). However, some who reside at or around sea-level may experience some minor effects their first night. If this is the case, it is advisable to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol on the way there and on the first night.
    *You are at no risk of many tropical diseases like malaria, cholera, yellow fever, leishmaniasis or Chagas disease because of Medellin's altitude.
    • Dental care

      Oral 70[http://www.oral70.com]: Carrera 70 N 45E- 13 Piso 2. Clean professional office. Located a few blocks south of Estadio station. Very reasonable rates (20,000 for half hour consult). Good english spoken and gaps filled care of google translate in the examination room.

  • filter_dramaContact
    • Telephone

      International country codes: Colombia 57, City code Medellín 4. When calling a mobile from outside Colombia dial 57-3 (I.E.+57 311 xxx xx xx don't double the 3).
      *To make an international call from Colombia, dial the access code 005 (UNE), 007 (ETB) or 009 (Telefonica), followed by the country code, area code and party's number.
      *Many local phones are blocked for direct international calling, but calling through an operator will work many phones: Call 159 for the operator.
      *For all local phone calls you have to dial only 7 digits.
      *When calling from a local phone into a cell phone you have to dial '03' then the 10 digit mobile number.
      *When calling from a Mobile to a local phone: dial 03 + (city code) + 7 digit phone number.
      *Emergencies dial 123

      Mobile services: There are several cellular phone companies in Colombia (claro[url=http://www.claro.com.co/],]Movistar [url=http://www.movistar.com.co[/url],]TIGO [url=http://www.tigo.com.co/[/url],]Uff! [url=http://www.uffmovil.com[/url],]UNE [url=http://www.une.com.co[/url],]ETB [url=http://www.etb.com.co/vozmovil[/url]]and Avantel [http://www.avantel.com.co[/url]). Calling mobile phones is more expensive than calling local numbers but not prohibitive. In crowded places is common to find people selling 'minutes' to make calls from their cell phones, usual range of prices from COP 100 to 200 per minute for domestic calls. All mobile numbers have 10 digits (The digit 3 is always first).

    • Internet

      There are many Internet cafes throughout the city. The country code for Colombian web addresses is ".co".

      Many public parks have free Wi-Fi connection, see the complete list of areas in the city webpage [http://www.mdeinteligente.co/estrategia/sitios]

    • Mail

      Regular mail in Colombia is quite dismal [url=http://www.4-72.com.co]]as you can not attach the stamps yourself and always have to go to a post office. There are very few offices in each city, usually downtown.
      With this background, private mail couriers have flourished with better service and more offices. There are close to 10 different companies, among the most popular are Coordinadora [url=http://www.coordinadora.com.co[/url]]and TCC [http://www.tcc.com.co[/url]. Both have agreements with international delivery services and cover the world over.

    • Newspapers

      There are 4 daily newspapers in town:
      * El Colombiano [url=http://www.elcolombiano.com]]is the second largest paper in the country with somewhat conservative views. Interestedly it has a few vignettes with the most important news in English - look for 'Antioquia Bilingue' [http://coloverio.securesites.net/blogs/globalnewsroom/?NM=Inicio[/url].

      * El Mundo has a liberal point of view. [http://www.elmundo.com]

      * The small format news outlets Q'hubo [url=http://www.qhubo.com]]and ADN are easily available.

      For the country Colombia Reports is a good source of news in English. [http://colombiareports.com[/url]

      A good monthly paper about life downtown, with long articles (sorry, only for masters of the Spanish language), is Universo Centro. [http://www.universocentro.com]

    • Online Music

      Paisa Estereo is an online radio station streaming to more than 174 countries from Medellin [http://www.PaisaEstereo.com]

    • TV stations

      Six local stations are available in cable services, air broadcast and most can be watched online.
      * Teleantioquia [url=http://www.teleantioquia.com.co]]has local news and entertainment. The news outlet has hearing impaired caption. It promotes its non-violent programming. The channel is also available online [http://www.teleantioquia.com.co/JumpTV/TeleantioquiaenInternet.html[/url].
      * TeleMedellin [url=http://www.telemedellin.tv/],]online at: [url=http://www.telemedellin.tv/pagina_nueva/telemed/index.php?sub_cat=24896[/url].]Also has an app for the iPhone.
      * Une [url=http://www.une.com.co/[/url]].
      * Cosmovisión [http://www.cosmovision.tv[/url].
      * Canal U the local universities medium [http://www.canalu.com.co].
      *Televida is a regional catholic TV channel based in Medellín. [http://www.televida.org.co].

  • filter_dramaCope
    • Medical Services

      There are plenty of good hospitals and clinics in Medellin. Many doctors will speak English because it is required as part of their training and many study overseas but unfortunately English is not widely spoken by nurses or other hospital staff. Most upscale hotels have medical services in house.

      It is easy to be seen by a doctor at any Emergency Department. Some clinics will make you pay a deposit in advance. Paying patients are generally attended to quite quickly.

      * Hospital Universitario San Vicente de Paul [url=http://www.elhospital.org.co]]covers almost all specialties with emphasis in transplantation, trauma.
      * Clinica Cardiovascular [url=http://www.lacardiovascular.org.co/[/url]]is the local reference for cardiovascular medicine in adults and children.
      * Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe [url=http://www.hptu.org.co[/url]]a non for profit with excellent services.
      * Clinica Medellin [url=http://www.clinicamedellin.com[/url]]with its main building downtown and a smaller branch in neighborhood El Poblado.
      * Clinica el Rosario[url=http://www.clinicaelrosario.com[/url]]has 2 sites, the one in El Poblado is modern, calm and oriented for international patients.
      * Oral Hygienist [http://www.facebook.com/oralhygienistmedellin[/url] Gloria Pavas speaks enough English and provides expert dental care at Clinica Medellin/El Poblado

    • Consulates

      Austria. Address Cr 43A No. 14-109. Phone: +57 4 266-5757, ext. 119/ Fax: +57 4 268-2858

      * Belgium - Bélgica. Address Diagonal 75B No. 2A-120, Of. 309. Phone +57 4) 341-6060/ Fax: +57 4 341-2946

      * Bolivia Address Cl 10 No. 41-9, Of. 301. Phone +57 4 381-7601/ Fax: +57 4 268-2706

      * Brazil - Brasil Address Calle 48C, #66-29. Phone +57 4 336-2692/ Fax: +57 4 265-5211

      * Chile Address Cr 48 No. 12sur-70, Ed. El Crucero, Of. 808. Phone +57 4 313-2209 or +57 4 313-5264/ Fax: +57 4 313-1608

      * Costa Rica Address Cr 43A No. 14-109 Ed. Nova Tempo, Of. 309. Phone +57 4 381-7549 or +57 4 312-2391

      *

      * Ecuador Address Cl 50 No.52-22, Ed. Banco de Caldas, Of. 802. Phone +57 4 512-1193

      * El Salvador Address Cl 10B No. 35-27. Phone +57 4 266-5433/ Fax: +57 4 266-5586

      * Fax: +57 4 265-7291

      * Fax: +57 4 232-8474

      * Fax: +57 4 251-0314

      * Fax: (+57 4) 262-3139

      * México Address Cl 50 No. 42-54, piso 2. Phone +57 4 239-0456/ Fax: (+57 4) 239-7062

      * Panamá Address Cl 10 No. 42-45, Of. 233. Phone +57 4 268-1157/ Fax: (+57 4) 288-6108

      * Perú Address Cl 4 sur No.43A-195 Ed. Centro Ejecutivo. Phone +57 4 268-7285/ Fax: +57 4 268-7293

      * South Korea - Corea del Sur Address Cr 42 (Autopista Sur) No. 54A-22, Itagüí. Phone +57 4 372-0755/ Fax: +57 4 373-6289

      * Spain - España Address Cr 42 No.10-11. Phone +57 4 312-0400/ Fax: +57 4 266-5364

      * Fax: +57 4 268-7878

      * Fax: +57 4 260-1881

      *

      *

    • Laundry

      Laundromats are scarce in Colombia, but full-service laundry and dry cleaning shops are commonly found in important streets and some shopping malls.

    • Electricity

      It is 110-220 volts for the country, using two-prong outlets (the same as in USA).

  • filter_dramaGet out
    • East

      [wiki=3d85be84caea8bf8a0ae36e416535297]Guatape[/wiki] and La Piedra del Peñol [url=http://www.piedrapenol.com/]:]Guatape is located approximately 90 minutes outside of Medellin and is a popular recreational and ecotourism destination for many Colombians and foreign travelers. Half the fun of traveling to Guatape is driving through the Colombian countryside lined with beautiful rolling hills, small towns, farms and friendly people. Once you arrive in Guatape you will notice that the town borders a reservoir built for a hydroelectric dam. The lake covers thousands of acres and can be explored and enjoyed by renting a boat or taking one of the large party boats available on weekends. Guatape has new resort hotels, restaurants, homes, and recreational rentals (boats and water skis) bordering the lake. The huge Rock (La Piedra del Peñol a.k.a. Peñón de Guatape) that borders the lake is an unexplained geological phenomenon. With 2/3 of its height below ground, the exposed vertical face is over 200 m. high (660 ft) and visible from throughout the surrounding countryside. Anyone can scale the rock for a few thousand pesos via a staircase built into one side, the view is breathtaking. On the top of the rock, a restaurant offers outdoor tables overlooking views that stretch to the horizon in every direction. There are buses going about every hour from the Medellín North bus terminal. Pablo Escobar, the famous druglord, once called Guatape his home and built several big Casas on its lakeshores. His presence made Guatape a dangerous place for both foreign visitors and local Colombians. After his death Guatape transformed into a quiet town that's growing as a tourist destination. Escobar's main home is now a bombed out shell that is easily viewed from the lake.

      * Natural Reserve of Río Claro This private nature reserve began in 1970 with the intention of supporting the protection of tropical rainforests in the Canyon of Rio Claro, while developing ecotourism with recreational-educational programs. The lime-stone, marble deposits and the river bed are beyond amazing. [url=http://rioclaroelrefugio.com/index_e.html[/url]] Accommodations with optional open to the forest cabins are available. Day tours from Medellin are also available with optional activities to choose from such as cave trekking, white water scenic rafting, kayaking and canopy adventures to name a few.

      * Alejandria, also known as the Pearl of Nare, is a pueblo of 4,000 people located 90 kilometers east of Medellin. Surrounded by basins, mountains, and the Nare River, Alejandria provides access to the Colombian countryside and authentic Colombian culture. The climate is warm and sunny with an average of 20 degrees C (68 degrees F). Activities include the natural pools Balneario Nudillales (free to the public), horseback riding, hiking trails, swimming at the base of several waterfalls, and tubing down the Nare River. For lodging, Golden Elephant Hostel is a modern, backpacker style hostel located at the base of the Nare River (www.goldenelephanthostel.com / +57 (4) 866 0160).

      * Extreme sports: Montevivo is a reservation in Santa Elena, 30 minutes up the hill from Medellín. It has 5 aerial ropeslides, one is around 400 mts long, among the largest in the world. You can canopy, trek, even sleep in the park. $$-$$$. [url=http://www.montevivo.org[/url]]Phone: +574 538 0279. email: montevivo@montevivo.org

      * El Retiro & Oriente Antioqueño Antioquia's easter region offers a large variety of extreme sports such as climbing and rafting. A variety of small towns can give you a clear of idea of what the life on the country side is like: quite and nice. It is very common to rent a finca or hacienda on the weekends in this region [http://www.alquilerfincalaarmonia.com[/url] Phone:+57 310 424 6925

    • West

      [wiki=d31f63c109fb31f0c0abf6daaf036153]Santa Fe de Antioquia[/wiki], a tropical town with beautiful colonial architecture. An annual film festival draws the national elite and cinema lovers to this charming spot. This cobblestoned street town founded in 1541 was the capital of the Antioquia Province until 1826 when it was ordained to Medellín.

    • South

      Most of the coffee in the country grows in the Andes region southwest of Medellín and most of the traditions of the coffee growers are the same as in this city. Indeed, world famous Juan Valdez [url=http://juanvaldez.com]]has lived in Medellín for over 3 decades. There are most of 20 small towns southwest of Medellín (Suroeste Antioqueño) where you can see Juan, mule Conchita and Grab Life by the Beans.

      * [[Jardín[/url]] is a quaint little town that displays beautiful local architecture, 2.5 hour drive southwest of Medellín. The main plaza is lined with several outdoor cafes, a large stone built church dominates this plaza. Local fresh trout is easily available at many eateries in town and a couple of countryside restaurants. Probably Jardín's most spellbinding natural attraction is the Splendor Cave. LandVenture Travel [url=http://www.LandVentureTravel.com]]offers day tours from Medellín to the Splendor Cave plus visiting sugar cane mills, coffee mills and other great attractions that Jardín has to offer.

      * In the very southern tip of the Antioquia Department there is a small country hotel overlooking the Cauca river. Terrific views of the canyon, ecological paths, swimming pool. Hotel Pipintá [url=http://www.hotelpipinta.com[/url]]in La Pintada. A 2.5 hr. drive from Medellín.

      * [[Sabaneta, Antioquia|Sabaneta[/url]], Colombia’s smallest municipality, with only 15 km², is located just 14 kilometers (8.1 miles) outside of the capital city of Medellín. Though small, this city has developed tremendously over the last decade and is now a beacon of progress in Colombia. Travel to Sabaneta to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and venture outside of the typical ‘tourist’ destinations. While in Sabaneta, eat at one of the municipality’s many open-air cafes, visit its famous María Auxiliadora Sanctuary, and explore the La Romera Ecological Park.

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      [[WikiPedia:Medellín]]
      [wiki=4e9f0ae96479e7909fa24bcef4a06b64]Dmoz:South_America/Colombia/Localities/Medellin/[/wiki]
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