Back to Medellin … 3 years later

BACK IN MEDELLIN !!!! That’s the exact feeling I had for a few days after arriving and still goes on.

Te quiero Medellin – I love you Medellin!

So in order to start a bit and give you an overview : watch this!

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But…why ?, you might ask.

If you take the Latin American continent, I challenge you to find a more pleasant and appealing city to live.

Universidad

It’s surely the greenest big city ever, there are parks everywhere, the nature is subtropical so it grows easily. It’s a quite big city, but not too big either, we are talking about 3.5 million people spreaded throughout the whole Medellin area. So the nature adds a very nice tone to some areas of the city. Here for example the neighourhood of Laureles where I stayed a few days at first.

Laureles

The transport deserves the whole city pretty well, the metro is efficient, clean and safe.

Metro

The city is maybe one of the safest of Latin America, so you may think this is complete bullsh*it, because 20 years ago it was the most dangerous of the planet given the cartel of Medellin lead by Pablo Escobar, which is true, but it has changed A LOT! So now, of course some areas remain “no go” but there is a big part of the city which is very safe.

The climate is awesome, it’s not called the “city of the never ending spring” for nothing, so it’s a subtropical climate, it varies from 18 to 28 degrees and it’s a bit humid (when it rains, it can pour down quite heavily), but it’s nice and refreshing.

The main touristy area where most of the Hostels are is the barrio “El Poblado” slightly against the hill. It’s one of the most expensive place to live as a local. This picture doesn’t show you the best part of it, but gives you an overview of the main road (calle 10) going uphill.

Calle 10

Economicaly it’s booming, here is the neighbourhood of the Poblado Avenue, where the banks and some high class malls are situated. In 3 years I can tell that there has been a lot of developments in different places of the city and let’s also highlight that Medellin has been awarded in 2012 for the “Most innovative City”.

El poblado

And a view over part of El Poblado from a bit uphill.

Vista sobre medellin

So where do i actually stay ? Well after trying a couple of noisy hostels I would highly recomend a special one named Hostal Casa Provenza. It’s just the best, here are a few pictures. I definitely recommend anyone to stay there, the staff is amazingly helpful, it’s sparkling clean, comfortable, quiet, and the breakfast is included in the offer.

hostal casa provenza

 

Bed

 

terrace

Talking about the malls, if you ever thought, “hey colombia is not a very developped country”, the kind of malls you will find in Medellin will just slap your face, it’s high end top class such as the Santa Fe commercial center or the Tesoro one, you will find all the great brands, and even better than back home.

Tesoro mall

santa fe

Of course not all the city is nice and well kept, poverty does exist and the difference remains striking between the nice, rich areas, and the poorest ones. While going to discover the brand new green park “Arvi” you can take the metro cable, and actually “fly” over the difficult neighbourhoods.

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And while reaching almost the top of the mount, here is the overview over Medellin you can get:

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The Parque Arvi is a nice way to escape the city and just go green, enjoy the landscape, walk in the nature. It’s situated between 2’300 meters and 2’600 high. It’s a very nice area where I almost felt being in Switzerland given the pines and the smell there is in the air.

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What we can say about Medellin is that in terms of development they are doing great! Even in the park you will find recycling bins !

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Now one of the main other reasons of why Medellin stands out on the touristic map of Colombia is for it’s nightlife which is great, there is for every taste and the Zona Rosa, near the Parque Lleras in the Poblado is like a Disneyland of  bars and clubs, and the beauty of its ladies. Now this is a big topic, because that involves true beauty, plastic surgery, the good and the bad girls obviously. But without even considering fake dolls, noone on the planet can deny that paisas (the ladies from Medellin), are very good looking and do have a genuine welcoming, warm and pleasant attitude.

I will take time to write a special “nightlife” article, but for now there is a tiny bit of the bars area (which counts at least 30 bars) in the Zona Rosa.

lleras

Everyone who has been to Colombia has tried “Aguardiente” the typical drink from Colombia. Just have to be careful while drinking it, cause it doesn’t seem to strong…but it strikes you hard 😉

Aguardiente

Talking about people generally, Colombians are extremely welcoming and warm, even the taxi driver will speak to you and help you for whatever you need. An analysis has stated that the Colombians are the most happy people in the world, so… this is not just a rumour.

While writing this, I am sure that the friends from Medellin I had the chance to meet will read this one. I would like to say a big THANK YOU for being so nice and gentle with this Swiss guy who decided to try to get a job and live for a while in your great city ! I am truly touched and honoured to have met you and to discover and get to know more of Medellin and of the colombians generally. And I keep on being positively surprised on how open and easy going you are. Muchas gracias!