Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, is a city invested in its future. Many renovations are transforming the city nestled in the Aburra Valley. New museums have opened, a commuter rail has started running, food trails have been launched, and green spaces have been created, adding new depth to Medellin. In fact, many surveys have voted the city as one of the best places to live and visit in South America. More than 2.4 million people call Medellin home, many of whom are eager to welcome visitors and share the warm hospitality emblematic of Colombia. Being a global community has been part of the Medellin DNA since the Basques came in 1499 and the Spanish arrived in 1616. Medellin is poised to become that global center, solidly planted in the 21st century.
By day, Medellin is a center for education, commerce, and politics, plus medicine, sports, and transportation. This vibrancy isn't lost once night falls over Aburra Valley. Along with shopping and dining, plenty of cultural events, festivals, and holiday celebrations that can fill your schedule. There's a thriving tango culture here, evidenced in many of the bars and the Patio del Tango—an institution created just for lovers of good music and those who make it. Salon Malaga celebrates Medellin's beloved music with exhibits, live music, coffee, and hours that stretch into the wee hours of the morning every night. The performing arts are flourishing, too, on stages at the Lido Theater, El Teatrico, and the Metropolitan Theater. The actors of Accion Impro put their improvisation skills to work as they present joyful shows on Fridays and Saturday. In addition to the music and the arts, the Medellin planetarium looks to the stars with its large-screen dome shows. The first floor of the Jesús Emilio Ramírez Municipal Planetarium is filled with interactive exhibits that are free to enjoy.
Hotels in Medellin
Hotels in Medellin
As Medellin has grown, so has its selection of lodging providers. Many of the hotels are close to the Medellin attractions, including the newly opened House of Memory Museum near downtown. Besides the downtown district, many of the popular hotels are concentrated in the walkable Poblado area and the Laureles neighborhoods. With a mix of traditional and modern designs, Medellin hotels suit all types of tastes—and budgets. For the budget conscious, a reservation at one of the hostels will leave more money in their pockets for the rest of the vacation.
Medellin Nearby Towns
With its bevy of attractions and hotels, Medellin serves as an ideal base for exploring the Aburra Valley. The surrounding region, called Antioquia District, is home to some 3.5 million people when the nearby towns are considered. This region is one of 32 departments in the country, which are similar to states in the U.S. Antioquia is located in northwestern Colombia, in between the Caribbean Sea and the peaks of the Andes Mountains. Each of the surrounding communities has something to offer those who venture away from the capital.
Located in the southern part of the Antioquia District, Guatape is a popular spot for its watersports, especially along the shores of Embalse El Peñol, a large lake created by a hydroelectric dam. A collection of rocky outcroppings is another must-see in town. It's officially called El Peñon de Guatapé, but the locals ofter refer to it as Le Piedra, which means The Stone. Stairs have been carved into the rocks, making it relatively safe to get tot he top and admire the views.
Like Guatape, Marinilla is another friendly city easily accessible from Medellin. Regular bus service connects the communities, and the trip to Marinilla can be accomplished in an hour. Its attractions showcase local history, especially its connection to guitar making. Religious sites and agriculture also make Marinialla a special place for a Medellin day trip.