10 Things to do in Medellin Colombia
by Mac Candee
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Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2021

Medellín is a place loaded with lots of sights, art, a positive urban atmosphere and many things to do. It’s the second-largest city in Colombia, after Bogotá, and has a fascinating history. I got to spend four days there, and in that period I saw so much that I can’t wait to share with you. We had so much fun and made the best out of our time there. A longer stay will allow you to enjoy much more of what the city has to offer, but we made sure to give you some of the highlights.

Also, this blog post is not ordered in any way from best to worst, it’s just simply how we arranged our experiences while there. Don’t forget to read until the end, so you don’t miss out on any of the exciting activities we’re going to talk about.

1. Go Paraglading

This is one of the best things to do near the city, and will definitely be an experience of a lifetime. It was my first time doing it, and it was incredible. We went with a company called Parapente San Felix, which sits right up in the mountains of Medellín, only a short 40-minute ride from the center. From then, they set you up with the equipment, and you jump off the side of a mountain. Underneath you, you can see all of the city, the rolling hills of the nearby landscape, and it’s an incredibly memorable moment. It’s one of the coolest things I did while there, because you can really see just how huge the city is, and enjoy its vast and beautiful scenery. I created a video about this adventure, and if you want to know exactly how everything went, you can check it out here

2. Cerro el Picacho

This is one of the lookout spots on the mountain, and it has a statue of Jesus on top. It’s a high altitude scenic stop, where you can just take in the whole landscape and enjoy the city underneath you. You’ll be able to make use of your fair share of viewpoints, because there are a lot of them in this area, and they are all stunning.

3. Take a cable car over the city

This option allows you to take a look at the city from a whole new angle. The cable car stretches through many areas, and you can also use it as a means of transportation. It’s a 2 in 1 combo, you’re getting the incredible sights, and you’re getting closer to your next destination at the same time. It cost me and my cousin Brian both $5 to get from one end of the city to another, all the while enjoying our experience.

4. Hike around the national park - Park Arvi

This huge plot of land offers many things to do and see. In our case, we almost missed it, so make sure you go earlier in the day. It’s very beautiful, with lots of hikes to do and areas to walk around in, so don’t expect to be bored. The national park is much more laid back than the center of the city, so you can slow down the pace and take a moment to enjoy the surroundings. It’s also very noticeable just how clean the air is, because of the jungle vegetation around the park. You can also camp here for the day. In my experience, you need at least 5-6 hours to really get to know the place and start taking it in, just because there is so much to do and see. If you want to get there by cable car, just make sure you keep in mind that they stop coming at 6 PM.

5. Try out Colombian coffe - Pergamino café in Poblado

The Colombians are world-famous for their top-quality coffee, so if you’re a fan of this beverage, it would be a huge miss if you didn’t try it out. The specific venue we’re recommending has been said to be one of the best in terms of coffee quality in the whole district. And it really lives up to its name - both the coffee and the food there are incredible.

6. Take a day trip to the lake town of Guatape

This scenic small town is only a short car ride away from Medellín. It’s also a must-see! You can get there by taxi, bus, rent a car, or a myriad of other options. I must confess that I was a bit skeptical before going, but I can confidently say it was worth it. It was one of the highlights of my whole Medellín experience, and there is so much to do and see there. You can expect low prices, fun activities, breathtaking nature and delicious food. I actually wrote a whole blog post on things to do there, which you can check out here, or watch the video here. I’d say you can definitely spend much more than 24 hours there, but if you’re only visiting Medellín for a short amount of time, a day trip is a must-do.

7. "Real city tours" walking tour

This three and a half hour walking tour will help you get acquainted with the city’s many hidden wonders. You’ll learn more about the city’s turbulent history, being the most dangerous place in the world only fifteen years ago. Right now not many reminders of its dark past remain, it’s a beautiful, vibrant tourist hotspot. It’s incredible to see just how many things have changed in a few years, and doing the walking tour really lets us experience it fully.

If you want to take the tour as well, you can book it here.

8. Check out the local foods and shops at centro comercial

This street market will allow you to enjoy all of the wonderful little treasures that the vendors sell. It’s an amazing place with its own unique atmosphere, and everything from local clothes, to jewelry, to hats. Anything you can think of - you can find. The street food is also incredibly tasty, so don’t miss out on it!

9. Try the delicious Bunuelo (cheese balls)

This traditional Colombian street food classic is a must-try. There are two different kinds, the classic one made with cheese dough, and a newer kind with mozzarella cheese inside. They’re not the healthiest, but the taste is amazing. You can find them strolling down Centro Comercial.

10. Take a tour of Communa 13

This district of Medellín is one of the most colorful and fun ones you can find. There are so many young people, a joyous atmosphere and lots of art everywhere you turn. It has a much more different history though, as it used to be the most dangerous neighborhood in all of Latin America. To see how much it’s transformed into a colorful, welcoming and safe place is incredible. I got to have a tour with a local, which is an even better experience, because he’s personally lived through the transformation and can tell you so much about the place. If you want to connect with him, you can message him on his WhatsApp Number: +57 321 4550451 Sebastian.

Closing Thoughts

I really hope you enjoy my suggestions! Medellín is an incredible city with so much history, life and things to do. After you’ve visited it, I’m sure it will have a special place in your heart just by being so unique. I can’t begin to tell you just how much fun I had, and I’m certain that you’re going to have a blast as well. Make sure you keep yourself safe, ask for recommendations and use your best judgement. Colombia and its locals are incredibly welcoming and sweet, so I’m sure you’re going to enjoy your stay. I’d love to hear about how your experience was if you’ve visited, and I wish you happy travels.