The Top 5 Things To Do in Medellín, Colombia

After a week in Medellín, I found myself scrambling to use Google Translate in an attempt to extend my stay. Sadly, I was not successful. A city filled with museums, bars, restaurants, clubs — I could easily spend a month in Medellín and it still wouldn’t be long enough. Check out my list of the top five things to do in Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city.

1. Visit Mercado del Río

With a ton of selections, this market caters to a wide palate. Enjoy Peruvian, Italian, Mexican, traditional Colombian cuisine, and many others. Whether you want to eat, enjoy drinks with friends, or catch a fútbol game, Mercado del Río is the place to be.

 

2. Prepare to be mesmerized by Comuna 13

Once plagued by violence, Comuna 13 is now a vibrant area where tourists flock to enjoy colorful street art. Hop on the outdoor escalators and enjoy the ride to the top of the hill where you will be greeted by more murals, performances, street food, and an amazing view of the city.

 

3. Enjoy an aerial view of Medellín from the cable cars

Both a tourist attraction and a huge part of daily life for residents, the cable car is a great way to take in the city. A relatively new addition to the city, it provides a way for people living in the Medellín hills to get to and from work. There is also a line to Parque Arví, which many tourists visit.

 

4. Relax at Museo El Castillo

This Gothic-style castle provides a great way to take a break from the usual hustle and bustle of visiting a new city. After exploring the museum, venture to the gardens where you can enjoy drinks with friends or a romantic lunch.  Pack a camera because Museo El Castillo provides great backdrops for Instagram-worthy pictures.

 

5. Take a trip to Guatapé

A trip to Medellín would not be complete without a visit to Guatapé. Not part of Medellín, Guatapé is located two hours outside of the city. Filled with colorful streets, the main attraction is climbing 600 steps up La Piedra del Peñol. Trust me, it is worth the hike!

 

If you ever book a flight to Colombia, do yourself a favor and visit Medellín. Friendly locals, great food, affordable cost of living…I can definitely see myself spending a few months in Medellín.

Happy travels,

Marissa

 

The Top 5 Things To Do in Medellin, Colombia by Marissa's Teachable Moments

Guatapé Getaway: 740 Steps to the Top of A Rock

Guatape Colombia La Piedra El Penol Rock

A trip to Medellín would not be complete without a day trip to Guatapé. Described as the most colorful town in Colombia, Guatapé did not disappoint.

Guatapé is located about two hours from Medellín. I hopped in a van with a few people I met in a Facebook group…as I type that, it sounds dangerous, but it was actually really great and I’ll share more on that later. Prior to meeting these ladies, I considered taking a group tour or a bus. Whatever you choose, getting to Guatapé is pretty simple.

A view of La Piedra, also known as El Penon, in Guatape, Colombia.

When we arrived, we purchased tickets to climb La Piedra del Peñol, also known as El Peñon de Guatapé. Who pays to climb some steps? Don’t worry, it’s not expensive; for 18,000 COP (~6 USD), tourists can hike to the top of this gigantic rock. Unfortunately, the top was closed the day we visited. We didn’t discover that until we reached step 700 of 740. Talk about being so close and yet so far. The view was amazing, but I’m curious to know what those extra 40 steps have in store.

A view from the top of El Penol in Guatape, Colombia.

It took about an hour to reach the top of the rock. That included stopping here and there to take sips of water and catch my breath. Once you reach the top, you’ll be out of breath for a different reason…the view is breathtaking!

Enjoying the view from the top of El Penol, also known as La Piedra, in Guatape, Colombia.

Remember, what goes up must come down. So take some time to enjoy the view and purchase snacks and water before making your way back down the rock.

I’m not a fan of strenuous physical activity on vacation, but would I climb the steps of La Piedra del Peñol again? Definitely! Guatapé, Colombia’s must-see attraction was worth the hike. Plus, I have to see the view from the top.

Happy Travels,

MarissaA quick recap of a day trip to Guatapé, Colombia.