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Antioquia, Andean Central

Medellín

What used to be the most dangerous city in the world in 1990, in hands of Pablo Escobar, was rated the most innovative city worldwide in 2012, beating NY & Tel Aviv. Taking the Veronica Rudge Green award for urban design in 2013, complete with a cable car, the only metro in the country, electronic lifts for the disabled & an outdoor escalator for 1 of its poorest neighborhoods, Medellín has become 1 of the most progressive cities in Latin America. With its perfect climate all year round, this dynamic city situated in the Aburrá valley has lots to offer!        

HIGHLIGHTS
Museum of Modern Art: @cra 44 # 19A-100, metro to Industriales. Tue-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-5:30pm, Sun 4:30pm. Mon = closed, when public holiday, its open & Tue = closed. = 8pp. Open until 10pm on the last Fri of each month, free entry.

Restaurant Centeno
: farm to table, natural and well prepared, different flavors & fresh products every day. Delicious! @El Poblado (cra 36 # 7 38 Provenza, El Poblado), open Mon-Sat & weekends 12am-10pm, price from 15pp. Facebook: Centeno Vegetarian Restaurant, cel: 314-717 29 81. Be aware: in the printed version the address is wrong! They recently needed to move to another place.

Parque Arví:
was declared a National Forest Reserve in 1970. Go up on the cable car to 2400m (7874ft). Fine-looking views, ideal for hiking, picnicking & camping. Metro to Acevedo, change to Santo Domingo Savio, cable car = 4.6pp, 9am-6pm, closed on Mon (when Mon is a public holiday, the park closes on Tue).

Botanical Garden
: @cra 52 # 73-298. FREE. Metro to Universidad station. Mon-Sun 9am-5pm.

Museo de Antioquia
: @cra 52 # 52-43, = 10pp, metro to Parque Berrio station. In front of the museum there is an open space with lots of Botero statues = Plaza Botero. Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm. Sun + public holiday 10am-4:30pm.

Parque de los Pies Descalzos: take your shoes off & enjoy walking barefoot in the middle of the city. @cra 58 # 42-125, metro to Cisneros or Alpujarra station.

Museo Casa de la Memoria: about political victims who disappeared without explanation or people who were forced by the military or by guerrillas to leave their finca & live in the city - people who still live in the poorest neighbourhoods of Medellin. That is why the museum is in this neighbourhood; to improve this area & to get closer to the victims. Super modern museum with all the modern gadgets like multimedia features & interactions! UK guides + entrance = free. Some guides are themselves victims, which makes it much more real! Metro till Parque Berrio. By foot = 25min. Follow cll 51 (called La Playa) in the direction of Teatro Pablo. At the fountain 2 blocks further. T from museum to Prado = 5/tr. Mon 12am-7pm. Tue-Fri 9am-7pm. Wknd = 10am-4pm.

Museo el Castillo
: a castle with a stunning garden & picnic spots (order a basket or bring your own), a museum & great views. @Cll 9 # Sur 32-269, la Loma de los Balsos, El Poblado = 8-10pp. Mon-Fri 9am-12am, 2pm-6pm. Wknd + holiday = 10am-5pm.

Cerro de las 3 Cruces (Belén Aliadas): enjoy a stunning view & stay fit by doing some exercises on top of the hill (free fitness equipment available). How2GetThere: from El Poblado park take a T = 15min, 12/tr (or B 178 parque Belén). Then start a 30min hike. Best to wear good hiking shoes & take water + sunscreen. TIP: best to go there after 1pm because it is very busy in the mornings.

Read here more about "What to do around medellín?". 

ACCOMMODATION
Arcadia Hostel, Pitstop Hostel, Palm TreeHostel La Finca - Culturas Unidas (San Jerónimo), Mi Casa es Guatapé (Guatapé), Golden Elephant Hostel (Alejandria)

TOURS
Real City Tours

LANGUAGE INSTITUTE
Pontificia Bolivariana University Medellin

HOW2GETTHERE
Bogotá = 9-10hrs, 60-65pp. Cartagena = 16hrs, 118pp. Cali = 8-9hrs, 46pp. Pereira =  6hrs, 35pp. Bucaramanga = 8hrs, 60pp. Metro-ticket = 2pp. Mon-Sat 4:30am-11pm. Public holidays & Sun 5am-10pm.  

NOTE: Medellín - Intl. airport = 1hr, 60/tr. TIP: when traveling to the intl. airport: take a T or B to San Diego (“donde salen los colectivos”).  Colectivo (needs 4 pers) - airport = 13-15pp, 40min. This way you save money!

TIPS
-Feria de las Flores = beginning of Aug.
-Travel cheaper with an integrado metro ticket that also incl. B.
-There are 2 airports: intl. Jose Maria Cordoba is outside the city; the national Olaya Herrera is close to El Poblado.