Destination guide: Medellin, Colombia
Medellin is a friendly, hospitable and respectful city full of joie de vivre. It is in the middle of a mountainous valley in Colombia with the Andes as a contrast to the colors, flavors and aromas of its streets.
Medellin is the second most important city in this area of South America, after Bogota, the country’s capital and is a place where traditional architecture combines with the modernity of a city that is looking to develop every single day.
Purchase your tickets to Medellin and take advantage of the chance to dance to the rhythm of salsa, bachata and rumba.
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Medellin - Things to do
Located in Barrio Manrique, the Casa Gardeliana was the main tango venue for years, hosting tango bands and dance shows. It still has them from time to time, though now it’s basically a small tango museum, featuring memorabilia related to tango and Carlos Gardel.
Latitude: 6.2697410867555 / Longitude: -75.5546522140503
Telephone Number: +57 4 212 0968
Opening Hours: 9am-5pm Pricing: admission free
Address: Carrera 45 / Extras: No 76-50
Thanks to a local law that requires major new buildings to include public art, central Medellin can seem like a vast, outdoor art gallery. Besides the Plazoleta de las Escultras, you can see Botero's massive bronze woman's torso known as La Gorda, in front of the Banco de la República in Parque Berrío. There are also three more Botero sculptures in the Parque San Antonio.
Latitude: 6.2495204914362 / Longitude: -75.5686855316162
Address: Parque Berrío, La Candelaria
Río Claro Valley
Thanks to Colombia's improving security situation, it is once again safe to visit the Río Claro Valley in eastern Antioquia, where a crystal-clear river has carved stunning shapes into its marble bed. It's also a favorite spot for bird-watchers, who come to see everything from hummingbirds to herons to vultures. You can stay in the lodge known as El Refugio, which is about 1km from the river and near the town of Puerto Triunfo. Río Claro is located just off the main road that connects Bogotá and Medellín. Most buses that connect the two cities will drop you off in Puerto Triunfo. Note that nighttime travel in this area remains risky; check current conditions.
Pricing: bus US$10
Address: Eatern Antioquia
- Feria Taurina de La Macarena (Jan & Feb; cnr Autopista Sur & Calle 44) The bullfighting season takes place at the Plaza de Toros La Macarena, the 11,000-seat, Moorish-style bullring built between 1927 and 1944.
- Feria Nacional de Artesanías (late Jul or early Aug) A huge craft fair held at the sports complex Estadio Atanasio Girardot. It attracts artisans from around the country and is a good opportunity to buy crafts at bargain prices.
- Feria de las Flores (early Aug) Medellín's most spectacular event is this weeklong feria. The highlight is the Desfile de Silleteros, when up to 400 campesinos (peasants) come down from the mountains and parade along the streets carrying flowers on their backs.
- Alumbrado Navideño (Dec & Jan) A colorful Christmas illumination of the city, with thousands of lights strung across the streets and parks. The lights stay on from December 7 to January 7.
- Festival de Poesía de Medellín (July; www.festivaldepoesiademedellin.org) This international festival attracts poets from five continents.
- Festival Internacional de Jazz (Sep; www.medejazz.com) Many North American bands come for this festival. There are usually a couple of free concerts.