Eternal Winter is scary and cold; Eternal Summer is too hot… Eternal Spring is another story, however.



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Digital Nomad Travel Guide: Medellin, The City of Eternal Spring


Are you interested in touring South America nomad hubs? This Digital Nomad Travel Guide: Medellin, The City of Eternal Spring is definitely for you!





The capital city of the Colombian department of Antioquia, located in the Central Mountain Range of The Andes. You most likely know its name for all the wrong reasons - given that only a few years ago, it was considered the most violent city of the world after having been the base of one of the bloodiest drug cartels from all time.

 


The renaissance of this fantastic city is proof that the impossible can become possible. (Source: Unsplash)


Medellin, from the most violent city to the most innovative


Violence in this city is now history (its homicide rate decreased by 80%); through the implementation of strategies that included educational, cultural and technological solutions, Medellin managed to overcome its bitter past. In fact, in 2013 it was named "the most innovative city on the planet" by the Wall Street Journal and the Urban Land Institute.


Its eternal spring weather, great green spaces, spectacular views and delicious food; they make Medellin an exceptional destination that shouldn't go unnoticed in the travel list of any digital wanderer.


So come on, join me in this encounter with Medellin - where I will share with you everything you need to know to enjoy the best experience during your visit to this incredible place.

 

Where to stay in Medellin?



(Source: Pexels)


The different options to stay in this city can be adjusted to what you have planned for your visit; here you can find from the best place to stay with your family to the ideal place to enjoy along with your group of friends.


Best places to stay in Medellin


Medellin is a destination that can be considered cheap for accommodation in comparison to other cities, such as some of those belonging to the European continent. It will be an excellent choice for you if you want to enjoy a vacation without spending a lot of money.


All places where you can stay in the city are kept within this economic range and have variety types of accommodation such as; large hotel chains, family hostels, apartments among others.


1. El Poblado


El Poblado” is the best place to stay, because it has a great diversity in accommodation; it is also well located since is connected to the main roads, which will allow you easy access to public transport and private cars to roam the different locations of Medellin. It also has the best security in the whole city; in fact, you can walk through its streets at night without worries.


It is the safest area because it’s the home of the upper class of Medellin, and there also are large luxury malls with shops of recognized brands and boutiques containing the latest trends in Colombian fashion. If you are a fan of food, El Poblado has many quality restaurants where you can taste the best of Colombian cuisine. It also enjoys a lively nightlife since there are lot of clubs, so if you consider yourself the soul of the party, in this neighborhood you will feel like a fish in water.


Recommended accommodation in El Poblado:


(*): The price range may change depending on the time you decide to travel to Medellin.


2. Laureles


Laureles is not as touristy as El Poblado, but it is an equally recommended place to stay in the city. It’s definitely quieter, and you can find even cheaper accommodation; it will be a perfect fit if you are looking for a relaxing place to rest.


In Laureles, you can also visit different shopping centers, bars and establishments with good live music, and for caffeine addicts like me, you can drink a good Colombian coffee in any of its cafes accompanied by a delicious dessert (My favorites are those of chocolate, which are the specialty of local confectionery). If you like sports, during your visit you may hit a stroke of luck and enjoy a football match between local teams at the Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex, also located in this area.


You can walk in the day through its streets and feel safe but, unlike El Poblado, does not have high security at night, so at the end of the day if you go for a walk I advise you to do it with caution and avoid solitary places.


Recommended accommodation in Laureles:


(*): The price range may change depending on the time you decide to travel to Medellin.


3. La Candelaria


Located in the center of the city, this area is close to many of the most important tourist attractions, such as; the Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Antioch Historical Society Museum, the EPM Interactive Museum, the Orquideorama, the famous Parque de Los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Park), among many others. As in the previous areas, it has large of malls for shopping such as the Camino Real Shopping Center.


If you want to spent even less on accommodation, in La Candelaria you will find cheaper options than those previously presented. The only disadvantage of staying in this place is that it is a very unsafe place. If this is your choice; I recommend you do not go out at night, and when you go out in the day try not to load things of value in sight or simply leave them at the hotel.


Recommended accommodation in La Candelaria:


(*): The price range may change depending on the time you decide to travel to Medellin.

 

Where and what to eat in Medellin?



(Source: Unsplash)


"Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper"; this saying is the most accurate description to define the experience of eating in Medellin. Their strong dishes to start the day and lighters to end the night, all of them typical from Colombian and international cuisine will make your visit become an unforgettable memory.


Marvellous places to eat in Medellin


Mondongo's


One of Medellin's favorite restaurants with two locations in the city (in El Poblado and Laureles), is a must if you want to explore the flavors of Colombian gastronomy. Especially to taste the star dish of this place, the delicious "mondongo". Cozy with a family atmosphere, the best service, dishes with generous portions and a moderate price range (from $7 to $20 USD).


If you don't want to eat mondongo, I recommend ordering a chicken in mushrooms that is accompanied with French fries, avocado and tomato; you will end up licking your fingers and asking for more.


Hacienda


La Hacienda is another typical Antioquia restaurant that you should add in your list for expand your culture about the so-called "City of Spring". You can eat in any of its venues either in Junín, La Strada, Manila or Ciudad del Rio. Its decoration and friendly staff will make you feel at home.


This homely place is perfect to taste the traditional “bandeja paisa”, ideal to start your day eating like a king. Average prices for dishes at La Hacienda range around $7 to $15 USD approximately.


La Causa


An interesting option to eat located in Parque Lleras, El Poblado. It is a small restaurant with an adult-young atmosphere, excellent service and modern decoration. If you want to try an exotic dish outside the traditional gastronomy of the city, at La Causa you can savor the best of Nikkei cuisine (Peruvian and Japanese fusion food).


Among its dishes, the pork ribs in the Nikkei style stand out, which consists of juicy pork ribs dipped in sweet sauce with huancaína potatoes. From its dessert menu I recommend you try a “causa de milo”, I’m sure that when you taste this delicious dessert you will don’t want it to end. The average price of meals is between $8 and $15 USD.


Betty's Bowls


An economical and healthy alternative to eat in Medellin is Betty's Bowls. I suggest you go through this beautiful cafe that is also located in Parque Lleras and try some of their divine meals made with 100% natural products.


If you don't want a strong breakfast, the Betty Tostada will fit you perfectly; made with multigrain bread, almonds, avocado, grilled cheese and vegetables, bathed with secret vinaigrette from Betty's, is a delight from start to finish. I recommend you accompany your toast with a refreshing Smoothie drink; it will be the perfect complement. Obviously, you shouldn't forget to try their delicious bowls in any of their different combinations of fruits and organic ingredients. The standard price per dish in this place is approximately $5 USD.


Me Late Chocolate


Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, “Me Late Chocolate” is the ideal place for chocolate addicts. Its menu has a great variety of desserts with chocolate in the most exquisite presentations.


Cakes, cookies, ice cream, truffles, hot and cold drinks, crepes and more, all with chocolate as the protagonist. Also, if you like coffee, at Me Late Chocolate you can drink a good cup made with the best coffee from Antioquia. Although as a chocolate lover, I suggest you complement your dessert with a "pasión adictiva" (addictive passion, in English) that consist of a delicious cup of white chocolate, you will become addicted to its flavor. Regarding the price, it is not a very expensive place, the range stays between $3 and $8 USD per drink or dessert.


The 5 best "paisa" meals you should try in Medellin



(Source: Wikimedia Commons)


1. Bandeja paisa


An internationally famous paisa food.


Chicharron, ground beef, fried egg, avocado, beans, rice, plantain, chorizo, arepa and hogao (tomato and onion sauce). All that I just named is what is in a bandeja paisa (Paisa tray in English), the question is Can you eat it all?


2. Sancocho paisa


El sancocho paisa, is the guest that never fails in Colombian family reunions.


This type of soup is a typical dish in different countries, what characterizes the paisa from the rest is its great amount of ingredients like; beef, pork, hen or chicken, yucca, corn on the cob, carrots, banana, cilantro, among other vegetables. This is a nutritious lunch to renovate energy.


3. Calentao paisa


Surely your mother once told you not to waste your food, and as every mother always is, was right.


Calentao paisa (heated paisa in English) is a delicious result of this premise, since it consists on heating all the remains of food left the previous day, particularly those containing meat and beans, then is mixed with rice and complemented with fried egg and an arepa paisa.


4. Picada antioqueña


A succulent mix of flavors.


The best of Antioquia food chopped into small pieces, among its ingredients are; chicharron, meat, chicken, pork, chorizo, banana, morcilla, potato, arepa and lemon.


5. Mondongo antioqueño


A Spanish delicacy with the flavor of Antioquia.


A tasty, very seasoned soup made with beef belly chopped into pieces, pork, chorizo, chicken and vegetables. Its exquisite flavor has turned it into one of the most requested paisa meals by the inhabitants and visitors of Medellin.


4 Delicious paisa desserts that you should eat in Medellin



(Source: Pixabay)


1. Brevas de arequipe


Divine caramelized figs covered with arequipe (Dulce de Leche in the U.S.).


2. Miguelucho


Bittersweet curdled milk dessert prepared with panela (brown sugar), cinnamon and lemon (used to cut the milk).


3. Natilla antioqueña


A variant of the Spanish custard, but unlike the original recipe has as ingredients: cornstarch, panela, cinnamon, milk and sometimes grated coconut.


4. Parva


Different pieces of puff pastry and bakery with sweet or salty flavor, served in the middle of the afternoon or when drink coffee among them are pan de queso, pan de yuca, sponge cake, buñuelos, merengue, pandero, among other delicacies.

 

What to do in Medellin?



(Source: Pixabay)


The City of Eternal Spring houses several places arranged for the entertainment of its inhabitants and tourists; from beautiful parks where you can have a picnic to the most fun night spots for party.


Do you like science? If the answer is yes, then visit the Explora Park


The Explora Park, located in the northern zone of Medellin, is an interesting place for lovers of science and technology. This museum has a large number of interactive attractions for young people, adults and even some designed to introduce in this field to the smallest of the house. And not only that, here you will also find the largest freshwater aquarium from Latin America with more than 350 marine species.


Have a picnic at Arvi Park


This ecological park celebrates and highlights the best of Medellin's nature reserves. It's the largest of its kind in the entire country and occupies several municipalities of Antioch. You can have a picnic in this beautiful place with your friends or family, while you get in touch with nature. If you decide to go to Arvi Park, you can go there taking the Cable metro.


Get to know Colombian art in the Museum of Antioquia


Located in the center, it's one of the most prominent cultural sites in the city. It exhibits numerous paintings and sculptures by national artists (such as the famous master Fernando Botero) and international artists, ancient and modern art among other cultural attractions. The ticket to enter in the museum is cheap, so if you want to know everything about Medellin then it will be worth every penny.


Take off your shoes and walk through the Pies Descalzos Park


If you feel a little busy with the bustle of the city, I recommend you go to this small oasis named “Pies descalzos” (Barefoot in English) located in the administrative area of Medellin. Enter, take off your shoes and walk on the sand. You will see that when you feel it between your feet and connect with the natural environment, you will be renewed.


If you are passionate about food, you should visit the Mercado Del Río


I already recommended several stupendous places to eat in Medellin, but the Mercado del Río is a bonus that you should not leave out of your list. The pioneer of its style in the country, it has a wide range of restaurants, cafes and bars. The only problem will be deciding on one of them, because all its local products are of excellent quality.


Go to the highest part of the city on the Metrocable


The Metrocable is one of the innovative projects that are part of the renaissance of this wonderful city. It was created in order to facilitate the access of public transport to all its habitants, since connects majority sites of the city. I invite you to climb the cable and reach the Santo Domingo neighborhood, where you can see the best views of Medellin. But please, do this in the morning in order to avoid security problems.


Have a good drink of aguardiente and have fun at any of the best night sites in Medellin


Medellin has a great variety of venues with the best nightlife, if you want to share in group or just have fun by yourself. Among them stand out sites like; Dulce Jesús Mío, a place with live tropical music located in El Poblado; Salón Málaga (located in the center of Medellin), where you will find good music and you will be able to see a spectacular tango show; and Trilogía Live Bar, a varied music bar located in Ciudad del Rio, among many others.


5 tips to have the best experience during your trip to Medellin



(Source: Unsplash)


1. Explore remote districts with the company of a tour guide


If this is the first time you are visiting Medellin, it's recommended that you don't go alone to remote areas.


2. In the daylight use public transport, at night take a taxi


Public transport in Medellin is an excellent option to move around the city. In the day you can take any bus, but if you want to tour the street at night I advise you ask for a taxi and do this by phone preferably.


3. Make your purchases using the local currency


It's much more profitable to make your purchases using the Colombian peso.


4. Don't attract so much attention


Avoid carrying things of value in a visible way and do not leave your wallet or belongings on your back, especially if you are on public transport.


5. Visit between the months of July and August Medellin, and enjoy the best festivals of the city


During the month of July there are two of the most important events in the country that are the annual Salsa Festival and Colombiamoda (Colombia’s Fashion Week). Also, at the beginning of August, the traditional Feria de las Flores (Flower Fair in English) is celebrated.


Now, we’ve given you basically everything that you need to know as a digital nomad if this amazing city is your next destination (Plus, you will find information on co-working spaces in upcoming articles and resources on BeginWandering.com).


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