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Travel Guide South America Colombia Medellin

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Introduction

Medellin

Medellin

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Medellin is Colombia's second largest city with around 2.5 million inhabitants in the city and a million or so more in the metropolitan area. It's located in the Aburra Valley at an elevation of almost 1,500 metres above sea level.

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Sights and Activities

Botero Plaza

Botero Plaza is the place that many visitors head to when visiting Medellin. It is in this square that many of Botero's famous bronze statues are placed. Across from the plaza is located the Museo de Antioquia, which houses many more statues and paintings by Botero. The museum also shows many 19th and 20th century national and international artists.

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Paragliding

Medellin is possibly the best place in South America to either try paragliding, or to get certified in it. The mountains surrounding the city are often filled with paragliders. A week-long intensive course usually costs around US$400, including all the materials. It is worth checking that your teacher speaks fluent English!

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Events and Festivals

La Feria de las Flores (Flower festival)

This is the biggest and most prized festival of the local "Paisas". Consisting of a whole week of events, concerts, parades and parties it cumulates in the beautiful parade of the "silleteros" who design inspiring flower displays which they carry on their backs from the nearby municpality of Sana Elena to the centre of Medellín to cheers of the huge crowds. Not to be missed.

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Weather

Average high and low temperatures are very constant throughout the year: 27 °C or 28 °C during the day and 16 °C or 17 °C at night. Records are only 33 °C and 10 °C respectively, giving the city an almost spring-ish climate year round. Almost, because precipitation is relatively high as well, with 1,600-1,700 mm a year. December to February is the driest and and April-June and August-November the wettest months.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max27.6 °C27.9 °C28 °C27.6 °C27.5 °C27.9 °C28.3 °C28.3 °C27.7 °C26.9 °C27 °C27.1 °C
Avg Min16.8 °C17.1 °C17.3 °C17.5 °C17.4 °C17.1 °C16.7 °C16.8 °C16.7 °C16.8 °C17 °C16.8 °C
Rainfall65 mm80 mm126 mm161 mm199 mm158 mm119 mm148 mm178 mm212 mm147 mm94 mm
Rain Days121317222319171922242115

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are plentiful and cheap.

By Public Transport

A very well organised (the pride of the local "Paisas") metro system has two lines that cover the elongated city well. Travelling above ground it gives great views of this andean urbanisation. Due to the poorer communities being forced to build up into the mountains, the first and only cable car used for public transport has been built to allow better access to the city's more humble residents. The cable cars offer great views and are often frequented by tourists.
Many buses also sprawl the city but the system is somewhat disorganised and should be avoided by passers-by as to not get lost.

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Eat

The Bandeja Paisa, is the local dish that is famous throughout the whole country.

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Medellin or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.

Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.

Post

4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 6.25129
  • Longitude: -75.575974

Accommodation in Medellin

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Medellin searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Medellin and areas nearby.

Contributors

as well as Rraven (9%), Hien (4%), Ofelia (4%), Sander (2%)

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This is version 35. Last edited at 3:03 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 11 articles link to this page.

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