Hotel Florencia Plaza
Carrera 41A No. 10-41, Poblado, Medellin, 0574, Colombia
More about Medellín
charming Calle de los Recuerdos
Yummy ice cream with brownie
Travel Tips for Medellín
From Medellín to Cali
In Medellín I took a taxi from Tamarindo hostel in El Poblado to Terminal del Sur (buses to the west and south of the country leave from here) where I was supposed to take a 23:00 bus to Cali. I did not buy the ticket in advance so I arrived to the terminal two hours earlier to have enough time to prepare for my trip. To my surprise, all the buses for that night were fully booked. The following day was Christmas Night (I did not think about it before) so many people decided to travel. For Colombians it is very important to spend it with their family.
I was thinking about what to do when I local guy started to talk to me. He told there was a possibility that one of the companies was going to arrange another bus to Cali. He brought me to the counter where many people were already waiting. After almost two hours in a line the bus finally arrived, and fortunately, we all came in. The ticket was 38.000 COP (December 2009).
We left Medellín at midnight and arrived to the bus terminal in Cali at 9:00am. From there I took a taxi to Tostaky guesthouse in the charming colonial neighbourhood San Antonio.
Pueblito Paisa is a construction of a typical Antioquian town in miniature. A few houses and a small church is set around a square. In the houses there are souvenir shops and a restaurant, but also a few rooms with old time furniture. Have you seen charming real towns and villages this is not a must see, but a visit could be nice if you have time.
Pueblito Paisa is situated on the summit of the 80-metre tall hill, Cerro Nutibara. From a platform you will have great views over the city.
To go to Pueblito Paisa I took the metro to the stop Industriales and from there I walked.
Frankly, I fail to see the touristic appeal of Cerro Nutibara.
If you have nothing else to do, it is a pleasant enough excursion, I supposed. Get off at Industriales metro station and somehow make your way there. This area seems to have several factories.
At 80m above Medellin, it supposedly offers a paronamic view of the city, but as it is thickly wooded, you have to work quite hard to find a spot. Or maybe I just couldn't find the viewing point.
You can walk slowly up to the summit. Along the way, you can see more national and international sculptures. There at the summit, you find Pueblito Paisa, a curious set of buildings quite like an open-air museum (with some rooms showcasing historical stuff) and there are souvenir shops too.
'Paisa' is a region of Colombia that includes Antioquia (where Medellin is). I had copied a list of 'Mentiras de Paisas' (Lies from Paisas) from a souvenir shop without totally understanding it. I knew it was a joke, but only when I showed it to my friends from Medellin, did they explain to me the 'Paisa' humour and 'common sayings'.
Here is the list:
- Mañana le pago (Tomorrow, I pay you)
- Quiero a mi suegra (I love my mother-in-law)
- El último y nos vamos (This is the last one and then, we go)
- No vuelvo a beber (I am not going to drink anymore)
- Tu erés mi vida (You are my life)
- Mañana vengo (Tomorrow, I come over)
- Tengo finca (I have a finca – [a ‘finca’ is a holiday house in the countryside with swimming pool, horses to ride on, etc… usually friends and families go to spend a weekend or holidays together. But people say it to try and get someone to go over for sex, when actually the ‘finca’ they promised is just a motel.])
- Te quiero mucho (I love you very much)
- Nunca te dejaré (I will never leave you)
- La puntica no más (Just the head of the dick, nothing more — [Just a quickie])
Medellín - the capital of Antioquia
After finally fleeing from the gritty national capital of Bogota, I took an overland trip of about ten hours which eventually landed me in the nice city of Medellín - which is the capital of the department (state) of Antioquia. I spent five days here and had a wonderful time. I liked Medellín because it's what Bogota isn't.
First: It's relatively compact and much easier to get around by foot. If you need to travel to the outer areas of the city then (unlike Bogota) it has a superb Metro system. In my experience the taxi drivers don't try so hard to rip off Gringos either. Second: it's much cleaner than BOG. Granted, this is South America and there simply isn't a large city down here that isn't dirty, but Medellín is certainly better. Third: it's much warmer and you can actually see the sun for at least half the day or more. In BOG it's too cool and cloudy too often. Fourth: People seem friendlier here and it doesn't FEEL as dangerous. Overall, Medellín is simply a much prettier and laid-back city. Sure, BOG has a few good things things about it; but I could actually imagine living in Medellín.
Medellín has many lovely old buildings and thanks to a law requiring public art there are several interesting sculptures and paintings that help to improve the views. The back drop of the mountains which surround the city make for pretty views all by themselves. Two great places to admire public art is at Parque San Antonio (check out the two ''Bird of Peace'' sculptures - one of which is riddled with holes due to a terrorist bomb attack) and also the Plazoleta de las Esculturas which is a wonderful place to people watch and in the same area are some good cafes, a major metro stop, a nice church, and the Museo de Antioquia which is a fine museum that has everything from ancient artifacts to modern art. A lot of the artwork you'll see is from a popular local artist named Fernando Botero; whom likes to make images of fat people & animals. Some of his stuff is pretty good.
Another good place to wander, grab a bite, and shop is the pedestrian area of Carrera 49 between Calles 50 & the Parque de Bolivar. This little stretch is also known as Pasaje Junin. There are some good restaurants and places to shop here, and I especially like a place called the ''Salon de Te'' which serves my favorite form of beverage .... along with other tasty treats.
Paisas like to have fun and the nightlife in the city is very good with many hot latinas. It took me awhile, but I eventually found a great gym to workout at which is located by the Olympic style stadium and training facilities to the west of town (a very nice neighborhood). The gym is called ''Forma Estadio'': on Calle 50 69-92 and for a mere 11,000 Pesos you can workout 'til your heart's content for a day. I checked out a few others that where much cheaper, especially in the center of town, but this place had the best equipment by far.
There are of course many other museums and you can take a tour known as ''Turibus'' that you can hop on & off of to tour the city, but it's just as easy to go to most of these sights on your own. If you have an extra day to kill then you may want to take a 2.5 hour trip (one way) to a huge volcanic outcropping known as El Penol that looks a lot like Rio de Janeiro's Sugarloaf Mountain. Or perhaps visit some of the haciendas or paisa towns that are nearby.
Me? Mostly gym and nightlife. Viva la Rumba!!
Popular Hotels in Medellín
La Casa Medellin
Cra. 36 No 9 Sur 74, Loma de los Balsos en Poblado, Medellin, Colombia