Las Malvinas Farmer's Market
All the fruit and vegetable coming into Medellín goes to Central Mayorista in Itaguí. It's an enormous area where you find huge market, supermarkets and restaurants serving the freshest and most delicious juices and fruit salads in Medelín. To get there you have to take the metro and get off at Ayurá station. From here it's about a 10 minutes walk. Take the bridge over the Rio Medellín and go straight. The Cantral Mayorista is on the left side after the gas station.
Once in Central Mayorista ask for Las Malvinas farmer's market. It's a huge warehouse type place with all the freshest fruits and vegetables in Medellín, and also the cheapest. The diverse offer of fruits is immense and many have probably not been tried or seen by most of the foreigners. You can get everything from mango, papaya, maracujá, pineapple, banana, orange, mandarin, melon and watermelon to lesser known but very delicious lulo, guanábana, curuba, feijoa, granadilla, tomate de árbol, mamoncillo, uchuva, guayaba and chirimoya. There are heaps of potatoes of all kinds, plantains, avocado and yuca. And don't forget to try delicious arepa de choclo con queso, the place that sells them is right at the market (see restaurant tip).
Not many people know about Las Malvinas so you will likely not see any foreigners. But if you like markets, especially fruits, then at Las Malvinas you'll be in paradise :) I bought two plastic bags full of tropical fruits, so much, that I hardly ate them all before I left Medellín :)
more pics in the travelogue
Parque Berrío is the main square of the city and a good place to start the walking tour of the historic downtown. Adjacent to the busiest metro station Parque Berrío, it's a lively meeting place where people sit on benches and chat, others play vallenato, there are fruit vendors and people offering minutos or llamadas (phone calls).
The park is dominated by a colonial Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. There is the Stock Exchange building and Banco de la República in front of which you find La Gorda (the Fat Woman), a sculpture of Fernando Botero. In the centre stands the statue of Pedro Justo Berrío, an important Colombian politician in the 19th century.
Eremita de la Veracruz
Even if Eremita de la Veracruz was not inaugurated until 1803 it is supposed to be the oldest church in Medellín, as construction of the church was begun by early Spanish settlers in 1682.
The church was open several times as I passed and full of people. The interior is whitewashed with details of gold and wood.
"La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera"
With the population of more than 3,5 people, referred to as Paisas, Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia, and the capital of Antioquia. Due to its pleasant spring-like climate year round the city is known as La Ciudad de la Enterna Primavera (City of the Eternal Spring).
Medellín used to be synonymous with Colombia's drug wars and was also a hub for guerrilla activity. In the 1980s the city was under the violent control of Pablo Escobar, Colombia's most deadly cocaine baron. At that time Medellín was one of the most murderous cities on the planet. After seeing the films Rosario Tijeras and La Virgen de los Sicarios it's hard to believe that this was reallity in Medellín only 20 years ago. However, the city's security situation has undergone a dramatic improvement in recent years.
Today it is one of the safest metropolies in Latin America. Medellín is a modern city of significant elegance, with luxurious restaurants, stylish bars and cafés, boutiques and galleries. This is where Colombian figurative artist Fernando Botero was born. He is famous for 'fat' figures and you'll find many of his sculptures in the city. Medellín is the only Colombian city with the metro.
It is also known for its noteworthy festivals and events, such as International Poetry Festival, International Jazz Festival, International Tango Festival, the Flower Parade and of course its Los Alumbrados, Christmas Lights Display, which year after year holds residents and visitors alike in awe with its designs and colourful light shows.