The Cartagena heat beat us down last year (see post), so we decided this year we would head to a much cooler climate for a few days before the cruise. We debated between visiting Bogotá and Medellín, and ultimately chose Medellín, the “Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera” or “City of Eternal Spring”. Another reason may have also been because it is where Pablo Escobar grew up (anyone else enjoy Narcos on Netflix?!).
It was a beautiful city with beautiful people. Honestly, everyone was gorgeous. I don’t wear makeup or do my hair (lucky if I brush it sometimes), but I felt like I needed to walking around there. The city also has great (and inexpensive) public transportation, which made it simple to get around.
We stayed in the Envigado neighborhood with an awesome Couchsurfing host, Alejandro. His apartment was in a great spot, near the Envigado metro stop. He also had some amazing views of the city from the balcony of his apartment.
We spent the first night hanging out with him in the neighborhood. He cooked us some morcilla (blood sausage), which was delicious! Then we joined him near the plaza for some dinner and then the Italian film, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.
Our second day, we went to Arví Park, an ecological nature preserve and Pre-Hispanic archaeological site in the Aburrá Valley. This was the day we got to ride the metrocables, which had amazing views and was fun until lightning struck on our way down (nothing like being in a metal cage up in the air during a lightning storm)!
Our last day there, we walked around the city and checked out Parque de los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Park), a cool zen-park. This was also the day we tried the bandeja paisa, a popular Colombian meal. It had pork, chicharrón, rice, red beans, sausage, an egg, arepa, and plantain. So delicious! Our day ended with some yummy cake, baked by Alejandro.
We had an early morning flight to Cartagena the next day, so we decided to sleep at the airport that night. We took the metro and then walked to the San Diego Mall to catch the bus to the airport in Rionegro, about 45 minutes from Medellín. Although we ended up taking a colectivo (shared taxi) because they brought the price down to 20,000 pesos (about $7) for both of us, and the bus would have only been 1,000 pesos (about $0.35) cheaper.
Medellín was beautiful! We look forward to returning and exploring more of it.