Photo by: semana.com
The team of adventurers from the award-winning guide ‘Rough Guides’ shares the reasons why the Antioquia capital is a must-see destination for world travelers.
Medellin lives an incredible moment. Colombia’s second metropolis has shaken off its turbulent history and is a true epicenter of innovation. It is a dynamic, interconnected place, full of possibilities: it has diverse culinary spaces, a vibrant artistic scene and its streets breathe a creative air. The city of eternal spring does not stop growing.
1. Inspirational innovation
The bright Medellin of today is a transformed city. The democratic architecture policy has rejuvenated its most depressed areas. For example, in an old square dedicated to crime now shine 300 needles of light. Several libraries, of admirable design, revived forgotten neighborhood spaces. In addition, cable cars and escalators connected isolated districts with the heart of the city, such as Commune 13, today recognized for its street art.
2. Real coffee
Medellín rests in one of the main coffee areas of the country that, traditionally, has exported the best of its flagship product while leaving the lowest quality for local consumers. But some establishments are changing that story. The Pergamino brand leads this transformation by displaying its grains of origin, roasted locally in an alternative cafeteria. Medellín has started selling the best types of coffee it produces in the same city.
Immersed in creativity, Medellín is already worth the ticket only for the works of a young local who became a legendary artist: one Fernando Botero. Twenty-three of his rounded and fascinating sculptures are distributed throughout the Botero Plazoleta, while in the Antioquia Museum, his work is accompanied by the art of other illustrious Colombians.
4. The gastronomic scene
The luxurious neighborhood El Poblado is the area of good food and the vibrant nights they live until dawn, the culinary scene offers from the traditional to the riskiest. One of its outstanding restaurants is El Cielo, where the chef, Juan Manuel Barrientos, has implemented his vision of peace in the kitchen. There, people who decided to leave their weapons and return to civilian life work together to create masterpieces of molecular cuisine.
5. Getaway to Guatapé
Just two hours from Medellín is Guatapé, a beautiful town of multicolored houses that extend to a peaceful lake. Its neighbor, the stone of El Peñol, breaks into the landscape. It is an imposing 200 meter high monolith. A staircase that draws a zig zag with 649 steps allows you to reach its top. Walkers effort is rewarded with a panorama of several islands in the lake below.
Guatapé is one of the emblematic places closest to Medellín. It is two hours by road.