Medellín

AWAITS YOU

A visit to Medellín will inform and transform your understanding of Colombia’s fraught history and its people who tenaciously survived. Medellín boasts natural beauty as a valley in the Andes Mountains. 

It is the “City of Eternal Spring” with moderate year-round temperatures, and beautiful flora and fauna. The people, food, culture and history of transformation of Medellín are distinctly Paisa (people of Medellín) and distinct in all of Colombia. 

Our guide will take you deeper beyond the tourist trail to interact with the true history of Medellín, friendly locals and how to responsibly enjoy Medellín, the charming towns nearby, its vibrancy, nightlife and of course, its world-renowned coffee!

Budget Range

Up to 5 days
$ 0
Up to 8 days
$ 0
Up to 12 days
$ 0

* Includes flights, immersive cultural tour package, meals and extra activities

CULTURE & CHARACTER OF COLOMBIANS AND PAISAS

When you travel deeply into the local culture of Colombia and Medellín and begin to develop relationships with locals, understanding of the Colombian cultural profile in general will help you promote mutual respect, build relationships, and minimize misunderstandings or stress. 

This cultural summary will help you make the connection to understand why and how the Colombian way of life formed.

Colombia is a group-oriented society that highly values family and friends that have become family. Unlike conformist group-oriented societies, Colombians have more liberty and freedom of self-expression and individual pursuits.

It is the “City of Eternal Spring” with moderate year-round temperatures, and beautiful flora and fauna. The people, food, culture and history of transformation of Medellín are distinctly Paisa (people of Medellín) and distinct in all of Colombia. 

Our guide will take you deeper beyond the tourist trail to interact with the true history of Medellín, friendly locals and how to responsibly enjoy Medellín, the charming towns nearby, its vibrancy, nightlife and of course, its world-renowned coffee!

Colombians generally value formality yet are spontaneous, and are not ruled by the clock. They appreciate flexibility and rarely arrive on time to social events even up to an hour or more late. 

Colombian’s communicate in a subtle, indirect and diplomatic way. Personal dignity is important and is preserved by complimenting someone, increasing their self-esteem, and not publicly correcting, insulting or contradicting someone. 

Be sure to learn at a minimum Spanish for please (“por favor”), thank you (“gracias” or “muchas gracias”), you’re kind (“muy amable”), and my pleasure or you’re welcome (“con gusto” or “con mucho gusto”) which is the Colombian version of “de nada”.

Politeness and pleasantries go a long way with Antioqueños, the people of Antioquia, the department (state) where Medellín is located. 

Colombian society is hierarchical and highly stratified socio-economically due to the effects of colonization, enslavement, colorism, gender-based roles, and wage gaps.  Authority figures and people of senior age groups and higher positions of power or leadership are respected because of their status or title.

Wealthier families are of Spanish descent and often have greater access and equity than the majority population which is mixed-race Spanish (Mestizo and White 87.6%), African (Afro-Colombian includes Mulatto, Raizal, and Palenquero 6.8%), Indigenous (4.3%), and unspecified race 1.4%. Afro-Colombian communities largely live along the Pacific coast, the Magdalena River, and the valleys of Cauca and Valle de Cauca. 

Indigenous communities live outside of major cities, remote areas and the Amazon region.

Paisas, the people of Medellín, are known to be the most industrious and entrepreneurial of Colombia. The resilience and spirit of the people led Medellín to be transformed from one of the most traumatized and victimized cities of the drug and power war of the 1970s to as recently as 2012 to one of the most culturally vibrant and technologically advanced cities.

Dismantling the stronghold and powerbase of the Medellín cartel was the tipping point that opened the doors of tourism in Colombia to the world.  As a result tourism and migration is booming in Medellín–for good and for bad. We are not going to shy away from any topic in this guide, but truly give you information and perspective to help you get prepared to explore Medellín and enjoy the good and the unique beauty of Medellín.

BEAUTY OF MEDELLÍN, COLOMBIA

Everything beautiful about Colombia is thanks to it being the 2nd most biodiverse country in the world! Every region is a unique microcosm of a garden of Eden.

Travel anytime of the year to Medellín and to escape colder climates. The “City of Eternal Spring” welcomes you with a mild climate all year round. Although Medellín, like the rest of the world, is challenged by climate change, you will be cooled by a delightful breeze due to its position in the valley of the central region of the Andes Mountains. The higher you go up the mountainous valley of the city, the cooler temperatures you will find.

Coffee lovers delight in the abundance of artisanal and organic coffee farmed by local families and community cooperatives. The climate and fertile terrain of the region produces the most delightful arabica coffee of the world.

Flowers that adorn, give happiness and expressions of love grow like beautiful weeds in Medellín! Colombia is the world’s second largest exporter of flowers and provides 89 countries 1,600 kinds of flowers with the USA being the largest export market. Join us in Medellín in August for the annual flower festival and the grande finale of local flower farmers or Silleteros Parade.

Pueblitos, or small towns, adorn the mountains just 30 minutes to a two-hour drive outside of Medellín. This is where you will find little known communities of transformation, the true charm, culture, and art of coffee, flowers, pottery and nature playgrounds of the region of Antioquia. Discover with us other Comunas of Transformation, Santa Elena, Guatapé, La Ceja, Salto del Buey nature reserve, hiking and waterfalls.

Little Known Attractions

GO DEEPER

Medellín is a perfectly positioned hub to fly to amazing towns in about 1 hour from the regional or international airport.

There are several beach towns along the Pacific coast with Afro-descendant culture and gastronomy, virgin jungles, beach paradises and national parks such as Capurganá, Acandí, Bahía Solano, Nuquí, and Necoclí. 

Let’s take a look at Capurganá.

Beyond Guatapé

A day trip to Guatapé is famously known for El Peñón de Guatapé or Piedra del Peñol, one of the world’s largest granite rock formations. 

Leisurely walk almost 800 towering stairs up to the most magnificent view of the man-made reservoir below. But did you know there is more to Guatapé than just the rock? Learn the indigenous history, the many stories from the dam’s inception to present-day functions, local life around the dam, ecological and fun excursions to take a dip in the reservoir.

Salto del Buey Ecological Reserve

In only 1.5 hours from Medellín, you can enjoy an ecoadventure, time with nature, and soar to new heights as you hike or zipline above majestic waterfalls.

Take this scenic day trip with us through the beautiful mountain town of La Ceja to arrive at the tallest waterfall in the department of Antioquia and the tallest zipline in Colombia at 330 meters high (984 feet) and 1350 meters long (4429 feet).

GO FURTHER

Medellín is a perfectly positioned hub to fly to amazing towns in about 1 hour from the regional or international airport.

There are several beach towns along the Pacific coast with Afro-descendant culture and gastronomy, virgin jungles, beach paradises and national parks such as Capurganá, Acandí, Bahía Solano, Nuquí, and Necoclí.

Let’s take a look at Capurganá.

Capurganá

Escape the bustling cities to a lesser-known, remote jungle paradise! Capurganá is a rustic, car-free, paradisaical village on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, accessible only by air or water. 

You will be enraptured by its aqua-green waters, rugged shoreline, natural pools at the edge of the ocean, ecoadventures, nature preserves and a day trip across the Panama border to a pristine beach. 

You can reach Capurgana in a 1.25 hour regional flight from Medellín Regional Domestic Airport (EOH – Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera) to Capurganá Airport (CPB). If a flight is not available, take the scenic route by flight from Medellín EOH Airport to Aeropuerto de Necoclí (NCI) then a 15-minute ground transfer to the port of Necoclí (Muelle de Necoclí), then a speed boat 1.5 hours to Capurganá. 

Well, now I am sure you would want to coordinate your schedule with departures from Medellín Regional Domestic Airport (EOH)! 

Take a look at the world that awaits you in Capurganá, Colombia with our all-inclusive adventure!

Coffee Region

Scenic mountainous coffee-growing towns are also a hop-skip-and-a-jump by plane from Medellín such as Manizales, Pereira, Armenia and the famous Valle de Cocora National Park (El Bosque de las Palmas) in Salento, Quindio with lush rolling hills and the towering wax palm trees. These are the tallest palm trees in the word at 197 feet (60 meters) and also Colombia’s national tree.

Getting to Medellín - air and ground transport

José María Córdova International Airport is actually located in the city of Rionegro, 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Medellín and is the second largest international airport hub in Colombia.

Direct Flights are available from:

  • Miami, FL
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Orlando, FL (seasonal)
  • New York, NY
  • All major Latin American and Caribbean cities

Flights from Southeastern USA range from $215 – $400 USD even from our home airport of Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)

FREE TO EXPLORE

By day, walk the beautiful streets and plazas with historical architecture, street vendors, local events, and good vibes.

Botanical Garden of Medellín

Parque de los Deseos

Parque Boston

Placita de Flórez

Parque de Berrio

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

In-depth Cultural Exploration

Did you know that there are more extraordinary stories of overcoming than the famous tour of Comuna 13? These Comunas of Transformation have also made heroin journeys to not only survive, but find ways to thrive.

Barrio La Sierra

Did you know that there are more extraordinary stories of overcoming than the famous tour of Comuna 13? These Comunas of Transformation have also made heroin journeys to not only survive, but find ways to thrive.

Barrio Moravia

Did you know that there are more extraordinary stories of overcoming than the famous tour of Comuna 13? These Comunas of Transformation have also made heroin journeys to not only survive, but find ways to thrive.

Barrio Prado, La Candelaria, Medellín

Prado in Comuna 10 is the only cultural heritage neighborhood in Medellín undergoing preservation of its historical value, gardens, stately European, colonial and simply eclectic architecture of 261 heritage sites. 

We recommend taking a group tour with a local historian to discover the secrets and stories of influential people that once built this historically prestigious neighborhood.

Impact Opportunities

MAKE AN IMPACT

Colombia’s blessing and challenge lies in the rich, fertile soil and perfect climate that gives vast and distinctly beautiful nature, amazing climates, beloved coffee, but also the nemesis of cocaine and all the woes that breed from its commercialization. 

While Medellín has transformed and become a modern city that the world can enjoy more safely, the effects of inequity, inequality, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, illegal immigration, and gentrification press upon and deceive youth, women and children to survive by supplying the perpetrators of the world with sex tourism, sex trafficking, drugs and outright debauchery.

World Awaits Commitment to the 6Cs

World Awaits Cultural Tours is committed to responsible, sustainable and regenerative tourism  in partnership with local communities to tell the diverse and inclusive story, enjoy real and meaningful travel experiences and encounters with locals who love their communities. All of our tours have an impact opportunity, but here are some organizations in Medellín that work daily for the betterment of their society.

While Medellín has transformed and become a modern city that the world can enjoy more safely, the effects of inequity, inequality, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, illegal immigration, and gentrification press upon and deceive youth, women and children to survive by supplying the perpetrators of the world with sex tourism, sex trafficking, drugs and outright debauchery.

Accessibility Adventures

ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL FOR ALL

Accessible travel is thoughtful planning of destinations and tourism services and activities to be accessible to all people, regardless of their physical or intellectual limitations, disabilities or age. 

As a Certified Special Needs Travel Advocate, World Awaits Cultural Tours seeks out and provides opportunities for all to enjoy and travel together as family and friends.

Medellín has created an accessible and inclusive guide for you and your loved ones not only with features of accessible infrastructure, squares and parks, but most impressively, a network of trained accessibility guides (Semilleros Network) that accompany you on a specialized accessibility tour of the main touristic center (Medellín Galería Tour).

Ask your World Awaits Cultural Tours Concierge to get you connected to start enjoying travel more fully

TRAVELING MORE SAFELY AND SECURELY

“No dar papaya,” is the Colombian maxim and admonition on how to be safe and wise anywhere in the country and the world for that matter! 

It literally means “don’t give papaya (the fruit),” which really means don’t make yourself vulnerable to being robbed or endangered.

Put on your cultural lenses to make the shift constantly and always to prepare, think, behave and respond in the context of the local culture, not your home or dominant culture that governs your awareness and actions.

One reason we advocate traveling like a local and with locals, is locals will teach you how to navigate their city more safely and securely. 

Medellín is now a safe destination to travel to, but you must know what to do and what not to do and where not to go.

Like all worldwide tourist destinations, tourists are a target if you are not savvy. Below are some tips specific to Medellin, but check out our Travel Wise Tips here relevant to any destination in the world.

Do

Don´ts