5 Things You Must do In Medellin, Colombia by:Gary Sargent
If you're either looking for options for a Colombia vacation or are trying todecide where to go for a Latin America vacation, you'll be delighted with your decision to visit Medellin.
However, Medellin is a Colombia destination that is commonly know for a lack of tourist things to do, so why should you visit? For the lack of tourists, of course! For an opportunity to get to know a Colombian city that isn't over-run by sightseers and where you can get a genuine feel for the country and its population, Medellin is a great option.
You'll have a great few days in the city, which could include any of the following activities:
1) Watching a world record-sized flower parade
Medellin is known with its temperate climate as the City of Eternal Spring, making any time of year good for a visit. However, you can see the best of Medellin in early August, when the Festival of the Flowers (Fera de las Flores) is scheduled; a series of parades, concerts, speeches, craft sales and impromptu parties.
2) Rock climbing the easy (or hard) way at El Penol
A two-hour drive from Medellin is the imposing free-standing rock of El Penol. A breathless climb up some steep steps carved into the giant stone face will take you to the top, presenting some spectacular views. More adventurous types can arrange for the equipment to attempt a rock-climb.
3) Get a dose of internationally-renowned art
An internationally-known sculptor from Medellin, Fernando Botero is famous for his over-sized human figures. Visitors to Plaza Botero can see and interact with his sculptures, as well as seeing other works in the more formal setting of Museo de Antioquia.
4) Get to know the world's biggest drug dealer
If you don't know who Pablo Escobar is, then you probably aren't aware that people sell illegal drugs for money. Tour operators give visitors an opportunity to get to know the hometown of the infamous Colombian, who was killed in a shootout with police in 1992. The tour will include a visit to Escobar's grave at the local cemetery, passing by the former headquarters of his cartel (now ironically a drug rehab unit), the roof where he was shot and the collection of private planes that still litter the local airport, part of his $20 billion legacy that was eventually seized by the Colombia government.
5) Taking to the skies
If seeing Medellin and the surrounding area at street level just isn't your thing, then tour operators offer the opportunity for paragliding flights. Those without the necessary know-how to pull strings and ride thermals can take a tandem flight, sitting back and enjoying the view while their pilot does the hard work.
A city with an interesting mix of culture, history and influences, Medellin will be the destination to give you an insight into a real working city on your Colombia vacation.
Have you visited Medellin, or done any of these activities? What were your experiences?
About the author
Gary Sargent is the Managing Director of the tour companies Escaped to Peru and Escaped to Latin America and has lived in South America for over 10 years. Gary is passionate about Latino life, people, customs and places. To learn more or to book your next adventure please visit http://www.escapedtolatinamerica.com