When you come to a sun-bathed valley nestled amid green mountains, a river meandering through it and smiling, active and enterprising inhabitants, you’ll know you’ve arrived in Medellín. Aplace of transformations that has experienced a psychic shift from fear to hope, Medellín invitesvisitorsto enjoy each and every corner. From its welcoming people to its quickly changing infrastructure, countless opportunities for discovery await those who approach the city with their eyes wide open and their senses alert to the forms, colors, scents and tastes around them.
Medellín boasts the title of Colombia’s second-leading city after the nation’s capital, Bogotá, and it is considered the country’s commercial, industrial and technological-development hub. Through its leadership in the areas of finance, banking, services, politics, the arts, culture, communications, fashion and entertainment, it has come to play a leading role in Latin America and become a focal point of development, not only in the Americas but globally. It also is notable that Medellín is the first Colombian city with an integrated transportation system covering the entire metropolitan area.
Things to Do
The city offers a wide range of leisure-time options that range from adventure and outdoor sports to cultural alternatives such as museums, theaters, cinema, art exhibitions and much more.
Architecturally, the city also has been enhanced thanks to social investment by municipal governments in recent years –including library parks and other projects – and to the construction of the Botanical Garden and interactive theme parks such as Parque Explora.
Plan your time in Medellín and your activities there. Below are eight things you can do in the “city of the eternal spring.”
Arví Cable Car
Inaugurated in 2010, the Arví Cable Car allows easy access to the Arví Regional Park, which includes 1,761 hectares of native highland forest; the PiedrasBlancas river basin; and a wide variety of bird species. Arví Park offers a range of attractions for tourists, from adventure sports to eco-tourism and camping to formal lodging. A place with much to offer in terms of nature and adventure, it is the perfect spot to enjoy outdoor activities.
For more information about this activity, click on the following links:
Travel around Colombia
Video of the Arví Park Eco-Route
Skyscrapercity.Good Photo Gallery of Arví Park
Medellín Official Tourism Site
Joaquín Antonio Uribe Medellín Botanical Garden and Parque Explora
The Medellín Botanical Garden boasts a wide range of live plant collections, as well as an architectural design that has won praise both at home and abroad. It is used as a passive recreation area and is often chosen as the venue for events such as book fairs, outdoor markets, conferences and many other activities. Its Orchideorama is renowned for its collection of live orchids andits architecture.
Parque Explora (Explore Park) is a science and technology hub in Medellín that is home to a major aquarium as well as a series of spaces that allow visitors to explore concepts in physics, chemistry and much more. It is located just a few meters from the Botanical Garden, making it easy to visit those two attractions on the same day.
ParqueExplora, the Botanical Garden andWishes Park are easily accessible areas, all located near the Medellín Metro’s Universidad station.
For more information about thesesites, click on the following links:
Official Web site of the Medellín Botanical Garden: Event Schedule
Official Web site of the Medellín Botanical Garden: Architectural and Urban Spaces
Parque Explora’s Web site
Culture, fun, food and much moreare there to be discovered at Barefoot Park, a magical place featuring a novel architectural concept composed of spaces integrated with natural elements such as water, vegetation and sandy surfaces.
The park, born of an initiative to recover a run-down part of the city, has become a must-see attraction for visitors and tourists, who can arrive via the Medellín metro, get off at the Alpujarra station and walk two blocks to the west through the city’s administrative center.
For more information about this site, click on the following links:
Medellín vive.in Web site
Plan B Medellín Web site
Flickr Gallery with photos of Barefoot Park
Botero Park and Museum of Antioquia
The Museum of Antioquia is located on the west side of Botero Park. Both the park and the museum are must-see cultural attractions for visitors to Medellín.
The park features 23 sculptures by Antioquia-born artist Fernando Botero, known for an aesthetic approach based on voluminous figures of people, animals and objects. The Museum of Antioquia, meanwhile, is the city’s largest space for art exhibits and brings important art collections to Antioquia’s capital.
Other attractions nearby include Berrío Park, the Rafael Uribe Uribe palace of culture, the pedestrian-only Carabobo Ave. and Candelaria Church.
You can arrive via the Medellín Metro, getting off at the Parque Berrío station.
Incognito Blog: Photographs of Fernando Botero sculptures
Museum of Antioquia Web Site: Photographs of Botero Park. Short description of sculptures
Museum of Antioquia’s Web site
Travel Channel host Anthony Bourdain’s“No Reservations” show on Medellín
Medellín Library Parks
The Library Parks were created as cultural centers and meeting places for citizens, as well as venues for different leisure, recreational, educational and socio-economic activities. They were built to promote and strengthen co-existence and social-development processes in the city.
The city’s Library Parks stand out as important spaces for bringing people together and architecturally significant tourist attractions for Colombians and foreigners alike.
For more information about the Library Parks, click on the following links:
Medellín Municipal Government’s Web Site with description and map showing the location of the city’s Library Parks
Web page of the Medellín Metropolitan Area’s Network of Libraries
Web page of the Medellín Metropolitan Area’s Network of Libraries: Images of the Library Parks
Lleras Park is an important nightlife area in the city. The sector features a small plaza surrounded by numerous trendy restaurants –often featuring live music – as well as shops, cafes, nightclubs and plenty of parking space.
For more information about this area of the city, click on the following links:
Guide to restaurants in Lleras Park
The Colombian Hotel Association’s Web site
The Flower Fair is Medellín’s leading festival, a 10-day event in which the city’s community comes together around different activities that promote the values of Paisa culture.
Some of the most significant events include the flower carriers’ parade, in which peasant flower growers carry wooden “chairs” with elaborate flower designs on their backs; the cavalcade; and the classic car parade.
Lopaisa Web site
YouTube video of Flower Fair, from Teleantioquia’s“What`s up” program
YouTube video on Flower Fair produced by Teleantioquia
The importance of the flours growing for the Colombian exportations, program de Teleantioquia What`s up
Medellín Metropolitan Cathedral
Located in downtown Medellín’s Villanueva neighborhood, this cathedral is one of the symbols of Antioquia’s capital. It faces Bolívar Park, which at one time was at the heart of the city’s development.
The work of French architect Charles Emile Carré, it was built with nearly 1,120,000 bricks and mortar. The cathedral is 97,000 cubic meters in volume and was declared a Colombian National Monument on March 12, 1982, due to its historical and architectural value.
For more information about this site, click on these links:
The vive.in Web site with additional information about the cathedral
Photographs of the cathedral on the Flickr Web site