How to Spend 3 Days in Medellín
Three days in Medellin gives you plenty of time to tour the city’s highlights, learn about its history and how it’s changed since the days of Pablo Escobar, soak up the natural beauty of the region, and even head farther afield to explore another Colombian destination. Here are some tips for how to spend your three days.
Day 1: History and Culture
Few cities have undergone the kind of changes Medellin has experienced over the past few decades. Learn more about this history during a sightseeing tour of the Antioquia capital. Explore on foot, by bike, or by public transportation as you visit points of interest such as Plaza Botero, Parque Lleras, the Spanish village of Pueblito Paisa, and the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica. In the afternoon, continue your city tour to some of the many sites associated with drug lord Pablo Escobar for a greater understanding of the life and times of Medellin’s infamous son, or spend some time visiting one of the city’s excellent museums, such as the San Pedro Cemetery Museum, El Castillo Museum, Modern Art Museum, or Museum of Antioquia. Finish off your day with a traditional paisa meal in the home of a local family.
Day 2: Outdoor Adventure
Near perfect weather and a picturesque location in a green valley give Medellin the nickname the City of Eternal Spring. Take advantage of the natural appeal with a day spent in the great outdoors. There are plenty of options, depending on your preferred level of adventure; go horseback riding along backcountry trails, zip through the countryside on an ATV, zipline through the jungle canopy of a nearby nature reserve, or soar high above the city while paragliding. Choose your own adventure à la carte, or combine several into a full day of fun. For something a little more low-key, consider a stroll through the Medellin Botanical Garden or a ride on the aerial cable car instead. Once the sun goes down, head out on the town for an evening bar crawl or salsa dancing tour to some of the city’s local hot spots.
Day 3: Into the Countryside
There’s so much to do within day-trip distance of Medellin that your biggest challenge will be deciding what you most want to see. Active travelers might choose to climb the 700 steps to the top of the El Peñol inselberg for stellar views over the surrounding hills and lakes, while those interested in Colombian culture won’t want to miss the colorful cobbled streets of Guatapé or the colonial architecture of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Foodies should head to Jardín to tour coffee plantations and learn about the growing and production process or to the mountain town of San Francisco for a cocoa-making workshop. Back in Medellin, head to the trendy neighborhood of Parque Lleras, also known as the Zona Rosa, to top off your stay with dinner and drinks.