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Destination Guide: Medellín

This guide will share some insights and tips that will make put Medellín at the top of your must-visit destinations list.

by Emma Bousfield • Oct. 5, 2023 • 5 min read

Introduction to Medellín:

Nestled in the Aburrá Valley of Colombia, Medellín, once infamous for its association with drug cartels and violence, has risen from the ashes and become a vibrant, innovative, and thriving city that’s perfect as a travel destination, AND as a spot to land for a few months. With its pleasant climate, rich culture, and friendly locals, Medellín welcomes travellers and digital nomads from all around the world. This guide will share some insights and tips that will make put Medellín at the top of your must-visit destinations list, especially if you're into coliving. This city has a little something for everyone who wanders its colourful streets. Welcome to Medellín: a hotspot for coliving adventures.

Cost of Living (monthly):

Budget for around $1000 USD/month.

Housing: $300-$600USD

Food: $150USD-$250USD

Transportation: one-way fare is $1USD

Entertainment: Varies. There are lots of festivals and exhibitions that have free entry. Budget around $200USD for any miscellaneous adventures you’re keen to take.

Best Neighbourhoods for Coliving in Medellín:

  1. El Poblado: Known for its upscale vibe, modern amenities, and numerous coworking spaces. While it can be pricier compared to other neighbourhoods, it offers a range of accommodation options, restaurants, cafes, and a lively nightlife scene. Check out The Parque Lleras area.
  2. Laureles-Estadio: This neighbourhood offers a more laid-back atmosphere compared to El Poblado. Known for its tree-lined streets, parks, and affordable living options. Laureles has a growing number of coworking spaces and is a great choice if you want a quieter environment while still having access to amenities.
  3. Envigado: Located just south of El Poblado, Envigado is a charming and safe neighbourhood. It offers a mix of residential and commercial areas, making it an attractive option for digital nomads. Envigado has a sense of community and is known for its cultural festivals and local markets.
  4. Belén: Belén is another safe and budget-friendly neighbourhood. It's known for its friendly locals and sense of community. You'll find a variety of accommodation options, and it's close to shopping malls, parks, and public transportation.

Transportation and Getting Around Medellín:

Consider getting a transportation card (e.g., Civica card) for ease of use and cost savings if you plan to use public transportation frequently. Medellín has an integrated fare system, which means you can use a single ticket for the metro, tram, and buses within a certain time frame, making transfers easy and cost-effective.

Public Transit:

  1. Metro System: The Medellín Metro is one of the most reliable and cleanest metro systems in the world. It consists of two main lines: Line A (the Blue Line) and Line B (the Green Line). The metro is an excellent way to travel between neighbourhoods, including popular areas like El Poblado, Laureles, and the city center. It's safe and affordable, with well-maintained stations.
  2. Tram: In addition to the metro, Medellín has a modern tram system, known as the Tranvía. It serves various neighbourhoods, including Laureles, Aranjuez, and Belén. The tram provides convenient access to areas that are not directly served by the metro.
  3. Buses: The city has an extensive network of buses, both traditional and integrated into the metro system. These buses cover areas not reached by the metro or tram, making them essential for getting around the city.
  4. Cable Cars: Medellín is known for its innovative use of cable cars to connect hilly neighbourhoods in the city's outskirts to the metro system. These cable cars provide stunning views of the city and are essential for residents in these areas.

Other Transit Options:

  1. Taxis/Rideshare: Taxis are readily available throughout the city. Make sure to use registered taxis or rideshare apps like Uber for safety and transparency in pricing.
  2. Cycling: Medellín has been investing in cycling infrastructure, including bike lanes and bike-sharing programs. It's becoming more bike-friendly, especially in areas like Laureles and El Poblado.

Language and Communication:

Primary Language: Spanish

Are you a native English speaker? Not to worry. Medellín is a hotspot destination for tourism and therefore you will find a lot of areas where people speak English. We recommend learning basic Spanish for safety purposes, getting around, and ordering food. If you plan to go on any tours or explore surrounding areas, having a bit of a grasp of the Spanish language will be very helpful.

Safety and Security:

Emergency Numbers:

Police: 123

Fire Emergencies: 119

Medical Emergencies: 125

General Safety Tips:

  1. Stay In Safe Neighbourhoods
  2. Use Reputable Accommodation: Booking through colive values will ensure you have a reputable host and are surrounded by like-minded individuals.
  3. Keep Valuables Secure: Use any safes at your accommodation and only carry what you need. Keep valuables secure and close to your body when in crowded areas.
  4. Use Registered Taxis: When taking a taxi, use registered services or rideshare apps like Uber… especially at night.
  5. Learn Basic Spanish: While many people in Medellín speak English, it's helpful to know some basic Spanish phrases to communicate and understand local directions or instructions.
  6. Try To Travel in Groups: When exploring unfamiliar areas or going out at night, it's safer to be in a group.
  7. Avoid Drugs: Colombia has some super strict drug laws, and engaging in illegal drug use can lead to severe consequences.
  8. Stay Informed: Keep up to date with local news and any safety advisories. Register with your embassy or consulate and follow their advice.
  9. Travel Insurance: Have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and other unexpected situations during your stay.

Top Coliving Communities in Medellín

  1. Casa Santafe Coliving

Stay in a beautifully furnished colonial-style house, equipped with top-notch amenities like coworking spaces, free weekly laundry service, a shared kitchen, rooftop lounge, sauna, and bike parking. Enjoy the lush gardens and greenery throughout the house, making it an inviting and relaxing place to live and work. Flexible lease options allow you to stay for as little or as long as you need.

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