That Medellín was once known as the most dangerous city in the world makes its transition (just some 15 to 20 years later) to a safe, culturally-rich and pleasant city particularly remarkable. Once known for drug violence and gang wars, Colombia’s second largest city has become one of its wealthiest, and it is an enchanting place to soak up a lively cultural and nightlife scene. Medellín’s climate – invariably sunny and springlike – is also an attraction. Of course, like any other large city, it’s not without crime, and tourists (as well as taking the usual safety precautions) should avoid the slums that line the city’s hillsides.
Medellín has a way of luring visitors into staying longer than they had intended. It spoils its guests with an abundance of compelling features, ranging from a flourishing nightlife scene (second only to Cali’s), to churches, museums and offbeat activites like riding a cable car over the city’s shanty towns. More awaits the visitor beyond nightlife and museums, however. Medellín emphasizes the arts, and there are regular free concerts in the city’s theaters and improvised performances in the streets. Stroll to the Parque de los Pies Descalzos to marvel at modern architecture, then take a walk in the leafy Botanical Gardens. Try to catch the Flower Festival in late July and early August, a brightly-colorful, week-long festival that takes over the city, and check out the International Poetry Festival in July, when poets from all over the world participate in readings in Medellín’s theaters and parks.
Find out more about Medellín and Colombia in VIVA’s new Colombia Adventure Guide, available in a variety of e-book applications directly from VIVA, as well as in print format from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.