Full Circle: Kicking Off 2013 in Medellin

Medellin skyline
Medellin skyline
Medellin skyline
Medellin skyline

“Two weeks isn’t enough,” I kept saying to myself and friends while visiting Medellin this past September.

I’d returned after a year away, having traveled much of South America, as planned. I even spent 6 months living in Lima, which was totally unplanned.

But the more I saw of South America, the more I realized Medellin truly is a unique city. And it’s still my favorite place to live.

Returning for a brief visit, en route to the USA and Europe, I missed the lushness, the green, the bright blue skies, and the perfect temperatures. I missed the picturesque pueblos like Guatape and Jardin, where one can escape for the weekends.

I missed the lower cost of travel and living (compared to Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile). I missed the nightlife and my old routines. And I missed my friends, and feeling like I had a home, not just a one month apartment rental.

Plus, to my surprise, I discovered there’s a whole new entrepreneurial movement taking hold of the city.

What started out as a party stop on the backpacker trail, and grew into a must-see city for travel bloggers, has evolved into a hub for serious entrepreneurs.

With the buzz continuing to grow, and Medellin shortlisted by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top three most innovative cities in the world this year (alongside New York City and Tel Aviv), I can’t stay away any longer!

As luck would have it, the old room I rented in Poblado for a year has become available again, and I’ve put down my deposit.

I fly to Medellin December 30th, just in time to ring in my first New Year from Colombia, and hopefully catch the Christmas lights on display around the city.

The timing will also coincide perfectly with the release of my new “Medellin Travel Guide: Insider Advice from an American Expat in Colombia.”

I’m looking to release it for Kindle and other e-reader formats the first week of January. I’ll also be working on a PDF version, though I don’t have a timeframe for that version yet.

I’m beyond excited to be returning to Medellin, and for everyone whose offered to buy me a beer over the last 17 months, I’ll finally be ready to collect!

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  1. I have been to Medellin 4 times since 2010. I agree that is an awesome city. There is a lot of crime, but a little caution goes a long way. Also, you forgot to mention the very beautiful women there. I will return in late Jan.

  2. I love Colombia as well. I will be back in January but will be staying in Barranquilla. Dave I met you briefly in Lima on La Calle de Pizza. Have a great trip, Colombia is truely a hidden gem for us world travelers.

      • Sorry about the delayed reply. What I like about Barranquilla is not a lot of foreigners go there. Plus it is only a 2 hour ride to either Cartagena or Santa Marta for weekend travels and partying. I prefer to be in a tier 2 city and I’m dating a girl from Barranquilla.
        Also there are a few interesting places like La Cueva, the bar where Garcia Marquez and the Gang of 50 use to hang out.

  3. Cartagena is my home, however I am hoping to spend a week in Medellin in January 2013.
    I cannot wait to get back to Medellin to do some shopping and visit my buddy.

  4. Hello Dave, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on visiting Medellin, it seems like you know so much! I’m a 27 y.o. Spanish girl and have been invited to speak at a conference in Medellin in October 2013. Work wise, I’d love to attend as it’d be my first speech in Latin America. However, I’m a bit concerned about the security in the city.. I think the people who’s invited me to speak (a trade association) will take care of taking me from the airport to the hotel (which I guess would be a 4* or 5* hotel) and I do not plan to do tourism on my own if it’s not safe. Do you think I should do this trip? I’ve already written to the Spanish embassy, but just trying to collect as many different opinions as possible. thanks so much for your advice and feliz navidad!

    • Hi Rosa,

      I wouldn’t let your fears stop you. Spend some time reading Medellin Living. As with any big city, there are risks for theft and robbery, but most visitors will not have a problem (especially if you’re staying in nicer hotels, which will have better security).