3 Local Tips for Getting Off the Beaten Track

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Jardin Botanico

The following is a guest post by Josian and Michael at Off2Colombia.com.

Medellín is one of the most popular cities for backpackers in Colombia. Full to the brim with things to do and see, it’s clean, sunny and has some of the warmest (and best-looking) people in the world. For some people, however, this just isn’t good enough.

If you’re fed up with smelly backpackers, bored of constantly spotting sandal-wearing blonde people wandering gormlessly through the streets, exacerbated at being asked where you’ve been on your trip, you might want to think about what else Medellín has to offer.

We’ve looking out for you and found some free/cheap less known things to do or enjoy.

Medellin Cementerio San Pedro
Cementerio San Pedro

Visit Cementerio San Pedro

(Carrera 51 #68 – 68)

It’s strange that Recoleta in barrio Buenos Aires has such a global reputation, when the tradition of ‘graveyard cities’ is very much alive in other South American countries, too, especially in Colombia.

Medellín’s own elaborate final resting place for those deemed worthy is called Cementerio San Pedro, and is ‘home’ to many politicians, wealthy families and some of Colombia’s most important historical figures.

And if you are there on the night of a full moon, be sure to go there for a night tour or enjoy the live concerts that take place while sipping a beer. Spooky.

Entrance to Jardin Botanico
Entrance to Jardin Botanico

Have lunch at Café Del Bosque, Jardin Botanico

(Calle 73 # 51)

Fed up of the crowds? Head down to Café Del Bosque in the city’s botanical gardens and you can enjoy a range of coffees, juices and snacks among one of Medellin’s more tranquil parks.

It’s also a great place to take a date, or even a Camus book as you relax and contemplate your contempt for other people and the absurdity of existence.

Carlos E Restrepo Park
Carlos E Restrepo Park

Have drinks at Parque Carlos Restrepo

(Carrera 64B & Calle 50)

A favorite with students and intellectuals, Parque Carlos Restrepo is a small area where you can relax on the grass or benches and drink beer.

Perfect for an early evening with friends, it’s a great atmosphere and somewhere you’ll definitely be able to interact with the locals.

What’s your favorite tip for getting off the beaten track in Medellin?

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  1. Medellin is super-urbanized. After years of living here, it exhausts me. I like to visit the Oriente (Rionegro, etc) and Parque los Salados is one of the best spots up there. Represa La Fe is right there, you can picnic and take a boat out on the water.

    To the west, San Jeronimo and Santa Fe de Antioquia are nice. Hot but nice. There is (or used to be) a water park along the main road in San Jeronimo. Santa Fe has lots of old buildings and a nice central square where you can eat and buy trinkets.

    Also to the east is Guatape. Another reservoir is here and it’s huge. Boating is fun. And La Piedra del Peñol of course is right nearby. Comfama has a park called La Culebra IIRC in between the two and it even has monkeys. Lotsa urbanity-free fun around there.