I’d heard this could be a suspect 2-day journey. South of Colombia is apparently known for its robbing’s on coaches so I travelled in a mini wolf pack.
Travel to Medellin from Ecuador on the cheap. Annnnd… I had all my electronic equipment carefully robbed on the coach whilst my bag was between my HUGE legs (I’d been doing my workout plans here). Granted I was a fool to not be hugging it while sleeping. The journeys was tough and draining but with fellow travellers as company, booze and a joint half way through. I felt I handled it well.
6 steps to do this
You can get to Medellin from Ecuador in 2 days via 2 coaches and 1 flight:
- You need to book the evening flight to Medellin from Cali in advance on the 2nd day evening
- Get a coach from the main Quito coach station early in the morning to the Colombian border near a town called Tulcan.
- Get a local cab from the border once through to the town of Ipiales, famous for the church pictured below
- You will have about a 6 hour wait before getting the night bus to Cali from here. It’s worth going to see the church at dawn and then grabbing a meal and some snacks for the overnight bus to Cali.
- You then get the overnight bus from Ipiales station arriving into Cali in the morning. Here you’ll have a full day in Cali to explore, which in my opinion is enough. Dump your bags at the Caelum Hostal for the day, they’re very accommodating and have huge garden for chilling in
- Then get the evening flight to Medellin. Make sure you’ve booked your hostel in advance if staying in the Manila barrio as it’s constantly popular. I’d recommend the Sugar Cane hostel with it’s super chilled and social roof top kitchen and lounge area. You can find more about Medellin from my post here
- Keep your valuables (rucksack) on your lap as you sleep
- Travel in a group doing this if you can
- Book your flight first and plan the trip around that
- Expect an easy ride, this is taxing but it’s also a cool adventure
Tips for healthy eats
- Take them with you, the food on route is not the best. I’d recommend a bag full of nuts, dried fruit, jerky, bannas, apples and boiled eggs (to eat outside at stops so you don’t piss people off). Practically a pack lunch. You’ll have time in Cali to enjoy some nice cuisine but I even found this limited.
- When you stop at Ipiales for the church there’s a central village area with a small supermarket, top-up on some goodies and fruits for the second leg to Cali.
- Take a couple of BCAA and glutamine tablets in your rucksack for the long coach rides
How to get meat for that protein hit
- When you stop at Ipiales for the church. Take a look in the central village area, they’re a few restaurants. The local ones around the outside of the square suffice for rice and chicken dishes.
Where to exercise
If you know this journey is coming up use it as a way to rest your muscles. Train your entire body over a 3-day split 3-days before hand. I have a good 3-day split body workout plan here. Then use the time to rest those aching muscles.