I got a tad drunk turning 30 here. Party scene aside, I found the contrast of culture between barrios fascinating. Hands down I could live in Medellin. It’s sick, so to speak.
Why I’d live in Medellin after travelling it. After the two-day bus/plane journey from Ecuador to here, the three of us were pretty wrecked. I’d met the two other lads in Buenos Aries and we happened to cross paths in Quito, which aligned spot on for us all wanting to head Colombia’s way.
We stayed in the barrio Manila. It’s the place to be, yaar. It has an east London vibe in some bits and being full of travellers feels safe. There’s also quite a few gyms you can take advantage of with the ‘try it for a week free offers.’ Medellin has a buzz, and not just from the coke, that I immediately sensed, people seem to be craving to create and do.
I spent the second day, my 30th birthday, with a 4hr spa consisting of a two-hour massage, by a more than competent Colombian female, followed by a two-hour relaxation routine. I mean I won’t lie, after 6 months of backpacking you’d be hard pressed not to enjoy it. By night, well you can imagine and can you blame me?
Hostel Sugar Cane was our base for three days. It’s got a roof top kitchen / chill area, is small and the owners sound as a pound. Rango Boutique was the second jaunt for two days. A little bit more up market and 100% east London hipster. Hostel Buddha is where the party was at but I preferred to dip in and out of the place rather than live it 24/7 as I’m now 30.
- Stay at Hostel Sugar Cane for relaxed, cheaper vibes
- Stay at Rango Boutique for a slightly more expensive, new, modern, hipster feel
- Take the Teleferico to the top stop for some cracking views
- Let loose and party, if anything plan for a bender
- Visit the Laguna de Guatape
- The Escobar tour
- The free city walk
- Book your hostel ahead of time as the Barrio always seems to be busy
- Waste your time in museums or galleries. Medellin’s magic lies within it’s people and sweeties
- Get sold into going to the 5am clubs, they’re dodgy strip clubs with a separate agenda
- Stay at the top of the Teleferico after dark there’s gangs kicking around
The feel of Medellin
I found endless fascination when walking and exploring the local barrio of Manila. A lot of it reminded me of Bricklane/Shoreditch area in London, guess it brought a bit of home comforts.
The place can be cheap and it can be expensive so I’d TripAdvisor’d a lot here and narrow down the options to budget and fancy. After doing a few different attractions I didn’t feel to bad spending days hung-over lounging and strolling. The journey here spanning two days was enough to wear anyone down so my journey to Cartagena continued via avion.
Tips for healthy eats
- In Manila there’s a huge supermarket not far from the main hostels, if you’re cooking yourself you can pick-up all the veg and fruit you need.
- Pregamino café is a little beauty with incredible salad bowls that you can add meat to.
- Around the Manila barrio there’s a huge amount of healthy shops and snack cafes
How to get meat for that protein hit
- I took advantage of the pre-cooked chickens in the supermarket and bought whole ones that lasted a few days. That topped with hearty omelettes each morning and I was laughing.
- In Manila barrio you’re not short of restaurants boasting cuisine with many a meat offering.
- I’d also use this place to stock up on some protein powder as the gyms sell good quality ones. If you’re unsure on nutrition or supplements for travelling, you’ll find my post here on Tips on supplements, nutrition and how to use them when training whilst traveling useful.
Where to exercise
Take advantage of the many gyms and offers. There’s one round the corner fromHostel Sugar Cane. You can find others online by signing up and receiving a free three-day or weeks pass.
Failing that you’ll find little gym parks dotted all over the barrio. The locals are always using them and have some pretty sick skills to say the least.