Day 11 – Medellin
Waypoint hostel offers breakfast (eggs, juice, coffee, arepa) for COP 5,000, and considering there are no restaurants or cafes nearby, it’s a good deal. So after breakfast at the hostel, we took the metro from Aguacatala station to Poblado station where we had to meet our tour guide for ‘free walking tour’ of downtown Medellin, offered by Real City Tours.
The company offers two tours in a day – 9:00am and 2:30pm – Monday through Friday. REMEMBER THIS – Being the top activity to do in Medellin on TripAdvisor, you MUST book in advance since they get sold out in a jiffy. For any particular day, they open the bookings about 48 hours in advance, so make sure to jump in the bookings as soon as they open. You will receive a confirmation email upon successful booking.
There’s a separate post on the free walking tour. Check it out:
|Take the free walking tour if you’re visiting Medellin in Colombia
After walking for just more than four hours, we were famished and upon recommendation from our tour guide we headed to Industriales metro station. It was a 20 minute walk to the Centro Commercial mall along Calle 30, where we had lunch at Crepes and Waffles.
The word paisa (plural paisas) refers to the inhabitants of Antioquia, Risaralda, Caldas, Quindio, North Valley and Northern Tolima. In short, locals in Medellin call themselves paisas. Pueblito Paisa is a mock Antioquian village situated atop Cerro Nutibara, a hill occupying a central location in the Medellin valley. We took a taxi from Centro Commercial mall to the top of the hill that offers visitors a glimpse into the typical setup of pueblos in Antioquia (and throughout Colombia).
Shops sell souvenirs and restaurants serve coffee and traditional foods like bandeja paisa. The buildings are situated around the edges of a cobble-stoned plaza, marked by a fountain. Visitors are able to peek into the mayor’s office, a barber shop, and a white church.
Every December, Pueblito Paisa is decorated with Christmas lights as part of the citywide Los Alumbrados display. During the holiday season, this quiet little hill experiences a huge surge in visitors, as both foreigners and Colombians tour the various light displays throughout the valley.
Cerro Nutibara offers an excellent vantage point for looking at the lights along the Medellin River below.
Just before sunset, we took the taxi back to hostel and relaxed for a while before heading out to Oviedo mall for quick dinner.
This was our last night in Medellin and we had booked overnight bus to Cartagena well in advance. Operated by Brasilia, the ride costs USD 66 per person and take about 13 hours to reach Cartagena. It is recommended to book your tickets in advance during the holiday season as they sell out fast.
The bus terminal (Terminal del Sur) is located right outside the Poblado metro station, so we took the train from Aguacatala to Poblado station and walked to the bus terminal. If you have purchased your tickets online, then walk over to the Brasilia bus counter and get your tickets after verifying your identity (using passport). Walk all the way at the end of the terminal (opposite from Brasilia counter) and get out of the exit door where the long-distance buses are parked.
For the most comfortable travel, make sure to book the front rows (right behind the driver) since it has the best leg-room. The bus makes two 15-minute stops on the way and has a toilet on board.
No meals are provided in the bus so make sure to get your dinner or snacks before boarding.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = COP 2200 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
|Breakfast at Waypoint hostel||$2.27||COP 5,000.|
|Metro tickets||$4.32||COP 9,500 per person. Five rides.|
|Free walking tour||$9.10||COP 20,000 per person.|
|Fruits during walking tour||$0.68||COP 1,500 per person.|
|Lunch at Crepes & Waffles||$8.23||COP 18,100 per person.|
|Taxi to Pueblito Paisa||$2.45||COP 5,400 per ride. One way.|
|Taxi from Pueblito Paisa to hostel||$4.72||COP 10,400 per ride. One way.|
|Dinner at Oviedo Mall||$16.36||COP 36,000 for two persons at California Taco.|
|Taxi from Oviedo mall to hostel||$2.05||COP 4,500 per ride. One way.|
|Bus from Medellin to Cartagena||$66||Overnight bus. One way. Per person.|
|Water & snacks||$4.54||COP 10,000 per person.|
|Total Costs||$120.72||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$2,100.27||Per person|