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The Travel Well Guide
City: Medellin State: N/A Country: Colombia
Medellin, officially the Municipio de Medellín (Spanish) is the second largest city in Colombia. It is located in the Aburrá Valley, one of the more northern regions of the Andes in South America. It has a population of 2.4 million inhabitants. It also serves as the core of the Metropolitan Area, the second largest in Colombia in terms of population with more than 3.2 million and the 95th most populous metropolitan area in the world.Medellín was founded in 1616 by the Spaniard Francisco Herrera y Campuzano as Poblado de San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence Town) in the nowadays El Poblado District. In 1826 was proclaimed by the Spaniard Colonial Administration as Provincial Capital of Antioquia. In 1803 was founded the University of Antioquia, one of the most prestigious government-owned education centers in Colombia. After the Colombian Independence from Spain, Medellín became the Capital of the Federal State of Antioquia until 1888 with the proclamation of a centralized Political Constitution. During the 19th century Medellín was a dynamic commercial center with the exportation of gold first and after with the growing production of coffee. After the Thousand Days War (1899 - 1902), Medellín was the first Colombian center to start its Industrial Revolution with the opening of textile companies, transport projects like the train that made possible the development of import-export activities of its industry and the founding of several centers of superior education and vocational training that created an industrialist and intellectual class.Throughout the 1980s and 90s it was a narco-mafia centre, run by the cocaine king, Pablo Escobar, who had the city paralyzed with fear and caught in an economic stranglehold. It was only at his death that the government managed to re-assert control. Today Medellin has become an altogether safer place; the city is riding on a wave of optimism, experiencing an economic renaissance and is welcoming visitors with open arms. For those with an adventurous streak, Medellin is an incredibly exhilarating city. There are busy markets, Baroque churches and a colourful street life, with hustlers and beggars and beautiful girls. The city is known for its parks where people congregate to hang out and there are many cultural attractions and beautiful buildings in the city centre. El Parque del Periodista is a bohemian square where the bars belt out alternative music. The Plaza de Cisneros, a formerly wealthy area that sank into decay through drugs and poverty, has some lovely 1920s buildings and is now on the up again, and the Prado neighbourhood in the heart of the city has some beautiful old houses, many of which are being renovated. Medellin is still a city with an edge, where the wealthier residents live in well-protected suburbs away from the city centre but it is firmly back on the tourist map, as it should be.
Climate | When to Visit
Visit during: March to October
Directions | How to Reach
By Air: Medellin is served by José María Córdova International Airport, located in the nearby city of Rionegro. International non-stop flights are available from Caracas, Lima, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Panama, Quito, New York CityBy Rail: Traveling trough the city is easy and quick, with the Metro system, you can go to anywhere in the city with The Metroplus (Bus extension to the Metro) and the Metrocable, a sky train or cable car that has revolutionized transport in the cityBy Road: Medellín has two bus terminals (north and south). The north terminal is connected with Metro station Caribe and the rail system (Although passenger rail transport in Colombia is quite limited). The south terminal which is next door to the domestic airport also has a mid-size shopping mall inside.