July 20, 2024

Destinations of the month-Medellin-Colombia

Medellin

Situated in a narrow valley, Medellín packs the punch of a city twice its size. Its skyline reaches for the heavens, setting high-rise apartments and office buildings against a backdrop of jagged peaks in every direction. Its pleasant climate gives it its nickname – the City of Eternal Spring – and the moderate temperatures put a spring in the locals’ steps, at work and at play. It’s a bustling place of industry and commerce, especially in textile manufacturing and exported cut flowers. On weekends Medellín lets its hair down, its many discos attracting the beautiful people.

The city sprawls north and south along the valley floor; slums hug the upper reaches of the hills. True to its paisa (people of Antioquia) roots, Medellín affects an indifference to the rest of Colombia, putting on metropolitan airs and looking overseas for inspiration for its next great public-works projects.

Getting Around

Bicycle

Medellín has a functional and widespread free public bicycle system called Encicla (www.encicla.gov.co). You’ll need to register first and pick up a ‘Civica’ card in any one of the these metro stations: Niquía, San Antonio, Itagüí or San Javier. A network of bicycle paths links many of the stations.

Bus

Medellín is well serviced by buses, although most travelers will find the metro and taxis sufficient for their needs. The majority of routes originate on Av Oriental and from Parque Berrío. Buses stop running around 10pm or 11pm.

Metro

Medellín’s metro is Colombia’s only commuter rail line. It opened in 1995 and consists of a 23km north–south Linea A, that connects El Centro to El Poblado, and a 6km east–west Linea B. Trains run at ground level except for 5km through the central area where they use elevated tracks.

The metro company also operates four cable-car lines, called Metrocable, built to service the impoverished barrios in the surrounding hills and Parque Arví in Santa Elena, with two more under construction at the time of research. The rides themselves afford magnificent views and make for a lovely way to check out the town. The three main Metrocable lines are included in the price of a metro ticket, while the Arví line is separate.

If you’re going to spend a while in Medellín it may be worth getting a ‘Civica’ card, purchased at metro ticket booths, for discounted tickets and faster access.

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful in Medellín and all are equipped with meters. Alternatively, use ride-share apps such as Uber, Tappsi or Easy Taxi.

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