Medellin is a city of misconceptions. A lot of Colombia’s bad rap comes from Medellin. In the 80s and 90s, drug gang turf wars were rampant and that bloody era earned Medellin the world’s highest murder rate. Pablo Escobar, Colombia’s cocaine druglord, ran the show back then, but when he was killed in 1993, Medellin began to turn itself around.
When people travel to Colombia, they might expect to see a still-developing country. However, Medellin is a modern city that rivals big cities in North America. Modern freeways, a fast and efficient public transportation system, and bustling commercial centres have allowed this city to grow and prosper.
It’s still important to note that there are neighbourhoods (i.e. some areas in the downtown core) that should be avoided. Jason (of course) was curious so we wandered into one of the sketchier areas (during the day..don’t worry, dad!) but hightailed it out of there after we got some weird stares from the locals huddled around a crack pipe.
Travellers who come here today will find a (relatively) safe and modern city. No wonder so many travellers decide to stay put and actually live here. It has a pleasant climate (year-round temperatures of mid-20s°C), inviting green spaces, excellent restaurants, and an interesting arts and culture scene.
We spent the day wandering around the Museo de Antioquia, walking down the lively, pedestrian-only Avenida Carabobo (Carrera 52), and then took the cable car up for views of the city from Santo Domingo.
If we were to move to Colombia, we would likely choose Medellin as well. It’s a definitely a city to live in, as opposed to a city to just visit.