Exploring new lands of opportunity: Medellin, Colombia

I arrived in Colombia on 27th November 2016 and spent 3 months there.

Weeks 1-3: I used a fun app called PolarSteps to track my trip, which I've embedded below!

In my 1st week there, I checked out Ciclovia which is a public event that takes place every Sunday. Here's a short video that I created using my GoPRO.

Audio: It's Good to be Alive - Pinkzebra Feat. Benji Jackson

Weeks 4-12

So to sum it up in as few words as possible, I ate a lot. My sister suggested that I link to all the restaurants I visited so I have (click on the names of the restaurants in the captions below each photograph)

A "juice-of-the-day" at Restaurant NATTO

"Manos Divinos" at Me Late Chocolate

A Green Apple Whisky cocktail at 37Park

A "menu-del-dia" with fish at Shanti Cocina Vital 

They give gloves! At a random Wings place in San Lucas Plaza

A "menu-del-dia" at Alma Cafe at Centro Comercial La Strada

A chocolate crepe with ice-cream at Crepes & Waffles

"Salmon & Feta" Cacerola (only at La Strada Mall) at PARMESSANO

Aside from the food, Medellin promises incredible views

Last sunset of the year - View from my AirBNB on 31st December

View of Poblado - taken by @isidaworks from El Tesoro Mall

Towards the end of January, Isida came down to visit me from Chicago. After picking her up from the airport, our driver surprised us by stopping at a scenic viewpoint Mirador De Palmas on the way to the city. We tried out the chocolo-con-queso from a street-side vendor there (which we recommend only as highly as the "kottu" we had in Sri Lanka) 

We did some of the touristy stuff together together, like a visit to the Jardin Botanico - definitely visit the Mariposa (butterfly) House; and a trip up the cable cars to Arvi Park.

View from the cable cars going up to Arvi Park

In my last few weeks in Medellin, I decided to try out a few horse-riding classes with Equus at their new location (which was pretty hard to find since their Google Maps locations was the old location...) by the airport. Classes were about $25 each and lasted 50 minutes. They are totally worth it, if you have your own transportation and can understand a little bit of Spanish.

I also recommend the Museum of Modern Art which is a good place to spend a couple of hours, if you're into that sort of art.

The end of my trip to Medellin was just as exciting as the start (when my hotel driver's car got towed at the airport and I had to call an Uber to get the both of us back to the city). I had been in touch with the Portuguese Embassy in Bogota for a few weeks to help me out with a travel document to fly to Lisbon directly from Medellin. They finally came through, and how! On the day before my flight, they arranged for me to meet with an embassy official outside the airport to receive my TVU - Titulo de Viagem Unica. I hurried over with my trusted driver Nikolai to the airport where we met the official at the passenger-drop-off spot and signed all the documents on the hood of his car, Colombian-style!

I highly recommend Medellin as a destination for digital nomads and tourists looking for a "different" South American experience. Many expats who visit Medellin end up coming back and staying for years.

Next stop. Portugal!