So, without further ado, here’s a guide to the best and cheapest massage in Medellin.
A Few Things to Know About Medellin Massages
Before we get too lost in the weeds about massages in Medellin, let’s take a second to talk about some of the quirks of the massage industry. Here are a few things you should know about going into your massage.
You Don’t Pick Your Massage
Probably the weirdest thing about most massages in Medellin is that the masseuses usually tell you what you should get. It doesn’t matter what you want, say a simple relaxing back massage. If it looks like your hamstrings need work, that’s what they’ll give you.
In many cases, you don’t even have the option of buying basic stand-alone massages. Instead, there are only various treatment packages available.
Not Everyone Accepts Card
It seems like every massage provider in Laureles has a specific way they accept payment that’s different from all the others. While some accept credit cards, others only want cash.
Others have a specific payment portal that may or may not work with international credit cards and are more likely geared toward the Bancocolombia QR code bank transfers. Even if you plan to pay with a card, it’s a good idea to take enough cash just in case.
The Best Massages in Medellin
Now that we’ve got the pro tips out of the way, it’s time for us to talk about where to get a massage in Medellin. Here are my top picks around the city.
Ashanti Massage (Favorite Overall)
Inntu Hotel Spa (Best Spa)
IVY Laureles (Best for Chiropractic or Physical Therapy)
Amatsu (Best for Couples)
Trudy, who operates Ashanti Massage out of her home on the Laureles-Belén border, gave me the best massage that I got in Medellin.
I prefer a deep massage that borders on the unbearably painful, and that’s frustratingly hard to find. But Trudy got me to wince working on my IT band, which I have a lot of problems with from running.
Of course, she doesn’t just offer intense physical therapy, but relaxing massages and sports massages as well.
Originally from Belgium, you shouldn’t have any problem letting her know where you need extra attention because she speaks Spanish, English, French, and Dutch.
On top of being the best masseuse in Laureles, though, Ashanti Massage is the cheapest I’ve found. When I went, the basic relaxing massage cost less than $25 USD.
Inntu is a full-service spa that offers just about any treatment you can think of from cocoa therapy to a Turkish bath.
The frustrating thing about Inntu, though, is that you can only buy specific “plans,” none of which are just a simple massage. These are things like Plan #1 which lasts a total of four hours and includes a facial, time in the spa pool and sauna, and even wine in addition to the massage.
The most basic plan you can get is Plan #5, which is just an hour and 40 minutes and includes an hour-long massage with cocoa therapy and volcanic rocks plus a 20-minute Turkish bath and 20-minute sauna.
It costs a bit more than other Laureles massages, but is still only about $40 USD. It’s actually a really good deal if you book it for two, in which case you’ll get the second person’s massage for less than half the price.
Plus, if you really don’t want the sauna or Turkish bath, just let them know—firmly—and you can leave after the massage. However, if you do want to take advantage of these parts of the pack, don’t forget your bathing suit and flip-flops.
I do want to mention payment. When you reserve the plan over WhatsApp, you’ll be asked to pay a 50% deposit. You have to go to their payment portal on the website and calculate half of the price yourself and send it through, then send them a photo of the confirmation over WhatsApp.
Frankly, it’s probably easier to just pay the full price through the portal. This will make check-out faster as well.
Located right next to Primer Parque de Laureles and many of the neighborhood’s most popular bars and restaurants, IVY is like the Laureles all in one.
I actually went there to take advantage of its coworking space and get a day of writing in, but it was hard not to pass up the idea to finish up my eight hours with a massage right in the same building.
IVY’s massages are a bit pricier, but they’re still more affordable than what you’ll find in the States, especially for a massage of this therapeutic quality.
When I mentioned to my masseuse that I had IT band problems, he recommended dedicating some of the massage to some exercises and stretching that really helped me feel more stable.
Then, he spent the other 40 minutes just helping me relax.
Amatsu is another inexpensive option with an hour relaxing massage costing just COP$100,000 or USD$25. They have tons of other packages, though, including foreign massages like Shiatsu and couples massages. In general, I’d say the spa is geared towards couples since there were two tables in the room, and it had a somewhat romantic mood.
Altogether, I had one of my most relaxing massages at Amatsu and almost fell asleep during the last few minutes when the masseuse left me in the room with hot stones on my back. You book over WhatsApp, and I definitely recommend asking for details about all the different massages offered. This is one of the best spas for trying out different massage styles.