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TLDR? The best tours in Medellin are ones that showcase the city and it’s unique history.
One of the reasons that people stay in Medellin for so long is that there are so many fantastic things to do in the city. And, that’s not to mention the surrounding area!
Many digital nomads are lured to Medellin by the affordable cost of living, wonderful climate, and the opportunities to get to know the friendly locals.
However, they often worry that they‘ll end up struggling to focus on the day job because of all the distractions.
So, if you want to find out what tours to take, keep reading. Here’s a guide to the best tours in Medellin!
The best tours and activities in Medellin are a marvelous mix of encounters with the city’s rich history, natural beauty, and culinary treats.
There is something here for every budget, and although it can make exploring the city more expensive than just jumping on the metro, we do recommend that you book tours and excursions with a qualified guide.
Not only will they enrich your understanding of the city, but they’ll also help put money into the local economy.
Beyond the activities listed here, the team at Palenque Tours Colombia have a comprehensive list of the most engaging tours in Medellin.
They belong to the Colombian Association of Sustainable Tour Operators (Acotur). And, they’re fully certified so you know you’re contributing to the sustainable development of the city when you work with them.
Better yet, all of these tours can be organized with a pick up from your Casacol luxury vacation rental and are designed for real travelers that want to scratch beneath the surface of the city.
This full day activity combines a visit of a traditional flower farm in Santa Elena and a Medellín city tour including a stunning cable-car ride into town.
Flowers are the symbol of Medellín and the annual Flower Festival in August is the cultural highlight of the year. Travel to the flower village of Santa Elena located in the highlands above Medellín. Growing flowers has a long tradition in the region and visiting a flower farm to get to know the so-called “Silletero” culture is a unique experience.
Afterwards drive to the Nature Reserve Parque Arví and take the cable car to Medellín’s Santo Domingo neighborhood and start your city-tour.
The cable car was constructed to make the inner city more accessible to people from the outskirts and allows visitors a glimpse into the lives of the marginalized population.
On this tour, you can go on the cable car to the city center and downtown Medellín. There, you can list to local musicians and the traditional “Guasca” music while visiting Parque Berrío.
What’s more, you’ll get to stroll through the hustle and bustle of downtown Medellín to the famous Botero Plaza with an exhibition of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, whose sculptures have become a landmark of the city.
Duration: 5 hours
Arguably one of the world’s most successful and renowned living artists, Medellin’s finest, Fernando Botero, is a true national icon and a symbol of the city’s creative impulses.
As he himself puts it, he’s the “most Colombian of Colombian artists’ and his generous donation of hundreds of works to the museums in his hometown have enriched the city’s cultural offering.
Best of all, this cultural experience will immerse you in the iconic world of ‘Boterismo’, with a bilingual art expert walking you through a wonderfully curated selection of voluptuous figures in the Botero Square and the Museum of Antioquia.
Duration: App. 2 hours
Learn exactly why Colombia is famous for producing the world’s best cup of coffee on a special visit to a smallholding high up in the hills of Medellin.
On less than three hectares a local farmer and his family produce their own specialty brand of coffee. There, they serve up the unique opportunity to observe the whole coffee processing from the plant to the cup.
The tour also helps explain Colombia’s complicated conflict and how years of violence have placed residents of the countryside in the crossfire.
On the tour, you’ll get to the families that rely on coffee to build a better life for future generations. In Medellin, you’ll visit where the coffee is roasted and learn from a professional barista how to prepare a perfect cup of Colombian coffee.
Duration: App. 6 hours
From no-go to must go, the transformation in Medellin’s reputation has changed notably since it was considered the most dangerous city in the world in the early 1990s.
This remarkable urban transformation is an ongoing process of social and urban change. The museum “Casa de la Memoria” is an investigation center of the urban conflict of the last decades. And, it offers exclusive insights into this controversial part of the city’s history.
Unlike other similar museums dedicated to the memory of a country’s violent past, this museum offers a way to heal the relationship of a country with its past.
The “Casa de la Memoria” in Medellin deals with a memory of a conflict that’s still very much evolving. It’s a powerful symbol of hope and a landmark of social transformation in Medellín.
Duration: 4 hours
The densely populated neighborhood of Moravia was once Medellín’s municipal rubbish dump. It had an open-air mountain of trash surrounded by a large shanty town, whose residents used to live in almost absolute poverty.
Due to Colombia’s armed conflict and the number of displaced refugees more and more people arrived in Moravia. This neighborhood is located right next to the city center.
Despite that, Moravia nowadays is considered to be the most populated neighborhood of Medellín. The area is known for its strong community spirit and the positive attitude of its people.
In fact, plenty of local community-run projects have transformed Moravia into a model urban center. What’s more, they’ve converted the mound of trash turned into a garden-covered hillside. Now, it represents one of the landmarks of the social and urban transformation of Medellín.
Explore the area guided by community leaders and get insights into this unique story of social and urban transformation. Plus, you can directly support the local community projects.
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy an immersive cooking class and comforting lunch whilst helping those in need. This unique community-based social project educates low-income Colombians on how to cook and utilize regional foods as a financial resource.
A Canadian chef set up this inspiring food project several years ago, and all funds generated through your visit are reinvested in the community.
This means you’ll be actively contributing to the training program, course materials, and equipment as well as the premises. Give yourself a pat on the back!
Duration: 4 hours
Medellin’s local inhabitants, paisas, have a melancholy soul that explains their love of tango. The relationship with the musical genre was cemented when legendary singer, Carlos Gardel, died on a trip to the city in 1935.
On this tour, you can visit the city’s iconic tango bars with an aficionado on hand. They’ll take you on a truly authentic spin through Medellin.
Duration: 4 hours
This creative tour takes you through Comuna 13, a place that’s gone from being one of the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods to one of the most instagrammable.
Discover the socio-economic roots of this remarkable transformation with a local guide who’ll give you the backstory to the awe-inspiring graffiti murals packed with political punch.
See the graffiti of Comuna 13 guided by some of the local artists themselves. This tour gives you an insight into the history and daily life in this area. And, it teaches you the importance of street art for social communication and identity.
Duration: 4 hours
As you can see, there are some truly spectacular tours in Medellin, if you know where to look for them. Get ready to book a tour and enjoy your time in Medellin to the max!
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