8 Days In Medellin, Colombia

Contrary to many rumors out there Medellin is safe, very affordable and the “paisas” (residents of Medellin) are very friendly.



  • Medellin is an 1.5 hr easy affordable trip from Quito.
  • Metro Medellin in the Valley of Eternal Spring and is 3.5 million people
  • The Colombian Peso is the monetary unit and $1 USD = 2000 pesos
  • During the day the weather is in the mid 80’s and the night drops down to the mid 50’s F
  • I stayed at Prado 61 Hotel for $30 a night and had Filet Mignon for $7.50
  • Breakfast was $4 at the hotel
  • A typical lunch in a good restaurant on the street was $6
  • A ride on the world class Metro is $1- Buy a train pass for 10 rides =$9


Medellin was voted the most innovative city of 2013 beating out New York and Tel Aviv. Special street lighting, pedestrian only streets, cable car system, world class aquatic facilities all contribute to the innovation that makes this city very livable.


Some typical costs:


  • Taxi: All metered cabs about $6 dollars for a 10 minute ride
  • 2 bedroom unfurnished apartment in an upscale neighborhood $700
  • Aquatic Daily Pool pass $5.50 – Olympic pool
  • 2 Empanadas and a bottle of Pepsi $2
  • 2 large Pitahayas (author’s favorite fruit $1.50
  • Bottle of Johnny Walker Red $30
  • MacBook Air – about $80 more than the U.S.
  • Cell phone usage about 20% cheaper than Ecuador.
  • A latte or capachino is $2


Some final thoughts:

The Spanish is spoken very fast with an accent and phrases that are different than Ecuador. Most people don’t speak English. The Metro Train system runs every 6-8 minutes and covers the entire city but it is very crowded most of the time. There is some violent crime in the city but the police are everywhere in the city especially on the Metro and as usual the crime occurs in the poorer neighborhoods. Cars and motorcycles are cheaper than in Ecuador and there is more traffic.

Medellin is a big city and the streets are often crowded. It’s residents are mainly young and very¬†enterperneurial¬† Would I live there full time – maybe, but for the forseeable future Cuenca is home.

Put Medellin on your bucket list. It’s a geat place to spend a week or more.