My favourite place in all of Colombia, Medellín packs a lot of punch and is one of the best places to live if you’re a digital nomad in need of a break. The very touristy El Poblado area is where most backpackers base themselves, but I far preferred the quieter Envigado. Be sure to go on the Real City walking tour, officially the best walking tour I have ever been on.
Guatapé is a popular day-trip from the city but the real highlights of Medellin are best discovered by simply wandering around, enjoying a cerveza in a pool hall, attending a free salsa lesson or chilling out in one of the many parks. Medellin has a tarnished reputation on account of Pablo Escobar, think carefully about whether you want to go on a tour to find out more about Pablo’s empire. From Medellin, continue onward to Cali or head further afield down to Ecuador and onward to Peru.
Wide-angle shot from the helicopter ride!
If you want to backpack Medellin and have a little more budget to work with, I highly recommend going on an aerial helicopter tour of Medellin with Fly Colombia City Tours. The prices vary depending on group size, but expect to pay around $80 USD per person for a 15 minute / 40 kilometer flight. The views are exceptionally stunning, plus who doesn’t want to go for a ride in a helicopter at least once, right? Special thanks to Luisa from Fly Colombia City Tours for helping us organize this flight!
If you can get a group of 5-6 people together from your hostel, you can get a better per person price (maximum 6 people in the helicopter). Book in advance and let Fly Colombia City Tours know the Broke Backpacker sent you! Ask for a flight around sunset time for the best photography light!