I have wanted to visit Colombia for years and so has my husband. We finally made time and it lived up to the hype. Before we had even gotten off the plane we agreed that if we liked it as much as we thought we would, we would eventually buy a vacation property there. I’m a very decisive person and I know what I like and I had a feeling I would fall in love with Colombia and I was correct. I’m writing this from my home in Miami and there’s no place like home but I do miss the Colombian vibes.
The flight from Miami is so convenient: 3 hours non-stop and we were in Medellin. It’s nicknamed the City of Eternal Spring because of its year-round idyllic temperatures. It is also a stunning place set in the foothills of the Andes. Our trip took us through Rio Negro which is this beautiful countryside near the airport and on the way to Medellin. The landscape was dotted with horses and fresh fruit stands and it was just incredibly peaceful. Since I grew up riding horses, this was a great first impression and made my dreams of owning a horse ranch one step closer to reality. We made it to our hotel in Medellin in less than an hour. The roads are extremely windy but the drivers maneuver them with ease.
We stayed at the Intercontinental, a 5 star luxury Movich Hotel, centrally located in the El Poblado neighborhood. The hotel was fantastic and the staff went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed our stay; the spa water and cookie refills didn’t hurt. The hotel had a vibrant indoor bar and a luxurious outdoor pool, bar, gym and spa area. A breakfast buffet was included every morning and there were at least 10 kinds of exotic fruits and cheeses to try, as well as full hot and cold breakfast options.
One of the first activities that we participated in was a Pablo Escobar tour, yes, as Americans we were extremely interested in learning more about this legend from some locals. We couldn’t have asked for a better tour. The company Medellin City Services were amazing and accommodated our schedule and picked us up and gave us a private tour. Our guide was better than I could’ve imagined. He’s an ex-cop who was involved in helping take down Escobar. In fact, his sergeant was outside Escobar’s house when he was killed. He gave us so much insight into the Colombian culture and the negative impacts that Escobar and his drugs and reign of terror had on the people. We got to see actual photos of crime scenes, visit several of his houses, his gravesite and the neighborhood that he built, that still honors him with a giant mural.
Another highlight of our trip was when we went to Guarne, which is a town about an hour from Medellin but feels like it’s in a different world. The air is fresh, the elevation high and it has a charming small town feel with amazing vistas around every corner. We took a private ATV tour with Medellin Adventure Tours and it was my favorite ATV experience ever. I was scared a couple times, and the fact that we had to wear helmets and body armor, but I’m always up for an adventure. At one point we each had 2 tires on 1 rock and the other 2 tires on another rock and then he did a sharp turn and drove straight down a riverbank into a river. I thought he was joking and we were at the turnaround point, but he instructed us to follow him and we actually rode through the rapidly flowing river. It was incredible! Pictures don’t do the views justice. Everything was so green and serene for miles around.
After our ATV adventure, we walked to get snacks for our 2 hour local bus ride to Guatape. We managed to get on the right bus and were entertained by the chatter and vendors making their sales pitches in the middle of the bus. We arrived in Guatape and explored the area for the rest of the day. We even rented a boat from a local owner and enjoyed the rickety, slow boat ride through the giant lagoon, relishing in the breeze and the warm sunshine. We took the bus back to Medellin that night and then caught a cab to our hotel.
Of course, we checked out some properties in Colombia; both in the city and the country.
Stay tuned for more Colombia adventures in part 2 🙂