Medellín is an attractive city. Some people add it to their itineraries in Colombia for the wrong motives: prostitution, drugs, the story of Pablo Escobar.
However, I dare to believe that the majority of tourists go there for more praiseworthy and understandable reasons such as the clement weather, hence the nickname of the city of eternal spring, the discovery of the incredible Antioquia region, the nightlife, the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with pleasant and friendly locals, the “digital nomad” way of life.
I enjoyed spending more than 5 months in the city of eternal spring. Although its nickname is a bit exaggerated, I learned to understand and discover this city and I intend to share with you the advice I got from it.
1 – Many travelers and locals will tell you about the “Poblado” district when you mention Medellín. The Poblado is the trendy neighborhood where most of the clubs, restaurants, bars, Spanish schools, and hotels are located. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a night out. If this is not the case, I recommend Laureles. It’s another area of the city that is much more authentic and pleasant.
2 – The “Comuna 13” was, and still is, an excellent example to see and understand the change that has taken place in Medellín in recent years. However, Comuna 13 is now far too crowded, and you will meet a lot of tourists there. You have other options to discover the dynamics of change in this city, such as the neighborhoods of Moravia or La Sierra.
3 – The beautiful village of Guatape is located 2 hours from Medellín without counting possible traffic jams. This destination is very popular with locals and foreign tourists alike. Avoid the weekend if you want to have a peaceful and pleasant time there. You also have the option to stay in San Rafael and organize a day trip to Guatape from this small village. A great opportunity that you can include in your tour of Colombia.
4 – Arvi Park is overestimated. If you want to discover the surroundings of Medellín, decide instead to visit the Antioquia region. You’ll have plenty to choose from among the many beautiful little colonial villages. Antioquia is one of my favorite departments in Colombia.
Avoid adding Medellín to your stay in Colombia just because you want to party. You can enjoy the nightlife in any city in Colombia if you know where to look. However, if you’re going to visit part of the Antioquia region, it would be a shame not to spend some time in Medellín.
Our best Medellín tips:
Our best hotel reviews:
Getting to Medellin? (+)
From Jerico to Medellin:
- Many buses leave from Jerico. Take a bus that passes by Bolombolo. Schedules. You’ll arrive at the South Terminal.| Transportes Jerico | 3h30
From Tamesis to Medellin:
- Many buses leave from Tamesis. You’ll arrive at the South Terminal. | Transporte Tamesis & Cooptratam | 4 hours
From Jardin to Medellin:
- Many buses from The Jardin terminal. The fastest ones belong to Rapido Ochoa. Schedule. You’ll arrive at the South Terminal.| Transporte Suroeste Antioqueño & Rapido Ochoa | 4 hours
From Salamina to Medellin:
- A few direct buses per day from the Salamina “terminal”. Ask your hotel for the time departures. You’ll arrive at the South Terminal. | Expreso Sideral | 6-7 hours
From San Rafael to Medellin:
- Buses leave frequently from the San Rafael “terminal” (at the main square). Last bus leaves around 5 pm. You’ll arrive at the North Terminal. | Sotra San Vicente & Guatape del penol | 3 hours
From Guatape to Medellin:
- Buses leave frequently. Last bus leaves around 6 pm. You’ll arrive at the North Terminal. | Sotra San Vicente & Guatape del Penol | 2 hours
From San Carlos to Medellin:
- A few direct buses per day from the San Carlos Terminal. Schedule. You’ll arrive at the North Terminal. | Transoriente & Coornote |4 – 5 hours
From Pereira to Medellin:
- Many direct buses from the Pereira terminal. Hourly departures. You’ll arrive at the South Terminal. Schedule.| Expreso Arauca, Flota Ospina & Flota occidental | 6 – 8 hours
- Direct flights from the airport. Arrival in Jose Maria Cordoba or Olaya Herrera. | Easyfly | 1 hour
From Armenia to Medellin:
From Salento to Medellin:
- A few direct buses from “La Terminal – Parada de Buses Salento”. 08:00 am; 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 13:30 pm, and 16:00 pm. Double-check with your hotel. You’ll arrive at the South Terminal. | Flota Occidental | 8 – 9 hours
- You can also take a taxi to the Armenia or Pereira airport, then a direct flight to Medellin with Easyfly.
From Filandia to Medellin:
- Direct bus from the Filandia terminal to Pereira. Hourly departures from 7 am to 7 pm. | Expresó Alcalá | 1 hour
- Then a bus from the Pereira terminal to Medellin. Hourly departures. You’ll arrive at the South Terminal. Schedule.| Expreso Arauca, Flota Ospina & Flota occidental | 6 – 8 hours
You can also take a taxi to the Armenia or Pereira airport, then a direct flight to Medellin with Easyfly.
From Cali to Medellin:
- Direct bus from the terminal. Frequent departures. I recommend a night bus. Schedule. | Bolivariano & Expreso Arauca | 10 h
- Many direct flights from the airport. You’ll arrive at Jose Maria Cordova airport | Avianca & Easyfly & VivaColombia | 1 hour
From San Agustin to Medellin:
- I’ve heard there is one direct bus per day from the “terminal”. Confirm with our hotel or the bus company. | Coomotor | 18 hours
- Or you can take a bus to Pitalito (1h) then fly to Medellin with Satena.
From Popayan to Medellin:
- Only 1 bus in the evening from the terminal. Schedule – double-check with the bus company. You’ll arrive in the South Bus Terminal| Flota Magdalena | 13 hours
- By plane: there are several flights departing from Guillermo Leon Valencia Airport in Popayan but with one stopover | Companies: Avianca & Latam | Duration: 4h to 5h30 |
From Neiva to Medellin:
- Few buses at the main terminal. I recommend a night bus. Schedule – Double-check with the bus company | Flota Magdalena & Coomotor & Expreso Bolivariano | 12 hours
- Flights from the Benito Salas airport with 1 stopover | Avianca | 4 hours
From Nuqui / Guachalito to Medellin:
From Bahia Solanto / El Valle to Medellin:
- Direct flights. I recommend San German Express. You will arrive in Olaya Herrera. | Satena & San German Express | 40 min
- Many tuk-tuks can drive you from El Valle to Bahia Solano’s airport | 40 min
From Bogota to Medellin:
- Many buses leave from the Salitre Terminal. I recommend a night bus. Your bus trip will be more comfortable if you take a premium bus. You’ll arrive at the North bus terminal. | Rapido Ochoa, Expreso Brasilia, Flota Magdalena, Bolivariano | 10 hours
- Many flights from the Bogota airport to the Maria Cordova Airport (Medellin). | Viva Air, Latam & Avianca | 1h |
From Cartagena to Medellin:
- Bus at the main terminal. I recommend a night bus. Schedule – Double-check with the bus company. | Expreso Brasilia & Rapido Ochoa | 14 hours
- Flights from the main airport – Jose Cordova | Viva Air, Latam & Avianca | 1 hour
From Santa Marta to Medellin:
- Direct flights from the Santa Marta airport. You’ll arrive at the main airport – Jose Maria Cordova | Avianca, Viva Colombia & Latam | 1h15
- A few direct buses leave from the terminal. Schedule – double-check with the bus company. You’ll arrive at the North bus terminal | Rapido Ochoa & Expreso Brasilia | 16 h
From Capurgana to Medellin:
- Boat at 11 am in Capurgana to Necocli | 1h30
- Bus from the Necocli terminal to Medellin | Cootrans Uroccidente & Sotrauraba | 9 – 10 hours
From Isla Fuerte to Medellin:
It’s quite a demanding trip as there are many changes:
- Boat Isla Fuerte to Paso Nuevo | 20 min
- Taxi Paso Nuevo to Lorica | 45 min
- Bus Lorica to Monteria | Sotracor | 1 hour
- Direct night bus to Medellin. I recommend a night bus. Schedule. | Rapido Ochoa & Expreso Brasilia | 10 hours
You can also fly from Monteria to Medellin.
- A few direct flights from the Monteria airport. Arrival in Jose Maria Cordova. | Viva Air & Avianca | 1 hour
From Rincon del Mar to Medellin:
- Take a moto-taxi from Rincon del Mar to San Onofre | 30 min
- Then a bus from San Onofre to Sincelejo | 1 hour
- Then another bus to Medellin. I recommend a night bus. Schedule. | Rapido Ochoa & Expreso Brasilia | 10 – 11 hours
- From San Onofre you can take a direct bus to Medellín but they only leave during the day | See the timetables: check them again with your company | Companies: Rapido Ochoa & Expreso Brasilia | Duration: 12-13h
International airport? (+)
From Jose Maria Cordova Airport to Medellin:
- The main airport is called Jose Maria Cordoba, and it’s located in Rionegro, at a 45-min drive from Medellin. Official taxis are leaving from the airport, and the price is fixed (approx 25$).
- Another option (cheaper) is to take a shared taxi or a bus. They will stop at the San Diego Mall. Then you will have to take a taxi to your hotel.
From Medellin to Jose Maria Cordova:
- In case you want to get to Jose Maria Cordoba airport, you can book a white taxi online with Acoa Taxi Aeropuerto, Aerotaxi, and Rápido Medellín Rionegro.
- Otherwise, you can take a shared taxi or a bus from the San Diego Mall (15-20 min from Laureles district).
Who lands in the Jose Maria Cordova?
- Almost everybody, except if you’re going to the Pacific coast.
Olaya airport? (+)
The airport Olaya Herrera is only used by Satena and Easyfly. Flights to the Pacific coast leave from Olaya Herrera. The airport is 10 minutes by taxi from Poblado and 20 min from Laureles. It’s next to the South bus terminal.
North Bus terminal? (+)
The North Bus Terminal is 20 min up North by taxi from Laureles. All buses going to Bogota and the Caribbean Coast leave from there.
South Bus terminal? (+)
The South Bus Terminal is next to the airport Olaya Herrera, at only 10 min by taxi from Poblado. All buses going South of Medellin leave from there (Cali, Coffee region, Jardin, and so one).