When you speak to Medellín visitors, adjectives like hospitality, colorfulness, enriching experience, eye-opening and delicious are words that describe this oasis in the heart of Colombia. Colombia’s second city, Medellín, is one of the most exciting and sought after travel destinations. Located in the stunning Aburra valley and surrounded on either side by majestic mountain ranges, the City of Eternal Spring – so-called for it’s comfortable year-round climate average of 22°C – has a lot to offer. Here are 10 of CAS Trips’ favorite things to do in this beautiful city:
Take an eco walk along Rio Claro
Though not ‘in’ Medellín, a walk along the Rio Claro is considered a local’s must-do. Here you will be able to unplug from the hectic life in the city and unwind to the sound of nature. Enjoy the picturesque crystal-clear river, canyon and tropical rainforest whilst contemplating how the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be put into action to preserve this devine spot for generations to come.
Tour the notorious Comuna 13
Comuna 13 was once the most dangerous area of Medellín. It has now managed to reinvent itself, making it the reason for Medellin’s ranking as “the most innovative city of the year” by the Wall Street Journal and Citi in 2013. Walking through the narrow roadways, you will see kids playing soccer, street vendors selling their fruit and empanadas, and shopkeepers laughing and chit-chatting with their neighbours – the past has been dealt with and the future holds creativity and greatness for Medellín.
Learn how to dance Salsa
“Listen to the rhythm and start tapping your feet to the beat” are guaranteed to be the words of your Salsa instructor. During your Salsa dance classes you will be able to experience the activity aspect of C-A-S and learn how dance can dominate culture. The importance of music and dance is ingrained in the Colombian way of life and there is no better way to experience it than learning some of the classic hip moves!
Partake in a coffee tasting
Colombia’s coffee is world renowned and considered one of the best, leading it to be one of the main exports of the country. Join us on a visit to some of the local coffee plantations and learn everything you need to know about the Arabica coffee bean.
Get creative at a graffiti workshop
After experiencing Comuna 13 you will surely feel inspired by all the street art. Medellín’s street art is some of the most exciting in the world; colors and images depict the love and hate that the city experienced in the past and will leave you in awe. Let your creative juices flow and take part in a local graffiti workshop.
Visit Don Carlos’ organic farm
Join us by visiting the inspiring eco-farm in the town of El Carmen. After falling ill, Don Carlos’ doctor advised him to stop using pesticides and chemicals on his farm as it was causing his health to deteriorate. On doctors’ advice, he self-learned new organic production methods and now has the only 100 per cent organic agriculture in the area. Through his success, he was able to open his own shop and a restaurant where the fresh produce is sold, eaten and the waste used for the highest quality compost.
Experience the Moravia Community Project
There are a few places that demonstrate Medellín’s remarkable transformation over the past two decades like Moravia. Located in the north of the city, this neighborhood once housed thousands of families atop a huge garbage heap. Now, thanks to a coalition between the community and local council, many residents have been rehoused and the mountain of waste converted into a multi-coloured flower garden.
Venture on a walking tour in the historic city center
Our guides will take you on a colourful journey through the history of Colombia and Medellín. Exploring the ever-entertaining downtown area, the tour will discover the fascinating history and culture of this beautiful city and people. We will encounter vendors selling mountains of luminous tropical fruits like lulos, guavas and passion fruit, and succumb to the seductive aroma of freshly percolated Colombian coffee. The tour will end with a poignant image of how the city continues to strive against violence and destabilizing forces.
Harvest organic Colombian ingredients to cook at a country house
As part of the day trip to Don Carlos’ organic farm, you will be challenged to harvest ingredients to later prepare and cook as part of a group meal back at the country house. Team work, planning and communication will be key to producing a successful meal!
Get your hands on some spectacular ceramics at El Carmen
El Carmen attracts visitors thanks to its spectacular ceramic traditions. You will get the chance to design your own plate or mug under the guidance of local experts. These charming souvenirs will be placed into a cast, molded and delivered to the students on the penultimate day. What a unique souvenirs to remember Medellín by.
Inspired to travel to Medellin? Head over to www.castrips.org/medellin-spring for more information.
CAS Trips is hosting two Medellin Spring sessions from the 13th – 19th and 20th – 26th October 2018. The all-inclusive trip is appropriate for individual students or student groups aged 13-18 and priced at $699 USD per person.