Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America

This was my third trip to Medellin, Colombia and once again it was a memorable adventure. I've come to the conclusion that Medellin's reputation for being a dangerous city is much ado about nothing. Like any city with 3 million residents there are good parts and bad parts of the city but overall Medellin is a very place safe to travel. I spent 10 days wandering around the city, riding the metro, and just plain exploring and I only had 1 incident where I feared for my safety. (more on that later) From talking to many locals I get the impression that the people of Medellin are working very hard to change the image of Medellin and it definately seems to be working.

I ordered food one night from a local place and it's hard to beat having dinner delivered to your door by a cute girl on a motorcycle. I had chicken and pineapple on a stick and a Postobon cola. Postobon is a local drink company and the sponser of the national soccer team. I tried the manzana (apple) flavor and it was pretty good.

Mmmm, Chicken On A Stick!

Postobon Cola

Quite A Feast For $5

There are a ton of old churches in Medellin. This was the first time I was really brave enough to explore Medellin by myself and I was surprised at how many beautiful buildings there are. There are also a lot of great murals painted on walls around the city.

Local Church

Another Church

Cool Mural

The downtown area of Medellin is a mix of new and old worlds. There are ultra-modern skyscrapers next to 400 year old churches. The neighborhoods in el centro, like most cities in Latin America, have clusters of similar businesses all lumped together. There's a block with nothing but antique stores, a block with only fabric stores, a block with only furniture stores, etc. The antique stores in Medellin are pretty incredible. I found a lot of incredible furniture that I would have loved to have bought but I have no idea how I would have hauled it back to Pittsburgh.

One of the more unique streets in Medellin is right next to Botero Plaza and features what I call the "typewriter guys". These guys sit at tables with a typewriter and their job is to prepare legal documents for people. I don't know if this is true but I was told that this is what people that flunk out of law school do for a living. I took a video of them while walking by...

El Centro

El Centro

El Centro

El Centro

The Juice Man

Parque Bolivar

One day while I was walking around town I stumbled across Parque Bolivar. This is a great little park that is surrounded by shops and restaurants. All of the trees in the park have giant birdhouses in them so there are hundreds of birds in the park. It's a place where people just seem to congregate and hangout to shoot the breeze. Unfortunately, the area also seems populuar with junkies and drunks as well. There are a lot of people sleeping on the sidewalks in this area so you need to watch where you are walking.

There's also no shortage of hookers in this part of town. I took some video and I counted at least 10 "working girls" in this video...

Parque Bolivar

Crazy Tree

Simon Bolivar Statue

Get Your Bootleg CD's!

Church In Parque Bolivar

Bugs Bunny On Ice In Medellin?

Lot's Of Pigeons

Just Say No To Drugs

This Pic Was An Accident, I swear!

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