2 nights turned into 3 nights. 3 nights turned into 4. Then 4 turned into 5.

Medellin in Colombia was an unexpected surprise. I didn’t expect much from the city but it turned out to be an unforgettable experience for all the right reasons. The abundant things to do coupled with a comfortable stay made the decision for a longer stay an easy one.

At the core of the memorable experience was the accommodation at Ivy Hostel. This hostel owned by a super cool and knowledgeable guy Shaun was beyond what you’d expect for a hostel. Comfy beds, hotel quality bathrooms, clean kitchen, quality breakfast and multiple social break out areas which allowed for bonding with other travellers we’re just a few of the highlights.

Having done little research on Medellin, we pounced Shaun with multiple queries of what to do in this great city. Our queries were met with great advice which we took with open arms.

There were many great moments such as taking the metrocables up to Arvi and going on one of the best free walking tours I have done around the city, but for me two highlights of my time here was watching a soccer (aka football) match and doing a day trip to Guatape.

This was my first time watching a soccer match in person and boy am I glad it was in South America. They take fandom and enthusiasm to the next level. The seats were right next to the Northern stand where a sea of red jersey Medellin supporters took home – not bad seats for $25,000 COP! I’m not really a soccer fan but you didn’t need to be. Majority of the match was spent watching the highly audible, energetic, chanting crowd with a marching band. They did not die down the entire match even when it started thunder storming for half the match. A last minute goal by Medellin to tie the game sent the crowd into hysterics. It was such an electrifying atmosphere. The energy was so uplifting that you end up chanting and dancing along, even though you have no idea what they’re saying! It was definitely an experience I won’t forget.

One can not leave Medellin without doing a day trip or staying overnight at Guatape. I thought it was just going to be some big rock there but I was wrong. The enormity of the La Piedra in Guatape is jaw dropping. After taking a 2 hour bus from the Northern bus station to Guatape for $13,000 COP, the fee to the top of La Piedra was $15,000. The 700+ stairs to the top was tiring but the view of the city was well worth it. Picture an expansive and beautiful aqua blue lake surrounded by dozens of islands. A postcard perfect view. Down below in the town which was a short bus, taxi or walk away was plenty of activities like boat rides, party boats, zip lining, paddle boats, kayaking and slides to name a few. It felt like an adventurous yet relaxing summer camp getaway. Walking through the cobblestone streets lined with colourful and picturesque architecture was the cherry on top. It was such an unique setting.

What was originally a perceived stop over city turned out to be some of my best memories. Medellin is a must for any visitor to Colombia.