We arrived early to the North Bus Terminal (Terminal del Norte) in Medellin at 4am after a twenty hour bus ride from Santa Marta. My girlfriend, Michelle, and I had the pleasure of sitting behind a mother and her two very young children who must have been hyped up on sugar and probably caffeine considering the aggressive jumping, screaming, and kicking of adjacent seats. Needless to say, by the time we showed up to the station, we were quite fatigued. It was also still dark, so we had little idea of where we were or what our surroundings looked like. Being 4 in the morning, we decided we would wait until morning to catch a ride to the hostel because we weren’t sure if we would find anyone awake to let us in (this was a mistake, we definitely should have just gone). So there we sat, drinking terrible 1000 peso tinto… waiting.

Right as the sun started to rise I decided to walk around and check out the terminal. I found my way outside and got my first view of the city, with the lights still on just as the sun crept over the hills that surrounded the city. For the first time since we had walked on that bus I felt relaxed. It was truly awe-inspiring. Shortly after, we took a taxi to the ivy hostel and we were greeted by a smiling host and a bustling environment full of young, energetic travelers. We had some time before we could officially check in so we left our bags and began exploring the city for some proper lunch. The city was beautiful, clean and full of kind people that would often stop to say hello and ask were we were from.

Graffiti in Medellin

Colombia is full of wonderful and kind people. Every city we have been to, Bogota, Cartagena, Santa Marta, etc. we have been surprised by the kindness of the people. The difference was that in Medellin the people have such pride in their city that we found a city that didn’t have graffiti and trash on every street. Don’t get me wrong, I love good graffiti, and Medellin has good graffiti, but every other city in South America I’ve been to is covered head to toe with various quality graffiti and trash strewn across every part. Moral of the story, I fell in love with this city.

Free Breakfast

Ivy hostel was the perfect base for exploring the city. With the free breakfast starting us off every day, we were left free and energized to focus the rest of our day to Medellin. The proximity to the metro also helped. The staff was very helpful and had an intimate knowledge of the surroundings so we never felt lost of confused. Coming home to a great kitchen and wonderful friends proved to be exactly how we wanted to end each day. We met so many great people and felt so much at home that we ended up extending our stay from 3 days to 8 and we were tempted to stay even more. We will definitely come back to Medellin and when we do, we will stay at the Ivy Hostel!!!!

Aaron Venturini