My boyfriend and I have the wonderful opportunity to explore South America for six months. We have been in Colombia for two months already (to date of writing this) and will be here for another 3 weeks. We did not expect to spend this much time here, but we also did not expect to fall utterly in love with this country! The people, scenery, food, history…it’s all amazing! Out of all of the cities we have been to, Medellin is my favorite.

Arriving at the North Bus Terminal, Medellin

We took the night bus to Medellin from Santa Marta, a coastal town in the Caribbean, that left during the afternoon and drove through the night. We purposely chose the night bus so that we would have a better chance of getting sleep and the 18 hour ride would be a bit easier to handle. That would have held true, had a mom with two wild young kids had not plopped down right in front of us. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep for the majority of trip!

We arrived to the twinkling lights of Medellin around 4:30 AM (2 hours earlier than expected). Stepping of the bus, it was a bit chilly, but the fresh air felt amazing. It was still dark outside and we were quite delirious and sleep deprived. Walking into the bus terminal and trying to figure out where we were was quite the task! Because it was so early, we decided to wait until the sun came up to head to the hostel. Therefore, we bought some tinto and ate what was left of our plantain chips. Not the most satisfying breakfast! Soon enough we left and made it to the hostel in a 15 minute cab ride. We were greeted with a big smile from the receptionist. Although our room wasn’t ready, she invited us in for breakfast and coffee. There were comfortable rooms to hang out in with lots of fun, interesting travelers to chat with.

Extending our stay in Medellin

We planned for five days in the hostel, but ended up staying for seven (which is not uncommon from what I am told). The owner of the hostel, Shaun, and everyone else working behind the desk was so helpful with directions, suggestions for restaurants, tours..etc. Every question we had, they were willing to answer. One of my favorite parts about staying at Ivy Hostel was the breakfast, and not just because it was free, but because it was a great opportunity to talk to the other guests and share about plans for the day, experiences, etc..over a great cup of coffee. The location of the hostel was also an added bonus. It was close to the metro, restaurants, cafes and the biggest shopping mall I have ever seen was five minutes away.

On our fifth day in Medellin, we were exhausted from all the activities and travel we had been doing, so we decided have a relaxed day to recuperate. However, a new guest from Australia arrived and seemed to be in a similar state as to when we arrived; delirious, confused, hungry. So, we took him under our wing, got him some lunch, coffee and then showed him the supermarket nearby. All day we exchanged stories, shared traveling tips (he had been traveling for over a year already), and had lots of laughs. We made a new friend and another great Medellin memory! When we return Colombia, no doubt Medellin, and the Ivy Hostel, will be on our list!

Michelle Schierburg