When I went to Colombia for the first time, I fell hard. I’ve traveled to several places at this point, but I’ve never felt as welcomed as I was here. It had a lot to do with the couple who hosted me, but it was more than just that, as taxi cab drivers and the people I would meet were always curious to know my adventures.
My travel preference is to know someone in the area I’m going to so I can experience it more authentically. I was fortunate enough to do this when I went to Medellin on my first trip. On my second trip, I had a travel buddy, so we opted for something more conventional – yet authentic enough.
Here are a variety of options to arrange room and board in Colombia. Some have been the traditional route for travelers, while others less so. To provide some options, here is a list of where to stay in Medellin:
- AirBnB – Most have views, be sure this is a requirement in your search
- Marriott Hotels – For a more comfortable straight forward process
- Hostels – A great way to meet other travelers
When I went back with a buddy, we chose to stay in a massive house through AirBnB with a view. I have some pictures I’ll pull up. We also checked out hostels for the social aspect.
I’m a carrying Marriott Bonvoy cardmember, and I have loved my experience with them. In last-minute crunches, I’m able to book hotels for what every city I go to. A memorable one was in Rome when I accidentally locked myself out of my AirBnB late at night – I ended up emergency booking with a nearby Marriott. But I digress…
Although I did not stay in a Marriott in Medellin, I do see the relevance and pull to do so. For one, if you lock yourself in, you don’t have to wait for the owner to come with a spare key. But it is also convenient to know the booking process, especially in a foreign country. Sometimes you don’t want to deal with the coordination other avenues offer.
Medellin offers a Marriott Hotel that is eye-catching at the very least. Boasting 301 Reviews and a 4.4 rating on Marriott’s website, it deserves to hold the Rewards Category 4 rating. It’s located in Medellin’s better to do area, El Poblado – where travelers from North America are usually seen in abundance.
This is a place I would go to if I went back to Medellin, for the convenience of it all.
If you’re looking for the more authentic side of Medellin, I would highly recommend AirBnB.
AirBnB and Iconic Medellin Views
When I stayed with friends the first time I went to Medellin, I couldn’t get over the fact their apartment had such a fantastic view of the city.
Because the residences and the city is shaped in a valley, these views where commonplace every you would go. I first noticed it from the taxi ride between the airport and Medellin. From a high elevation seeing in the valley, buildings covered in city lights.
As I write, I remember how awestruck I was by the way the city was situated. I love seeing city lights from a view.
The second time I stayed, it was in an AirBnB, and it was right to the Medellin views. It was located a little further out, but when the Colombian sun would go down, you could still see the city lights glimmering in the distance.
If you’re going to go to Medellin and stay at an AirBnB, be sure that in the description somewhere, it states to have a view.
Not only did this AirBnB have a view, but it was also a house with an incredible shared living room. I would start my day off there—coffee in one hand, and scrolling through the current events from my laptop.
The living room was situated in an open space with the outdoor lawns, which was covered in luscious green. Outside you would be able to see the owner’s pet dog take lazy strolls through. You could feel the breeze come through the house to refresh you as if it came by to say, “Bienvenidos.”
It was a serene environment away from the hustle of the metro.
Sometimes, the metro still calls. And at night, that’s where my buddy and I ventured to. Upon his suggestion, we went to a hostel where there is a constant social scene.
Out of nowhere, a parade broke through the crowds and blocked cars from passing by. It was either a Friday, Saturday or maybe it was a Thursday? I tend to lose track when traveling. If the hustle and bustle of Medellin weren’t enough, this parade made you feel like there was always a party waiting to happen.
Around the corner of this parade was a hostel. In this hostel, a group of travelers would meet. Some where there for the events, and others where there because it was a social place where they could also lay there heads.
Depending on the mood I’m in, being social while traveling is a nice option to have. That night, we wanted to be social, and the event that was going on was an English exchange and Salsa night. There were locals there that night, and many people from all over the world to practice.
After a few rounds of drinks, I was at the brink of gibberish as I helped locals and other Spanish speakers with their English, and they with my Spanish.
Hostels are abundant in Medellin. Most of them are located in the same area. You’ll be able to connect with other travelers here. For solo travelers who want to stay social, this may be the ideal place to stay in Medellin.
The highest-rated hostels in Medellin are:
- Los Patios Hostel Boutique
- The Wandering Paisa
- Purple Monkey Hostel
Although we didn’t spend the night here, it may have been better as we were trying to stay with the local social scene.
I’m not sure when I’ll go Medellin again. I’ve often thrown around the idea of just living there because of the facilities they have. It’s effortless to get a taxi or their version of Uber (they technically have Uber also). And they have a great internet connection.
Many digital nomads go to Medellin for these amenities and not to mention the affordability scale compared to North America.
If I can ever find the time to take a break from corporate America, I would look forward to finding myself again among these friendly Paisa people.