Panama and Colombia - Winter 2010 travel blog

Botanical Garden (plus next two)



Fountain in Parque de los deseos

Parque de los deseos

Medellin metro

Guatape city hall

Lake of Guatape

Painters (Guatape)

Typical Guatape street

Church of Guatape


The Rock (La Piedra)

Coffee shop in El Poblado

Houses climbing up the sides of the valley

Cable car

Shanty town at the top of the cable car

River at the bottom of the valley

I arrived in Salento yesterday and will write more about this little coffee town once I've been here a little longer.

This entry is about my last three days in Medellin which included a day trip to the holiday town of Guatape.

Friday morning I visited the Medellin Botanical Garden which was a respite from the noise and pollution of the city. There was a nice orchid display.

Saturday I took a bus with Richard, a guy I met at the hostel, for the 2-hour trip to Guatape. Originally I had planned to go to Santa Fe de Antioquia, but a conversation wit some other travellers late on Friday convinced me otherwise. So that was another last minute change of plan! The town of Guatape is set near a lake (which I expected to be more impressive), and near a weird rock monolith that you can climb (we didn't). My favourite part was the architecture of Guatape, with all those colourful bas-relief painted on the houses. The locals were painting more as we walked around, in preparation for some kind of boat race.

Sunday morning I went back to the centre of El Poblado to have a coffee and was very disappointed to find everything closed. After walking for a while, I finally found a few places opened... right across from the church! People here seem very religious. Churches are often occupied by several people praying. They're not mainly architectural show pieces like in so many other countries.

My last plan was to take one of the cable cars that link with the metro system to get great views over the city. Unfortunately, I picked Sunday late afternoon, which is the time when the metro is free, and everybody uses it. There must have been 1000 people waiting in line for the cable car! At first the long line seemed to move pretty fast, but at the top of the stairs I realized I was only about half way through as there were about 20 coils in the line. I waited an hour. It was worst than Disney World!

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