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Travel on Film: Colombia

Happy July, Friends! How are you all doing? Today’s post is going to be film photo heavy because we are revisiting a fantastic trip that Kevin and I made back in November to Medellin, Colombia! Our great friends, Daniel and Sandra (Hi, guys!), had their beautiful wedding in Medellin and we were so fortunate to get to attend for 8 days.

Medellin, Colombia

We stayed at two incredible hotels during our time in Colombia: The Charlee (pictured below) and The Click Clack Hotel. Both hotels were beyond amazing and had us feeling fancy. We upgraded to the “Acqua” rooms at the Charlee which included an in-room jacuzzi- talk about amazing! The Charlee also has a great restaurant and bar, rooftop pool (that also turns into a popular bar at night), and is in an excellent location for walking the city. The Click Clack has a more hip, modern design with an open concept first floor with restaurants and cafes. It also has a rooftop pool with restaurant/bar that looked amazing. I would say The Charlee’s location is best for walkability, but the Click Clack was more my ~vibe~.

We spent the first couple days just getting acclimated by exploring the Parque Llerras area. There are so many different shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars to enjoy! I was surprised at how hip this area of Medellin turned out to be (considering its history). I realized quickly that Medellin is becoming a haven for digital nomads and I can see why. Of course, I am curious about what locals think about this…

My favorite part of walking the area was stumbling upon a gentleman selling some art. We spent a bit of time chatting in my slightly broken Spanish and practicing my bargaining skills for four great paintings of birds. The most memorable spots for me were in the area were:

  • Restaurante Mondongo’s Poblado for the largest plate of delicious food I’ve ever received (seriously the avocados are ginormous!)
  • Amelia Coffee for a strong, iced black coffee
  • Akzura Thematic Spa for a very thorough, massage

Day Trip to El Peñon de Guatapé

One of the excursions that we got to take while in Colombia was to the colorful town of Guatapé. We went with Grupo Open Tours and paid $94,000 Pesos a ticket which was about $22 USD per person . Included in the tour was: breakfast, a boat tour, lunch, and visits to both El Peñon and Guatapé.

La Piedra del Peñón towers over the town and is hard to miss as you pass by busy vendors and bustling restaurants. I hope you’re wearing your walking shoes as it is over 700 steps to the top! Take your time and you will soon be rewarded by amazing views of the Embalse El Peñol-Guatapé– the Guatapé Reservoir Dam which provides electricity to Colombia. Also located at the top are vendors and places to relax before heading back down(I recommend grabbing an ice cream!).

If we had more time here I would have loved to rent a kayak and get on the water…next time!

Guatapé- Plazoleta de Los Zócalos

After lunch, we continued on our journey to the vibrant area of Plazoleta de Los Zócalos. Here, we enjoyed the colorful buildings and lively plazas, popped into shops, and grabbed some snacks and desserts. I don’t have that much to say about this area, but I loved photographing it. I would have loved to spend a bit more time here exploring!

Coffee farm tour- Finca La Leona, Café Cereza

Of course one of the biggest things to do while in Colombia is to visit a coffee farm! We visited Finca La Leona, located in Envigado and run by Fabian- a charismatic gentleman that shared his knowledge of the coffee process. We walked around the farm, taste-tested some coffee, and enjoyed the dense foliage surrounding the area I do highly recommend knowing how you are going to be returning to Medellin, though…turns out taxis are very hard to find in this area!

After the tour, the rest of the group went on an evening chiva party bus tour of the city. This is on the “to-do” list for next time! Instead, we went to Restaurante Mondongo’s Poblado (mentioned earlier) for the largest dinner portion I’ve ever eaten.

And that was our trip to Medellin, Colombia! Two things to worth mentioning if you plan to visit Colombia:

  1. A weather related recommendation is to definitely carry around a rain jacket throughout your trip. We got caught in several downpours but always had our jackets with us. One day we even had to hide inside a McDonalds because it was pouring that much!
  2. Safety wise, I felt very safe walking around Medellin. Of course there are always going to be people trying to sell you stuff or asking for money, but they didn’t make me feel unsafe. One person in the group did get pickpocketed at night while walking the Parque Lleras area. I recommend hiding personal items like cards and phones in inside pockets closest to your body where it may be harder for someone to quickly steal.

Film Info: I overestimated how many cameras I would need for this adventure. I ended up taking three cameras: a Canon AE-1, Canon Mju, and a Minolta Explorer Freedom Zoom. I used Kodak Pro-Image 100 in the Canon AE-1 and Minolta. And Kodak Ultramax 400 in the Canon Mju and the Canon AE-1. In hindsight, two cameras would have been sufficient (I personally would have chosen the Minolta over the Mju).

Well, that’s all for now, friends!

Until next time,

-Mary A

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