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Medellin or Bogota ??

Munford, Tennessee
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Medellin or Bogota ??

In March we'll revisit Cartagena.

But we'd like to visit another city that has a plaza,places to shop for handicrafts,drink coffee and enjoy colonial type architecture.

Can anyone help!

Thanks Gene

Paris, France
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21. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??

Gene, I have not visited Santa Fe so I cannot give you advice regarding it. The only thing I know about Santa Fe is that it is hot, and I am not fond of hot weather.

The weather in Cartagena will be very hot so you may want to visit a cooler place. Bogota tends to have nice refreshing temperatures....it will be about 50 F at sunrise and between 60 to 70 F during the day depending whether it is raining (note the altitude is 1.6 miles so that can be a challenge). March will be the beginning of the rainy season in Bogota. Last March most of the rain occurred late afternoon or night, and the afternoon rain was intermittent. You should definitely bring an umbrella if you plan to visit Bogota. In Medellin the temperature will be about 60-65F at night and 80-85F during the day. Some people prefer Medellin's weather, but I prefer Bogota's.

New York City, New...
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22. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??

I been to Santa fe twice and its hot, but there are small cozy hotels and plenty of restaurants around to enjoy a good meal.

Munford, Tennessee
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23. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??


It appears that there's very little "old world" architecture in Medellin??

Appreciate the word about SantaFE. Id it a place you could just shop for handicrafts and hangout for 3 days and maybe spend 2-3 days in Medellin.

I get the impression there's not much handicrafts in Medellin--you may have guessed that I'm a collector of local,nice souvenirs.

We do have a PROBLEM with our routing on United/Continental in getting to Cartagena and then back to Houston trying to avoid an allnight flight flight??



Havana, Cuba
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24. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??

"It appears that there's very little "old world" architecture in Medellin??"


YES! Absolutely spot on.

You wrote that you felt you were trying peoples patience. Most people have lots of patience here and are happy to help. But I think it should be pretty clear from the number of answers you have received from a variety of people that nobody travels to Medellín for a colonial holiday.

I have to repeat myself and advice you not to travel to Medellín. I see nothing in any of your posts that would make me think you would enjoy yourself there. And Medellín is not going to get a tad more quaint and colonial for every time you ask the question, Gene.

It's not colonial, and it's too late for you to change that online...

Munford, Tennessee
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25. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??


Thanks for putting me straight on the colonial areas of Bogota.

ONE person said that in March it rains a lot in Bogota??

Yhis made me think of a brief stop in Medellin AND THEN GOING ON TO SANTE FE??

COULD ANYONE ADVISE ME ON SANTA fE We've really enjoyed smaller places as Antigua Guatemala and Granad Nicauraga,etc

If you'd advise we just skip Santa FE and stay in Bogota we'll put our focus there.



Medellin, Colombia
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26. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??

Granada is much bigger than Santa Fe, SF is good for a day or maybe one overnight but that would be about it, lots of Paisas head there for the weekend but more for the pools than the town, lots of fincas in the area with large pools, good place to relax for the locals after working in Medellin

Owatonna, Minnesota
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27. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??


I was in Colombia this last July and visited Medellin, Santa Fe de Antioquia, and Bogota (amongst other places) so I will go ahead and chime in here.

Medellin is a very pleasant city and strikes me as a great place to live if I were to ever relocate to Colombia (which isn't even on my radar). The city size is just right, the weather is nice, the people are friendly, and the surrounding mountains and pueblos are quite picturesque. My paisa hosts there were incredible people, and gave me a positive perception of their city.

However, to put it quite candidly there just isn't that much to see there as a visitor that you couldn't see back home or in many other cities of comparable size. Culturally it is just a bit bland. Like Don Tomas said, there is virtually no colonial architecture or historical character to the city, which makes it unlike almost every other Latin American city I have visited. Apples and Oranges, I realize, but it's almost like visiting an American city in Spanish. Nearby Santa Fe de Antioquia is cute, sure, but don't go all the way to Medellin to see it.

Bogota is the capital city of the country and has a little bit of everything and a much greater cultural offering. There are lots of museums and cultural sites to see, and the city just seemed to have a lot more personality to it. I am not a "city person" but even I personally was pleasantly surprised by how much I took to the place after I arrived. I could go back to Bogota and spend more time there and visit the other sites I didn't get to see on my last trip. If you are looking for a small town to visit, Villa de Leyva might be an option. I know I would like to see it if I get back to Bogota.

I don't mean to bash Medellin, especially out of sensitivity to the wonderful people I met there, but despite all of the rave reviews that some people give the city (mostly for other reasons) I think that if you are travelling for cultural tourism you will probably find the city underwhelming.

Have a great trip! Colombia really is a beautiful country. If you want to see something unique, go to the coffee region if you get the chance.


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28. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??

La 70 refers to the area roughly about Medellín's Laureles district. I like it a lot, it is proper! I was down there a couple of weeks ago, went to a bar called La Tienda, fun place that gave us free beans, which is the weirdest thing a bar has ever given me.

Nowhere whatsoever near anything that is remotely historic

I guess the most "historic" area is El Centro, Hotel Nutibara is $80 on Expedia but the walk-up-and-haggle-with-the-receptionist price is <$50. Right opposite Plaza Botero. Problem is there are nothing but whores in a 3 block radius, I saw a kid about 8 completely whacked off of his face on glue and a tramp having a dump in a bush.

Ok I exaggerated, neither the glue addled child nor the tramp were whores to my knowledge.

If you go to Medellin then go to a nice area and enjoy it as a city plus plan outings to places like Santa Fé de Antioquia as CDY suggested. Otherwise go to Bogotá

Seattle, Washington
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29. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??

As I'm trying to decide whether to spend a few days in Medeliin between Bogota and Cartagena, I've enjoyed reading this lively exchange. Medellin does not sound like it's not for me, and I was sort of leaning that way, because in the TA hotel reviews people keep talking about proxomity to shopping malls. Living in the US, I have all the shopping malls I need. But I do like the idea of visiting a more "typical" Colombian city than cosmopolitan Bogota or touristy Cartegena. Does anybody have thoughts about Cali? Or other suggestions?

I realize that Cali is at the other end of the country, but flights within Columbia seem pretty reasonable. Whereas flights from one South American country to another seem exorbitant. I realize it's a big continent, but even shorter flights seem way more costly than for comparable distances in Europe. My other question is if anyone's found any secrets to low cost South American air travel.

Edited: 3:04 am, October 30, 2012
Abu Dhabi, United...
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30. Re: Medellin or Bogota ??

Bogota, lots to do, and about the rain, you never know, it can rain at any time of the year, same in Medellin.

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