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Exploring Medellín with Kids: A Journey Through History, Adventure, and Culture.

As a mother who loves to travel and explore new destinations with my kid, our recent adventure in Medellín has left an indelible mark on our hearts. This captivating city, nestled amidst the scenic mountains of Colombia, is a place where history, culture, and natural beauty converge to create a truly unforgettable experience.

Before we embarked on our journey, I couldn't help but delve into the fascinating history of Medellín. Once known as the epicenter of Colombia's drug trade, the city has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years. Today, Medellín stands as a shining example of resilience and progress, a testament to the unwavering spirit of its people.

As we explored the vibrant streets of Medellín, we were greeted by a city that has reinvented itself. The innovative transportation system, including the iconic Metrocable, not only connects different parts of the city but also offers breathtaking views of the urban landscape. It's a symbol of Medellín's determination to overcome its past and create a brighter future.

Beyond its transportation marvels, Medellín embraces art and culture in every corner. The vibrant neighborhood of Comuna 13, once known for its turbulent history, has transformed into a living canvas adorned with colorful street art. As we took a guided tour through its vibrant streets, we marveled at the resilience of the community and the power of art to inspire change.

But Medellín isn't just about history and art. The city offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that cater to the adventurous spirit of young explorers. From interactive science museums like Parque Explora to botanical gardens teeming with life, there's no shortage of opportunities for hands-on learning and outdoor adventures.

Join us on this incredible journey through Medellín as we uncover hidden gems, indulge in delectable cuisine, and immerse ourselves in the warm embrace of this captivating city. Get ready to create lifelong memories as we explore Medellín with the curious eyes of a 9-year-old and the heart of a mother eager to share the world's wonders with her child. This is our journey through Medellín—a city that has risen above its challenges and captured our hearts with its beauty, resilience, and endless possibilities.

Medellín: City of Eternal Spring

Welcome to Medellín, the vibrant and enchanting city nestled amidst the picturesque mountains of Colombia. Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Medellín offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and captivating culture, making it an ideal destination for a memorable family vacation.

In the scenic Aburrá Valley of Colombia, Medellín emerges as a vibrant city with a fascinating history. The region was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Tahamí and Aburrá, who established settlements along the banks of the Medellín River.

Medellín was officially founded on November 2, 1675, by the Spanish conquistador Don Francisco Herrera Campuzano. Initially, the settlement was named "Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Medellín" in honor of the Virgin Mary. The city grew steadily, driven by agriculture, particularly the cultivation of coffee, which became a significant economic activity in the region.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Medellín experienced rapid industrialization, fueled by the construction of railroads and the rise of textile manufacturing. The city became a major industrial hub, attracting migrants from rural areas in search of work and opportunities. This influx of people contributed to the city's growth and cultural diversity.

During the 20th century, Medellín faced challenges and turbulence, including political unrest and violence associated with drug cartels. The notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar, and his Medellín Cartel dominated the city's headlines, leading to a dark chapter in its history. However, through the determination and resilience of its people, Medellín embarked on a remarkable transformation.

In recent years, Medellín has undergone a significant urban renewal and social transformation. The city implemented innovative urban planning initiatives, focusing on improving public transportation, developing public spaces, and promoting social inclusion. These efforts have earned Medellín international recognition for its remarkable turnaround.

Today, Medellín is a thriving metropolis known for its pleasant climate, vibrant culture, and progressive urban development. The city embraces innovation, education, and sustainable practices. It has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world who come to experience its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. Medellín stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of its people, who have transformed it into a city of hope and progress.

Top Accommodation Choices in Medellín: Where to Stay for an Unforgettable Experience

When traveling to Medellín with kids, there are three fantastic areas to consider for your stay. Each offers unique advantages and a family-friendly atmosphere. Here are the top three areas:

El Poblado:

  • Family-Friendly Vibe: El Poblado is known for its safe and welcoming environment, making it an excellent choice for families. The neighborhood features clean streets, pedestrian-friendly areas, and a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Proximity to Attractions: El Poblado is centrally located, offering easy access to various attractions suitable for kids. Parque Lleras, a lively park surrounded by restaurants and cafés, provides a great space for family outings. Additionally, Explora Park, an interactive science museum, is nearby and offers engaging exhibits for children of all ages.

  • Recreational Spaces: El Poblado boasts several parks and green areas where kids can enjoy outdoor activities. Parque El Poblado, for example, provides ample space for children to run and play, with playgrounds and sports fields available.

  • Family-Friendly Accommodations: El Poblado offers a wide range of accommodations, including family-friendly hotels and apartment rentals. Many establishments in this area provide amenities such as swimming pools, play areas, and babysitting services, ensuring a comfortable stay for families.


  • Local Charm: Laureles-Estadio is a vibrant residential neighborhood that exudes a warm and friendly atmosphere. It offers a glimpse into the authentic local lifestyle of Medellín, providing a rich cultural experience for families.

  • Parks and Recreation: The neighborhood is home to several beautiful parks, including the renowned Parque de los Deseos and Estadio Atanasio Girardot. These parks offer ample space for kids to play, and families can enjoy leisurely walks or picnics in the picturesque surroundings.

  • Family-Oriented Facilities: Laureles-Estadio features family-oriented amenities such as sports facilities, public swimming pools, and recreational centers. Families can engage in sports activities, swimming, or visit local community centers that often organize events and activities for children.

  • Variety of Dining Options: The neighborhood boasts a diverse culinary scene, with numerous restaurants and cafes catering to different tastes. Families can sample traditional Colombian dishes or enjoy international cuisine, all within a short distance from their accommodation.


  • Tranquil Atmosphere: Envigado, located just south of Medellín, offers a tranquil and residential environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Families can enjoy a peaceful stay while still having easy access to Medellín's attractions.

  • Family-Friendly Parks: Envigado features beautiful parks with playgrounds and recreational areas, providing a safe and enjoyable space for children. Parque Envigado and Parque El Salado are popular choices for families to spend quality time outdoors.

  • Cultural Experiences: The neighborhood showcases a rich cultural heritage, with historical sites, churches, and traditional architecture. Exploring the local culture can be an educational and enriching experience for kids.

  • Safety and Convenience: Envigado is known for its safety, making it a reassuring choice for families. The neighborhood offers a range of services, including supermarkets, pharmacies, and family-oriented businesses, ensuring convenience during your stay.

Ultimately, the best area to stay in Medellín while traveling with kids depends on your preferences and the type of experience you seek. El Poblado, Laureles-Estadio, and Envigado each provide a family-friendly environment, access to attractions, recreational spaces, and comfortable accommodations. Consider these options to find the perfect fit for your family's needs and enjoy a memorable stay in Medellín.

10 Must-Do Family Activities in Medellín: Unforgettable Adventures for Kids and Parents"

  1. Metrocable Ride:

Hop on the Metrocable and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Medellín as you soar above the city. Kids will love the unique perspective and the opportunity to see the urban landscape from above.

  • Getting There: You can access the Metrocable from various points in the city, including the Acevedo, San Javier, or Santo Domingo stations of the metro system. Take the metro to the corresponding station and then transfer to the Metrocable line.

  • Cost: The Metrocable ride is included in the regular metro fare, which is currently around 2,550 COP per person.

  • Tips: Opt for a clear day to enjoy the best views. Consider taking the Metrocable to Arví Park, a nature reserve where you can explore hiking trails and enjoy outdoor activities with your kids.

2 . Exploring Comuna 13 - A Story of Resilience and Art

Visit Comuna 13, a neighborhood that has transformed into a vibrant hub of street art and cultural expression. Take a guided tour to learn about its complex history, including its transformation from a troubled past to a symbol of resilience and creativity. Your children will be inspired by the colorful murals and the stories they tell. We enjoyed our visit at Comuna 13. It's a chance for your kids to witness the power of art and its ability to inspire change.

  • Getting There: Comuna 13 is situated on the outskirts of the city, and it's recommended to take a guided tour to ensure safety and learn about the neighborhood's history. Tours usually include transportation from central locations.

  • Cost: The cost of the tour varies depending on the agency or guide you choose. It typically ranges from 50,000 to 80,000 COP per person.

  • Tips: Wear comfortable shoes as the tour involves walking through steep streets and staircases. Interact with the local residents and support small businesses by purchasing souvenirs or snacks along the way.

3. The Botanical Garden

Nestled amidst the bustling city of Medellín, the Botanical Garden offers a tranquil oasis for families seeking a connection with nature. Spread across 14 hectares, this expansive green space is home to a rich variety of plant species, making it a haven for both locals and tourists. To reach the Botanical Garden, you can take a taxi or use public transportation such as buses or the Metro. From the city center, it is approximately a 30-minute journey.Once inside, you can explore the garden's diverse sections, including the Orchid Garden, the Desert House, and the Butterfly Enclosure.

  • Getting There: The Botanical Garden is located in the Laureles neighborhood, and you can reach it by public transportation or taxi. Buses that pass by the garden include routes such as Circular Sur or Circular Coonatra.

  • Cost: The entrance fee is around 10,000 COP for adults and 8,000 COP for children. Additional fees may apply for certain exhibits or events.

  • Tips: Bring insect repellent and sunscreen, as you'll be spending time outdoors. Check the garden's schedule for special workshops, concerts, or guided tours, which can enhance your visit.

4. Parque Explora

An Interactive Science and Technology Museum for Kids: Make sure to visit Parque Explora, an interactive science museum that will captivate both children and adults. With engaging exhibits on physics, biology, and technology, your little ones can enjoy hands-on experiments and educational displays. Don't miss the chance to explore the nearby Botanical Garden, where you can wander through lush gardens and encounter a variety of plant species.

  • Getting There: Parque Explora is located in the Ciudad del Río neighborhood. It's easily accessible by public transportation or taxi from different parts of the city.

  • Cost: The entrance fee is around 25,000 Colombian pesos (COP) for adults and 20,000 COP for children. Additional fees may apply for special exhibits or the aquarium.

  • Tips: To avoid crowds, plan your visit on weekdays or arrive early in the morning. Don't miss the interactive physics experiments and the outdoor plaza with water fountains where kids can play.

5. Visit Parque Norte

It is an amusement park with rides, water attractions, and recreational activities. Kids can enjoy roller coasters, bumper cars, and the thrilling water slides.

  • Getting There: Parque Norte is located in the northern part of Medellín. You can reach it by taxi or public transportation. Buses or metro stations that are close by include Caribe, Universidad, or Hospital.

  • Cost: The entrance fee varies depending on the season and the attractions you want to experience. It usually ranges from 15,000 to 25,000 COP per person.

  • Tips: Arrive early to avoid long queues for popular rides. Bring swimsuits and towels for the water attractions, and consider packing snacks and water to save on food expenses inside the park.

6. Discover Jardín Botánico

Another beautiful botanical garden in Medellín. Explore the outdoor gardens, tropical rainforest, and the replica of a traditional Antioquian village.

  • Getting There: Jardín Botánico is located in the center of Medellín, near the Universidad metro station. It's easily accessible by public transportation, taxi, or walking if you're staying nearby.

  • Cost: The entrance to the garden is free, but some specific areas or events may require additional fees.

  • Tips: Don't miss the Orquideorama, a striking architectural structure within the garden that showcases a variety of orchids. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a relaxing break amidst the beautiful surroundings.

7. Planetarium of Medellín:

Expand your knowledge of the cosmos at the Planetarium of Medellín. Experience educational shows, explore exhibits about astronomy, and marvel at the wonders of the universe.

  • Getting There: The Planetarium is situated in the Ciudad del Río neighborhood, near Parque Explora. It can be reached by public transportation or taxi.

  • Cost: The cost of admission is around 15,000 COP for adults and 12,000 COP for children. Additional fees may apply for special shows or exhibits.

  • Tips: Check the schedule for shows or presentations in advance, as they vary throughout the week. Arrive early to secure a good seat, especially during popular shows.

8. Take a trip to Pueblito Paisa

A replica of a traditional Antioquian town situated on a hilltop. Enjoy panoramic views of the city, explore the small museum, and immerse yourself in the region's rich culture.

  • Getting There: Pueblito Paisa is located on Cerro Nutibara. You can take a taxi or use public transportation to reach the base of the hill, then hike or take a short cable car ride to the top.

  • Cost: There is no entrance fee to visit Pueblito Paisa.

  • Tips: Visit in the late afternoon or early evening to enjoy stunning views of Medellín at sunset. Explore the nearby Nutibara Hill Park for additional recreational activities and panoramic vistas.

9. Parque de los Pies Descalzos

Let your kids kick off their shoes and play at Parque de los Pies Descalzos. This unique park features sensory experiences, water fountains, and sand areas where kids can freely explore and have fun.

  • Getting There: Parque de los Pies Descalzos is located in the heart of Medellín, near the Alpujarra metro station. It's easily accessible by public transportation, taxi, or walking if you're in the city center.

  • Cost: The park is free to enter.

  • Tips: Bring a change of clothes for your kids, as they'll have the opportunity to splash in the shallow water fountains. Consider visiting during weekdays or mornings to avoid crowds.

10 . Visit Parque de los Deseos

A cultural and recreational space that hosts events and activities for families. Enjoy concerts, workshops, and outdoor movie screenings in this lively park.

  • Getting There: Parque de los Deseos is located near the Universidad metro station. You can reach it by public transportation, taxi, or walking if you're staying nearby.

  • Cost: The park is free to enter, but some events or performances may have ticketed access

  • Tips: Check the park's event calendar for concerts, workshops, or outdoor movie screenings. Bring a blanket or folding chairs for comfortable seating during events. The nearby Planetarium and Explora Park offer additional attractions to explore while visiting Parque de los Deseos.

EXTRA for older Kids only : ESCOBAR MUSEUM

Embark on a captivating journey through the controversial history of Medellín by visiting the Escobar Museum and taking a tour that delves into the life and legacy of the infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar. The Escobar Museum, also known as the Casa de la Memoria, offers a unique perspective on Colombia's dark past, shedding light on the impact of drug trafficking and violence.

Getting there : To reach the museum, you can take a taxi or use public transportation. It is located in the El Centro neighborhood, near the Parque Berrío metro station.

Cost :The cost of admission to the museum is typically around 12,000 to 15,000 Colombian pesos (COP) per person.

Tips : It's important to note that this tour might not be suitable for young children, as it addresses sensitive topics. However, for older kids and teenagers, it can provide valuable insights into the city's history. Keep in mind that the museum can get crowded, so it's advisable to visit during weekdays or arrive early to avoid long queues. Remember to approach the experience with sensitivity and respect, as it deals with a complex and tragic chapter in Medellín's past.

Family-Friendly Feasts: Discover Medellín's Top 5 Restaurants for Memorable Dining with Kids

  1. El Cielo - Parque Lleras

  • Getting There: El Cielo is located in the vibrant Parque Lleras neighborhood of El Poblado. You can easily reach it by taxi or public transportation. The nearest metro station is El Poblado.

  • Cost: The prices at El Cielo are higher-end, but the experience is well worth it for a special family dining occasion.

  • Food to Try: Delight your taste buds with the unique gastronomic creations inspired by Colombian flavors. The multi-course tasting menu offers a culinary journey that combines artistry, innovation, and exquisite flavors.

  • Tips: Make a reservation in advance, as the restaurant tends to be busy. Consider opting for an early dinner to avoid crowds and enjoy a more relaxed dining experience.

2. Crepes & Waffles - Multiple Locations

  • Getting There: Crepes & Waffles has several branches across Medellín, including in El Poblado, Laureles, and Envigado. Use a taxi or public transportation to reach the branch closest to your location.

  • Cost: Crepes & Waffles offers affordable prices, making it a great option for families on a budget.

  • Food to Try: Indulge in their delicious sweet and savory crepes, as well as their wide variety of ice creams and desserts. Their menu also includes vegetarian and gluten-free options.

  • Tips: The restaurant is known for its friendly and attentive staff. Consider trying their specialty ice cream flavors and don't miss their chocolate-based desserts.

3. El Tesoro Parque Comercial - Food Court

  • Getting There: El Tesoro Parque Comercial is a popular shopping center located in El Poblado. You can reach it by taxi or public transportation. The nearest metro station is Aguacatala, followed by a short taxi ride or bus connection.

  • Cost: The food court offers a range of affordable dining options to suit different budgets.

  • Food to Try: The food court features various international and local cuisines, including pizza, burgers, sushi, Colombian dishes, and more. It's a great place to satisfy everyone's cravings with its diverse selection.

  • Tips: Enjoy your meal while taking in the beautiful views of Medellín from the shopping center's terrace. Keep in mind that the food court can get crowded during peak hours, so consider visiting during off-peak times for a more relaxed experience.

4. Hato Viejo - Laureles

  • Getting There: Hato Viejo is located in the Laureles neighborhood of Medellín. You can easily reach it by taxi or public transportation. The nearest metro station is Estadio.

  • Cost: The prices at Hato Viejo are moderate, offering good value for the quality and portion sizes.

  • Food to Try: Enjoy traditional Colombian dishes such as bandeja paisa (a hearty platter with beans, rice, meat, plantains, and more), sancocho (a delicious soup with meat and vegetables), or empanadas (stuffed pastries). They also have a kids' menu with options tailored to young palates.

  • Tips: The restaurant has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for families. Consider trying their refreshing natural fruit juices, a popular choice in Colombian cuisine.

5. Alambique - Poblado Provenza

  • Getting There: Alambique is located in the trendy Poblado Provenza neighborhood of El Poblado. You can easily reach it by taxi or public transportation. The nearest metro station is Poblado.

  • Cost: The prices at Alambique are moderate, offering a good balance between quality and affordability.

  • Food to Try: Indulge in their delicious wood-fired pizzas, homemade pasta dishes, and a variety of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Their menu includes options for kids as well.

  • Tips: The outdoor seating area provides a pleasant and relaxed ambiance. Consider visiting during the evening to enjoy the neighborhood's lively atmosphere and take a stroll around the nearby streets filled with shops and cafés.

Unveiling 3 extra Best Culinary Hotspots for a Memorable Dining Experience in Medllín

  1. Carmen

  • Getting There: Carmen is located in the El Poblado neighborhood of Medellín. You can reach it by taxi or public transportation. The nearest metro station is El Poblado.

  • Cost: The prices at Carmen are on the higher end, reflecting the quality of the dining experience.

  • What to Try: Sample their tasting menu, which features a carefully curated selection of dishes highlighting local ingredients and flavors. Don't miss their signature dish, such as the tender braised beef with ajiaco foam, a twist on a traditional Colombian dish.

2. Oci.Mde

  • Getting There: Oci.Mde is situated in the El Poblado neighborhood of Medellín. You can reach it by taxi or public transportation. The nearest metro station is El Poblado.

  • Cost: Oci.Mde offers a range of dining options to suit different budgets, making it an accessible choice for a delightful culinary experience.

  • What to Try: Delight in their fusion cuisine that combines Colombian flavors with international influences. Indulge in their ceviche with tropical fruits or savor their tender pork belly served with caramelized onions and plantain puree.

3. El Social

  • Getting There: El Social is located in the Laureles neighborhood of Medellín. You can reach it by taxi or public transportation.

  • Cost: El Social offers a range of dining options to suit different budgets, making it a welcoming spot for both locals and tourists.

  • What to Try: Explore their menu, which includes Colombian favorites like arepas, empanadas, and bandeja paisa, as well as international dishes. Enjoy live music performances while savoring your meal and soak up the energetic atmosphere.

Remember to check the restaurant's operating hours and make reservations if necessary, especially during peak dining hours. Enjoy the culinary delights of Medellín with your family, and savor the flavors of Colombia in these family-friendly restaurants!

Embarking on a Short Trip to Guatapé from Medellín

Welcome to Guatapé, a hidden gem nestled in the scenic Antioquia region of Colombia. With its vibrant colors and captivating landscapes, this picturesque town is the perfect escape from the bustling city of Medellín. Join us on a short trip that promises awe-inspiring views, fascinating legends, and a taste of local culture.

To begin your journey, hop on a bus or hire a private taxi from Medellín to Guatapé. The Terminal del Norte bus station is your gateway to this enchanting destination, with regular departures that whisk you away on a two-hour adventure. The bus ticket costs around 15,000 to 20,000 Colombian pesos (COP) per person, a small price to pay for the memories that await.

As you arrive in Guatapé, prepare to be greeted by the town's crown jewel: El Peñol Rock. This iconic monolith has a legendary past. Tales of the indigenous Tahamí tribe revering it as a sacred place set the stage for the rock's transformation into a renowned tourist hotspot. Legend has it that a mighty lightning bolt split the rock, revealing a monumental stone staircase carved by local climbers in the 1950s. These brave adventurers dedicated years to constructing a path that now leads to the summit, making El Peñol Rock an irresistible challenge for visitors.

Embarking on the ascent of 740 steps is like embarking on a geological journey through time. With each step, you'll uncover the region's rich history while being rewarded with breathtaking views of the sprawling Guatapé Reservoir and rolling hills. Once you reach the summit, a panorama of awe-inspiring beauty unfolds before your eyes. Take in the patchwork of islands dotting the reservoir, creating a mesmerizing landscape that will leave you spellbound.

El Peñol Rock represents more than just natural beauty; it symbolizes the indomitable spirit of the local community. From a sacred site to an international attraction, this landmark stands as a testament to the perseverance and ingenuity of those who transformed it. Beyond the rock, Guatapé's town center invites you to explore its vibrant streets adorned with zócalos, colorful bas-relief paintings depicting local culture and history. Take a leisurely stroll, visit the lively market, and treat yourself to a traditional Colombian feast at one of the many restaurants that serve up regional delicacies.

To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Guatapé, embark on a boat tour of the reservoir. For approximately 25,000 to 30,000 COP per person, these tours provide an opportunity to witness the stunning landscapes up close and learn fascinating stories about the region's past.

Tip: Plan your visit on a weekday or arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds, especially during weekends and holidays. Remember to bring sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes, as Guatapé's pleasant weather invites exploration.

A short trip to Guatapé from Medellín is an extraordinary adventure that will immerse you in vibrant colors, captivating legends, and breathtaking landscapes. The seamless transportation options, stunning viewpoints, and cultural treasures make Guatapé an unforgettable destination just a stone's throw away from Medellín. So, get ready to create lifelong memories as you stand atop El Peñol Rock and appreciate the incredible journey that has made Guatapé a cherished part of Colombia's heritage.

As our family adventure in Medellín comes to an end, we can't help but reflect on the incredible experiences we've had in this vibrant city. Medellín truly lives up to its title of the City of Eternal Spring, with its perfect climate, breathtaking landscapes, and warm-hearted people.

From exploring the colorful streets of Comuna 13 to marveling at the panoramic views from El Peñol Rock in Guatapé, every moment has been filled with wonder and excitement. Our journey through Medellín has been a fusion of history, culture, and natural beauty, providing an enriching experience for both kids and parents alike.

The city's commitment to progress and resilience is evident in its transformation from a troubled past to a beacon of hope and innovation. Medellín has reinvented itself, creating spaces like Parque Explora, the Planetarium, and the Botanical Garden, where children can learn, play, and connect with nature.

And let's not forget the culinary delights that Medellín has to offer. From traditional Colombian dishes to international cuisine, the city's restaurants cater to every palate, ensuring a delightful dining experience for the whole family.

As we bid farewell to Medellín, we carry with us memories of laughter, exploration, and a deeper understanding of this remarkable city. Medellín has captivated our hearts, leaving an indelible mark on our family's travel story.

So, whether you're planning a trip with your little ones or seeking an adventure for the whole family, Medellín will not disappoint. Let the City of Eternal Spring embrace you with its warmth, charm, and boundless opportunities for discovery. Get ready to create lifelong memories in this extraordinary destination. ¡Hasta luego, Medellín!

Do you have a favorite place to explore in Medellín? Please share in the comments below and spread the Traveler Butterfly love !


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