Medellín, long considered an edgy city to say the least - synonymous with the activities of its most famous resident, Pablo Escobar - has undergone a miraculous transformation.
Now considered the engine of Colombia, it is bursting with enterprise, both commercial and artistic, with top quality gastronomy, music and enthusiastic partying also high on the agenda. There isn’t much to see here of the Spanish colonial heritage, as the drive towards modernisation has resulted in its replacement by glittering and innovative modern buildings and parks featuring sculptures and street art, free for all to observe and admire.
Medellín hosts many festivals and other social events, the most famous being the flower festival which takes place in August every year (in 2018 it starts on 3 August) and features a parade of floral floats which must be the most colourful in Colombia.
On any walking tour, riding the cable cars, or en route to any one of many internationally renowned restaurants, you can feel the vibe of youthful optimism and pride which permeates the city. It’s also a good base for visits to other attractions with good road and air links to many parts of the country, including the nearby coffee region, the Pacific beaches at Nuqui, and hikes in the surrounding hills.