Medellin, Colombia has become a massively popular destination for tourists, digital nomads, and backpackers alike, with its tourism popularity growing 41 percent over its pre-pandemic numbers.
It’s easy to see why, Medellin is home to natural beauty, trendy bars, and a welcoming population. The country of Colombia has been plagued by the reputation of Pablo Escobar for decades, keeping it from reaching its tourism potential until now.
Colombia started to attract digital nomads that would have normally gone to Asia but found themselves locked out of the countries they usually go to. While Colombia still has a proof of vaccination requirement to enter, tourists won’t need to bring a negative test or quarantine like most of Asia still requires. They can simply show their proof of vaccination card, fill out an online CheckMig form, and enter Colombia.
For 6 months in 2021, Colombia had removed all entry requirements completely, which also enticed many budget travelers to skip popular Mexico and head south instead. While Mexico has been the indisputable king of tourism during the pandemic, passenger traffic only increased 9.3% from 2019 numbers, while Colombia shot up 41%.
Is Medellin Affordable?
The short answer is yes, but it’s complicated. Medellin is less expensive than many comparable U.S. cities. On average, living expenses are 60% to 70% less than the major U.S. cities of Boston, Los Angeles, or Chicago. These figures reflect the cost of living for locals in Medellin, but you may find that the cost of living for travelers and digital nomads is a bit higher.
Because of the burst in popularity here, hotels and Airbnb are much more expensive than they were before the pandemic, but still more affordable than many tourist cities. You can expect to spend between $700 and $1000 on an apartment in Medellin for one month, of course depending on size and how far in advance you book it. If you’re looking for a cheaper place to stay, Medellin is home to several hostels as well.
The cafes, bars, and restaurants have also caught on the influx of tourists and have begun charging accordingly. However, you can still have a good dinner and a night out for pretty cheap in Medellin if you look slightly off path.
The weather in Medellin is a massive plus also, as the city is known as “The City of Eternal Spring” – meaning, temperatures stay a mild 60-80 degrees throughout the year.
How Safe Is It?
This is kind of the elephant in the room when talking about a lot of destinations in central and south America. Years of real-life Cartel activity and portrayal in popular culture have made many people wary of traveling down south.
While cartel activity has mostly died down, parts of Medellin can be a little dodgy at night. Medellin is generally safe for travelers in terms of violent crime but there has been a recent string of armed robberies and petty crimes against tourists occurring as of late 2021. You can check out our guide for safety in Medellin
How Do I Get To Medellin?
You can fly from several destinations in the U.S. to Medellin. International flights to Medellín land at José María Córdova International Airport (MDE), which is situated in the city of Rionegro, approximately 20 miles east of Medellin. Here are some examples of flights and prices:
New York to Medellin – $273 Round Trip – American Airlines
Boston to Medellin – $291 Round Trip – Spirit Airlines
Miami to Medellin – $146 Round Trip – Spirit Airlines
Los Angeles to Medellin – $394 Round Trip – COPA
Chicago to Medellin – $346 Round Trip – Spirit Airlines
Once you land in Medellin, you’ll be able to get transport to the city center through various taxi options and an official airport bus.
Medellin could be the spot for you to visit in 2022! It has everything a traveler/nomad could need at an affordable price and is relatively safe for travelers. It might be a good idea to get there soon though, because who knows how big of a destination it could be this time next year.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories