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Medellin Colombia Visitors Guide
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Do you want short snippets about a lot of topics regarding Medellin? Here is the long version with lots of short snippets all about Medellin Local Information. Here you will find most of the basic Medellin Infomation you will need about visiting this fair city.
Want more detail on a particular subject? Go to the Home Page and click on the individual topics. In some cases there are links to other sites where you will find more detailed information about a particular subject. In other cases, you will be linked to other pages right here on Medellin Travel Guide so you don't have to go anywhere else.
Do you want a single site with information about Medellin so you don't have to search all over the web? You might consider The Medellin Travel Guide as being "Everything Medellin" because quite frankly, we feel we have covered just about every topic there is to cover to provide you a Medellin One Stop Shop web site.....In English!
Something else you want to know about? If you can think of any we missed, tell us and we will research and post about it.-Medellin Travel Guide
First, lets get the spelling correct. The country is spelled "Colombia" not Columbia. The people are referred to as Colombian(s) (both the noun and the adjective). Men, Colombianos; Women Colombianas. People of Medellin are called "Paisas" or Antioquenos.
US Colombian Relations - Relations between the US and Colombia remain very good. 35% of Colombia's exports go to the US.
The US is a major importer of Coffee, Colombian flowers and other agricultural products while 28% of Colombia's imports are from the US in the form of heavy machinery chemicals and plastics. Several years ago, a Free Trade Agreement was proposed and was overviewed by President Bush. Unfortunately, congress elected not to review it in Bushs last year. The Obama administration warmed to the idea and enacted it during his second year in office. The US continues to send aid and supports the war on cocoa eradication efforts of the Santos government.
Medellin Colombia Information For Travelers
Medellin, pronounced (MED A JEAN), is the second largest and most progressive industrial city in Colombia. Many visitors say, "Medellin is one of the most beautiful cities in South America". Medellin is called "The City of Eternal Spring" because of its mild year round climate. It is also sometimes called, "Mountain's Capital", "City Of The Flowers", "Orchids' Capital", "Beautiful Village", "Little Silver Cup" and "Medallo"
The home of the world famous annual Flower Festival, Christmas Lighting and Colombiamoda fashion event; (Quote: "Colombiamoda is the heart and brain of Colombiaís fashion industry. Products shown are men, women, junior and kids clothes in formal, casual, underwear, sportswear, bathing suits, home textiles, full package / sourcing services, supplies for the fashion dealers, machinery and all the other services related to the sector. Average numbers expected: 450 national and international exhibitors; 23,000 meters of exhibition and services. 7,000 visitors and buyers. 1,200 international buyers, 250 national and 30 international journalists").
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: All U.S. citizens who are not also Colombian citizens must present a valid U.S. passport to enter and depart Colombia, and to return to the United States. Dual U.S Colombian citizens must present a Colombian passport to enter and exit Colombia, and must have a U.S. passport to return to the United States. Be aware that any person born in Colombia may be considered a Colombian citizen, even if never documented as such. If you are an American citizen who was born in Colombia or who otherwise has Colombian citizenship, you will need both a Colombian passport and a U.S. passport for your trip. Check here for other countries requirements. There is a $28 departure tax (usually included in your airline ticket). $19 more if you stay over 60 days.
Most Western countries don't need a visa. American citizens only require a valid passport and do not need a visa unless they are staying for more than 90 days. Colombian authorities will stamp your passport with a maximum 60 day entrance stamp.. If you want to extend an additional 30 days, you must go to immigration and obtain a 30 day extension. You can not get a 90 day tourist visa on arrival. Immigration officers may ask you to show your return tickets and inquire where you plan to stay. Immigration and customs in Medellin is quicker, easier and less crowded than Bogota.
You can apply for a one month visa extension at an immigration office ( Medellin,Calle 19 No 80A 40,Tel: 341 5900), which will cost around COP $60.000. You need two copies of your passport's main page, two copies of the page with the entrance stamp, two copies of a ticket out of the country, four photographs and two copies of the visa extension request form filled out completely. The procedure takes some time and includes taking your fingerprints. The maximum length of stay can not exceed 90 days per visit or 6 months (180 days) in 1 year with a tourist visa.
The following goods may be taken into Colombia by people up to 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and up to 50g of tobacco; five bottles of alcoholic beverage or wine; a reasonable quantity of perfume.
Ammunition and firearms, unless prior authorization has been obtained, and item(s) are declared on arrival. Vegetables, plants or plant material; meat and food products of animal origin.
With an International and Inter regional airport, Medellin is a popular air hub for travelers.
Buses, Taxis or the world class Metro rail are all safe, low cost, modes of convenient transportation. You'll find hundreds of good quality and inexpensive accommodations and restaurant options to choose from.
In Medellin, you can find a range of accommodations including bed and breakfast operations, hostels, fully furnished apartments/penthouses and hotels that range up to five stars.
Medellin Bed and Breakfast;
Clothes to pack;
In Medellin, jeans, long pants, polo, club type shirts and T shirts are standard attire. For the ladies, jeans, pants, casual tops and comfortable shoes. Tennis shoes are quite common. You will not see a lot of people (except the backpackers) wearing shorts or walking in sandals or flip flops. You will also not see many people in coats and ties. Casual yet conservative is the norm. Also, leave your flowered shirts back home. They make fun of them here and it makes you stick out like a tourist.
You will want some nice jeans, cargo pants or trousers for going out at night. Also, club shirts and decent shoes (something besides tennis shoes).
Electronics: Bring your lap top as there are many open Wi-Fi hot spots around town and most hotels an apartments offer wireless high speed internet access.. \smart Phones are regular sights but make sure they are secure as they are prime targets for thieves passing by on motos.
Bring your Latin CDís and musical DVDís if you have them.
Pocket translator; Advised if you donít speak Spanish, wonít be using a guide or translator. (alternative: small pocket English/Spanish Dictionary);
Books If you are into reading, better bring your own. You will not find many books here in English and what you do find will be 2X to 3X what they cost at home. If you finish it while here, be kind to a local expat and leave it behind.
If you are bringing gifts to a lady friend, the little perfume sampler or small bottles of perfume gift sets you can buy at department stores will bring delight to any ladies face. Most perfumes here are imported and considered expensive. Small electronic devices (like an early model Ipod), cell phones (early smart phones), sweets from Duty Free stores etc are all prized here. Victoria Secret products, creams/lotions and panties are big winners. None of them take up much space or cost a lot of money. If you do not know anybody here but do happen to meet someone special, you will be glad you have them with you.
Things you might not find in Medellin.
1)Your brand of prescription medications. You may find local generic brands but if you are planning an extended stay, stock up with your doctor before departure. You can purchase almost any medication (except controlled substances and pain killers) without a prescription at any local pharmacy. Most will deliver free of charge and many are open 24/7.
2)Some foods you may be used to are not available locally, western spices and sauces, cuts of meat you may be used to and brand names you know. Other than those simple things, you can find most anything you need at the giant supermarkets like Exito, Pomona, Carullo and others. They are more like Wal Mart Supercenters, selling everything from food to major appliances than just simple grocery stores. They are incredibly well stocked, clean, with fresh produce, meats, seafood and dairy products. They are also over employed so it is easy to find someone to help you and many locations stay open late. Many will also deliver! One thing that may seem strange to you is their milk. It does not come in gallon containers or plastic jugs. It comes in shelf life boxes or plastic bags in the
coolers in 1 liter sizes. Many residential buildings have fresh milk delivery 1 to 2 times per week.
3)Large comfortable luxury, fully loaded automobiles (except there are more and more SUVís and luxury cars making their way into the city). Gas is more expensive by $2.00 to $2,50 per gallon here than in the US. Insurance is very affordable as is maintenance and cleaning/polishing facilities. In many large shopping centers, they will detail your car while you shop.
4)You will not find many people that speak English!
5)American music radio stations (although many popular American and European songs will be played in the clubs and discos). FM 90.6 plays Amer. music after 12:00 noon and 103.9 plays classic American Rock all day
6)Except in Hotels, US sporting events on TV . Paisas watch Futbol (or what we call soccer). US new feeds (except Fox and for an extra fee, you can get CNN). Movie channels are limited and expensive to buy in cable packages. 1 channel of Cinemax comes with the basic cable package and about 15 English speaking programs. The other 60 to 70 will all be in Spanish. A few restaurants offer Satellite TV and sports feeds in their lounges. Ask around.
7)Local US newspapers. Get your news feeds off the internet if you are a news junkie.
8)People that eat fast! Going out to dinner in Medellin for many is considered a full evenings activity. They eat, drink, talk and socialize with friends, family and coworkers at the many bars and restaurants and turn it into an evening of entertainment. If you are fidgeting to leave after you have wolfed down your meal, the local person sitting across from you with a plate full of food left will just not understand your hurry. Slow down and enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of the Colombian culture.
9)The importance of time. In western civilization, we have been programmed to be on time for meetings and appointments. Have a 10:00AM appointment? Be there at 9:45. In Medellin, have a 10:00 appointment? They may show up at 10:30-10:45 and think nothing about it. It can be frustrating to a westerner because to us, it shows a lack of respect for our time. You will just have to get used to it because they are not going to change their culture for you.
10)A lot of tourist traps. They simply donít exist because Medellin is not considered a tourist city like Cartagena or Santa Marta.
Flight Safety and Carry on Restrictions
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on Medellin Travel Guide
Book your own airfare, hotels and car rentals
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Considered by many to be the best on-line dating site for meeting Colombian Singles