AND A FLOWER EMERGED...
From the Aburrá Valley, land of strong vigorous men, emerged a flower we now know as Medellin; the second largest architectural city of Colombia and one of the most progressive and beautiful cities in South America. Wrapped around stunning mountains, it is the capital of the State of Antioquia, a lovely city, land of famous singer-songwriter JUANES and divided by a broad river, with a population of almost 3.3 million inhabitants.
Abundant in beautiful, elegant women, this modern and sophisticated city has a very pleasant climate averaging 72°F all year around, hence earning the title of “The City of Eternal Spring,” the reason why many come over, and stay.
Medellin is a city that drives energy through its entrepreneurial, passionate and joyful people. The “paisas” as they are know in their native land, are recognized for their genuine warmth, kindness, courtesy, their singular sense of humor and for the passion with which they live their lives; characteristics that have played a major role in the positive transformation of the cultural, urban, social and educational aspects in the last 10 years.
According to Frommers, one the most sold and reliable tourist guides in the U.S., Medallo, endearing term used by paisas to refer to their city, or Medellin, is considered “An Emerging Travel Destination.” Especially after each year the number of American and European tourists visiting this charming city, grows.
This enchanting city is of high importance to the region and features 5 Clusters, or development strategies enabling businesses of one sector to take part in business networks which allow them to identify commercial opportunities. These clusters are made up of electric energy, clothing manufacturing, fashion and design, construction, tourism and health services. It is in this last cluster that the city stands out as highly innovative and has consolidated itself as the main destination of Colombia’s Health Tourism, because of its hospital services, dental, educational and health research services.
“The City of Flowers” is another title procured as a result of its well-known Flower Fair (Feria de las Flores) and it’s Chair Man Parade (Desfile de Silleteros), which has reached its 55th edition and is now recognized as a “National Cultural Heritage.” The parade is adorned by a carnival-like procession of people in costumes and bands. The faces and smiles of the flower artists bring to light the millions of displayed flowers in the silletas (a chair-like contraption for carrying flowers on a person's back), an arduous job carried out through generations from the farmers of the township of Santa Elena. This event takes place every August to which is attributed the massive visits from local residents and tourists from all over the world. During this celebration you can enjoy concerts, cultural events, cavalcades known as cabalgatas, and one of the most traditional events in the program of the fair. It is estimated that more than half a million people each year view this event and it has also been recognized by the Guinness World Record on two occasions, and artistic contests like the famous Tango Festival, and Colombiamoda, which has awarded Medellin the title of the Fashion Capital.
During the December festivities, this city of troubadours gets illuminated by 16 million lights that hang from trees and shine amongst giant figures along the Medellin River. It is believed to be one of the Top Ten Best Lit in the planet, according to National Geographic.
Among the main points of interest for tourists are: Ciudad Botero (Botero’s City) in the Antioquia Museum, the Pueblito Paisa (Paisa’s Village), the Botanical Garden, Nutibara Hill, the Museum of Modern Art, the interactive museum EPM, in the Barefoot Park, the administrative center “La alpujarra”, Explora Park, the Plaza Mayor, the largest convention center in Colombia and the most modern in Latin America. The Metro or metropolitan train, is the only one of its kind in the country and is considered one of the most modern, efficient and clean of the planet.
In Medellin the ambiance is delicious day or night. The nightlife leaves much to talk about and wherever you go, the atmosphere is contagious and fun. So, when you get to Medellin…..its party time!
LLERAS PARK“The Pink Zone” (La zona Rosa) of Medellin and number one in nightlife is located in the Poblado, the place to “feast the eyes” and to be seen in. It’s the “South Beach” of Medallo; full of bars, discos, outdoor restaurants, entertainment, casinos, shopping malls and of course fun, friendly people. The majority of the clubs play crossover, in other words, music of all genres. The security in the area will make you feel at ease, enough to enjoy a passion fruit or lulo mojito or a couple of “guaros”, shots of Aguardiente, Colombia’s national drink.
As far as lodging, this metropolis offers chains like Intercontinental and Dan, among others, all with exceptional service. A new addition to the area is THE CHARLEE, an elegant, cozy and contemporary hotel. This gem of a hotel has 42 rooms with 4 different styles, all with furnished balconies offering amenities as a luxury hotel would. It has an Italian gourmet restaurant called Lucia. And if you book the Spice room you can enjoy exquisite Japanese delicacies while you admire the wonderful view of the city from your balcony. From March to August this fabulous hotel will have an exhibit called Piso 11 (11th Floor), displaying the creative talent of 11 artists, 10 painters and one y sculptor. Conde Nast Magazine considers it one of the best new hotels in the world. And if this prestigious tourism entity says so, I recommend it with my eyes closed.
South America is strongly emerging in all areas. We must be proud to be Latin and to support our land. Enjoy the mountains, the climate, the food, the villages, the ranches, the cavalcades, the parties, and the people. Feel the love and passion. And if you are not from there it doesn’t matter! They will take you in with the same joy and enthusiasm.
Dare to visit this jewel of a city and you will see that the only risk you run will be that of wanting to stay!
By Claudia Arango
Executive Managing Director / Mireya Posada
Editor in Chief / Cesar Florez
LATINO SHOW MAGAZINE