Medellin’s innovative cable car public transport system has fast become a popular tourist attraction in its own right, as visitors travel up the sides of mountains surrounding the city to beautiful natural parks and neighborhoods once too dangerous to visit. Photos from the cable cars over the panorama of Medellin are sure to brighten up any Instagram feed.
Parque de las Luces – or Park of the Lights – is another example of Medellin’s innovative urban planning policies. Located in the heart of El Centro neighborhood, the park was once a haven for crime, drugs and prostitution, but is now the home of a series of beautiful light sculptures, symbolizing the rebirth of Medellin. It makes for a cracking selfie too…
Fernando Botero’s ‘fat’ figures are Colombia’s most iconic works of art and in this square – close to Parque de las Luces: two-for-one! – there are over 10 of the giant sculptures. You couldn’t do much better for an Instagram slideshow than Botero’s fat horse, fat cat, fat lady and fat head!
The Botanical Gardens of Medellin are essentially just a lovely park, but the Instagram magic comes from their most famous residents: wild Iguanas that roam the lawns and lakes of the gardens. They are totally relaxed around people, meaning you’ll be able to fill the reptile quota of your Instagram to your heart’s content (if that’s even a thing).
One of Medellin’s most fun – and most family-friendly – attractions is the science park of Parque Explora. With hundreds of interactive science and technology exhibits, games and 3D films, you can have hours of fun exploring this park. Plus, you can get some hilarious science-based Instagram snaps that will have your followers scratching their heads for hours…
Attending an Atletico Nacional football match at Atanasio Giradot Stadium is an overwhelming sensorial experience! The wall of green and white shirts, cacophonous noise and incredible atmosphere might be hard to capture in a photo, but an Instagram live-story or video of matchday is sure to rack up hundreds of views.
Comuna 13 was once the most dangerous neighborhood in the world’s most dangerous city, but it has turned a corner in recent years and has become particularly well known for its burgeoning street art scene. There are some truly beautiful murals to see – and Instagram – that are sure to brighten up your feed.
Pueblito Paisa is a miniature Antioquian village perched on Nutibara Hill in central Medellin – not only does the hill itself offer unparalleled views over the city, but the colourful architecture of the village is like a postcard of traditional rural Colombian villages throughout the region. Of course, you really should visit one of those, but if you don’t have time, then Pueblito Paisa is the perfect alternative.
Because how can you travel in Colombia and not Instagram photos of cups of coffee, right?! Pergamino is Medellin’s best cafe, and their artfully crafted latte foam or freshly ground beans will make any of your followers instantly jealous (and in need of coffee).
Really you just need to Instagram a bandeja paisa with the following caption: “This meal is for one person only!” Then just sit back and watch the ‘amazed face emoji’ comments roll in!
Admittedly, you can only get these photos once a year – at the annual Flower Festival in August – but it’s totally worth planning your visit to Medellin around this unique event. Public spaces are filled with gigantic flower arrangements – often in the shape of birds and animals – and the flower parades are a riot of color. It’s just what you need to brighten up your feed.
Paragliding near Medellin has become an extremely popular backpacker activity and it’s easy to see why: nothing but silence and the wind in your hair, with stunning views of Medellin. Whether it’s a selfie mid-flight, or a snap taken by a friend with you flying over the city, paragliding in Medellin is going to bag you some serious likes on the ‘gram.
The most popular day trip from Medellin is to the pretty little town of Guatape (see below) and to climb the giant nearby rock known as El Penol. It’s around 740 tricky steps to the top, but the panoramic view over lakes and islands makes up for it. And the photos you can get from the top of the rock? There’s no need to say anymore, just check this one out below…
This square is normally where the Medellin Free Walking Tour ends due to its powerful symbolic associations with the violence and rebirth of Medellin. There are two Botero statues of doves here, side-by-side: one is still jagged and half destroyed from when a huge bomb tore through it in the ’90s, and the other is its exact double, but brand new and fresh. A comparison shot of these two giant doves neatly illustrates the past and future of Medellin.
The little pueblo of Guatape is famous for its garish and brightly-colored streets and plazas. The most beautiful of all is the small central square, where painted steps covered in small carved figures cascade down in an explosion of color. It’s easily one of the most popular Instagram snaps in and around Medellin, and you can see why.