The Ultimate Guide to Cartagena’s Colonial District: The Walled City vs. Getsemaní

Beautiful sunset over Cartagena, Colombia
Beautiful sunset over Cartagena, Colombia. Photo by: Starcevic.

Not sure where to stay in Cartagena? If you’re looking to immerse yourself in culture, a stay in Cartagena’s colonial Centro area is in order. But which is better, the Walled City or Getsemaní? Stick with us as we take a deep dive into Cartagena’s most historic neighborhoods, from accommodation to nightlife, and safety.

Cartagena is undeniably the jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Positioned on the Caribbean Sea, this historic port town attracts thousands of visitors every year due to its unique architecture and charm. In Cartagena, you can see the stunning juxtaposition of new and old. It is a beautiful sight to see the Miami-like skyline of Bocagrande whilst standing on the centuries-old city wall. But the true appeal to most visitors is the timeless beauty of the colonial neighborhoods of Centro and San Diego within the Walled City, and Getsemaní, just outside of it. These neighborhoods are iconic and, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, remain as a window to a past that has long gone by. 

Embark on a journey through Cartagena’s history! Ready to turn your Colombian dreams into reality? Click here and let’s start planning your unforgettable trip!

Cartagena’s Walled City: A Charming and Romantic Escape

Cartagena Colombia
Photo: Shutterstock

The historic center of Cartagena is surrounded by 11 kilometers of defensive walls. Built in 1586 to protect Cartagena from invading pirates, they now form a central part of the identity of the city. Nowadays, with no threat from conquistadors, pirates, or invasions, Cartagena welcomes thousands of visitors each year to stroll its picturesque streets. You are sure to be charmed by its cobbled streets and quaint, colorful buildings with flowering bougainvillea all year round. Cartagena has been named one of the most romantic cities in the world. Despite its historic facade, Cartagena is full of modern restaurants, trendy bars, and boutique designer shops. This makes it the perfect place to wander around for the afternoon, and well into the evening.

What is the Nightlife like in the Walled City?

Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena's best bars.
Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena’s best bars.

The nightlife in Cartagena’s walled city is unparalleled. As the sleepy heat of the day wears off, the city comes alive at night. Stroll through quaint plazas where artisans sell their wares, such as San Diego Square, or grab an arepa de huevo (Cartagena’s signature fried treat – the egg arepa) in Fernandez de Madrid Square.

The walled city is always buzzing with people until the small hours of the morning. You can find some of the best and most stylish bars and clubs in Cartagena inside the old town. Check out our guide to the best bars and clubs in Cartagena – all of which are located within the walled city. Some of our favorites include Alquimico for the best craft cocktails in town, and La Movida for a stylish nightclub with excellent music. The old town of Cartagena is super walkable and bar hopping is not only easy but recommended.

Where can I stay in the Walled City?

Luxury Villa in Cartagena Colombia
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia.

The old town of Cartagena probably has one of the highest ratios of hotels and Airbnbs per square meter than anywhere else. It is positively bursting with incredible locations to stay. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of hotels and hostels inside the walled city of Cartagena, we will always prefer to choose a villa over a hotel.

A villa rental is superior because you and your group will have the whole vacation rental to yourselves. The appeal of privacy, plus your own private garden, balcony, and swimming pool is just too much to pass on. Plus, the colonial architecture of the private villas in the walled city is second to none. You can even hire a private chef to cook up a storm for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, while you kick back on your private rooftop terrace. Sounds too good to be true? Check out our villas and see for yourself.

If you do fancy a hotel stay, there are some world-renowned options within the old city, such as the Charleston Santa Teresa or the Sofitel Santa Clara. The Santa Clara is a converted convent that looks onto the ocean and is steeped in history. It is even said to be the inspiration for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book “Of Love and Other Demons”.

Click here to let the journey begin and unlock the secrets of Colombia’s Colonial District with our tailored trip planning!

How safe is the Walled City of Cartagena?

If you’re within the walled city, you’re in one of the safest areas of Cartagena. The main streets are busy at all hours and are well-lit. As with any major city, it’s always good to have your wits about you. Pick-pocketing can easily happen, especially in large crowds. Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you, and make sure you take out some Colombian pesos rather than dollars if you want to buy any souvenirs in the street.

Speaking of money, make sure you always negotiate a price before purchasing a service. For example, getting in a yellow cab, getting a massage on the beach, or renting the horse and carts you will see around town. It’s always better to agree on the price beforehand to avoid getting scammed. And that photo with the beautiful Palenquera lady with the fruit basket on her head? It’s not for free. And finally, be careful when using dating apps. Make sure to always meet in a public place and keep your friends informed of your whereabouts.

Getsemaní: The Walled City’s Bohemian younger sister

Cartagena colombia Gesemani neighborhood
Beautiful street in Getsemaní neighborhood. Photo by: Priscilla Burcher

Getsemaní (pronounced het-sem-a-KNEE) was, historically, a slum where the slaves would live during colonial times. Until around 10 years ago, it was preceded by its reputation for being seedy and dangerous. Today, however, it is a totally different neighborhood. Getsemaní is a diamond in the rough; it is charming, without being perfectly polished like many parts of Centro. Enjoy its vibrant street art, much of which celebrates the essence of what it is to be proudly Afro-Colombian. The locals of Getsemaní have banded together to make the most of living right in the heart of one of Cartagena’s most touristic districts. Every family home has become a business; whether they are selling beers through their window, colorful canvases with local art, or cheap cocktails. Getsemaní was even named by Forbes magazine back in 2018 as one of the “coolest neighborhoods in the world”.

What is the Nightlife like in Getsemaní?

Getsemani Cartagena Colombia
Café Havana in Getsemaní, Cartagena, Colombia.

The nightlife experience in Getsemaní is very different from the experience in the walled city. It is a lot more chaotic and busy as there is a high volume of people in a smaller space. It is also a lot more relaxed in terms of the general atmosphere. The beating heart of Getsemani is Plaza de la Trinidad, where you will find many locals and tourists alike. Many people gather in this square during the evenings to chat, drink, and watch the street performers. Keep an eye out, and you might see Michael Jackson, or even Shakiro (Cartagena’s answer to Shakira which needs to be seen to be believed). Or if you fancy a $2 cocktail, head down to Callejon Ancho, where you will find a bunch of makeshift bars, blaring music, and the best vibes to get your weekend started.

There are also some great bars, restaurants, and clubs in Getsemaní. We like Seven Times, a cabaret-style club with different ambiances. Head to the famous Cafe Havana to dance salsa into the small hours of the night, or to Calle Dragones for some creative cocktails. We also can’t forget about dinner at Celele, a contender in the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants (2022).

Our guide dissects The Walled City vs. Getsemaní. Intrigued? Click now to connect with us and start the journey toward a personalized Colombian experience like no other!

Where can I stay in Getsemaní?

Casa Santa Ana Cartagena
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia

Much like the walled city, Getsemaní also has its fair share of Colonial villas. Much like the villas in the old city, these stunning, centuries-old houses have private pools, terraces, and all the modern amenities. After the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Getsemaní, entering your private villa feels like the perfect escape. Relax, party, or host in total privacy. Getsemaní has a much higher proportion of backpacker hostels compared to the Old City. Many of these are located on its main street, Calle Media Luna. There are also some more upper-scale hotels, such as Casa Lola, which stays true to the rugged yet charming vibe of Getsemaní.

How safe is Getsemaní?

Despite being a little rougher around the edges compared to the walled city, Getsemaní is also pretty safe. In recent years, safety has improved a lot in this area, as it has gotten more gentrified and popular. Still, it’s important to stick to well-populated areas such as the main square and the streets where the main bars and restaurants are. Don’t engage in conversation with homeless people or people selling things. All our previous recommendations for the walled city of Cartagena also apply here; no des papaya (don’t give papaya) as they say in Cartagena, and you’ll be fine! This local saying basically translates to don’t flash what you’re not willing to lose. If you stick with your group and go to reputable places, you have nothing to worry about. You’re sure to have the best time on your trip to Cartagena!

Eager to explore these historic streets yourself? Click now and kickstart the adventure of a lifetime with our expert assistance!

The Michelin Guide is Coming to CDMX: A Guide to Some of the Best Restaurants in Mexico City in 2024

Argentine Chef Estanis Carenzo prepares a dish in the kitchen of the Pujol restaurant of Mexican chef Enrique Olvera.

The thriving and cosmopolitan city of Mexico City is rapidly gaining ground in the foodie world. It has been labeled as the next city that the Michelin Guide has set its sights on to celebrate its gastronomic excellence.

The Michelin Guide recently announced that it will soon be arriving in Mexico City. Finally, the restaurants that have already been spearheading the gastronomic scene for years will be given well-deserved recognition. Foodies around the world are anxiously awaiting the list, which will be revealed in early 2024. Many restaurants in Mexico City that have already been appearing on lists of the world’s best restaurants for years will receive their official seal of approval. These restaurants, which are a celebration of local and unconventional ingredients, alongside the creative talent of their head chefs, promise nothing less than the best. 


Mexico is a country that unapologetically celebrates the richness and diversity of its culture. We can see this through its music, languages, artisan crafts, and of course, food. Its streets are full of noise, friendly chaos, and delicious smells. Everywhere you go in Mexico City, you inevitably run into a different gastronomic delight. From street food such as chapulines (crunchy edible grasshoppers), esquites (corn off-the-cob with mayo, cheese, and spice), and of course, tacos, to high-end restaurants and fine dining, the city is positively bursting with flavor. Traditions in Mexico City are as deep-rooted and ancient as the crumbling cathedral in its historic center, or the handmade tortillas made by Mexican abuelas on street corners. In recent years, we have seen exponential growth in the number of Michelin-star-worthy restaurants. This is truly something worthy of celebration.

What’s in a name?: How Michelin Stars are Awarded

Almost 100 years ago, in 1926, the Michelin Guide was born. And since then, the process of anonymously reviewing of some of the best restaurants in the world has grown in popularity and prestige. The Michelin Guide has inspired some of the world’s best chefs to make their dreams of culinary success come true. 

The Michelin Guide looks for the following five items on their checklist of what makes a restaurant (or chef) deserving of a Michelin Star: 

1) The quality of the produce
2) The harmony of the flavors
3) The mastery of cooking techniques
4) The personality of the chef as reflected in the cuisine
5) Consistency throughout the menus and over time

With all that being said, come and explore with us some of the best restaurants in Mexico City. These restaurants have been touted as deserving of a Michelin Star due to their creativity, use of local ingredients, and consistent quality over the years. 

Need help planning your trip to Mexico City? Our concierge team can book restaurants, tours, and much more. Reach out for a consultation today

Pujol – “The Best Restaurant in Mexico”

Photo by: Luca Salas

Located in affluent Polanco, a trip to Mexico City wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Pujol. Pujol is tipped to be one of the first restaurants to receive an official Michelin Star. Chef Enrique Olvera is the driving force behind this gastronomic masterpiece. Ranked #13 in the “World’s 50 Best” restaurants in 2023, and #1 in Mexico, it is safe to say that Pujol is a strong contender.

The colorful and stylish dishes change daily and throughout the year. We love how this means you can return as many times as you like in the year and always have a unique experience. However, one constant on their menu is the “Mole Madre”, the signature dish comprised of over 100 ingredients and cooked over 2,852 days. The depth and richness of its flavor make it worth the trip alone just to try this mole. Pujol is big on sustainability and works directly with local farmers and ingredients. 


Chef Olvera offers two different dining experiences within the restaurant. You can dine at the bar, Omakase-style, or in a more traditional way, in the restaurant. During the Japanese-inspired Omakase experience, the guest lets the chef guide the experience. Let the sommelier guide you on the best wines to drink by the glass to accompany each dish. The average cost of the 7-course sit-down tasting menu is $2565 MXN pesos, or around $150 USD. In our opinion, an excellent price to pay for one of the best dining experiences to be found in the Americas.

Quintonil – New Wave Mexican with an Indigenous Twist

Photo by: Amol Panchabhai

Also gracing the “World’s 50 Best” restaurant list, this time coming in at #9 in 2023, is the emblematic Quintonil. Showcasing exotic and indigenous ingredients such as ant larvae and cactus, head chef Jorge Vallejo never fails to impress. Vallejo, who previously worked at top restaurants Noma and Pujol, is creative yet loyal to his Mexican roots. Vallejo takes humble ingredients such as corn, beans, and tlayudas (handmade crunchy tortilla) and elevates them to haute cuisine levels. Quintonil grows many of their own ingredients in an off-site garden, right in the middle of Mexico City’s upscale Polanco neighborhood. The exploration of Mexico and its biodiversity in Quintonil’s menu places it firmly amongst the best restaurants in Mexico City. 


The 11-course tasting menu at Quintonil will set you back $4500 MXN (around $260 USD). If you want it with wine pairing, you will pay $6825 MXN (around $400 USD) per person. There are also a-la-carte options for a lighter dining experience.

Rosetta – Creative Reinterpretation of Classic Dishes

Rosetta restaurant, Colonia Roma, Mexico City

Another restaurant that is tirelessly working to receive recognition by the Michelin Group as one of the best restaurants in Mexico City, and thus deserving of a Michelin Star, is Rosetta. Chef Elena Reygadas is a woman of many talents. From writing books and literature to designing the menu at Rosetta, her work across different aspects of gastronomic culture is what earned her the title of The World’s Best Female Chef 2023. Enjoy hearty dishes such as homemade pasta and gnocchi and a selection of cheeses with dessert. Reygadas´ passion for baking also shines through her menu, thanks to her training at the French Culinary Institute. The a-la-carte menu varies in price but will set you back approximately $1000 MXN per person (around $60 USD) for three courses, not including drinks. 

Sud777 – Innovative Mexican Vegetable Dishes

Photo by: Cathy Chaplin

Chef Edgar Nuñez is a true artist, creating visually stunning dishes from simple yet high-quality ingredients. His focus on the exploration of vegetables in his dishes – both to accompany meat and fish and as the stars of the show – has placed Sud777 on the map as one of the best restaurants in Mexico City. Sud777 offers a regular tasting menu and a vegan tasting menu. Located in the south of Mexico City, Sud777 displays a wide variety of textures, flavors, and culinary techniques. In terms of costs, the tasting menu costs $1850 MXN (approximately $100 USD), with wine pairing costing $900 MXN (around $50 USD).

Tips for Visiting Michelin-Standard Restaurants in Mexico City

Despite being potentially cheaper in Mexico than in the US or other European countries, the Michelin-star dining experience remains vastly similar. Make a reservation plenty of time in advance to avoid disappointment. Dress formally; the restaurants mentioned above have a sophisticated ambiance, and it is best that you look the part. Make sure to warn the restaurant whilst booking of any dietary restrictions. For example, if you are vegetarian, vegan, celiac, or if you have any other specific allergies. Some restaurants may not be able to accommodate all needs. Embrace the local flavors and ingredients, as many of the best restaurants in Mexico City pride themselves on showcasing the country’s rich culinary heritage. Lastly, savor the moment—Michelin-standard dining is not just about the food but also the overall experience, from impeccable service to the exquisite presentation of each dish.

Whether you are in Mexico City to experience its culture, food, or explore its stunning landscapes, our team of experts is here to guide your way

Medellin’s Coolest Neighborhoods: Best Medellin Guide

The vibrant metropolis of Medellín, Colombia has become a hub of activity for business owners, digital nomads, trade, and tourism. As you navigate its streets, you’ll discover a tapestry of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and character. Explore with us Medellin’s coolest neighborhoods and where to stay on your upcoming trip.

Medellín is known for being a modern city that has something for everyone. From the trendy streets of El Poblado to the artistic enclave of Laureles, join us as we explore the beating heart of Medellín and uncover the hidden gems that make each neighborhood a testament to the city’s resilience and creativity. This city of 2.5 million inhabitants is surprisingly easy to navigate. It is the only city in Colombia that has a metro system, which is clean and well looked after. There is also a cable car system to reach some neighborhoods tucked up at the top of the valley. Uber and other taxi apps are also commonly used and super affordable. So read on to get the local’s guide on Medellin’s coolest neighborhoods and start planning your next trip!

Ready to visit Medellín? If you want to enjoy this wonderful city with unique experiences and adjusted to all your requirements we got you!

Poblado: The Trendy Hub

El Poblado is the go-to neighborhood for many people visiting the city for the first time. This vast neighborhood has a lot of the main bars, clubs, and restaurants. It is buzzing with activity and movement at night. If Poblado were a person, he would be your party-mad friend who drags you out every night of the week; a total foodie who can’t say no to a tasty cocktail. Always impeccably dressed and super sociable, but with expensive taste. Definitely a friend to keep close!

Poblado is a great place to stay for those who wish to be near all the main action. For that reason, we would generally recommend el Poblado for those who are visiting Medellin for just a few days. With less need to catch taxis or the Metro, a lot of this neighborhood is walkable, especially if you are staying near Parque Lleras or Provenza. Provenza, like the song immortalized by Reggaeton artist Karol G, is for sure one of Medellín’s coolest neighborhoods. This swish, upscale neighborhood is safe and walkable and home to some of the nicest bars, clubs, and restaurants in Medellin. Cruise down the tree-lined streets and pop into a speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf, or enjoy a stylish cocktail frozen with dry ice. Walking the streets of Provenza will have you feeling like a celebrity; and you probably will be rubbing shoulders with a few, too. 

Coffee and brunch connoisseurs simply cannot leave Medellin without having visited the famous coffee shop Pergamino. Just a few blocks away from Parque Lleras and Provenza, Pergamino serves fresh, local coffee beans and is THE place to head to cure a hangover on a Sunday morning. They are also pet-friendly, and the beautiful dogs of Medellin are sure to bring you much joy. Foodies will be pleased to learn that the majority of the best restaurants in the city are concentrated in this area. You could have one of the best gastronomic experiences of your life just a few steps from your villa.

Check out our blog on the best restaurants in Medellin for the insider scoop on the hottest spots to eat in the city of eternal Spring.

Laureles – For local charm and artistic vibes

Laureles is probably the second most popular neighborhood for expats and tourists in Medellin. A little more residential, and a little more low-key than el Poblado, Laureles is the perfect place to spend a little more time. We love the laid-back vibes of Laureles, but also the fact that it still has some incredible restaurants, brunch spots, and a party district too. There is a pretty young crowd in Laureles, as it is a University district. You will often find digital nomads and young expats working remotely from its many coffee shops. Laureles is also packed with parks and green spaces, and football (soccer) lovers will be pleased to find out that this neighborhood is home to Medellín’s main football stadium. 

If you’re looking for a local party and don’t want to head into the hedonistic center of Parque Lleras in el Poblado, you can enjoy a more local party scene at “La 70”. Carrera 70 in Laureles is a strip where you can go bar-hopping and enjoy the local music scene. Think Salsa, Vallenato, Bachata, and many beautiful Colombians who are willing to teach you the dance moves. Laureles in general is cheaper than el Poblado, from the nights out to the cost of rent. Another reason why it is a clear winner amongst so many visitors and one of the coolest neighborhoods in Medellin.

Envigado – The Hidden Gem

Envigado is a super chill and very green neighborhood located in the southeast of Medellin. Technically a municipality rather than part of the city itself, Envigado is well-connected to the bustling city center by metro, local buses, and taxis. Envigado is another neighborhood that would be great to stay longer periods of time. Get a glimpse into middle-class Medellin life in the leafy streets of Envigado. Here, you will find lots of families and expats. It is a bit further from the main attractions, which for some is an attraction in itself.

Enjoy the beautiful parks such as Parque El Salado, which offer activities such as hiking, climbing walls, and bird watching. You might even see some monkeys in the trees! Parque El Dorado in Envigado is also the perfect place for dog walking or for kids to play. Pack a picnic and get out in nature during your stay in suburban Envigado. There are plenty more attractions in Envigado such as Finca La Leona, a coffee farm where you can get a tour of the coffee-making process in stunning green surroundings. Adventurous travelers can also get a bus to Arenales. Here, you can go hiking from Pablo Escobar’s “jail” La Catedral through pine forest, and past waterfalls and natural springs. Having all of this so close to the city is one of our favorite things about Medellin.

Belén – Authentic Colombian Experience

High-angle view of “Pueblito Paisa” main square at early dusk on Cerro Nutibara of Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia

If you want a taste of real Colombian life, try Belén, Medellin. It’s a residential neighborhood that is close to everything, with a super chill vibe. One of the first things you will surely notice about Belén is the difference in price compared to el Poblado and Laureles in particular. It’s super affordable, and many working to middle-class Colombians live here. Belén is pretty safe, and people are friendly, due to its residential feel. It is best for cheaper accommodation and long-term rentals. However, you will need to speak Spanish if you plan on staying in Belén for a longer period of time. It’s not nearly as touristic as the other neighborhoods we have mentioned. So dust off your Duolingo subscription and become a real paisa during your stay! It’s the best way to get the authentic Colombian experience!

There is plenty to do in Belén too; don’t miss out on visiting the Pueblito Paisa, located at the top of Cerro Nutibara. This mini replica of an old Antioquian town is a cute day out for a date or for families. You can try some traditional food and drink, and take in the sights of the city. A visit to Pueblito Paisa is an unmissable Belén experience in Medellin. Belén is also home to Parque de Belén, a central park where locals gather to enjoy outdoor activities.

Wherever you decide to stay during your trip to Medellin, you are sure to find a completely unique experience in each of these thriving barrios. Whether you are looking to party in El Poblado or blend in with the locals in a quaint coffee shop in Laureles, every neighborhood tells a story. There is truly something for everybody in Medellin. So, lace up your shoes and get ready to explore—the coolest neighborhoods of Medellín are waiting to be discovered.

Now you have a better idea of where you want to stay in Medellin, you can start planning your trip. Get in touch with our team today to tailor-make your experience!

Unveiling the Vibrant Nights of Cartagena: A Guide to Nightlife Hotspots

Cartagena is renowned for its thriving nightlife scene. The warm Caribbean nights and tropical vibes all year round make the perfect mix for a night to remember.

While many come to the Colombian coast for the beaches, islands, and warm weather, many others also flock to Cartagena to enjoy the nightlife events and nightclubs. Cartagena is the proud home of award-winning bars and restaurants. Every night of the week, hundreds of people take to the streets to dance, drink, and revel in the delights of the city. No matter which month of the year you plan to be in Cartagena, you’re bound to encounter something fun and memorable, which will have you booking your next flight back to Colombia before you’ve even arrived back home.

The best bars and clubs in Cartagena

Cartagena has many award-winning bars that offer tasty craft cocktails, live DJs, and impeccable vibes. One of our favorites is Alquímico, a three-story colonial townhouse with two different ambiances. Their mixologists make liquid art, and use creative ingredients and flavors. Right opposite, you will find La Jugada, a stylish nightclub with a rooftop bar. Keep an eye out for the fireworks and performances that take place on the roof after midnight. We also love La Movida, the place for all the beautiful people of Cartagena to see and be seen. With multiple ambiances and an outdoor terrace, La Movida will have you boogying all night long. When these clubs close, head to El Pasquín, another of Cartagena’s hottest nightclubs, which opens until 4 a.m. These places are some of the most high-class bars and clubs in Cartagena, so rock your hottest ‘fits and leave the sandals for the beach.

Alternative Nightclubs in Cartagena 

If you’re looking for a different vibe, head to Casa Cruxada. This nightclub-cum-restaurant attracts Cartagena’s alternative crowd. Located in an antique, crumbling building, with its trademark deliberately wonky window, you can enjoy different live DJs every night of the week. You will mainly hear electronic, house, and tropical beats. Or for something totally different and super fun for bachelorette or bachelor parties, make a reservation at Seven 7 Times. With multiple ambiences, from tropical, to urban, to cantina, there is something for everyone. Our favorite has to be the live burlesque show they do in the main salon, which is steaming hot and super entertaining.

Want more information on the best bars and clubs in Cartagena? Get the full scoop in our other blog post.

Events and Festivals in Cartagena 

Whilst the majority of major music festivals and concerts in Colombia tend to take place in Bogotá and Medellín, Cartagena has its fair share of events throughout the year.

The Wild Brunch – The wildest live music festival of the year

The Wild Brunch is one of the biggest events of the year, usually taking place a few nights before New Year’s Eve. With the arrival of the giant inflatable rubber duck perched in the Convention Center, the fun begins. See the hottest Latin and international artists and DJs in this surreal, colorful, explosion of sequins and fun. The costumes, makeup, dancers, and general vibes of this crazy festival are trippy and surreal. It is truly one of the best ways to end the year. This event takes place on the water’s edge, and you can even rent a boat slip to park your yacht right up next to the DJ.

New Year’s Eve – An unmissable party in Cartagena

 Of course, New Year’s Eve, just a night or two after the Wild Brunch party, is another one of the biggest events of the year in Cartagena. The whole city lights up in a giant street party, and all the hottest bars and clubs in town (see above) become hosts to incredible parties. Buy your New Year’s Eve tickets early because the best places always sell out. Make sure you leave plenty of time for wandering the balmy streets too. Soak up the best vibes at one of the peak times for nightlife in Cartagena. Contact the Two Travel concierge team today to get the latest info and tickets for New Year’s in Cartagena 2023.

Wakanda Festival – For the hottest Afrobeat vibes

If you’re into Afrobeat, Dancehall, and Champeta, Wakanda Fest is the one for you. This super cool urban music festival takes place right on the beach, for the ultimate Cartagena experience. Appreciate the best of Cartagena’s thriving local music scene and take the opportunity to dress up in your hottest outfit. The spirit of Africa is alive and thriving in Cartagena and can be found at Wakanda Fest.

November Independence Parade of Cartagena – for the Carnival seekers

If you find yourself in Cartagena around the week of the 11th of November, you will inevitably come across the Independence Parade and celebrations. These are enormous, carnivalesque parties that take place across the entire city to celebrate the independence of Cartagena. Colombia’s national beauty contest to crown “Miss Colombia” also takes place during this week. The parade is an incredible sight to behold; the main streets are closed and hundreds of dancers and performers parade down the street, with day parties turning into night. Don’t wear your best clothes if you join these street parties, as things can get messy! Locals love to spray foam and throw cornstarch and blue powder paint. Put on your oldest pair of sneakers, leave your valuables at home, and join in the fun!

Hot events at local island beach clubs – For boujee beach-goers 

Keep an eye out throughout the year for various events taking place at local island beach clubs, Fenix Beach and Blue Apple. They often host special events such as dinners hosted by local chefs, or beach parties with bonfires and guest DJs. With these events, return boat trips are often included. These beach clubs also double as hotels, so you can also book a night or two and boogie until dawn on a Caribbean island.

Tips for a memorable night out 

Staying safe in Cartagena is simple if you keep your wits about you and don’t make any foolish decisions. The center of Cartagena is a safe place, as it is buzzing with people at all hours of the day and night. As with any major city, it’s important to keep a close eye on your belongings to avoid pickpockets, and, as the famous saying here goes, “Don’t give papaya”. This basically means to not flash expensive jewelry or items in places they shouldn’t be flashed. While in bars and nightclubs in Cartagena, don’t leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers. If you’re staying outside the walled city and need to get a taxi at night, make sure you negotiate the price before getting in. You can also use reputable taxi apps such as Uber and InDriver which are popular in Cartagena.

Whatever you end up doing in Cartagena, you’re sure to have a night to remember. Perhaps you’re in town for a special event, like one of the many festivals that take place in the city. Or perhaps you end up in one of the many bars or nightclubs of the historic center. Either way, the undeniably tropical vibes of this coastal city are always on point, and Cartagena nightlife will never let you down.

Need a villa for you and your crew to crash at after your night out in Cartagena? Or a yacht to carry on the party? We got you! Contact us today!

How to Rent the Best Boats in Cartagena

Looking to rent a boat in Cartagena? Look no further. From 80ft yachts to private catamarans to sleek speedboats, we have exclusive access to the best boats in Cartagena. 

The Caribbean Sea, which extends all the way from the Mexican Riviera Maya to Barbados, can also be enjoyed in Cartagena, Colombia. These warm, calm waters are best appreciated from Cartagena’s islands, and most importantly, from your own private boat. But how to get your hands on one of these beauties that you can see cruising Cartagena bay? Read on to learn all about boat rental in Cartagena and how to do it the best way. 

Renting a boat in Cartagena is an absolute must. One of the city’s main attractions is the beautiful blue sea, which starts at Cartagena’s city beaches and extends past Tierra Bomba Island, Barú Island, all the way up to the Rosario Islands and beyond. 

The Rosario Islands are made up of around 27 small islands, located around an hour from Cartagena city. One of the main benefits of renting your own boat is that you have the freedom to visit beautiful corners of the archipelago that you wouldn’t normally see otherwise.

With the help and guidance of your experienced Captain and First Mate, you can customize your trip to whatever works best for you and your group. Whether you’ve come to visit Cartagena with a bachelor or bachelorette group, a wedding party, or just a group of friends, a boat trip is always a good idea.

But, before you rent your boat in Cartagena, you have some important decisions to make first…

Shared boat or private rental?

Whether you want to charter your own private boat or choose a shared experience is totally up to you. It’s best to weigh up your options depending on various factors: budget, destinations, privacy, and experience. There’s no doubt that a shared boat wins in the budget category, as it’s the cheapest option.

However, if you ask us, a privately chartered boat wins all the other categories. By paying slightly more, you get a fully private and customizable experience. You are literally captain of your own ship, and can choose your destinations and playlist, bring your own food and drinks, and in general have a superior experience. Private boat rentals start at $450 USD a day for a speedboat, and $2,400 USD a day for a yacht that can fit up to 25 people. If you have a bigger group, chartering your own boat is a no-brainer, especially if you’re in Cartagena for a special occasion – a birthday, wedding, bachelor or bachelorette party. We can help with all of those!

Should I rent a speedboat, yacht, or catamaran?

Speedboats: Cost-friendly and agile

Whether you’re a seasoned seafarer or a nautical newbie, we have the right type of boat for you. If you’re looking for something cheaper for a smaller group, we have some gorgeous speedboats. Cheaper than a yacht, but certainly not scrimping on quality, speedboats are a sleek and stylish option to explore the islands in Cartagena. Equipped with Bluetooth sound systems, a bathroom (confirm with your concierge agent beforehand), and a cushioned area for tanning, we love partying on speedboats. 

Yacht: Stylish yet functional

If you are looking for something a little more boujee, or simply require more space, check out our yacht rentals. You are sure to feel like a superstar tanning on the flybridge of your own private yacht. Yachts are a lot more spacious, often distributed over two floors, with more private bathrooms than speedboats. They also even have private bedrooms if you want to chill and take refuge from the midday sun.

And with more space, comes more options. Want to bring a private DJ on board to keep the good vibes pumping all day? We have the perfect contacts. How about a private chef – the ultimate flex for your trip out to the islands? We have just the man. It’s easy to enhance your experience at sea on the best boats in Cartagena – just ask us how. 

Catamarans: For superior comfort and space

Catamarans are also a great option for those with a bigger group – we’re talking 25–35 people. The slower pace of catamarans make them perfect for partying and mingling. Host your engagement party or pre-wedding bash on a 50+ ft Catamaran and feel like a million bucks. We also love power catamarans, as you get all the comfort, space, and beauty of a catamaran, with extra speed and agility added in. With all that extra space to dance, you simply have to bring a private DJ and chef on board. It would be rude not to. 

Want to check out our boat inventory? Be our guest!

What’s included in my boat rental? 

You’ve done the hardest part – you’ve picked your boat. Whether it’s a speedboat, yacht, or catamaran, you are sure to have the best time partying in Cartagena’s bay and beyond. But what’s included in the price that you pay for your boat rental? Every boat rental includes an experienced Captain and First Mate, fuel and taxes, and a cooler filled with ice (no alcoholic drinks included).

However, with Two Travel’s concierge services, we can most certainly help you with those small details. We charge a stocking fee and can fully stock your boat with beer and your favorite liquor and mixers. We can even arrange the delivery of your food and drinks! Believe us when we say it’s worth paying extra for the VIP treatment rather than juggling with bottles of tequila in foreign supermarkets at 8 AM. We can also make sure you have that sought after booking for lunch at one of the best beach clubs!

Speaking of timing, boat rental in Cartagena is from 9 AM to 5 PM. It’s important to not arrive late to the dock in the morning because it will eat into your precious time at sea. Most boats take just under an hour to get to the Rosario Islands – some take longer.

Due to safety reasons, boats must start their journey back to Cartagena from 3-4 PM, as the tides pick up in the afternoon. For the best day at sea, we want to ensure you have as much island time as possible. However, if you are looking for something out of hours, we can arrange sunset and evening tours, where we stay within the bay. 

How does pricing work for boat rentals in Cartagena?

We are upfront about our pricing on our boat rentals page. Keep in mind, however, that the prices advertised may differ depending on the size of your group. For many boats, there is a set price up to a certain number of people, and from there onwards, there is a set amount per person. For example, prices may be advertised as “From $600 for 10 people” – this is why the size of your group is important when asking for a quote. We only work with the best boats in Cartagena, and our pricing is competitive. 

Where should we visit on our trip to the islands?

Rosario Islands

There is a wealth of things to do and places to see from your privately chartered boat in Cartagena. Park your boat in party island Cholón to drink and mingle with neighboring boats. Swing by the “piscinita” (little pool) to snorkel and sunbathe. Or check out Pablo Escobar’s abandoned mansion and sunken plane (rumor has it) to learn more about the Narco history of Cartagena.

We can also arrange for you to stop off at a beach club if you fancy having lunch on firm ground rather than aboard your boat. If you leave early enough, you will have plenty of time to change locations several times. Our experienced captains can also give you their local tips and recommendations on where’s best to visit depending on the weather. 

What should we bring on our boat rental? 

As they say, it’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared. The sun this close to the equator is unforgiving, especially with the reflective glare of the sea. Bring plenty of sunscreen (at least factor 50), along with sunglasses and a hat, because there’s nothing unsexier than a sunburn.

Whilst stocking up on alcohol, don’t forget to bring plenty of water to put in your boat’s cooler. It’s also nice to bring some cash in case you want to buy any fresh oysters or drinks on the islands, and to tip your Captain and First Mate. Bring a towel and some beach-approved clothing.

And, most importantly, bring a pre-prepared playlist to plug into the boat’s Bluetooth speakers, so you can get the party pumping. Alongside what to bring, it’s important to mention what NOT to bring. Leave the Rolex at home, alongside any super nice jewelry, glasses, shoes or accessories you wouldn’t want to get wet or salty. 

Don’t fancy taking on the challenge of buying all the provisions for your boat trip? Check out our concierge services – we can sort it all out for you!

What do we do if the weather is bad? 

Cartagena is the city where it is sunny 360 days a year. But we do have a rainy season from May to October, where the weather is prone to the odd tropical shower. For days that are just a little drizzly – we certainly don’t let a little rain – well – rain on our parade! The party must go on, and you will find that once you are beyond the bay and heading towards the islands, it rarely continues to rain there too. Crank up the music and dive in the Caribbean Sea – you were going to get wet already, right?

We do get a few days a year when there are tropical storms and low visibility. The Coastguard is in charge of whether we can leave the dock or not. In the case of a last-minute cancellation due to weather conditions, you will get a full refund. It’s difficult to change dates, as your boat might already be booked for the next couple of days. 

How do I find the dock my boat is leaving from? 

There are several docks your boat might be disembarking from. All of them are either within – or a short taxi ride from – the walled city. Don’t worry, as we will embed a map showing you where the dock is located, with instructions on how to get there. The main docks that most of our boats leave from are either: Pegasus Dock, Todomar Marina, or Cartagena Nautical Club.

  • Pegasus Dock: This dock is conveniently located a stone’s throw from the famous yellow clock tower, 100 meters or so from the walled city. A lot of villas in Cartagena’s Centro district are within walking distance from this dock. Check the location on the map beforehand, however, to avoid any last-minute sweating.
  • Todomar Marina: Todomar is a privately-owned marina at the entrance of Bocagrande, Cartagena’s modern neighborhood. It can be reached by taxi in 5–10 minutes from most Centro locations.
  • Cartagena Nautical Club: This dock, located in the affluent neighborhood of Manga, is where you will find the majority of our bigger boats, especially yachts and catamarans. It is around a 10-minute taxi ride from the walled city. Leave plenty of time if leaving from this dock, as it gets busy and isn’t within walking distance. Taxi drivers will recognize it as “Club Nautico”. 

How do I book a superior boat rental experience in Cartagena?

Two Travel has the answers to all of your boat-rental questions (and beyond). The experience we offer is all-encompassing, and we don’t leave a single thing to chance. From the best boats, to top-quality add-ons and extras, your day on the islands in Cartagena is in safe hands. We can make your special day even more enjoyable by enhancing it with things like a private DJ and chef. Small luxuries that will improve your experience tenfold.

If you need more info or want to find out everything Two Travel’s concierge agents can do for you, get in touch with us today!

Best Rooftop Bars in Medellin

Best Medellín rooftop bars
Coracao Rooftop

Nestled in a valley in the Andean mountains, Medellín boasts some of the best views in Colombia. Many local businesses have taken advantage of these rolling hills and the temperate climate to take things al-fresco, to the rooftops. Whether you are there to party, drink, or eat, be sure to check out our favorite recommendations for the best rooftops in Medellín.

Something we love about a good rooftop is versatility. A good rooftop bar can literally see you through from brunch to the early hours of the morning. It’s great to appreciate a good sunset from a rooftop (and in Medellín, you see the most stunning sunsets). There’s also something magical about the city at night from above; thousands of lights twinkling below you like fireflies.

Whether you are visiting Medellín with your partner, with friends, or even with your bachelorette or bachelor group, you are sure to fall in love with this enchanting city and its stunning views.

But where can you find the best rooftop bars in Medellín? Read on to find out or book a Bar Hopping experience with us!

Envy Rooftop (The Charlee Hotel, Parque Lleras)

Envy Rooftop is the place to see and be seen in Medellín. This luxurious rooftop bar is located on top of the gorgeous Charlee Hotel. You can find it in the heart of the nightlife district; Lleras Park, Poblado. Built on two levels with an aquarium-style pool in the middle, the views are just as good inside as they are out. Grab one of the best cocktails in Medellín and some fresh sushi and admire the beautiful people. Then, when the sun starts to set behind the mountains, take in the beauty of the twinkling lights of the city below you. It truly is one of the best rooftops in Medellín. 

Envy has something to offer every day of the week; enjoy live music on Salsa Wednesdays and a live DJ the rest of the week. Don’t forget to visit Envy on the last Sunday of the month for its famous boozy bottomless brunch. Take the word “brunch” with a pinch of salt, as the kitchen opens from 5 PM onwards, which gives you plenty of time for a lie-in. You can take a dip in the pool or chill at the bar, just don’t miss this chic spot on your trip to Medellín.

La Deriva (Click Clack Hotel, Poblado)

Perched on top of the Click Clack Hotel, La Deriva isn’t just for hotel guests. Head to La Deriva for cocktails and delicious food in an urban jungle setting. Imagine yourself dipping your toes in the rooftop pool whilst sipping on an Aperol Spritz…yes, this is the lifestyle you deserve! At La Deriva, they have a live DJ who pumps out the best tunes.

Fish and seafood are imported from Isla Fuerte, a nearby island in the Colombian Caribbean. The menu is inspired by coastal recipes all throughout Latin America. Travel, through their menu, from the Golf of Mexico, to the Colombian Pacific, to the coasts of Peru.

We love the unpretentiousness of this rooftop oasis. Make use of their comfy loungers and take in the gorgeous Medellín skyline. La Deriva is open from midday until late, every day of the week.

Mosquito Rooftop (The Somos Hotel, Poblado)

If you want an all-encompassing place that promises excellent quality service from breakfast to midnight cocktails, head to Mosquito Rooftop. From mind-blowing brunches to getting down and dirty on the dance floor, this is the place to be. The rooftop at Mosquito offers panoramic views of Medellín, where you can surely lock in many Medellín core memories. This stunning Medellín skyline is actually the backdrop to the DJ booth. It undoubtedly makes for an unforgettable night as you explore Medellín’s nightlife. We love the oasis vibe with the rooftop lined with greenery.

Want to explore more of Medellín’s nightlife – come bar hopping with us and then on to a VIP Club Night!

Teatro Victoria Roof Garden (Provenza, Poblado)

Teatro Victoria bar Medellin

Located in trendy Provenza, Teatro Victoria is right in the heart of the action. Victoria Roof Garden has a chic and contemporary vibe. It’s our favorite of the four ambiences in the Teatro Victoria nightclub because taking in the freshness of the Medellín night on a rooftop is far superior to being stuck inside a sweaty club.

Don’t arrive too late for the chance to dine. They have an extensive menu of mouthwatering dishes. The menu showcases both local and international flavors; from soft bao, to fresh sushi, to exquisitely prepared meat and fish dishes. You can also find an impressive selection of craft cocktails at the bar.

ENE Restobar Hookah Lounge (Provenza, Poblado)

Ene Restobar Hookah Lounge in Medellín is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique rooftop experience combined with a touch of Middle Eastern flair. It’s the perfect place to visit with a Medellín bachelor party group. Pull up a seat and share a hookah amongst friends. It’s one of our favorite pre-game spots, but also a place to chill when you don’t feel like going “out-out”. They have a delectable menu, featuring international dishes and dishes to share. We loved the crab and shrimp nachos and their specialty; the ENE fries with cheese, beef, and bacon. Bring your appetite!

Belisario (Provenza, Poblado)

If you’re looking for both a taste of Medellín nightlife and a taste of some of the best food and cocktails in Medellín, head on down to Belisario. The menu is Mexican, but it’s so much more than tacos. Sure, you can get some of the best tacos of your life here, but open your mind and imagination to beef tenderloin flambéed in tequila. Or perhaps we can tempt you with a mezcal and hibiscus cocktail. Truly heaven on earth! Afterwards, you can pop behind the bookshelf to the hidden club, La Oculta. We sang its praises in our Medellín Nightlife blog post.

360° Rooftop Bar (Hotel Haven, Poblado)

360° Rootop Bar Medellin

The rooftop bar on the top of Hotel Haven has, as its name promises, a breathtaking 360° view of Medellín. On the 11th floor of Hotel Haven, it’s the highest rooftop on our list. 360 Rooftop bar knows how to host a party. They will frequently have pool parties (in the heated pool!), electronic parties, neon nights, and their Sunday Funday brunch. Brunch is a perfect excuse for a party – especially when it’s all-you-can-eat from 11 AM to 4 PM! Lounge in the pool, grab some sliders and an artisan cocktail, and put the fun in your Sunday! Brunch is also only 20 bucks, which is an absolute steal.

Even more Medellín rooftop bars!

Rooftop Bars in Medellin
NDN Rooftop

With so many fun, innovative, and exciting rooftop options in Medellín, it’s hard to choose where to visit. But believe us, any of the places mentioned above guarantee you a night to remember. We also wanted to give an honorary mention to Mamba Negra restaurant in Q Tower (el Poblado) for flawless gastronomy and some of the best cocktails in Medellín. To Curacao, a fantastic bar sat atop the Selvario 36 hotel, and NDN (Provenza, el Poblado) for its romantic mountain views, and impeccable service.

From trendy modern establishments to charming hidden gems, the rooftop bars in Medellín provide an unforgettable setting to unwind, soak up the vibrant atmosphere, and create lasting memories against the backdrop of this dynamic Colombian city.

These are just some of our favorite rooftops in Medellín. If you want more personalized advice or you’re planning a group trip, get in touch, and we can plan your journey together, or read on for our FAQs on Medellín nightlife.

Medellín Nightlife FAQs

Have a burning question about nightlife in Medellín and didn’t know who to ask? No worries, we are locals, and we got you, boo!

How much does a cocktail typically cost in Medellín? 

Cocktails in Medellín are a fine art form. Talented mixologists work hard to produce delicious cocktails that satisfy all the senses. Glassware in Medellín is trending, so don’t be surprised if you are handed a wooden totem, a bronze goblet, or even a porcelain skull to drink from. Flowers, dry ice, and fruit garnishes add to the extravagance of the experience. Expect to pay from $45.000 COP to $55.000 COP (around $10 USD) for a cocktail.

What time do people go out drinking and dancing?

In Medellín, the nightlife scene typically starts to pick up around 9 PM, especially on weekends. People often gather at bars and lounges during this time to socialize and pre-game. But between 10 PM and 2 AM is when you will see most people in the streets and bars. During these hours, Provenza and Parque Lleras come alive with energy and music. It’s common for people to transition from bars to clubs later in the evening, with many clubs staying open until the early morning hours.

What time do places typically close in Medellín?

Generally, bars and lounges in el Poblado close around 2 AM. However, there are also venues that stay open later, particularly clubs that may continue operating until 4 AM or even later, especially on weekends. Just ask us where to go and we’ll do the rest – we can even make sure you have transport home! 

What is the dress code for going out in Medellín?

The streets of Provenza at night are a catwalk for the young and beautiful – even more so in July and August when the fashion shows hit town. Medellín weather at night is cool enough to warrant a light jacket or jeans, but will also be fine for a dress and heels.

Paisas, or locals to Medellín, love to dress up, and you will often see women with a full face of makeup and a stunning waterfall of shiny hair. Men go for the smart-casual look; jeans or chinos with a shirt or polo. Make sure to bring your A-game, and don’t forget that some nicer restaurants and clubs have a strict dress code. That means no caps, no sneakers or sliders, no sandals and no shorts (for guys).

It’s always a good idea to check the dress code of a specific venue beforehand. Or, if you purchased our concierge services, you can just double-check with your concierge agent before they make your reservation for you!

Is Medellín safe at night?

Medellín has made huge strides in recent years with regard to safety. However, it’s always a good idea to have your wits about you, as with any big city. When traveling, use a reputable cab app such as Uber or Didi, rather than a local taxi, especially at night, or talk to us and we’ll arrange a private driver for your whole trip. It will also allow you to skip the language barrier if you still need to brush up on your español

We recommend you don’t use Tinder to meet people. But if you are going to meet up with someone you met on Tinder or a dating app, get a photo of their ID beforehand and keep someone updated on your whereabouts, just in case.

Colombians are known for their phrase “no dar papaya”, which literally translates to “don’t give papaya”. What it means, however, is to avoid attracting unnecessary attention by flashing expensive jewelry or valuables. You can leave that at home and still look fly on the dance floor.

And remember that super fancy cocktail you bought? Don’t leave it unattended (it’s too good to go to waste, anyway). By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Medellín with peace of mind.

Medellín is a city of hedonism and parties. So enjoy all the fun from a bird’s-eye view, on top of some of the best rooftop bars in Medellín. Whether you’re there for a boozy brunch, or dancing your heart out until the small hours, get some fresh air with those fresh vibes.

Get in touch today to plan your next Medellín adventure!

How To Plan a Beach Wedding in Cartagena

beach weddings in Cartagena

Nothing spells romance like sun, sea, and champagne on a white sand beach. If it’s always been your dream to plan and host a beach wedding, you will definitely want to add Cartagena, Colombia to your dream destinations list.

Cartagena, with its whimsical, flower-lined cobblestone streets and warm, crystal-clear sea, is one of the most romantic cities in the world. If you are considering a destination wedding, why not pick a place where you are almost guaranteed to have warm, sunny weather all year round? Cartagena, perched on the warm Caribbean Sea, is surrounded by stunning islands and beaches. You can even book a private island for your beach wedding ceremony, or take over a beach club for your special day. With the Two Lovers wedding planning team behind you, your imagination is the limit.

Romance, Culture, and History

Out of all the difficult decisions you have to make before your wedding day, the location shouldn’t be one. Cartagena is a no-brainer and is one of our favorite beach wedding destinations. Immerse yourself in its rich culture and history. Cartagena is the perfect mix of the modern and the traditional. You can customize your wedding to either one – or a mix of both – of these. As one of the most picturesque and Instagrammable places in South America, you and your wedding guests will enjoy every single day of your stay in the city, and not only the wedding day itself.

Planning for the Weather

Cartagena is well known for its warm climate and bright sunshine. However, it’s important to keep in mind that despite not having traditional seasons such as Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, Cartagena does have rainy, windy, and dry seasons. You may want to avoid hosting a beach wedding in the months of October and November. These are the months with the heaviest rainfall. The dry season in Cartagena is from December to April, with January being the driest month. You can expect the breeze to pick up in these months too, which makes the weather beautifully fresh. But be aware that the temperature is always between 25°C and 32°C (77°F and 89°F) even at night, and the humidity makes it feel hotter. Plan carefully what you’ll wear on your big day. That being said, any time of year is perfect to visit Cartagena, as there is always something to do.

Aisle for wedding on the beach

It’s All in the Details

Once you’ve decided what time of year you want to have your special day, we can help you to plan your perfect itinerary. Keep in mind that all year round, there are usually around 12 hours of sunlight a day, from 6 AM to 6 PM. Because of the heat, weddings usually start late in Cartagena. You will want to find that sweet spot where you have daylight, but it’s not too hot. A 4-5 PM start is usually perfect for your beach wedding ceremony. This way, at around 6 PM, when the sun starts to set, you will have officially tied the knot. There won’t be a dry eye in the house when your wedding guests see the stunning newly-wed couple on the beach, with the sun setting into the blue Caribbean Sea behind you.

Choosing appropriate attire for a beach wedding

Keeping in mind that the climate in Cartagena is warm and humid, you will definitely want to dress accordingly. Think light, sleeveless dresses for women made of silks or chiffon. Leave the veil for church, and instead consider a flower crown for those boho, beachy vibes. For men, linen pants and open shirts are the way to go. Ditch the tux and embrace a more casual style for your beach wedding. Sunscreen is a necessity, and keep the makeup light and waterproof when possible. If you are actually planning on tying the knot on the beach, you may want to ditch the shoes completely. High heels and sand do not go well together. Try to make everything as easy for yourself as possible on your big day, so everything flows perfectly. And you will always have our team of expert wedding planners behind you every step of the way. We ensure that the wedding of your dreams becomes a reality.

Finding your Dream Location

So, you know you want a beach wedding. Now, the next question is deciding which of the many gorgeous beaches on Cartagena’s coastline and surrounding islands is best for you. If you have always dreamed of an island escape, we highly recommend Fenix Beach Club. Located on Tierra Bomba island, the closest island to Cartagena, the logistics involved with boat transportation aren’t too complicated. Fenix has a stunning, boho, festival vibe and incredible catering options too. Hundreds of twinkling lights illuminate the beach at night. It gives an ethereal and magical feeling to your special day. They also put on a great party, and the DJ will have your guests dancing until the early hours. Another great option on the same island is Tamarindo Beach House. This location has a perfect beach and pool, giving flawless Caribbean beachy aesthetics for your wedding. 

For those willing to travel a little further (just 45 minutes by boat), Las Islas Baru is another stunning beach wedding destination. The peninsular island of Baru is well known for its crystal-clear waters. The secluded location of Las Islas has an intimate and romantic atmosphere. Its luxury huts have an uninterrupted view of the ocean and the surrounding tropical forest of the island. The hotel can host groups of up to 200 guests with the use of the private island Isleta, located just 5 minutes away.

Night wedding on the beach
Fenix Beach

For most beach weddings, the ceremony is generally symbolic, and the legal procedures are carried out separately at a notary. However, for a foreign couple to legally wed in Colombia, at least one of the two needs to have a permanent address in Colombia. If you simply want to have a destination wedding and do not reside in Colombia, the simplest way is to officially wed in your own country and have a symbolic ceremony in Colombia. This way, you avoid logistical headaches, translations, apostilles, and additional stress. However, our wedding planners are well-versed in legal jargon and can give you the best personalized advice depending on your individual situation. Same-sex weddings have been legal in Colombia since 2016.

Save yourselves from hours of grueling planning and stressing.

Your Honeymoon Starts Today!

After all the stress, socializing, and dancing that a wedding inevitably brings, you will want to kick back, relax, and spend some quality alone time with your partner. And why not choose a wedding destination where your honeymoon can begin the second you tie the knot? If you host your beach wedding in Cartagena, there will be no need to jump on another flight. You will already have paradise on your doorstep! There’s a wealth of things to do in Cartagena, especially for newly married couples. Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride around the historic walled city. Rent a catamaran or sailboat and sail off into the sunset together. Take advantage of the incredible gastronomic variety in the city and explore new flavors together in the bars and restaurants of the old town. Or book a romantic getaway to an island. There, you can spend your days lazing on the beach and your nights exploring lagoons with bioluminescent plankton or counting stars under a cloudless sky.

But Why Colombia?

If one thing is for sure, it’s that Colombians know how to host a great party. Colombian weddings are non-stop fun, as they combine all the traditions of a wedding in the US, plus the “hora loca”. Literally translating to “crazy hour”, the Hora Loca is a party within a party. Right after the clock strikes midnight, fun props are brought out, and live bands and dancers surprise and delight the guests. The bride and groom decide on the theme beforehand. It can be anything from Carnival to circus-themed, burlesque, or masquerade…the decision is yours! It’s the best way to get your guests up and dancing, and will undoubtedly make your wedding day memorable and unique. Our team are locals, and there isn’t anyone better to help you plan your beach wedding.

Planning a wedding is hard. And more so in a foreign country and language. Even if you or your partner has ties to Cartagena or Colombia, hiring a wedding planner will still be one of the smartest decisions you can make for your big day. Outdoor weddings have a million moving parts, and having a team who can make everything fall into place is priceless.

In conclusion, a beach wedding in Cartagena, Colombia is a magical and unforgettable experience. It combines stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant entertainment. With the help of the Two Lovers expert wedding planning team, you can create the wedding of your dreams and enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer.

We are always happy to chat and help you plan your big day. Get in touch with our team today to make your Cartagena wedding dreams come true!

The Ultimate Guide to Hosting Your Bachelor Party in Medellin

Looking for the best place to host your upcoming bachelor party? Look no further than Medellin, Colombia. Medellin is one of the hottest up-and-coming destinations for bachelors and beyond, and it’s about time you discovered everything it has to offer for you and your group. 

A bachelor party in Medellin is guaranteed to include incredible nightlife, accommodation fit for a king (and party friendly!), and adventure activities that will get your adrenaline pumping. Not to mention, Medellin also happens to be the home to some of the most beautiful women in the world. But you can tell your wife that it’s a casual coincidence. Medellin has enormous, multi-story nightclubs and swanky, speakeasy-style bars. It also has a wide variety of private villas for you and your group to crash or party in private.  It is truly one of the best bachelor party destinations. The weather is a perfect 80°F (26°C) all year round, keeping you feeling fresh and not sweaty. All you need now is someone to help you plan the whole trip! That’s where we come in. 

A Travel Concierge: Your key to the city 

Planning a bachelor party isn’t easy. And managing a group of unruly guys, finding decent accommodation, reliable transportation, and making restaurant reservations in Spanish, all while trying to have fun is even harder. That’s why we love to make everything as easy as possible for you. Many AirBnBs and hotels in the city don’t accept large groups of all guys. We have direct contact with the owners of many private villas in Medellin, and we can do all the talking, so all you will need to do is show up. Fancy a personal chef to whip up breakfast every day, or treat you to a restaurant-quality meal from the comfort of your own villa? Want to organize a private pool party? We are expert bachelor party planners. We have private chefs on speed dial, along with DJs, and everything you would expect from a bachelor party. 

Fancy hiring someone to do all the boring work, so you can enjoy every moment? That’s what we’re here for! Get in touch with our concierge team today to get a quote for our services.

Activities for your bachelor party in Medellin 

A good bachelor’s weekend (or week!) needs to have activities planned for both daytime and evening. There’s no time to sit around nursing a hangover with so many activities to do in Medellin and its surrounding areas. The great thing about Medellin is that it is a big, metropolitan city, surrounded by beautiful countryside. So whether you want something outdoorsy or simply want to soak up city life, there is something for everyone. 

Day Activities 

Check out our Tours & Experiences page for more information on just some of the activities you and the guys can do for your bachelor party in Medellin. The Comuna 13 Tour is an amazing way to see the “other” side of the city. Twenty years ago it was a no-go zone, and it’s now a thriving art and culture scene. Comuna 13 is a great place to explore during the day. You can check out the stunning graffiti, try some street food, and even rap-battle the local kids there, as they love interacting with tourists.  

Or escape the city to visit the idyllic countryside and picturesque town of Guatapé. Home to an incredible naturally-formed volcanic rock that has a massive 708 steps to the top, it’s an unmissable photo opportunity. The Peñón de Guatapé is unique in the world, and climbing all those stairs makes for great bonding with the guys. The groom is sure to reach his wedding day in good shape!

Think there’s nothing scarier than getting married? You obviously haven’t tried paragliding. Get that adrenaline pumping, and soar like a bird over stunning green pastures near Colombia’s coffee region. This exhilarating experience will make you feel so alive and is sure to blow away the cobwebs of the routine of daily life. Or you can take advantage of the rough terrains of the countryside and go out on an ATV adventure. This is one of our most popular bachelor party activities. There’s no experience needed, and the trails have varying difficulty levels. Take a walk on the wild side and explore Colombia on a quad bike! 

Night-time activities 

When the sun sets, it’s time to play. Medellin offers a huge range of things to do in the evenings, namely in the form of bars, restaurants, and clubs. Medellin’s nightlife scene is absolutely buzzing. Check out some of our favourite restaurants in Medellin. There are some truly incredible places to visit, worthy of the special event you are celebrating. Make sure to bring some smarter clothes and shoes if you are heading to a nice restaurant or club. Many places have dress codes, and we would hate for you to miss out. 

We can help you with bar hopping in Provenza, a VIP Club Night, or a full blown Bachelor Party Special. Simply get in touch and let us know what you’re looking for. We can do the rest.

If private parties are more your jam, we’ve got everything you need to make it happen. From the party-friendly penthouse to the sound system, to the VIP guests. Did we mention our legendary pool parties? Our private barman can mix a mean cocktail, and we can even get you vitamin IV therapy to aid recovery the day after. But make sure you do make it out of the house! It wouldn’t be a Medellin bachelor party without a trip to Parque Lleras and Provenza. Here, you can find some of the best clubs and bars in Medellin. Luckily, we did the hard work for you and scoped out the best clubs and nightlife in town, so your Medellin bachelor party is truly epic!

Top Tips for your Bachelor Party 

You may be wondering where the best place to stay is with your bachelor party in Medellin. El Poblado is a popular and convenient option, as it is right in the middle of the action. You can find many bachelor pads and penthouses in Poblado and near the famous Lleras Park. You can literally step right out of your apartment or villa and find some of the best bars, clubs and restaurants in the city. There are also some other more exclusive locations in Medellin, such as Alto de las Palmas. This sought-after neighborhood is a little further up the mountain and boasts stunning views over the valley. Its location allows for a little more privacy, and the absence of neighbors in some villas means that the parties can be bigger, better, and louder!

Private pool
Casa Serena, one of the villas we offer in Medellin

Speaking of accommodation; you will want to make sure you book accommodations early. The best villas and penthouses can get booked up, especially during peak season (generally December through March). We have exclusive access to elite properties that aren’t on AirBnB, so lock in your property with us as early as possible. Unlike Cartagena, where most of the touristic areas are condensed within a smaller radius, Medellin is a sprawling city. Transportation is an important consideration for you and your bachelor group. For big groups, hiring a bigger van that fits all of you can often be more cost-effective than paying for separate taxis.

With so many moving parts involved in planning your bachelor party in Medellin, it’s best to leave the bachelor party planning to the experts. We can arrange from the smallest detail to the most extravagant adventure. Our goal is to make sure you and your group have the best time ever, and that your bachelor party is memorable for all the right reasons.

Bachelor Party in Medellin or Cartagena?

After reading this, and our Cartagena Bachelor & Bachelorette Party Ideas page, you might be unsure of which destination is best for you. If you are looking for a Miami-style, beach vacay at a fraction of the cost, Cartagena is calling you. Think yacht parties, Colonial mansions, and private islands. If you prefer big-city vibes and cooler climes, head to Medellin. In Medellin, you can find a bigger variety of clubs and bars, more adventure activities, and more beautiful women. The choice is yours.

Whichever city you end up choosing. You and your group are sure to have the time of your lives. But don’t take our word for it! Check out a testimonial from one of our clients. This client used Two Travel to plan his friend’s Bachelor Party in Medellin. They were a large group of 14 people and wanted to pack as many activities into 4 days. Here’s an extract from his review:  

“If Two Travel is operating in a city I travel to, I will 100% be using them to make sure I have the best experience possible.
In addition to making sure all of the planned events were executed and handled with exceptional detail, we were lucky to have Daniel O. with us the entire trip. Especially on nights we went out and experienced the nightlife, having Daniel with us was priceless. If Daniel is with your crew, you basically have the most well-connected person in Medellin. He knows everyone in Medellin / Provenza area and regardless of your group’s vibe he knows the perfect spot. Outside of that, he was amazing at accommodating last-minute requests and making sure our group was safe at all times.”

Two Travel Client

We promise you’ll have so much fun during your bachelor party in Medellin, that soon you’ll be convincing all the guys to tie the knot, just so you can plan more bachelor parties! Get in touch with the Two Travel Concierge team today, so we can start planning the ultimate bachelor party.

The Best Places to Visit in Colombia

San Bernardo del Viento Islands

It’s hard to pick just a few of the best places to visit in Colombia. In every corner of this magical country, there are different things to explore and traditions to fall in love with. The mix of landscapes, music, and gastronomy makes it a cultural melting pot that is unique in the world.

Colombia’s diversity is what makes it so special. It has snow-topped mountains, white-sand beaches, thick jungle, arid deserts, and metropolitan cities. Colombia has something for everyone. And on your Colombia vacation, we want to make it as special as possible. That’s why we have compiled this guide to help you plan out the vacation of your dreams with the best places to visit in Colombia.

Colombia is a vast country, with mountains and canyons running through its core and impenetrable jungle around some of its edges. One would need months or even years to fully explore it. However, on your vacation in Colombia, you can cherry-pick from some of our favorite destinations and stay one step ahead of other travelers. Explore the colorful streets of Cartagena and the crystal-clear seas of the Colombian Caribbean, then on to Medellín and the rolling hills of the coffee region. Take a trip with us as we explore the best places to visit in Colombia, and why you need to visit Colombia now!

Colombia: Just a short flight from the USA

Colombia is, on average, just a 3-hour flight from Miami and a 5-hour flight from New York. Its proximity and the ability to get great flight deals with multiple different airlines means that it’s possible to pop over for a short vacation or even a long weekend. Of course, if you want to visit multiple destinations, we would recommend a longer stay of a couple of weeks.

Climate and temperature in Colombia

Cocora Valley in Quindio, Colombia
Cocora Valley

Due to its positioning close to the equator, temperatures in Colombia are affected by altitude, not by the time of year. This means that if you head to the coast, you are always guaranteed to get warm, sunny weather all year round, and you can head to the mountains for cooler weather. Bogotá, at 8.660 ft above sea level, is notoriously grey and rainy. However, seaside destination Cartagena averages 80°F – 90°F (27-32 Celsius). As a perfect medium at 4,900 ft, Medellín is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”, with temperate, spring-like climates. If you’re looking to avoid the rain, April-May and October-November are when it is most likely to rain across the whole country.

Colombian people and Culture

Over the past few years, Colombia has been shaking off the negative stereotypes it got during the 1980s and 90s. Colombia has proved over and over again that it is so much more than its past. The warmness and friendliness of its people never fails to surprise and delight us. Colombia has been voted one of the world’s happiest countries, and the joy and good vibes of its people is infectious wherever you go. Colombian people love to embrace their multiethnicity. Indigenous, Spanish, African and Arab cultures all come together to make the modern Colombian. Different regions within Colombia have different accents, music styles, and gastronomies; all influenced by this same blend of external and internal influences.

Where are the best places to visit in Colombia?

Colombia is truly the country that has it all. So, depending on what you’re looking for during your trip to Colombia, you can surely achieve it. Below, we have detailed a list of our favorite places to visit and the truly unmissable destinations where you are sure to make life-long memories.

Cartagena and the Colombian Caribbean

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is the jewel of Colombia’s northern coastline. Its colonial, UNESCO-protected walled city and sleek, Miami-like surrounding neighborhoods make it one of Colombia’s most popular destinations. Cartagena also has stunning islands and archipelagos nearby, such as the Rosario Islands and Baru, which boast crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches. There’s no better place to rent a speedboat or yacht than Cartagena. You can even rent out your own private island for parties! Live the dream!

Cartagena’s colonial center is like walking through a movie set; colorful houses lined with bougainvillea flowers; private swimming pools glistening in the afternoon sun, and palm tree-lined beaches. Many tourists highlight Cartagena as one of the best places in Colombia. Whether you’re there to party, relax, or shop; there’s something for everyone.

Cartagena is also home to some incredible restaurants and some of the best cocktail bars in the world (Cartagena’s very own Alquímico and El Barón were featured on worlds50best.com). You’ll hear us sing Cartagena’s praises in our blog post on the Best Restaurants in Cartagena.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today to find the perfect villa and book your own yacht or trip to the islands near Cartagena!

Other notable areas on the Caribbean coast: 

Barranquilla is the fourth-largest city in Colombia and the location of the second-biggest Carnival in South America after Rio. During this time, this usually very organized city transforms into flurries of flowers and feathers. Music plays on every street corner, and the streets and bars fill up with people in colorful outfits dancing and drinking aguardiente, an aniseed-based Colombian liquor. Carnival is an unmissable spectacle for visitors. Dates vary, but Carnival de Barranquilla usually takes place between February and March, and warm up events take place throughout January. 

The San Bernardo Islands: If you have planned a visit to the Rosario Islands an hour from Cartagena by boat, don’t miss also getting to know the San Bernardo Islands. These gorgeous, unspoiled islands can be reached by direct boat from Cartagena (2 hours) or from the tiny fishing village of Rincón del Mar (40 minutes). On the islands of Mucura and Tintipan, you will find white sand beaches and crystal clear seas; a true Caribbean paradise. 

Minca, near to Santa Marta in Colombia
View from Minca

Minca, a tiny village tucked up in the mountains near Santa Marta, is the perfect destination for eco-conscious travelers looking to reconnect with nature. Explore waterfalls, tropical jungle, and check out the toucans and monkeys hanging out in the trees nearby. You can also visit a working coffee farm just above the town.

Medellín and the Villages of Antioquia

A trip to Colombia wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Medellin. It is without a doubt one of the best cities in Colombia. This sprawling, metropolitan city is built in a valley, so many houses and villas have incredible views over the mountain. Why not rent a penthouse with us, and watch the city lights twinkling like stars in the valley below you? Medellin is a party city, and we have the best contacts and recommendations to ensure that you have the best experience.

Pueblito Paisa in Medellin, Colombia
Pueblito Paisa

You can also take a tour with us to see the best places in town. Our tour guides are local and knowledgeable, with your best interests in mind. The tour we recommend to start with would be our Medellin City Tour. From rooftop bars to deep house nightclubs, a night out in Medellin will surely be one to remember. On an average Friday night, you’ll be likely to find us drinking cocktails in Provenza, Medellín’s most up-and-coming neighborhood. On our blog The Best Places to Party in Medellin, you can find our local recommendations.

The villages of Antioquia

Guatapé: If you need some downtime in the countryside to recharge after partying hard in the city, Medellin also has the perfect options. There are many “pueblos” – small towns – located just a couple of hours’ drive from the city. Guatapé is a popular destination, famous for its enormous granite rock “El Peñol”. This stunning natural formation has 740 zig-zagging steps up to the top. From the top, you can enjoy a refreshing “michelada” beer, and take in the gorgeous view of the lake and green rolling hills surrounding it. The town itself is picturesque and colorful. 

Guatape, near to Medellin in Colombia
Guatapé

We also highly recommend a trip to Jardín, Antioquia. Its name literally means “garden”, and this town does not disappoint. Its temperate climates and green hills make this town feel like a paradise. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, go horse riding, or take a local coffee tour. Ideal to spend a romantic weekend and disconnect from technology. 

If the cooler weather in the Medellin hills gets a bit too chilly for you, you can travel for around an hour and a half to Santa Fe de Antioquia. In this postcard-pretty town, temperatures rise to a warm 85°F (29°C), which makes a nice change from the weather in the rest of the region. 

The Coffee Zone

The Coffee region of Colombia, also known as the Coffee Triangle, is the area where three of Colombia’s departments meet; Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindio. Fly into the city of Pereira or Armenia and take a local bus to one of the quaint towns tucked into the hills. This area is one of stunning natural beauty and is home to the famous Valle de Cocora. Here, you can find some of the tallest palm trees in the world, reaching up to 197 feet. These wax palms are unique in the world and make for an incredible photo opportunity. To reach the trees, however, you must embark on a six-mile hike through a cloud forest, over rickety bridges, and over natural streams. Stop for a hot chocolate in a conveniently-located finca, where you can watch hummingbirds fly above your head.

Salento in Quindio, Colombia
Salento

Although visiting the wax palms of the Valle de Cocora is one of the main reasons tourists visit this area, the towns are the other reason why they stay. Salento, now a popular tourist destination in the area, is a must-see. It’s also the departure point for the hike to the palm trees. You also mustn’t miss Filandia, Salento’s lesser well-known sister, but no less beautiful. Come here to get all the same vibes as Salento, with fewer tourists. These colonial, colorful towns feel like something right out of Disney’s Encanto. Don’t forget to try plenty of coffee, as it can’t get fresher than this! 

Santander for nature and adventure

The department of Santander is slightly off the beaten path of tourists in Colombia. However, it is an area that has breathtaking nature and endless opportunities for adventure sports and adrenaline junkies. The town of San Gil is often frequented by people who are looking to go parasailing, white-water rafting, or hiking. You can even go ziplining or paragliding over the Chicamocha Canyon, a huge and majestic canyon in the area. At 2km deep, Chicamocha is deeper than the Colorado Canyon, and is the second-largest canyon in the world. 

Chicamocha Natural Park in Santander, Colombia
Chicamocha Natural Park

If you need to decompress after all the adventure activities in San Gil, Barichara is the place to head. Deemed “the prettiest town in Colombia”, Barichara is a colonial and romantic town. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and visit local artisan shops, marveling at its gorgeous views over the Suarez river canyon. Barichara is said to have hardly changed since its foundation in 1705. These towns and more are just a few hours’ drive from the city of Bucaramanga.

Two Travel Tips for a Colombia vacation

Traveling around Colombia is a true privilege, and you will find that coming once is never enough. Don’t forget to take into consideration our top travel tips to ensure that you get the best out of your Colombia vacation. 

Airports and Immigration

When you travel to Colombia, flying into the capital city, Bogotá, is cheaper and more convenient than other airports. The airport is well equipped for receiving international arrivals. Immigration queues at regional airports can sometimes be long and tedious, so avoid if possible. If you do fly direct to Cartagena, spend extra to get on the front of the plane, so you’re at the front of the immigration queue. Have on hand your physical vaccine card and the CheckMig app. 

Cash and Card transactions

In the bigger cities, card payments are totally common and accepted. Keep in mind that if you are given the option of paying in local currency (Colombian pesos) or USD, always select local currency. In the smaller towns, villages, or islands, cash is king. You can use an ATM to take out pesos rather than an exchange house, and make sure to decline the conversion rate offered – your bank will give you a better rate. 

Getting one step ahead with your vacation planning

Speak to the travel advisors at Two Travel to help build an itinerary customized to your needs. We have the best direct contacts and know the best places to visit in Colombia. We can get you everything you need for your Colombia vacation – accommodation, airport transfers, transport during your stay, the best activities, and bar, club and restaurant reservations. Cut out the stress and hustle of your vacation. Let us plan your trip, so you can sit back and enjoy the best bits. Not everything in Colombia can be booked online, or simply may not be advertised or accessible online. Our concierge and travel advisors are happy to do the hard work for you!

Get in touch with us today for a personalized itinerary and a full quote for your trip to Colombia!

2024 Guide to the Best Restaurants in Medellin

Food in Medellin is a big deal, and tourists and locals alike take it very seriously. At Two Travel, we firmly believe that your culinary experience in a country can make or break a vacation. That’s why we’ve made a list of the best restaurants in Medellin to ensure you are getting the most out of your trip. 

There are a handful of superstar chefs who have put Medellin on the culinary map. With innovative dishes, locally and responsibly sourced ingredients, and Michelin-starred resumes, their projects in the City of Eternal Spring have been a roaring success. But the beautiful thing about Medellin is that you can also find incredibly flavorful food on any and every street corner. Local dishes are hearty and filling, and evoke a comforting sense of home; even if your grandma isn’t an old Latina lady. Which brings us to the following question…

What do people in Medellín eat?

Paisa (local to Medellin) cuisine is famous all over Colombia. The most famous dish is the Bandeja Paisa, which is a mixed platter of some of the most delicious local foods. It consists of rice, beans, avocado, chicharron (fried pork belly), sausage, mincemeat, sweet plantain, and a fried egg. After all, calories don’t count when you’re on vacation!

You can’t leave Medellin without trying an arepa, a delicious and versatile corn patty, served with pretty much everything. Mondongo is a traditional soup packed full of potatoes, yucca, meat, and tripe. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it; Paisas pride themselves on their mondongo recipe!

There’s no better way to start your day than with a delicious calentado, which literally means “heated up”. Yup, you guessed it, it’s last night’s rice-based leftovers, with a fried egg on top. The breakfast of champions! Many of Medellin’s best restaurants have adopted and adapted these traditional foods to put a contemporary and exclusive twist on them. 

Where are the best restaurants in Medellín?

On your trip to Medellin, you will come across a plethora of restaurants. Some of the best restaurants in Medellin are hidden in plain sight; and some are conveniently located for going out to party afterwards. And you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Medellin with a view in this list! As well as its exquisite variety in gastronomy, Medellin is also an excellent place to go out partying. Don’t miss our Guide to the Best Places to Party in Medellín!

The following places are our unmissable recommendations for foodies, so prepare your palate for some big eats at Medellin’s top restaurants. 

Its our passion to help you plan your trip from start to finish, and help you with the small details too! We can make restaurant reservations for you, create personalized itineraries, and even do your shopping. Get in touch with us today to enquire about Two Travel’s Concierge Services.

El Cielo – Best for a Michelin-starred experience 

El Cielo Restaurant, Medellin
Photo by: El Cielo Hotel

El Cielo is an unmissable fine dining experience in Medellin. Its concept is proudly and undeniably Colombian, with avant-garde techniques that make it stand out in an exceptional way. Chef Juan Manuel “Juanma” Barrientos is a young chef who has achieved incredible things throughout his career, leading the path for molecular cuisine in Colombia and the USA. El Cielo D.C and Miami were both awarded a Michelin star, and its branches in Bogota and Medellin are on the same level. The menu is a 22-course sensory experience where you are encouraged to eat with your hands, play with your food, and truly enjoy yourself. This isn’t an experience to be rushed, so make sure you dedicate your evening to it, and let yourself be swept away by the creative innovation of Juanma and his team. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart 
Reservations needed?: Yes, make sure to book early

Carmen – Best for locally inspired fusion

Carmen Restaurant, Medellin
Photo by: Carmen Restaurant

If you’ve read our blog on the Best Restaurants in Cartagena, you’ll already have heard us sing the praises of Carmen Restaurant, which has branches in both Cartagena and Medellin. Carmen works with ingredients of the highest quality; locally sourced and expertly crafted. The restaurant itself is intimate and beautifully designed with its high ceilings and jungle-like conservatory. The cooking of head chef Carmen Angel takes Colombian classics such as the empanada, a stuffed fried patty common in Colombian street food, and makes it sophisticated. The meat is sourced from the nearby Andean mountains, and the fish is freshly caught in the Pacific Ocean. They also have a tasting menu with wine pairings that comes highly recommended. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart 
Reservations needed?: Yes, book ahead 

Oci.Mde – Best for gourmet comfort food

Oci.Mde Restaurant, Medellin
Photo by: Oci.Mde

Home is slow-cooked meat. Home is big plates of delicious food to share. Head chef Laura Londoño has done an incredible job in creating a warm and inviting environment in her restaurant Oci.Mde. Families, groups of friends, and couples gather around tables piled high with food. They share mouthwatering dishes such as the 5-hour braised pork, or short ribs 12 hours braised in lemon and chili caramel sauce. It tastes like comfort food, but still packs enough punch with local Colombian ingredients and innovative techniques to keep you on your toes. Londoño trained at a 3-Michelin star restaurant in Paris, and brought her many years of knowledge to her home country to create her own concept. Although Oci.Mde´s speciality is slow-cooked meat, vegetarian and vegan options are available.

Price: $$
Dress code: Smart / smart casual
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended, especially on weekends 

Colosal – Best for fine dining with a view

Photo by: Carlos Velez

If you want to make the most of the spectacular views on offer in the mountainous valley that surrounds Medellin, don’t think twice about heading to Colosal. Colossal is one of the best restaurants in Medellin with a view. Located in leafy Envigado, just a stone’s throw from Poblado, this restaurant stands out from the crowd. It offers outdoor dining, live bands and DJs, and impeccable service. The food speaks for itself, and has something for everyone. You can enjoy perfectly-cooked meat and fish, to delicious homemade pastas, and substantial salads. Colossal is the perfect place for a romantic evening, and their wine list is extensive and well-crafted.

Price: $$
Dress code: Dress to impress
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended

Panka – Best for Nikkei Japanese-Peruvian fusion

Photo by: Panka

If you fancy something different and full of flavor, make sure you head to Panka. This restaurant is located right in the heart of Provenza, the hottest Medellin district for nightlife and partying. Its our favorite choice for Peruvian-Japanese fusion. Dishes at Panka are colorful and flavorful, and a wide variety of textures and techniques are used. We love the Nikkei risotto with octopus, and the shrimp and salmon maki. The dark, leafy interior of the restaurant gives an intimate and glamorous feel. Don’t leave without trying one of their many craft cocktails; they are exquisite and make a great accompaniment to your meal. It also makes Panka a great place to start your night, before heading down to the bars at Parque Lleras just a few blocks away.

Price: $$
Dress code: This restaurant is in one of Medellin’s hottest neighborhoods, so dress chic!
Reservations needed?: Recommended but not strictly necessary

Mondongo’s – Best for a hearty local Sunday lunch

Photo by: Mondongos

Mondongo’s is the place to head for a Sunday lunch when you need some hearty home cooking to rectify a hangover caused by a heavy night out. Its generous portions, friendly service, and local vibe make it a favorite amongst Paisas and tourists all over the city. Make sure you try its namesake, mondongo soup, served with avocado, fried plantain, lime and arepas. Here is also a perfect place to try the famous bandeja paisa, a traditional lunch in Medellin. Its popularity means that queues can sometimes lead out of the door, but they generously provide bottles of water and the queue moves relatively quickly. Come hungry and prepare yourself for a true local Colombian dining experience.

Price: $
Dress code: Casual
Reservations needed?: No reservations, get there early to avoid queues on weekends.

With so much choice and gastronomic variation in the city of Medellin, this guide is your best go-to for checking all the culinary boxes during your vacation. Let us help you plan all the other details, too!