2022 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!

2022 Guide to the Best Restaurants in Cartagena

Marea Cartagena
Marea Cartagena

Foodies, rejoice! Gastronomy in Cartagena is BIG. Hidden amongst the cobbled streets of the walled city are some of the most talented chefs in Colombia. Wining and dining is our passion. We know all the best restaurants in Cartagena, from the classics to the new kids on the block. Read on for our definitive 2022 guide to the best restaurants in town.

Cartagena, being a touristic city, is a gastronomical melting pot. You can find an abundance of traditional dishes from the Colombian coast such as coconut rice, fried fish, and patacones. However, you can also find a varying range of flavors like Asian, Italian, Lebanese, Spanish, and everything in between. Due to its privileged location on the Caribbean coast, you can also expect some of the best (and freshest!) seafood of your life. It’s possible to eat at a different restaurant for lunch and dinner for every night during your trip to Cartagena, and still not even scratch the surface of the incredible restaurants that are on offer.

Along with the enormous variety in cuisines, Cartagena also has a huge variety of prices. From haute cuisine fine dining experiences at Alma or Carmen, to casual courtyard dining at La Cevichería, to $2 street pizza at Zazzy’s, there is something for everyone on the Cartagena restaurant scene. Some finer restaurants do have a dress code, so keep this in mind and save your sliders for the poolside, and get your long pants pressed! In Cartagena, high season is almost all year round, so make sure to make reservations in advance, especially if you have a bigger group and are looking to dine out on a weekend.

Don’t speak Spanish, or simply don’t fancy spending your well-earned vacay on hold? We got you! Just hire our concierge services. We can call in for you and make any and all reservations you need.

Carmen Cartagena

Carmen Cartagena – Best for fine dining Colombian fusion

Head chefs Carmen Angel and her husband both studied at Le Cordon Bleu, the most prestigious culinary institution in the world. Their experience and passion for local, fresh ingredients make Carmen Cartagena stand out above the rest. The restaurant is situated in an intimate and elegant colonial house downtown, and the menu is a celebration of local flavors, many of which are unique to Colombia. At their Cartagena restaurant, they also serve freshly caught lobster, octopus, and crab, presented in unique and creative ways. At Carmen, every plate is a work of art. Their à la carte menu is your best option for an optimal dining experience. Every tiny detail is executed to perfection, from the attentive service to the award-winning wine list and the innovative craft cocktails. For anyone looking to impress – think proposals, anniversaries, or milestone birthdays, Carmen is the place to come. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart 
Reservations needed?: Yes

La Cevicheria restaurant Cartagena
La Cevicheria

La Cevichería – Best for seafood and people-watching from the plaza

If you went to Cartagena and didn’t pass by La Cevicheria, did you really even go to Cartagena? This cute seafood restaurant perched on the corner of Plaza San Diego may seem small and unassuming, but don’t underestimate it, as La Cevichería is infamous in Cartagena. It even appeared in restaurant magazines and TV shows when Anthony Bourdain visited on his show ‘No Reservations’. Its blue and white color scheme and outdoor dining tables give off a Mediterranean vibe, with a Caribbean twist. The food is also fresh, healthy, and Mediterranean-inspired with a distinctly Colombian flavor. The use of coconut gives a strong nod to the Caribbean, and its homemade hot sauce is unbeatable. So grab a seat, and enjoy the spectacle in the plaza put on by the famous Cartagena street performers (here, Michael Jackson is well and truly alive and comes out to dance every night).

Price: $$
Dress code: Casual
Reservations needed?: No reservations accepted, get there early and queue!

Alma – Best for a romantic gourmet meal

Alma Cartagena

Situated in the super stylish boutique hotel Casa San Agustín, Alma is fast-becoming known as one of the unmissable culinary experiences in Cartagena. Its gastronomic concept pays homage to Caribbean Colombian cuisine and its traditional flavors, with a high-class and contemporary twist. We love going on weekends to enjoy the live Cuban son music, and the atmosphere is always warm and inviting. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic meal. Although fresh fish and seafood are the stars of the menu, Alma also offers vegan options and premium cuts of meat.

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart. Long pants and closed shoes for men are a must.
Reservations needed?: Yes

La Unica restaurant Cartagena
La Unica

Restaurante La Única – Best for authentic Mexican food

If, after a few days in Cartagena, you have eaten yourself into a ceviche and lobster stupor and want to try something different, we absolutely love La Única. It’s a Mexican restaurant that actually has branches in Mexico – so you know it’s legit. This modern cantina will take you far away from the stereotype of a Mexican restaurant and allow you to focus on the quality and artistry of its food. From tacos and guacamole to grilled octopus and juicy steaks, La Única Cartagena will not disappoint. This restaurant is the perfect place to come with a group of friends, as it has a fun, playful vibe and has great music – from in-house DJs to live mariachi bands. Share a tequila or two with friends and let the good times roll!

Price: $$
Dress code: Smart/ Casual
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended 

Buena Vida Marisqueria
Buena Vida Marisqueria

Buena Vida Marisquería – Best for cheat day and good times

Everything about Buena Vida Marisquería – from the decoration, to the music, to the menu – characterizes the Cartagena we know and love. Colorful, fun, and irresistible are three words we would use to describe this seafood restaurant. While its dishes, such as the crab nachos, seafood mac and cheese and desgranado de camarones aren’t light on calories, they sure are full of flavor. It’s no coincidence that this restaurant’s name means Good Life, as you are guaranteed to have a good time at this restaurant, which consists of 3 floors of deliciousness. The first two floors are for the seafood restaurant, and the top floor is an adults-only rooftop bar with an impressive cocktail menu and smaller snack options from the restaurant. Come with a group of friends to start off an unforgettable Cartagena night. 

Price: $$
Dress code: Casual chic
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended

Candé Cartagena
Candé

Candé – Best for an immersive Cartagena experience 

If Cartagena were a restaurant, she would be Candé. A lot of the culture of a city may come from its gastronomy, but we mustn’t forget about the rest. Music, dance, and traditional dress are all things that Candé incorporates into its dining experience to ensure that its diners are fully immersed in the Cartagenero experience. Enjoy the live musical show at both lunchtime and dinner time, and watch professionals dance the Mapalé and Cumbia, traditional Colombian dances. Stimulate your senses whilst you tuck into some incredible food. Make sure you leave room for dessert, however, as their menu features local delicacies you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Culture, music, and tradition all come together at Candé to provide an unforgettable experience for families, groups, and couples alike. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Dress smart!
Reservations needed?: Yes. Make sure to request a table where you can see the show.

Cuzco Cocina Peruana – Best for Peruvian fusion

Feel free to cancel your upcoming flight to Peru, because Cuzco Cartagena has everything you need. Cuzco has really put itself on the map as one of the best restaurants in Cartagena. However, it is so much more than just good food. The entire experience offered at Cuzco Cocina Peruana makes for a fantastic night out. Enjoy live music by the glowing pool, some of the best ceviche in the city (and that’s saying something!), and romantic moments below the Colonial arches. Make sure to try chicha morada, a traditional Peruvian drink, but stay for the lobster risotto, a Two Travel favorite. The three varieties of sangria are enough to give you a merry start to your night. If you’re looking for a lively restaurant with a youthful feel, you can also go next door to Baruco by Cuzco. There, you’re also sure to find awesome food and great cocktails to boot.

Price: $$
Dress code: Smart chic
Reservations needed?: Book a couple days in advance

Celele one of the best 50 restaurants in South America
Celele

Celele by Proyecto Caribe Lab – Best for a gastronomical experience 

Hidden away in an unassuming colonial house in Getsemani, the bohemian neighboring barrio to Cartagena’s walled city, lies Celele. Voted as one of the “50 Best Restaurants 2020” and winning multiple other awards for their innovative menu and concept, chefs Jaime Rodriguez and Sebastian Pinzón have really hit the nail on the head. Celele is more than just a restaurant; it is a study of gastronomical anthropology. The chefs have travelled Colombia, talking to indigenous peoples and rediscovering long-forgotten flavors and methods. The food is visually stunning, and each dish has a profound cultural significance behind it. Celele restaurant celebrates the rich biodiversity of Colombia, taking humble ingredients and giving them a high-class spin. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart casual
Reservations needed: Yes

Want to know more about bars in Cartagena? Check out our Guide to the Best Bars in Cartagena!

Marea Cartagena

Marea  – Best for a romantic night on the waterfront

Marea, perched on the edge of the convention center and offering gorgeous views over the harbour and of the walled city entrance, is a romantic and intimate space. It is located on the water on Cartagena bay. Therefore, it’s only fitting that the menu is designed around the fresh fish and seafood brought in by local fisherman every day. Marea also offers terrific views of some of the most iconic architectural structures of Cartagena. Marea and El Gobernador, another top Cartagena restaurant, were owned by the Rausch brothers until recently. Rausch, a well-known chef and Masterchef judge, left a lasting impression on the Cartagena restaurant scene.

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart
Reservations needed?: Yes

Even more great Cartagena restaurants!

With so many restaurant choices in Cartagena, and new ones popping up every day, this list really could go on forever. We feel the need to make a few honorable mentions for some old favorites of ours with the Two Travel seal of approval. For those days when you really need a great steak, Quebracho Argentinian Grill is your best bet. They offer prime cuts any Argentinian would approve of. If Italian is your thing, Don Ignazio will transport you to the backstreets of Florence. Don’t forget to stop by Verona for some of the best pizzas in Cartagena. If you loved Cuzco and are craving more Peruvian food in your life, definitely check out Gran Inka Gastro Bar. And finally, if you had a long night out on the town and dinner feels like a long time ago, head to Zazzy’s Pizza in the Clock Tower Square to get an authentic New York slice until 3am.

Dining in Cartagena is nothing short of a cultural experience. Don’t forget that we are here for you to make life as easy as possible. We can call and make reservations on your behalf, as well as resolve any other issues or questions you may have!

Don’t work harder, work smarter, and let Two Travel Concierge take care of you and your group!

Coffee Farm Tour

colombian coffee

Colombia’s coffee is prized across the globe and the Coffee Triangle outside Medellín is the best place in the country to see how coffee is grown and processed. This day trip takes you to one of the best coffee farms in the region. Walk through the organic coffee plantations and learn how coffee is grown, harvested, dried and ground. As well as the coffee plantation, the farm has bee hives and raises animals. Take the coffee tasting experience, before exploring a little further on a horse ride through the property. This day trip is one not to be missed!

Tulum’s Nightlife and Party Hotspots

Women dancing

Tulum isn’t just about beautiful beaches, yoga and matcha lattes. It’s also home to some of the hottest music events in the world and people travel from far and wide to enjoy Tulum’s nightlife.

Tulum is renowned worldwide for its nightlife and party scene. It’s slightly more upmarket than its neighboring towns of Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Art installations and trancey electronic beats echo the Burning Man Festival: a hipster’s dream.

As the sun sets, hips sway to the beat, chiselled jaws and toned midriffs at every glance, as the Tulumaniti come out to play. Leave your heels behind sister, grab your fedora and slide your best flats on, Tulum always delivers.

Read on to find out why Tulum’s nightlife is the place to party this year!

Who are the Tuluminati?

Tulum ati

Well, at first glance the Tuluminati seem to be an elite group of aesthetically pleasing people who come from an exclusive gene pool, almost like a private members club! They live, travel, blog and pose for Instagram. They float around barefooted, and scantily clad, riding their bicycles sipping a spirulina juice. However, you have to admire them, as they have chosen one of the most beautiful places in the world to live.

Tulum’s nightlife and party scene

The nightlife in Tulum is lively! Whether you’re on the hunt for a relaxed jungle vibe, or are looking to dance the night away, the nightlife in Tulum can take you from a laid-back bar with a mariachi band to a dance party on the beach under a full moon and shooting stars.

COVID-19: at the time of writing, precautions such as mask wearing were in place for venues and at times, closing times can vary depending on the current risk. Please contact us if you want advice on the current situation.

Chill out Bars

Begin the evening at one of these chill rooftops where you can enjoy dinner along with a drink or two (some spots have great happy hour specials). Most bars have live music or DJ sets starting from 10 pm till late.

Tulum night life party cocktail

Naná Rooftop Bar in Tulum town is a great bar to start your evening. Choose one of many mezcals from different regions of Mexico, or select a cocktail prepared with fresh juice, fruits, and herbs. The atmosphere is sophisticated, yet casual. Expect underground electronic and house music.

Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar is located in the heart of Tulum town. Be sure to spot the converted VW beetle which is used to press sugarcane to add to mojitos. Expect unusual flavours like a dragon fruit martini or a lemon and rosemary gin.

Pasito Tun Tun. For a relaxed pace, join friends in the garden patio and listen to live bands.

Santino Bar Tulum. If you are a fan of reggae, head here and join the locals.

Boujee Bars

Tulum party boujee bar

La Zebra Hotel is located in the hotel zone on the beach. It’s a classy restaurant with a sexy mezcal bar in the back, and hosts live DJ nights with a cool, bohemian vibe. Expect bespoke cocktails and authentic cuisine. There’s live music on Friday afternoons, and salsa dancing on Sundays.

Casa Jaguar is a fashionable Caribbean restaurant with an open-air jungle setting. One of the original restaurants to hit the Tulum nightlife scene with amazing food and an even better ambience on days with live music. Their signature Thursdays are still the hot spot to be! Local and international DJs set the tone with electro and house tracks.

Gitano is the place to be on Friday nights for all-night drinking and dancing under a jungle canopy.

IT restaurant – mentioned in our Best Restaurants in Tulum, ‘IT’ is also famous for its wild parties. Taking inspiration from their sister restaurants in Ibiza and London, enjoy dinner and dancing while some of the biggest DJs in the world take to the decks.

For queue jumps, Tulum nightlife reservations and VIP tables to the latest party hot spots, Two Travel can assist you with all your party needs! Get in touch to Build your journey.

The Best Restaurants in Tulum

The Best Restaurants in Tulum

Tulum is a small town in the Yucatan peninsula, surrounded by the jungle, nestled into the Caribbean coastline of Mexico. Famous for its idyllic white sandy beaches lapped by warm turquoise Caribbean waters, and its bohemian chic style.

Tulum is also a foodie’s paradise and is crammed full of restaurants offering flavors from all over the world. From budget to fine dining and everything in between, whatever you’re craving, Tulum has it all!

Tulum’s restaurants are split across 3 areas – downtown Tulum, the beach road and the hotel road. Expect to pay $1-$2 for street food in downtown Tulum, $6-$8 for a classic cocktail, and for dinner in the luxury area of the hotel zone, expect to pay around $100 per person.

And don’t forget to tip – it is part of the custom in Tulum, and 10% – 15% is the standard rate. Tipping is accepted in pesos or dollars.

As part of your Concierge Service with Two Travel, we can help you choose the best restaurants in Tulum, whatever the occasion. And you can count on us to get you the best table in the house and make any special arrangements you need.

Here are just three of Two Travel’s recommendations for fantastic eateries to get you started on your culinary journey in Tulum.

Must eat tacos – Taqueria Honorio

Street food tacos – eat like a local!

Tulum offers many international flavours, but the taste of real Mexico can still be found, and Mexican traditions are still very much alive in the backstreets of Tulum.

Taqueria Honorio

For a no-frills street food with dine-in option, be sure to try the bustling Taqueria Honorio, the oldest street vendor in Tulum with to-die-for tacos. The preparation that goes into cooking the meat is quite amazing.

The conchinita pil pil and lechon honduros which translates as suckling pig is marinated in oranges and spices which are buried in a fire pit underground and slowly cooked for 12 hours. Each morning at 5am they collect the meat from the ground ready to serve to hungry locals and tourists alike.

The menu is packed full of authentic delights – fresh homemade tortillas filled with stewed meats, chopped red onion and cilantro, and if you’re brave enough, add lashings of super-hot habanero chilli sauce and a squeeze of lime. Pair it with a Mexican ice-cold coke and you’re good to go!

For $1 -$2 there really is no excuse not to rub shoulders with the locals and try the real culinary delights of Mexico. Taqueria Honorio can be found on Avenida Satelite Sur on the north side of the street between Calle Andromeda and Calle Sol.

Good Burger, Tulum

More than just a burger bar.

Bonkers about burgers? Well, this is the meat feast you should not miss! Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, this restaurant is all concrete polished floors, hand woven wooden décor, moon crescent shaped booths and lush green plants.

Menu

Good Burger, Tulum

A classic juicy steak burger, oozing with cheddar cheese, crunchy lettuce, tomato and a few sliced pickles is always our first choice. However, this place, of course, offers all the fillings, including maple flavoured bacon, Oaxaca guacamole and German sauerkraut topped burgers, in homemade brioche buns. Be sure to choose a side of crunchy well-seasoned fries which do not disappoint, accompanied with an array of dunkable dips, such as, siracha lemon mayo, chipotle aioli, chilli jam and truffle mayo. Wash it all down with a punchy pineapple margarita or an ice-cold beer with a wedge of lime. Simply delicious!

Expect to pay $15-$20 for a burger with a side and around $5 for a beer and $8 for a cocktail.

Day to Night

More than just a restaurant, Good Burger has three floors to explore. On the second floor, you’ll find the lounge bar. Enjoy a fragrant mint shisha with friends or boogie to a selection of funky beats and experience some cocktail wizardry.

With live music until 1am on Fridays, don’t forget to reserve a private air balloon shaped booth on the rooftop to take in the night time views and sounds of downtown Tulum below, as you get tipsy on tequila.

The Good Burger can be found on the main road in Tulum near the corner of Avenida Satelite. Hours are 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Reservations are recommended for the rooftop as the booths tend to fill up quickly around sunset.

More than just a restaurant, Good Burger has three floors to explore. On the second floor, you’ll find the lounge bar. Enjoy a fragrant mint shisha with friends or boogie to a selection of funky beats and experience some cocktail wizardry.

With live music until 1am on Fridays, don’t forget to reserve a private air balloon shaped booth on the rooftop to take in the night time views and sounds of downtown Tulum below, as you get tipsy on tequila.

The Good Burger can be found on the main road in Tulum near the corner of Avenida Satelite. Hours are 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Reservations are recommended for the rooftop as the booths tend to fill up quickly around sunset.

IT Tulum

Michelin Star Mediterranean menu for that special occasion.

For fine dining in Tulum, the choice is endless, but we highly recommend IT Tulum for a super special night out. Head to the famous Hotel road, where you’ll be dazzled by candle lights, and the sweet smell of copal incense – Tulum’s signature scent.

IT Tulum

IT Tulum is an Italian inspired restaurant, whose fine dining concept began on the Mediterranean shores of the Balearic island, Ibiza. Tucked away in the jungle, this enchanting restaurant can now be found in Tulum – perfect for a special occasion!

Featuring a creative Mediterranean menu, designed by the two MICHELIN-Starred chef, Nino Di Costanzo, discover incredible Italian classics combined with a Mexican twist – cured meats, mozzarella and pesto tacos, Spaghetti ai pomodori, lamb chops with eggplant and olives or Risotto alla carbonara.

IT Tulum is open from 7pm – 1am and as with all restaurants on the hotel road, it is advisable to always book a table in advance. Two Travel can help you get the best table for your special night or event.

For more recommendations or to build a full itinerary for your Tulum trip or vacation,
get in touch with Two Travel today.

Christmas in Colombia – Visiting Colombia for the Holidays

Spectacular Christmas lights in Medellín, Colombia.
Spectacular Christmas lights on the river in Medellín, Colombia

Chrstimas in Colombia is a special time of year. Few countries celebrate the Christmas season with as much enthusiasm as they do in Colombia. For the whole month of December, the entire country is alive with vibrant celebrations that include festivals, dancing, family get-togethers, and of course, lots of eating and drinking.

So, if you’re planning a visit to South America or just looking for some alternate ideas for your holiday celebrations, why not consider spending your Christmas in Colombia?

Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Colombia in December, including weather conditions, travel tips, and some local traditions you won’t want to miss out on!

The Weather in Colombia in December

Weather-wise, December is an incredible time to take a trip to Colombia. As this country is located near the equator, temperatures in the region tend to be fairly even year-round. However, visiting Colombia in December means the notoriously rainy skies of Medellín will start clearing up and you’ll be able to enjoy mildly warmer temperatures and typically dry weather.

Cartagena also has some of the best weather of the year in the months of December and January. Peak rainy season (usually October and early November) has passed, and visitors can enjoy blue skies, light breezes and temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s Fahrenheit (that’s low 30° Celsius for the non-Americans). Perfect weather for visiting the nearby Rosario islands!

Travel Tips during the Holidays in Colombia

Considering the holiday season and Colombia’s more travel-conducive weather during December, it’s no surprise that travel costs do rise during this time. Christmas in Colombia is one of the busiest times of year for local and international tourism. The season runs from December to mid-January, so expect a higher volume of people everywhere. You should also be prepared for higher prices for your flights and accommodations, as well as a minimum stay of 3-4 nights imposed by most hotels. During this high season in Colombia, it’s imperative to book ahead.

Don’t leave it up to luck, make use of Two Travels’ concierge services and let us help you plan your journey, so you don’t fall into any tourist traps.

  • Coming to Cartagena? Book your yacht with us as early as possible.
  • Heading to Medellin for the holidays? Let us make your itinerary, so you can make the best of this beautiful city.

We can also make restaurant reservations for you at the top restaurants in the city; a must-do to avoid disappointment. Finding a private villa for you and your group can also be a struggle during peak season, so let us pull our contacts to get you the best accommodation in town.

Colombian Christmas Traditions

Candle Night in Colombia (Noche de las Velas) 7th December
Candle Night in Colombia is December 7, (Noche de las Velas)

Tradition has always been an important aspect of Colombian culture, and this is particularly emphasized around the Christmas season. Christmas in Colombia officially kicks off on December 7th, on Día de Velitas, or “Little Candles Day”. It’s a magical time to stroll through residential streets, as many families and houses will line the streets with candles they light to bring good fortune. Share a warming shot of aguardiente and light a little candle for good luck. Then, from December 16th, “Novenas” will begin. Novenas are a Catholic tradition that include everything from quaint carol-singing to huge feasts or full-on liquor-soaked parties (depending on who is the host, of course).

The most important celebration of the holiday season takes place on Christmas Eve in Colombia. On this day, the entire family gets together for a meal, games, and a gift exchange. After all the festivities of the day, families usually go to a midnight mass and some people will stay up all night continuing their celebrations. After an entire day and night of celebrating on the 24th, Christmas Day in Colombia usually finds people relaxing, eating delicious leftovers, and spending time with the family.

If you find yourself in Colombia on this date, make sure you soak up the Christmassy vibes by heading out to a restaurant on the evening of the 24th. Not sure which restaurant to head to? Check out some of our favorite restaurants in Cartagena, or our blog on the best restaurants in Medellin!

Travel Itinerary for Colombia during the Holidays

Christmas in Medellin

Medellin is renowned for its famous Christmas lights show. The National Geographic called them some of the best in the world – which makes it a bucket-list item for sure. Each year, the lights follow a theme and tell a story, and the city has a budget of up to $10 million USD to do so. Whether travelling with children, a partner, or friends, the beauty of Medellin’s Christmas lights is not to be missed. In 2022, the lights are inspired by Disney’s movie Encanto, and looks to be a spectacular show! The entire city will be transformed with millions of LED lights into the Disney story that captured so many hearts this year.

Explore the Pueblos

Guatape near Medellin
Guatape, Colombia

After Christmas in the city, it’s time to check out the pueblos – the charming and traditional towns of Colombia. Close to Medellin you have Guatapé, Jardín, and Santa Fe de Antioquia. All three of these towns are picturesque and during the holiday period will be full of lights, color, and food. You can also travel to the coffee region (eje cafetero) to explore the postcard-pretty towns there. Salento and Filandia are two must-see towns in the area, and they also put on colorful light shows in the central squares and parks. You can even enjoy a spot of hiking if you want to burn off some of the calories from all those buñuelos. The Valle de Cocora is a stunning national park just a stone’s throw from Salento, where you will find some of the tallest palm trees in the world – they grow up to 200ft tall!

New Year’s Party in Cartagena

After taking in the wholesome traditions of the interior of Colombia, it’s time to fly north to the Caribbean coast. Cartagena boasts tropical temperatures all year round, which makes it the perfect place to enjoy a rooftop bar, pool party, or yacht party in December! After all, there’s never a better time to work on your tan than in the middle of Winter.

The events on New Year’s Eve in Cartagena are some of the most epic in the country, and we at Two Travel have our names on the VIP guest lists for all the best parties. Make sure to book early to ensure your spot at the hottest New Year’s Eve parties in town. You can also check out our post on NYE in Cartagena for some inspo to book those flights now.

New Year’s Eve is truly one of the best nights of the year in Cartagena. And of course, get in touch with us if you’re looking for the best prices on villas and yachts, because the holiday season can get expensive without local contacts.

Your Need-to-Know Guide
to Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena Cityscape - historical centre and Bocagrande

Cartagena is one of Colombia’s most thriving cities. Founded in 1553 as a portal of trade between Spain and the American colonies, this beautiful historic city boasts impressive colonial architecture, a rich history, a vibrant culture, and a beautiful landscape. Today, Cartagena is considered the safest metropolis in Colombia and one of the best spots for tourism in South America!

Located in the northwest area of Colombia, this city sprawls between the inland hills of the department of Bolívar and the white sand coastline of the Caribbean. There’s plenty to see and do in Cartagena—soak up the sun on the beaches, take in the spectacular views of the tropical scenery, or wander through winding cobbled streets in charming neighborhoods. Just a short boat ride away, you’ll find the Rosario Islands – a protected reserve or picture perfect islands and coral reefs.

Two places you absolutely won’t want to miss within Cartgena, are the Walled City of Old Cartagena and the neighborhood of Getsemani. Between these two districts, you can get a thorough taste of the culture and people of Cartagena while experiencing some of the city’s most noteworthy sights, tastes, and sounds!

The Walled City of Old Cartagena

Castillo San Felipe in Cartagena

One of the most memorable neighborhoods in all of Colombia, the Walled City of Old Cartagena is famous for its rich history and magnificent architecture. This district is so important to Colombian culture that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site In 1984!

Castillo San Felipe outside the historical centre, and the fortifications that surround and protect the city were built by Spanish colonists to protect from pirates, most notably Sir Francis Drake, during the 16th century. The entire neighborhood is surrounded by a massive stone wall and can only be entered through one of many arched gateways.

Despite the constant flow of tourists and the passage of three centuries, this enchanting fortified city has managed to preserve much of its authentic architecture and colonial charm. Visitors today find a winding network of cobbled streets, colonial churches, ancient mansions, and rows of brightly painted cottages protected behind the castle-like walls.

Today, Old Cartagena hosts a thriving tourist community. Many of the antique family mansions have been transformed into luxury hotels that still maintain some of the original construction and showcase authentic colonial decor. There are hundreds of world-class restaurants here, and it is expected that the Walled City will soon overtake Bogota as the culinary capital of Colombia!

You can expect to pay a little more for your accommodation, dining, and adventures within the walls, but it will be well worth it to experience this enchanting old-world city.

Things to Do in the Walled City

Cartagena historical street

During the day, wander through the Old City’s streets, lined with brightly painted houses and seemingly perfectly preserved colonial architecture. Travelers will find tropical blooms draping from colorful balconies, enchanting stone archways, and a tantalizing selection of local street food.

If fine-dining is what you’ve come for, be sure to try La Cevicheria for exquisitely prepared Colombian seafood, Montmartre for classic French cuisine, or Alma for contemporary classics in a romantic setting.

The Walled City is an amazing place to watch the sunset over the Caribbean! Just before dark, head to the Cafe del Mar to enjoy cocktails and fine dining with the view, or purchase drinks and a fruit cup from one of the street vendors and join the locals on the western wall. Either way, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the sun setting over the vibrant Caribbean waters!

Getsemaní – Cartagena’s Williamsburg

Once considered Cartagena’s shadiest neighborhood, today, Getsemaní has evolved into a modern and trendy corner that draws tourists with its vibrancy and artistic expression. Located just outside of the Walled City, no trip to Cartagena is complete without a tour of this neighborhood.

Taking photos in Plaza Trinidad, Getsemani, Cartagena

Like the Walled City, Getsemaní features colonial architecture, winding streets, and bright colors. Mingled in with this classic aesthetic is an astonishing array of talented street art. Painted on buildings, walls, and sidewalks, the colorful local artwork has become an identifying characteristic of this trendy neighborhood.

Getsemani revolves around Plaza Trinidad, a large open square bustling with food vendors, cafes, and musicians. Every night, the plaza comes alive with a mix of tourists and locals coming together to enjoy good music, food, dancing, and company. While it’s still a bit rough around the edges, the local vibe, amazing street art, and authentic feel of Getsemani make it well worth the visit!

Things to do in Getsemaní

Getsemani seems to have been designed for wandering. The first thing you should do here is just that: walk! Amble up and down the narrow streets to enjoy the fantastic artwork, brightly colored homes, and prolific tropical plants that line almost every road.

For food, head to the Plaza Trinidad. The main square of the city has a wide selection of vendors to choose from, all of it well-priced and delicious. For a more formal setting, try out Di Silvio Trattoria for pizza and Italian food, or, go to Cafe del Mural for some of the best coffee in Cartagena!

Whatever you decide to do in the city of Cartagena, get in touch if you would like help with nightlife and restaurant reservations, tours, boat hire, day trips of the best villas in the city.

Top 10 Things to Do in Medellin

With its spectacular mountain views, diverse culture, traditional cuisine, and sightseeing attractions, Medellin is one of South America’s most popular travel destinations! Located in the Colombian department of Antioquia, this region is one of the top suppliers of Colombian coffee beans, home of some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders such as Parque Arvi and El Peñón de Guatapé, and a well-known shopping and dining destination.

Check out this comprehensive guide to find out what to do in Medellin!

Explore Downtown Medellín

One of the best ways to experience the culture of Medellin is by exploring the downtown district, El Centro. Whether you take a guided walking tour or stroll through the streets with your travelling companion, El Centro is the ideal place to learn about Medellin’s history, culture, and architecture. Downtown is bustling and active, and by day this district is very safe. However, it’s important to travel in pairs or with a group and stay off the streets at night. We recommend making a point of touring El Centro on your first full day in Medellin, as it will help you get your bearings and make the most of the rest of your trip!

Botero in Medellin

Plaza Botero & Museo de Antioquia

Be sure to enjoy some of Fernando Botero’s internationally acclaimed sculptures and paintings during your stay in Medellin! A native to Medellin, Botero patronized his home town with an impressive collection of stunning artwork.

Visit the Plaza Botero to admire his colossal human statues, or wander around the Museo de Antioquia to see some of his most famous paintings. Located side by side in the city center, these two Medellin attractions have free admission!

Jardin Botanico

Located north of the city center in Zona Norte, the botanical gardens of Medellin are worth taking a bit of time to see. Among an impressive array of native plants and animals, these gardens feature a butterfly house and an orchid exhibit. Throughout the gardens, you’ll find many places to sit down and admire the exotic flora and fauna. Completely free to enter, the Jardin Botanico is a fantastic place to take a break from sightseeing and relax for a few hours!

Parque Arvi

Brimming with hiking trails, fresh water streams, and picnic areas, Parque Arvi is sure to be one of the most memorable destinations on your journey. As one of the region’s largest nature reserves, this park is the perfect spot to enjoy the tranquility of nature and observe wildlife. The easiest way to access Parque Arvi is by taking the Medellin metro cable, but you can also hike up to it if you’re feeling adventurous!

Metro Cable

The Metro Cable connects the valley-based hub of the city to some of the surrounding mountain communities. The city’s innovative metro system offers more than just easy accessibility around Medellin, though. Whether you take the metro cable all the way up to Parque Arvi or just to a hillside town, you’ll enjoy unparalleled sights of Medellin and the surrounding countryside!

Pueblito Paisa

Constructed to resemble a traditional small pueblo, or village, Pueblito Paisa is located right in the center of Medellin on Cerro Nutibara. From this elevated hill, you can enjoy incredible views of the city and surrounding countryside. Pueblito Paisa is worth visiting for more than just the vantage point though! Home to a variety of quaint shops, this village is an excellent place to pick up a souvenir of your travels.

Parque Explora

An interactive science museum located just next to the botanical gardens in Zona Norte, Parque Explora is a fun and educational choice for a free afternoon! Visitors can partake in interactive science programs or gaze at the exotic animals hosted in the large indoor aquarium. Full of activities for the entire family, this museum is a must-see for anyone traveling with kids!

Guatapé

El Peñón de Guatapé

For anyone staying in Medellin over an extended visit, the small pueblo of Guatapé is a must-see. Just two hours away by bus, the main attraction in this beautiful lake town is El Peñón de Guatapé, a granite monolith.

For a small fee, you can climb the 740 steps carved into the rock and experience the stunning views of the nearby lake, islands, and mountains. After the climb, be sure to pick up some delicious and affordable Colombian street food from local vendors in Guatapé!

Local Cuisine

There are some amazing fine dining opportunities in Medellin! For contemporary cuisine and local ingredients, reserve seating at Carmen Restaurant in El Poblado. While the prices are fairly high at this fine dining restaurant, you’ll enjoy an exquisite meal experience! For slightly more moderate prices and a family friendly atmosphere, try out Mondongos, where you’ll find a variety of delicious local favorites. If you’re looking for a diverse selection of ethnic cuisines, visit the gastronomic market of Mercado del Rio. With more than fifty food vendors located in one building, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your taste!

Medellin Coffee Shops

Colombia is one of the world’s largest coffee producers, and many of the beans come from the region of Antioquia surrounding Medellin. The best place to go for freshly harvested, roasted, and brewed Colombian coffee is the trendy neighborhood of El Poblado. Pergamino coffee shop has a large selection of hot and cold beverages, made almost entirely from beans grown on the owner’s family farm. We’d also recommend sampling craft coffee brews at Café Velvet, and Urbania Café, also in El Poblado. Each of these coffee shops offers bags of regional beans at unbeatable prices, so you can even take home an aromatic blend as a souvenir of your journey!

If you’re planning a trip to Medellín and the coffee region, get in touch. We’ll design an itinerary tailored to your time and interests, so you can enjoy this very special region to the max!