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To welcome my 35th year I wanted to go somewhere I have never been. Because of my work schedule, I was focusing on South America to stay in a U.S. time zone. I remembered that years ago my brother, Chaz, took a year-long trip around the world and raved about Medellín, Colombia.

As a solo female traveler safety is always top of mind, so I did my research. I checked the government’s Travel Advisory list and at the time Colombia was listed as Level 1: Practice Normal Precautions. I also read many solo female traveler blogs about Colombia and Medellín in particular. Top tips: don’t be naive, carry a cross-body purse with a zipper, don’t bring anything you’d hate to lose. Essentially, like with most international travel, it’s not a place where you leave your laptop at your table while you go to the restroom, or leave your purse on the edge of the table wide open for anyone to quickly grab (like mine is as I write this). As Americans we assume everyone is good-natured, and while we get away with that belief every time, or nearly every time, it must be acknowledged that it is the exception, not the rule.

Currently (as of 9.25.23) Colombia is listed as Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Flights were reasonable and that was that.


This has been my favorite metro system experience so far. It is extremely clean because paisas (what the locals call themselves) are very proud of their metro system; you won’t find any initials etched into the windows, graffiti, trash, not even a single crumb. No wrappers wedged between seats. No gum stuck beneath the seats. It’s the first and only metro in the country.

It’s also a pretty simple system once you understand a few basics truths (described below). Each line is given a single letter and two directions.

  1. The end
  2. The other end

For example, you can take line A towards Niquia or Line A towards La Estrella. All you need to know is what stop you are at and if your desired stop is between where you are and Niquia or where you are and La Estrella.

Civica Card

There’s no north/south/east/west confusion. There

What I wish I knew

  1. I couldn’t find a single source of truth (digitally) for operating hours.
  2. It’s a far walk from El Poblado to the metro.
  3. Don’t trust your GPS
  4. It is hot

El Poblado

Walking tour/Centro

Food tour

Cocktail experience

Communa 13

Cable car

Restaurants: Mondongo’s, Carmen, coffee shops

Antioquia Museum


Pronouncing Medellin

Presidetial elections