Medellin Backpacking – Why you should stay in Laureles and not Poblado (Updated 2020)

Medellín is a massive city. With more than 16 communes, (areas) it might feel like an endless quest of where to spend your time. Don’t worry though, most extranjeros, (tourists) tend to stick to Poblado, but for this post, see why Laureles needs to be your home base for your Medellin Backpacking experience.

medellin backpacking

Laureles. The ultimate location. The next big thing. Local flavor. Call it what you want, this place offers so much more than anywhere in the city & it’s why you should stay here when you are in Medellin Backpacking”

Medellin Backpacking Overview: Why Laureles wins

  • Location
  • Metro
  • Calle 70
  • Cafes
  • Food
  • Parque Estadio
  • Hostels & Accommodations

Why should I stay in the Laureles area?

There a whole slew of reasons to be in this area but we will start with the most important one. Location. The central location is right in the heart of the city which makes your proximity to the north, south, east, or west and back as simple as possible. For those who love exploration this location is a goldmine.

What’s next? Proximity to Metro.

Medellin Backpacking

If you’re closer to the estadio side, most areas are a quick walk to the metro. That quick walk complemented by a central location make exploration far easier & enjoyable. Did I forget to mention? This area is flat making walking & biking a breeze, whereas Poblado is a constant uphill or downhill battle.

Calle 70!

Calle 70 is the main drag here & is lined with countless bars, cafes & restaurants. The crowd here is definitely more local allowing visitors a more authentic experience of the daily taste of life. Don’t get me wrong there is a sizeable extranjero population here but nowhere near the likes of Poblado. If you are a Fútbol fan this street gets pretty wild before & after Fútbol matches.

Medellin Calle 70

Laureles Cafes

Cata explaining the roasting styles at Algarabia. Medellín, Colombia

Coffee plays an important role in the fabric of Colombian culture. Not only the social aspect but also for job creation. From seed to cafe, the needle needs to be thread throughout the entire cycle. Luckily for the people living in this area there is no shortage of excellent choices. The list is exhaustive but here are some Laureles coffee options:

  • Algarabia – extensive knowledge and excellent selections, Cata will take care of you as well as the rest of the crew
  • Rituales – my go to and should be for everyone else. Won a blind taste test & for good reason, top quality LOCAL beans
  • Best Laureles Cafes

Laureles Food

With all this coffee talk, you must have a hankering for some food. Like coffee, food options are endless here with everything from típico comida to italiano, to Mexican to Japanese. Don’t be afraid to try some of the Calle 70 street offerings as well. Cheap & well stocked, have your pick. Intestine may shock your taste buds but make you return for more. Some of my favorites:

Ay Guey – Delicious Mexican joint with great economical choices

Uno más Uno – Solid Menu del día plates combined with a quiet lovely corner location

Chef Burger – nice burger options and ambience for those looking for more of a taste of home

Parque Estadio

Medellin Backpacking

Traveling everyday you may have forgone your physical regimen & your typical leisure sport. Parque Estadio offers almost every type of sport for free including an outdoor gym, skatepark, & Beach volleyball. Have you been meaning to work on your inner Michael Phelps or become a world champion ping pong player? Don’t worry, it’s all here.

Medellin Backpacking

Futbol fans rejoice. This is a Mecca for seeing a Futbol Match. I am not a futbol fan at all but had quite the memorable experience at a match. If you’re in Medellin and have the opportunity don’t miss out, opportunity doesn’t knock twice. Here is a link to everything you need to know about matches in Medellín.

Laureles Hostels and Accommodation

The Laureles Area is home to a number of backpacker friendly hostels. My favorite and home base has been Enso Hostel. Situated in a tranquil area only one block from Estadio station & one block from Calle 70, this place is an incredible value for what you get.

Incredible location, cheap price point ($7), and loads of adventure around you make this a no brainer for the backpacker in need. Also included is free Breakfast + Towels. Is that not enough? Come meet Oso the loving labrador & enjoy your favorite Netflix series in spacious & welcoming common area.

Medellin Backpacking – Summary

Have you considered staying in Laureles now? If not, no worries! My first week was spent in Poblado only because everyone told me about it and I had no awareness of Laureles. If you need any help planning your trip with things to do while in Colombia, please reach out.

More Medellin Backpacking Ideas

Need to find some Medellin tours to fill your schedule? There are a number that you will find on that list you will surely love! Here are some of the BEST FREE things to do in Medellin. Take a peek at those ideas and hopefully you will find what you’re looking for.

Enjoy Colombia and hope too see you out there someday!

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