Medellin Backpacking – Why you should stay in Laureles and not Poblado.
Medellín is not a small city. With more than 16 communes to choose from, your options of where to stay may feel endless. Don’t worry though, most extranjeros tend to stick to some of the more known areas like Poblado, but for this post, see why Laureles needs to be your home base for your Medellin Backpacking experience.
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 & let me explain to you why you need to stay here when you’re in Medellin Backpacking.
So why should you position yourself in Laureles/ Estadio? 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 is probably the most important.
What’s next? Proximity to Metro.
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 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.
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 of my favorites:
Café Revolución – solid , fast , reputable. Had to open a 2nd shop because of the success
Algarabia – extensive knowledge and excellent selections, Cata will take care of you as well as the rest of the crew
Panorama – extremely friendly staff that makes this place feel more like a backyard bbq than a cafe
Rituales – my go to and should be for everyone else. Won a blind taste test & for good reason, top quality LOCAL beans
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
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.
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.
Hostels & Accomodation
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.