The Evolution of a Latin American Gem: Ten Years of Growth in Medellin, Colombia

Positive Changes Adds Things To Do In Medellin

A visitor to Medellin, Colombia ten years ago may not recognize many parts of the city in the present day. This beautiful city surrounded by mountains on all sides seems to exist under perpetual blue skies, but not all was idyllic in Medellin’s history. Many of those effects are beginning to fade, and this second-largest metropolis in Colombia is enjoying a renaissance of business, culture and entertainment.

In 2004, Medellin was emerging from decades as a home to the Colombian drug cartels and numerous desplazados, or those displaced by the guerilla and paramilitary conflicts in the countryside. Despite these challenges, the city residents retained a strong sense of pride and entrepreneurship, guiding the city to become one of the most vibrant economies in South America. While this entertaining city always enjoyed near-perfect spring weather at all times, the surge in economic growth is now a major attraction to investors, visitors and businesses that want to participate in this booming Colombian metropolis.

Medellin Cerca 2004

Medellin 2004

Some of the more striking changes in Medellin in the past ten years include:

Santa Fe Mall Construction


  • Construction of several modern shopping malls that now offer a range of goods and services comparable to any major city. Even the food courts have become a popular place for visitors and residents to sample the local cuisine in open-air eateries.


Metrocable. Things to do in Medellin

Metrocable. Things to do in Medellin

  • The completion in 2010 of the Metro-cable system, which transports passengers to the neighborhoods that grace the steep hillsides surrounding the city. One can connect from the cable cars directly to the city’s famous Metro that spans the length of Medellin. Riding the Metro-cable has become one of the most popular things to do in Medellin.

  • An increase in tourism and retirees who are discovering the beauty and diversions of Medellin as a premier Latin American destination.

  • A surge in the number of fine dining and nightlife establishments, catering to the locals and visitors that enjoy the benefits of economic growth

  • A decrease in the rate of crime, which has made the city a much safer destination for tourism

  • The construction of several high level hotels from international hospitality chains, such as Intercontinental and Sheraton.

 Gradual Changes

All of these changes have been gradual, and reflect the steady perseverance of the local residents who maintained a strong sense of local pride and cultural identity through the decades. One aspect of Medellin that has not changed is the friendly and welcoming paisas who call this city home. Although there are more foreigner visitors than ten years ago, one does not encounter the jaded or dour attitudes present in the workers and residents of many similar popular destinations. Whether you are arriving for a short stay or looking for a part-time residence, you will find yourself feeling at home in this gem of Latin America. You may be tempted to become a part of its growth, and spend your time appreciating its unique blend of culture and natural beauty.




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