Out in Colombia – Exploring queer Cartagena & Medellín

Exploring queer Medellín

Bar Chiquita in Medellín

Known as the “city of eternal spring” thanks to its year-round pleasant climate, Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá) and a tourism hotspot. Here, you can indulge in Colombia’s legendary coffee culture with a “coffee baptism with honey” at Le Spa Noir, an elegant new spa. You’ll also learn the secrets of Colombian cuisine during a culinary tour and cooking class offered by Out in Colombia, which includes a local market visit with a gay chef.

Another must-do is a walking tour of Comuna 13, a once-dangerous neighborhood that has been reborn with vibrant street art and small businesses. The ride up the hillside aboard the MetroCable gondola lift system is part of the fun, with spectacular city views that are ideal for photos. Tours by urban collective Casa Kolacho are conducted in Spanish, but Out in Colombia can provide bilingual tour guides to accompany participants.

MetroCable

LGBTQ travelers are usually drawn to a few specific parts of Medellín. The hip neighborhoods of Provenza and El Poblano, for example, are among the most favored by international visitors, thanks to its extensive array of hotels, Airbnb accommodations, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife — including LGBTQ bars and clubs. Among the neighborhood’s many popular restaurants and cafes serving regional specialties, we love Café Noir for its selection of wine, light international cuisine, and Colombian coffee.

Café Noir

For a fun overview of LGBTQ nightlife in Medellín, consider booking one of Out in Colombia’s after-dark tours, which includes VIP access to two venues — most likely Bar Chiquita, a trendy and lively little bar with indoor and outdoor seating, and Club Oráculo, a popular dance club that packs in locals and visitors alike.

Shopaholics, meanwhile, may also want to visit some of the local designer boutiques on Via Primavera; Out in Colombia also offers walking tours focused on shopping and design.

Medellín also serves as an ideal base for rewarding side trips. In the town of Guatapé, visitors stroll the colorful streets and climb the more than 649 steps to reach the top of El Peñol, a gigantic rock that offers postcard-perfect views from its summit. For a relaxing, nature-based getaway, consider a visit to Cannúa, a design-conscious hotel in the town of Marinilla that’s billed as “Colombia’s first upscale eco-lodge.” Coffee tasting, birdwatching, and pre-Hispanic trail hiking are just a few of the activities available.

Back in Medellín, there are many worthwhile hotels. Click Clack Hotel, for example, has a sleek, design-forward vibe and an attractive open-air swimming pool, while the Medellín Marriott offers an excellent location and all the amenities that you’d expect from an international hotel brand. Regardless of where you stay in Colombia, you’ll soon discover that one visit isn’t enough to fully appreciate all that this diverse country has to offer for LGBTQ travelers.

Medellín

The Click Clack Hotel

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Medellín

Medellin Marriott Hotel

Posh luxury in the heart of Medellín

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All photos provided by Out in Colombia