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Medellin, Columbia is a large metropolitan city of 2.5 million people located in Aburrá Valley. Most travelers are pretty surprised to find that the second largest city in Colombia has such an abundance of beautiful green landscape, but it is a truly lush part of the country. So prepare to be woken up by a bright sun, followed by an easy day of history, culture, food and friendly people. Medellin is just one big adventure waiting to be discovered – and here are a few little-known facts that will make your trip even more interesting
History: Prior to its current name, the city had five different names; Aburrá de los Yamesíes, San Lorenzo de Aburrá, San Lorenzo de Aná, Valle de San Bartolomé, and Villa de la Candelaria de Medellín. Another interesting historical fact is that at one point, Medellin was the most dangerous and crime-ridden city in the entire world. This was due to Pablo Escobar and his Medellin Cartel. Upon his death, the crime rate dropped significantly, and it’s now a safer place to go than Detroit, U.S.A.
Innovation: Medellin has made significant strides in social development, education, and politics which is why the city received the 2012 Innovative City of the Year award from the Urban Land Institute. The city is also considered a preferred corporate destination to do business in South America. Business is booming everywhere you turn!
Culture: Medellin is full of culture for everyone to experience. The festival of Flowers and International Tango Festival are some of the most popular festivals in all of Colombia. There are also 28 theaters, 40 museums, and over 20 public parks for both visitors and locals to enjoy. Unlike some other destinations, Medellin knows exactly how to cater to the tourists while holding fast to her culture and traditions.
Crime: Colombia has been known in the past for its heavy drug activity and the famous drug dealers and gang leaders that have come from Medellin. Aside from Pablo Escobar, another infamous drug trafficker made herself known in the drug trade in Medellin; Griselda Blanco. She is one the most well-known female murders of our time, taking the lives of over 200 people.
Making a Comeback: While this city was once known for its drug and gang activity, it is now considered on the safest cities in Latin America. It is now the only city that has a metro system thanks to the booming businesses, universities, and urban living. It is also one of the few cities where you are just 20 short minutes away from the country and beautiful scenery.