Colombia’s second largest city Medellin is big, diverse and fun. Yet many tourists end up in what is arguably the worst part of town, Poblado, home to the provincial upper crust.
Meanwhile, the coolest parts of the city in the center and the peripheries of the city are often forgotten or unfairly advised against.
So, unless you are into child prostitution or plastic women, we recommend you leave Poblado, avoid La 70 and La 33, and venture into the city to meet the locals, and stimulate the economy in areas long neglected by the government.
Pablo Alvarez is one of Medellin’s most admirable tourism pioneers and for a very good reason. His free walking tour are in English and quickly became a hit after he returned to his native city in 2013.
While unimaginative “entrepreneurs” set up shop in Poblado, Alvarez wanted visitors to see the real Medellin, not just the squeaky clean parts the corrupt city administration wants you to see.
Unafraid of showing both Medellin’s graces and disgraces, Alvarez’ Real City Tour is an absolute must for those who want to learn about the history and culture of the city.
Colombia Reports has yet to visit Alvarez’ barrio tours, but it couldn’t possibly hurt checking them out and learn about the lives of the average Medellinenses in the city’s “barrios.”