In the past many people did the Pablo Escobar tour because it was literally the only tour available. However these days educated tourists are more interested in knowing what happened after Pablo and how the city transformed from being one of the most dangerous in the world, to the most innovative.
At the Toucan Cafe you can book a special range of tours with a focus on cultural, social and environmental issues. Check out some of our reviews on TripAdvisor:
Medellin Graffiti Tour – takes you through Comuna 13, formerly one of the most dangerous barrios in the world. These days it’s an internationally recognized example of how urban regeneration projects can transform and revitalize cities. The tour is conducted by a foundation of local graffiti & hip hop artists who are responsible for 95% of the graffiti art in the area. They provide a real local’s perspective of the history of Comuna 13 and the changes that brought about peace and unity. You’ll get the ride the outdoor escalators, the only of type of its kind in South America, taking you on a 6 minute journey that once would have been a difficult 35 minute uphill climb. You’ll learn about the graffiti of the area and why it plays such an important part in the regeneration of the neighborhood. Your attendance also financially supports the foundation in their mission to educate local youth in the skills of graffiti, hip hop, breakdance and rapping.
Coffee Tasting Experience – every day at 4pm you can find Toucan Cafés resident coffee expert explaning everything about coffee from the plantation to the cup prior to sampling 4 or 5 of the best local coffee varieties in a tasting session similar to a wine tasting. Highly recommended on TripAdvisor.
Medellin Coffee Farm Tour – Colombia’s coffee is world-famous and we’re the world’s third largest exporter of the prized bean. Many people think they need to spend time visiting the coffee triangle to visit a working coffee farm. Forget that, you don’t want to waste 3 days of your precious journey. Close to Medellin we have some of the best coffee farms in the whole of Colombia. On the Coffee Farm Tour you’ll travel about 2 hours from Medellin through stunning landscapes before arriving at the coffee farm. The tour walks you through the complete process of making coffee, from planting, harvesting, roasting, right up until the first sip of the freshest coffee you’ve ever experienced. By the end of the tour, you’ll know the key characteristics of a great coffee, both in scent and taste, and how to prepare the perfect cup of coffee at home – a treat that should pay off every morning you enjoy a cup.
Medellin Chocolate Farm Tour – is guaranteed to revolutionize how you view the magical delicacy, the chocolate tour begins with taking you deep into the Eastern highlands of Antioquia to explore a part of Colombian culture that very few international visitors (or even Colombians) have the opportunity to experience. You’ll get to visit a real cacao farm to meet the local farmers all who have been displaced and suffered as a result of Colombia’s internal war. They’re now part of a United Nations program that assisted them to give up growing coca for the drug trade to growing cacao, the source of chocolate.
Today, the small artisanal chocolate production that comes from these farms is coordinated almost entirely by the local women’s cooperative. They don’t produce the fancy processed chocolate that you’ll find in shops, instead it’s a 100% pure, natural form of chocolate, with no additives or preservatives and absolutely delicious when made into a hot chocolate. When the tour is done, you can be sure you leave with a smile on your face, and lots of delicious chocolate in your bag.
Medellin Cloud Forest Tour – Experiencing Colombia’s wildlife is as surreal as experiences come. Highly recommended, the Cloud Forest Tour takes you into the heart of Alto de San Miguel, a stunning nature reserve which serves as the starting point for a couple hour hike through Colombia’s one of a kind biodiversity. After a local and authentic lunch you’ll visit one of Colombia’s most respected animal rescue centers to learn about the issues related to illegal animal trafficking and how the center works hard to introduce the animals back into the wild. Armadillos, sloths, and anteaters are only a few of the exotic animals you’ll sure to meet.
Other Medellin Tours:
Tours Guatape – the small town of Guatape, about 2 hours from Medellin, is a quaint and colorful town famous for the large rock “El Penol” which you can climb up to get an amazing view of the surrounding man made lagoons. If you’re looking for the easy way to do Guatape with everything conveniently organised then Tours Guatape are the best solution. Visiting the historic town, eating local food, cruising on a boat and going on a walking tour of Guatape are all included in the tour price of 69,000 COP. The tour departs Poblado at 7:45am and returns you to Medellin by about 5 pm. Remember to book in advance and request an English guide.
If you prefer a more personalized tour without sharing with other people then Palenque Tours can organize everything just for you.
Medellin Bike Tours – provide a new angle for those craving an alternative tour of Medellin. The tour is 4 hours long (about 20 kms) and is offered in both Spanish and English. Most of the route is flat but there are a couple of steep hills which allow some amazing views of Medellin. Don’t let the $50 USD price-tag dissuade you, it’s definitely worth it as shown by all the positive ratings on on Tripadvisor.
Bicitour – another great option which departs from the more convenient location of Casa Kiwi hostel everyday at 9am. The route covers 22km and takes about 4 hours with 30 mins safety training. Cost is 40,000 COP which includes a drink and a snack.
Paragliding Medellin – adrenaline seekers will love the rush of soaring through the air especially when rewarded with some of the best views of Medellin. Don’t worry about a lack of experience, you’ll be going tandem with a professional instruction from Paragliding Medellin run by Ruben who has been paragliding in Medellin for 20 years. Don’t let bad weather spoil your experience – go on a clear and warm day so the up-drafts can keep you afloat for longer.
Paintballing in Guatape – A relatively new paint-balling experience in the town of Guatape is proving to be a blast. This new attraction boasts shootouts that take place inside Pablo Escobar’s dilapidated mansion that was bombed, abandoned and ransacked decades before. To find out more information or book contact the Lake View Hostel or check out their facebook page.