Hiking in Medellin: An Escape From the City

Girl in a waterfall

This is the City of Eternal Spring, which means that the weather is always perfect for hiking in Medellin. When you’ve had a long week with the other 2.2 million people who live here, sometimes you just need to get away from it all. When I’m craving some fresh air and wide open spaces, Arenales and Parque Arvi are always my go to destinations.

Arenales Waterfall

This weekend, I really needed to get out of the city and out of my head. So, Daniel and I decided to try to find Arenales on the directions of two very old, poorly written blog posts. We weren’t optimistic, BUT it’s actually super simple to get to Arenales!

All that we had to do was go to the Envigado Metro Station and catch the bus that’s waiting at the Arenales sign. The fare is only 69 cents, and the drive is about 20 minutes. WARNING: if a giant bus taking hairpin turns on the side of a cliff isn’t your idea of a good time, you may want to sit this one out.

Once we got of off the bus at Arenales (it’s the last stop, the driver will kick you off) we found ourselves standing at a fork in the road. We took the left road and just followed the trail! It’s started out lush and green, and as we went deeper into the forest, we started crossing back and forth over a river.

The trail can get lost at times, so wear sandals and be ready to wade through the cold water a couple times.

After about an hour hike, we reached the waterfall. It’s totally secluded with a deep swimming hole. We had the falls to ourselves on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Worth it!

After a romantic picnic and some time warming back up in the sun, we hiked back, got some ice cream, enjoyed the phenomenal view from the park at the bus stop, and headed home, spending a total of $6 for our days outing. Nobody said that hiking in Medellin had to be expensive.

 Parque Arvi

Park Arvi is another phenomenal day trip if you’re ready to get away from it all. Our day started on a crowded metro ride, but it quickly thinned out as we got closer to the Acevedo stop. It’s quite easy to hop off and find your way to the cable car, where the adventure begins.

The sweeping views of the city and stunning mountain backdrop were breathtaking, and they only got better as we began to rise up to the clouds. We switched to a new cable car at Santo Domingo and began our climb into the park itself.

The city quickly evaporated into a lush green forest as far as the eye could see as we left Medellin behind us.

city view of Medellin

Once at the park, we grabbed a cheap lunch and fresh fruit at the market at the entrance, a few craft beers from the local brew stand (check them out, they’re delicious!) and went on our way.

You can hike on the natural trails around Park Arvi, or do what we did and hop on the bus to Piedras Blancas. There you can walk around the lake, rent a boat to row, enjoy the butterfly house, and so much more.

Parque Salado Ecologico

This small perfect is perfect for a getaway, especially if you live in Envigado. The taxi from our apartment was only $10,000 COP/$3.50 USD, or you can grab one of the many buses heading up into the hills to take you there even cheaper.

The entrance fee is about $1 USD each, and it’s totally worth it. The park has a beautiful river running through it with plenty of rocks around to read, sunbathe, and people watch on. Many Colombians aren’t shy and jump intot he water to play with their kids! There are also short but beautiful hiking trails up into the muntain side, with many of the trees and flowers labelled for the nature lovers.

We usually pack a picnic for the day, but there is a restaurant in the park as well. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can even do a zipline course through the canopy of trees!

The air is fresh and the greenery is gorgeous, making Parque Salado a perfect daily get away from the crowded city.

Whether you’re in town for a week or a year, both of these lush oasis escapes are perfect for a day of hiking in Medellin.

All my love,

Di

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Travel Light, See the World

Bus, park, colorful girl and greenery

 

I’ve moved every year since I was 18. I don’t own a home, I don’t own a bed or desk or nightstand. I don’t even have any kitchenware. Nope, don’t follow me if you’re looking for cute puppies or kitten pics, I have none. I travel light.

Every time I move, I donate, give away, or trash most of my belongings for a new start. I’ve kept my life decluttered in this way, but it still felt like I had too much tying me down.

 

 

clothes, closet

 

 

When I moved to Colombia in January I packed a carry on and decided to travel light. What’s inside is what I have until I return home to see my family for the holidays in November. Owning almost nothing has simplified my life more than I dreamed it would.

No wasting money on impulse buys at the mall (can’t fit it in my bag anyway). No worrying about if I’m re wearing an outfit too soon (I am).  No planning my next vacation for months and getting a dog sitter for a week. When I want to go, I go. Indefinitely.

 

 

photos, earrings, jewelry

 

Collect moments, not things. I own nothing, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I have the freedom to travel wherever I want to go, and that’s all that I need in this life. There’s a great big world out there, and me and my carry on are going to see it all.

 

Travel light. See the world.

All my love,

Di

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Take The Risk: Travel the World

balcony, view, girl

Take the Risk

 

Although I’m now living in South America, I knew since I was a little girl that I would travel the world someday. I clearly remember my oldest sister flying away to Thailand for the summer. I stayed up all night and rode with my mom to drop her off at the airport at 4am, just to feel like I was a little part of the action.

I considered many different careers as I went through high school and college, always ALWAYS asking myself, can I travel with this job? How can I work and live around the world?

Working with the State Department was a clear choice, but unfortunately, I’m absolutely horrible at learning other languages, a major requirement. I considered the Peace Corp, international development jobs, and even taught abroad for two years in the UAE. I never found what I was looking for.

 

girl in jungle

 

Finally, in 2016, I took my dream and chased it down. No businesses wanted to let an entry-level employee work from home around the world, so I did the logical thing; I started my own while living in South America.

Now I own a digital marketing agency with clients ranging from political news outlets to jewelry stores to sports supplements, and more. Oh, and the best part? I had ZERO marketing experience. Yet, only seven months in, I no longer have to find clients, they all come to me.

Now, I spend my days sipping drinks in cafe’s, laying by the pool, lounging at home, and being paid for it! I enjoy the creative freedom that marketing gives me, and I find the numbers and analytics very satisfying (when my campaigns are going well of course).

 

girl at pool, water, purple

 

I’m 25. I’m living in South America, and I own my own business, make my own hours, and travel the world, moving from country to country on a whim. My dreams are coming true every day… follow me and I’ll share them with you 🙂

All my love,

Di

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Penthouse in Medellin: AF Boutique Living

 

AF Boutique Living: Penthouse in Medellin

 

I knew that our penthouse in Medellin was going to be amazing the second that I set foot in the private elevator.

Let me give you a quick tour. Alejandro’s penthouse has two floors. The downstairs houses 4 of the 5 bedrooms (three of which have their own ensuite bathrooms btw), the kitchen, sitting room, and two balconies.

If this was the entire apartment, I’d give it a phenomenal review. However, the second that you step upstairs, you completely forget that the first level exists.

The entire second floor is a master suite fit for royalty. With a king size bed, a modern wrap around fireplace, and a shower with a panoramic view of the city, I had no idea where to relax first. Then, I saw the outdoor terrace. Alejandro has built a true paradise, high above the busy streets of Medellin.

 

breakfast in bed, girl, champagne

 

The view extends through the entire valley, and I felt like a queen overlooking my kingdom (even if it was just for one night). The terrace also features a grill and bar, a huge seating area, and a private jacuzzi. Once I set foot on it, I knew that I would never want to leave to explore Medellin. Of course, Alejandro has the bar stocked with top shelf liquor and a chef on call so we never had to!

Now, if you know me, you know there are two things that I love: an amazing view and a private pool. A terrace with a panoramic view of the entire valley that I can enjoy from my own private pool? That changes the game. The best part about the pool isn’t that there are tons of comfy lounge chairs for tanning (though those were much appreciated).

It’s the temperature control! Leave the heat off all day and soak in the cool waters while sunning and snacking on the terrace. When the sun goes down, all that you have to do is grab some champagne and flip a switch to heat up the pool to turn it into a jacuzzi for a wild night 🙂

We all know, though, that true luxury is in the small touches, and the care that Alejandro has so clearly put into this penthouse in Medellin is what really brings it to the next level. The menus list not only take out, but also the best restaurants, bars, and clubs around, any phone number that you may need, and all the WiFi passwords and channels made getting settled in a breeze. Each bed also comes with it’s own robe, handy for when you’re hanging out in your swimsuit all day.

We stay in luxury homes and resorts to experience something we’d NEVER get at our own homes. At Alejandro’s, the master bedroom has gorgeous two story glass walls on three of the four sides, perfect for enjoying the view while I also enjoyed breakfast in bed.

The view at night is even more stunning, with all the lights alive and sparkling, but who wants to get up and close three walls worth of curtains when you’re ready for bed and don’t want to be woken by the sun? Not me. That’s why Alejandro revolutionized the game with remote controlled curtains. Enjoy the stunning vista until you’re ready to nod off, then just tap a button to close yourself in for a cozy night. Amazing.

To top it ALL off, Alejandro is the most vibrant, cheerful, and friendly person that you will ever meet! He responds to all communication quickly and with a smile. If you’re looking for a penthouse in Medellin, you must stay in the heart of it all, Poblado. And if you’re staying in Poblado, you absolutely cannot pass up Alejandro’s luxurious penthouse in Medellin. Check out the listing here and get planning!

 

All my love,

Di

 

 

terrace, city view

 

 

 

love seat, girl, dress

coffee, book, couch, fireplace

jumping in bed, bedroom, fun

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