Medellin Neighborhoods to Explore Beyond the Tourist Zone

Most tourists visiting Medellin in Colombia tend to stick to the usual tourist zone in the city. But, there are so many more Medellin neighborhoods to explore.

Parque Lleras is in Poblado neighborhood where tourists and well-heeled locals in Medellin come to play. It’s surrounded by hostels, restaurants, and bars and has been a magnet for travelers for years.

In addition to living there, I’ve traveled to Medellin, Colombia, dozens of times. So, one of my favorite things to do is get out of the tourism zone in Poblado and visit the city’s more working-class areas.

If you want to explore more of what Medellin has to offer, then you need to travel further out to the more localized neighborhoods in Medellin.

Related Read: Visit Colombia: Travel Tips for Your Trip

Getting out of the Tourism Zone in Medellin.

Best Medellin neighborhoods to explore

If you want to get out of the tourist zone of Medellin but still keep it safe, an excellent place to come is the barrio of Santo Domingo. It’s accessible by Metro Cable (gondola lift system) from the city’s easy-to-manage train (metro) stops.

It will give a traveler insight into a working-class Medellin neighborhood. It’s up in the hills of Medellin, to the north of the city, and can provide travelers with some real insight is how people live in Medellin. As you look up the hills, you will see that the houses are really colorful. A lot of them are self-built.

Use the Metro Cable to get around the city

The Metro Cable helped transformed Santo Domingo. Today it’s still primarily poor and working-class, but with a safer present and a brighter future to aspire to.

What I like about Medellin is that the government was very progressive in terms of putting the Metro Cable up. It serves as potential transportation for the people who live here, but it’s also a tourist attraction. So, you will see some tourists here from time to time. There’s a significant police presence during the day, so it’s no problem to just hang out with the people of Santo Domingo. I think it’ll really enhance your trip.

Exploring more Medellin neighborhoods on the Metro Cable
Robert Rose of Raw Travel TV in Santo Domingo

Neighborhoods further up the Metro Cable

Parque Arvi

If you want a quick break from the hustle and bustle of Medellin, just continue on the metro cable a bit further up the mountain to the lovely Parque Arvi.

Parque Arvi is just a short Metro Cable ride up from Santo Domingo, but you’re a world away from Medellin.

Parque Arvi is a marvel of urban planning and a credit to Medellin’s progressive, socially conscious government initiatives.

Comuna 13 (aka Comuna Trece)

Another recommendation is to check out the once dangerous but now crowded area of Comuna 13. Perhaps no community suffered more during Pablo Escobar’s reign than Community thirteen (Comuna Trece in Spanish).

This barrio was once ground zero in the war between the government and narco-traffickers.

Today, Comuna Trece has made a remarkable comeback and is a shining example of social inclusion tourism’s potential.

Over 1,000 visitors a day trek to this former “no man’s land” to experience the stunning views, colorful murals, art, local flavor, and outdoor escalators.

What I really liked about my tour of Comuna Thirteen was the fact that I was able to see this area and at the same time help the people there.

And if you think about it, that’s a fantastic turnaround because just a few years ago, no one would even venture in there. Now, over a thousand travelers a day are visiting, spending their money, and getting to know the people. And doing it in a responsible, sustainable way.

I think one of the reasons it works is social inclusion. They’re including the people there. The revenue stream is also giving them a point of pride about where they live. Because it is stunning.

I think it can serve as a model for communities worldwide to develop tourism and how tourism can help impoverished communities turn things around while helping out the locals living there. While assisting the traveler in getting an idea of what it’s like, what people live like, in most of the world.

To me, it’s a win-win situation. And I think so long as it’s done sustainably and responsibly, I really don’t see a downside to doing it. I’m glad I did it. I really recommend it to other travelers as well.

Join this Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour with a local guide. You’ll get to learn about the troubled history of Medellín while checking out amazing street art and meeting artists and local residents in the community.

Medellin neighborhoods - Comuna Trece
Comuna Trece (Comuna 13)

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Southern Sweden lake

Explore Skane, Southern Sweden |


Skåne is a province located at the most southern tip of Sweden, just a stone’s throw across the water from bustling Copenhagen in Denmark.

The province is well known for it’s beautiful scenery, outstanding culinary experiences and high quality of life.

Here are top tips for your trip to Skane:

A unique and charming countryside “shopping mall” opens in Kivik, Skåne

Dating back to the beginning of the 17th century, Svabesholm Kungsgård is a horse farm that has been transformed to now offer a charming countryside ‘shopping mall’, with accommodation, dining, farm shops and event space, whilst maintaining its farm work. Perfectly situated by the most southern national park in Sweden and surrounded by apple orchards, the farm is perfect for food and nature lovers to explore.  Visit the café and country kitchen, the English garden or why not peek into any of the shops on the farm.

Stand Up Paddleboard in Skåne’s capital, Malmö

Visitors to Skåne’s capital, Malmö, can choose a guided tour or hire a private SUP to explore the city’s canals with What-Sup Malmö. To encourage saving the canal, the company also offers a 10% discount to those who collect any plastic they come across along route.

Brand new watersport in Skåne, Red Bird Watercycling

Red Bird Watercycling is a brand new experience, the first of its kind in Scandinavia, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy the nature of lakes and coast from out on the water, in a way that doesn’t impact on the beauty and the wildlife, or other people.

Lake tours include Snogeholm or Sövde lakes, home to a diverse range of wildlife. Tours last two hours, after which guests are invited to enjoy a breakfast or Fika on the shore. The coastal tour offers a relazed experience to explore the coastline of the Baltic Sea at Ystad. Starting at Ystad Saltsjöbad, the tour heads east in the direction of Kåseberga and offers 360 degree views of the Baltic Sea, as guests follow the marine equivalent of the Österleden and pass the nature reserve Sandskogen.

There is a choice of two different styles of water cycle – the UP and the RECUMBENT. The UP is sitting in a position exactly the same as a regular bike, upright and with pedals, handlebar and seat in the usual way. Balancing is not an issue as the two red inflated floats offer support. For those who would feel more comfortable in a position lower on the cycle, with legs peddling in an extended motion, there is the RECUMBENT option. Price starts at £45 per person.

New Rooftop spa at Hotel Skansenin Båstad, Skåne

An amazing new spa has opened at the premium Hotel Skansen in Båstad. From the rooftop spa, with a combination of indoor and outdoor pools, a Jacuzzi, rooftop bar and relaxation areas, guests have an amazing view of the bay of Laholmsbukten. Båstad is well known as an area for wellness and outdoor activities, and the new spa will give the destination even more reason to travel to the Northwest parts of Skåne.


Costa Brava beach

Explore the Costa Brava |


This article will look to show you all you need to know about the Costa Brava, so that you could explore it whenever you are next in Barcelona.

All the places are a short drive away from Barcelona and are accessible by buses and trains. Of course, it goes without saying that there will be changes to public transport schedules and regulations in adherence to the current health situation.

Therefore we suggest checking in advance before making concrete plans to explore the Costa Brava, but this article should get the ball rolling!

Lloret de Mar

First up is Lloret de Mar, which is found some 50 miles away from Barcelona, and 25 miles from Girona. With plenty of cultural sites, gardens and beaches, it is easily one of the most popular locations on the Costa Brava. With history dating back to Roman times, this spot is a great destination for history lovers, who wish to be by the beach when on holiday in Catalonia. Some of the must-see sites are the Gothic Church of Sant Romà and the Medieval Caste of Sant Joan, both of which are well preserved, with the latter offering some amazing views of the Costa Brava. As for beaches, the Lloret Beach is the main one, running 1,630 metres and is made of sand, making it the most popular in this town. However, there are also the Fenals, Sa Boadella and Santa Cristina beaches that are all accredited with the blue flag seal of quality, offering slightly quieter places to relax.

Tossa de Mar

Next on the list, found some 60 miles from Barcelona, is Tossa de Mar. This is one of the most historic places on the Costa Brava, with clear links back to the Neolithic period (some 12,000 years ago!). The main economic industry found here, other than tourism, is fishing- we suggest trying any locally caught fish at one of the many restaurants found here. As for other things to do in Tossa de Mar, you should check out the Roman Villa of Ametllers, a Roman villa that you can visit the ruins of! Also, there is a ‘Walled-in Old Town’ here, which dates back to the 14th century. You can visit here and see the medieval hospital, the Municipal museum and some churches. After doing all this, you can relax on the Tossa Beach or the Mar Menuda, which offers some fantastic sports facilities for you!


A slightly smaller place for you to explore on the Costa Brava is Begur. Home to some 4,000 locals, this village has a very traditional Catalan feel to it, with low-rise buildings that lead towards the sea. There are more historical sites here, with the main one being the Castle of Begur, which was constructed in the Medieval period, some 400 years ago! As for beaches, the Sa Riera, Aiguafreda and Sa Tuna are the standouts here for you to go and relax after spending time wandering around the wonderful streets.


Another small fishing town found on the Costa Brava, is L’Escala. Situated between the Gulf of Roses and Cala Montgó, this spot is a more secluded choice but no less beautiful! This place is known for its anchovies and must be tried in one of the restaurants or bars of L’Escala. In keeping with its fishing heritage, there is the Alfolí de la Sal, a 17th Century warehouse that stored all the salt needed to preserve the fish caught here! In addition to this, you should check out the ruins of Empúries, which date back to 580BC.


The last on the list, is one of the most well-known spots along the Costa Brava, Cadaqués. Once frequented by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, visiting here will help you understand just why this place is so popular- you’ll even be able to visit Dalís house here! One of the most interesting parts of this town’s history is that in the early 20th Century, many of its inhabitants went to Cuba in search for economic gain; something they would be able to achieve. Upon returning to Cadaqués, these people would build Cuban style houses and bars in homage to Habana life, you can still visit these spots nowadays. Discover Cadaqués, just a 2hr 30min drive from Barcelona, fall in love with the Costa Brava whilst you’re here or at any of the aforementioned spots!



Your weekly Adventure Agenda: Explore Peru from home


As lockdown begins to ease for many of us and we start to think about getting back on the road in 2021, we’re taking you on an armchair adventure with virtual tour of Peru!

Try before you buy with virtual trips to Machu Picchu, Lima street art tours, and 360° museum visits. Plus, because we like to stir things up a bit, a Pisco Sour cocktail making class.

Climb Machu Picchu

Fake it ‘til you make it. All the views without any of the thigh burn or four-day sock stench, explore the ancient city of Machu Picchu with this interactive tour. (We’re joking about the Inca Trail, it’s epic. Make sure you plan ahead and add the real thing to your 2021 escape plan).

Go beyond the icons

When asked about Peru, many people jump straight to Machu Picchu (not literally, it’s quite a long hike). But what about the Amazon Jungle? Or this desert oasis near Ica? Plan your perfect Peru itinerary with this rundown of things to do in Peru that AREN’T Machu Picchu.

Read or watch this

No trip to Latin America (real or virtual) would be complete without reading or watching The Motorcycle Diaries. Documenting Che Guevara’s journey across the continent, it’s his trip through Peru and to Machu Picchu that is a turning point in his path to revolution.

… while drinking this

As you’d expect from a cocktail containing a fermented grape brandy liquor and an egg white, the origins of Peru’s national cocktail are a bit foggy. However, the taste is amazing. Mix things up with this quick Pisco Sour cocktail class from our friends over at Contiki.

Glass of pisco sour in front of scenic plaza in Peru

Do a street art tour

The walls of most South American cities are famous for their color, artistry and storytelling. Lima is no exception. The first Latin American Street Art Festival was held in Lima in 2012, and turned the streets of Miraflores into a canvas for 30 artists from across the continent.

Have a night in

… at the museum. Peru has a fascinating mix of culture, with customs and traditions inherited from their Inca heritage, mixed with Spanish, African and Chinese influences and settlers. Courtesy of Peru’s Ministry of Culture, you can now take 360° trips around 20 major museums.

Watch this video

Bring on the panpipes! Part of National Geographic’s Short Film Showcase, this six-minute film takes you from the heights of the Andes down to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Plus, there’s an awesome alpaca floppy-fringe-in-a-wind-machine moment at 2:47 mins.

Group of llamas

Ready for the real thing? Visit our Peru destination guide or call for a chat. We’re WFH and are on call for 2021 trip planning and cyber hugs.

If you’re thinking of traveling in 2020 or 2021, make sure you check out our advice about traveling around COVID-19 here.





Just because we’re inside, that doesn’t mean we can’t explore what’s outside. Quaranstream USA from the comfort of your couch. Think live big rig road trips, to living room gigs and virtual hikes… we got it all.

No passport required, just passion. (And Wi-Fi). #PauseTheAdventure

Spot bears in Alaska

The bear necessities of lockdown? Animal cams. Tune into watch Brown bears trying to catch leaping salmon in Katmai National Park in Alaska. Or our personal favorite, the underwater salmon cam.

Brown Bears in America's national park

Get weird

This 15-part video series by Atlas Obscura on GoUSA TV (Brand USA’s streaming platform) documents unique destinations across the United States, including Alaska’s surfing culture and O’ahu’s Koko Crater. Oh, and the world’s largest egg in Chicago.

Go on a road trip

“Reality trucking in realtime”, live stream life on the road with Big Rig Travels as these 18-wheelers traverse across the United States. It’s fair to say we’re more than a little bit obsessed with this. 10-4-rubber-duck.

Cars stopped at a red light on a palm tree lined road

See a live gig

Live stream living room gigs from the USA and around the world courtesy of the coolest hostel brand on the planet, Selina. SIMS Online connects local talent with their global community, meaning not only do you get to support independent artists and creatives, but you also get to have a nosey into people’s homes.

See a NYC show

All the world’s a stage. Even The Worldwide Web. Get dressed up and stream a nightly opera at The New York Metropolitan Opera, a performance at the New York Ballet, or Broadway musical.

Get wowed

So spellbinding you can hear a jaw drop. As we throwback to some of the incredible filmmakers we’ve worked over the years, join Thibaud Lomenech and Leo Cannone on this journey through the lesser-travelled landscapes of New York State.

Take a hike

Thanks to the genius that is Google Earth, you can now take a virtual hike through the canyons, gorges and trails of 31 of America’s national parks. We mean, you’re already dressed in sweatpants, right?

Western America National Park

Get cultured

The most highbrow rabbit hole you’re ever likely to digitally venture down, get lost in the virtual museums and exhibitions of Google Arts & Culture, including MoMa, the Smithsonian, and the Guggenheim.

Virtual tour inside of a museum with people walking around next to statues

And then get baked

Join Christina Tosi (of East Village flagship bakery and edible empire Milk) for a free daily baking class at 2pm EST on Instagram. For other timezones, it’s just business as usual, and cake for breakfast or dinner then, yeh?

Watch these 5 American dramas

The Bold Type: Think Sex & the City meets Gossip Girl. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to visit ‘the City that never sleeps’, this show is everything you expect New York to be. For those who have, it will have you reminiscing Central Park and trendy SoHo bars.

Tiger King: If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch this yet (what else could you possibly be doing in lockdown?!), the only way to describe this docu-series is ‘Wild’. It might even have you wanting to avoid society and return to lockdown when this is all over.

Friday Night Lights: Although the idea of ticking any kind of American sporting match off the bucket list is not an option right now, this series is will give insight into a small town in Texas where everyone worships football like it’s a religion.

The O.C: California here we come! An oldie, but a goodie full of teen angst and drama. An easy one to binge watch multiple times whilst imagining you were the super-spoilt child of rich parents in one of the USA’s most beautiful beach side towns.

When They See Us: Get the tissues ready and expect to cry through all four episodes of this mini-series. Based on a true story, When They See Us depicts the story of 5 boys from Harlem who were wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit.

Ozark: This is where Mexican drug cartels meet US suburbia! Get ready for the unexpected from behind white picket fences. When a money laundering scheme goes wrong it is up to Marty Byrd to save his family and overcome all odds.

For more inspiration, visit our USA destination guide. Or call for a chat. We’re WFH, but it’s business as usual for trip planning and cyber hugs.


Your weekly Adventure Agenda: Explore Australia from home


We’re going out. Outback.

This week, we’re taking our lockdown daydreams all the way Down Under. Travel Australia with 360° virtual tours, an interactive scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef with everyone’s favourite nonagenarian (David Attenborough), and – to keep your spirits up – a Whitsunday Island Iced Tea.

No passport required, just passion. (And Wi-Fi). #PauseTheAdventure

Dive with David

There’s only one thing that could improve a virtual dive on the Great Barrier Reef, and that’s having Sir David as your dive buddy. Learn about life beneath the waves from the world’s greatest storyteller on this interactive journey. Plus, a cameo from Obama! Mind. Blown.

Explore in 360

Try before you fly! Thanks to Tourism Australia (and some pretty epic drone footage) you can virtually explore some of Australia’s greatest wonders in 360. The series includes the Whitsundays, Great Ocean Road, Great Barrier Reef and Biddlecomb Cascade.

Crush on these guys

Find inspiration for your own Australia road trip by following our favourite Aussie adventurers @saltytravellers (Monique, Jasper and their dog Bowie). Advisory warning, will lead to a serious travel crush. Plus, you know, dogs who travel. Scroll while knocking back the below…

Mix this Whitsunday Island Iced Tea

The spirit is strong with this one!
Add 1/3 oz rum, 1/3 oz gin, 1/3 oz tequila, 1/3 oz vodka, 1/3 oz Cointreau, 2/3 oz lemon juice, 1/3 oz sugar syrup and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an ice filled glass. Top with cola and garnish with a lemon wedge. Finally, imagine you’re on an island in the Whitsundays. #lovewhitsundays

Rock out here

Along with ACDC, Australia is home to some pretty ancient rockers. Take for example, Uluru, at 600 million-years-old! Learn about the Red Centre’s sacred sites and their cultural significance from their traditional owners with these 360° videos of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Hot like Hemsworth

Tourism Australia recently hosted a weekend of live stream events. Missed it? Watch them here. Videos include a workout with Chris Hemsworth’s trainers, sunrise yoga with Elements of Byron Bay, and a BBQ cook-along with Aussie MasterChef favourites Hayden Quinn.

Make a change

For many of us, time at home channel surfing has made us reset and think about the future. Maybe that future involves living the dream and training to become a surf instructor at the Mojosurf Academy? Or at the very least, it should involve watching this awesome video.

Cook with Maggie

Join national treasure and co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off, Maggie Beer, for free lockdown cooking classes from her home in Barossa. Learn how to cook delish homespun dishes (with the added benefit of having a nosey around a celeb’s kitchen).

See the Opera House

Fancy a night in at the museum? From virtual tours of the Sydney Opera House to online exhibits from the Australian National Surfing Museum, get lost in the cultural rabbit hole of Google Art & Culture’s virtual museums, galleries and tours.

For more inspiration, visit our Australia destination guide. Or call for a chat. We’re WFH, but it’s business as usual for trip planning and cyber hugs.