Medellin Guru 2019 – as the year comes to an end, it’s time to revisit the most popular and most discussed articles of 2019 on the Medellin Guru website.
On July 20, 2017, Medellin Guru was launched, with a goal to provide up-to-date articles about Medellín and Colombia to help expats by covering the best places and best things to do, along with useful travel tips, living tips and experienced expat tips while also offering amazing photos.
In the past 29 months, Medellin Guru published 493 articles with well over 5,700 photos. In addition, we are working hard to keep all this content up-to-date. In the past 50 weeks, we updated a total of 404 articles. Some articles were updated multiple times, as things change constantly in Colombia.
In 2019, the Medellin Guru website had over 2.2 million page views during the year, which was up 47 percent compared to over 1.5 million page views in 2018.
Also, in 2019 we reached over 16,500 followers on Facebook, which makes Medellin Guru the most popular Colombia blog in English about Colombia in less than three years.
Medellin Guru 2019 – Our 20 Most Popular Articles
Here are the 20 most popular articles published in 2019 on the Medellin Guru website. And each of these articles received over 10,000 page-views in 2019. Also, you can click on the heading for each article to see the article.
1. 8 Downsides of El Poblado: Living in Medellín’s Expensive Neighborhood
El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood for foreigners living in or visiting Medellín. But no neighborhood is perfect and there are downsides of El Poblado and living in Medellín’s most expensive neighborhood. There are pros and cons to every neighborhood.
El Poblado is the most upscale neighborhood in the city of Medellín. In addition, El Poblado is where the most hotels and furnished apartments catering to foreigners are located. Also, El Poblado is where the most expensive real estate and most expensive apartment rentals in the city tend to be located.
2. 14 Best Restaurants in Sabaneta, Colombia – 2019 Update
We look at 14 of the best restaurants in Sabaneta, Colombia. Sabaneta is the smallest municipality in Colombia and is located south of Medellín and Envigado in the Aburrá Valley.
I have lived in Sabaneta for over three years and during this time have eaten at well over 60 restaurants in Sabaneta. Sabaneta has been growing rapidly and is adding restaurants at a fast pace. For example, when Mayorca mall in Sabaneta was expanded in late 2015, it added many new restaurants.
TripAdvisor for Sabaneta is missing many of the best restaurants in Sabaneta. So, be careful with TripAdvisor restaurant ratings for Sabaneta.
With my Colombian wife’s help, we both collaborated to select and order the following list of the 14 best restaurants in Sabaneta:
3. Top 17 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Medellín – Family Friendly
Medellín has many kid-friendly things to do for families with children. We look at 17 of the top kid-friendly things to do in Medellín and nearby.
Medellín is no longer a place that only attracts single male tourists. Single foreign women also frequently visit Medellín. And an increasing number of foreigner families with children are visiting Medellín and even moving to Medellín. Also, there are some single foreigners with children.
In addition, a number of foreigners who have married Colombians have children. So, Medellin Guru has been receiving many more questions about kid-friendly things to do in Medellín.
4. Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín – 2019 Survey Results
In 2019, we surveyed 750 furnished apartments in six popular neighborhoods in Medellín for expats to find out the current furnished apartment rental costs in the city.
I have been living in Medellín for over eight years and I have lived in six different barrios in the city. And I have frequently been asked by foreigners about the furnished apartment rental costs in Medellín.
With my Colombian wife’s help, we surveyed 750 available furnished apartments in Medellín to find out what are the current furnished apartment rental costs in Medellín.
5. Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
There are several visa agencies and law firms in Medellín and other cities in Colombia that offer visa services – helping foreigners obtain Colombian visas. We provide a guide to the companies offering visa services in Medellín and Colombia.
We include a total of 17 visa agencies and law firms in Colombia offering Colombian visa services in this article.
6. La Octava Maravilla: A Popular Restaurant with a View in Sabaneta
La Octava Maravilla Mirador is a popular restaurant in Sabaneta located high up the hills in Sabaneta with an amazing view of Medellín and the Aburrá Valley.
La Octava Maravilla Mirador means “The Eighth Wonder Lookout”. In addition, La Octava Marvilla is a hidden gem, which hasn’t yet been discovered by many foreigners. Also, many Colombians in the Medellín area I have talked to don’t know about this restaurant with a view in Sabaneta.
This restaurant offers an amazing view of the entire Aburrá Valley from high up the hills of Sabaneta, which is located in the southern part of the Aburrá Valley.
7. Mercado de Sabaneta: A New Gastronomic Market in Sabaneta
Mercado de Sabaneta is a relatively new gastronomic market in the Medellín metro area, which will ultimately have a collection of 19 restaurants and bars in a building located near Parque Sabaneta in Sabaneta.
This food market opened on July 5, 2019. And Mercado de Sabaneta has several small format restaurants with a variety of cuisines available.
At Mercado de Sabaneta, food is purchased at the small format restaurants. And food is eaten at several bar-height and several lower tables, which are cleaned quickly and efficiently by the staff.
8. Colombia Cannabis: A Guide to Recreational and Medical Cannabis Laws
Cannabis is illegal in Colombia for public consumption and commercial sale. But there are exceptions for medical and personal use. Several Medellin Guru readers have asked about Colombia’s laws about cannabis.
To use medical cannabis in Colombia requires a prescription from a doctor. And for personal use this is limited to possession of 20 grams of cannabis and the ability to grow up to 20 personal use cannabis plants.
However, with a new decree in late 2018, police in Colombia can now search and confiscate any amount of cannabis in possession and even fine offenders. And if caught with over 20 grams of marijuana you can be arrested and prosecuted.
9. Colombia Protests: Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests
On November 21, 2019 there were nationwide strikes and protests in Colombia, which continued for several weeks.
Many Medellin Guru readers asked about the reasons for these protests and if they should stay home. So, we look at some of the reasons for these protests and provide some tips for foreigners to stay safe during these protests in Colombia.
Also, this popular article was updated several times with protest locations in Medellín
10. 9 Best Colombian Restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
Colombian food is obviously very popular in Medellín. From Bandeja Paisa to ajiaco, Colombian food is hearty and authentic and we look at nine of the best Colombian restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley that are popular with good food.
Some foreigners in Colombia or visiting will tell you that traditional Colombian dishes are generally bland, overly fried, too salty and meat-heavy. However, some of the dishes in Colombia are actually packed full of flavor and not everything is meat-heavy.
11. 12 Downsides to Living in Bogotá: An Expat Perspective
Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia and it has many expats living in the city due to having many job opportunities. But there are downsides to living in Bogotá. So, we look at 12 Bogotá downsides for expats living in Bogotá.
We previously looked at downsides to living in Medellín. Also, we looked at the downsides to living in Cartagena and the downsides to living in Cali plus the overall downsides to living in Colombia. And several Medellin Guru readers asked for us to also look at the downsides of living in Bogotá.
I have seen some posts on the Internet that looked at the pros and cons of Bogotá. But these all tend to miss some of the downsides of living in Bogotá.
12. Alumbrados 2019 Photos: Medellín’s World-Class Christmas Lights
One event that Medellín is really famous for is the annual Medellín Christmas lights display that is known as Los Alumbrados or Alumbrados Navideños. In this article, we have over 20 photos of the Medellín 2019 Christmas lights (Alumbrados 2019) in Medellín.
This year is different than last year with the primary Christmas lights at two locations in 2019. So, in 2019 there are two epicenters of the Christmas lights in Medellín in 2019.
I went on the first night this year on November 29 and took over 250 photos with over 20 of the best found in this article.
13. Alumbrados Sabaneta 2019: Photos of Christmas Lights in Sabaneta
Alumbrados Sabaneta 2019 – Sabaneta, the smallest municipality in Colombia located south of Medellín and Envigado, is having its largest Christmas lights display this year with over five million lights.
Last year in 2018, Sabaneta reportedly only had 900,000 lights for its Christmas display. So, Alumbrados Sabaneta in 2019 is over five times larger.
Alumbrados Sabaneta in 2019 is considered a festival of brightness and light to be enjoyed by the inhabitants and visitors of Sabaneta from November 29, 2019 to January 6, 2020.
14. Medellín Events: Weekly Medellín Events Calendar with Top Events
We provide a curated list of weekly Medellin events if you are looking for something fun to do in Medellín. Also, we update our Medellín events list weekly.
In addition, this article will be updated weekly with current weekly Medellín events. So, bookmark this page and never miss the best events in Medellín.
Many Medellin Guru readers asked us to start publishing information about other Medellín events. So, we started 14 weeks ago to publish a popular weekly events calendar with Medellín events from Thursday to the following Wednesday each week.
Furthermore, each week we include a few events that are more than a week away to enable readers to plan ahead.
15. 17 Best Restaurants in Laureles in Medellín – 2019 Update
We look at 17 of the best restaurants in Laureles in Medellín. Laureles is a popular neighborhood for foreigners in Medellín and has many good restaurants.
Laureles is the name of a barrio and also a comuna. The Laureles barrio is located in the Laureles-Estadio comuna. In this best restaurants article we considered restaurants in the Laureles-Estadio comuna.
I lived in Laureles-Estadio for a year and also visit this area several times each month as I have several friends in the area. Over the past eight years I have eaten at well over 50 restaurants in Laureles-Estadio. The following is my list of the 17 best restaurants in Laureles-Estadio.
When deciding on the best restaurants, I asked several of my friends living in Laureles-Estadio what are their favorite restaurants in their neighborhood. And with my Colombian wife’s help, we both collaborated to select and order the following list of the 17 best restaurants in Laureles-Estadio:
16. El Barco: A Hidden Gem Restaurant in Itagüí with Good Seafood
El Barco is a hidden gem restaurant in Itagüí near Medellín with very good seafood. This restaurant is located directly above a fish market, so it has its choice of fresh seafood.
El Barco (Spanish for “The Ship”) is typically filled with Colombians who know how good it is. However, this restaurant is only open from noon to 4 pm every day. Also, we recommend trying to eat upstairs on the third floor. And the table by the corner window on the third floor provides a nice view, if you can get it.
This seafood restaurant is located near the huge Central Mayorista market in Itagüí. When I visit Mayorista, I normally try to eat lunch at nearby El Barco. El Barco has some very good seafood dishes and is worth visiting.
17. 9 Colombia Downsides: Downsides to Living in Colombia
Colombia has been ranked as one of the top foreign retirement locations by foreign retirement publications. But there are downsides to living in Colombia.
Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country in the world, after Brazil. Colombia has a diversity ranging from snow-capped mountains to beaches, thick jungles to vast plains, small pueblos to bustling cities. Also, Colombia is the only South American country bordered by two oceans.
In addition, Colombia has a relatively low cost of living for many foreigners. And there are many websites with articles touting Colombia as a great place to live.
However, many publications I have seen tend to only discuss these positives and advantages about living in Colombia. And the downsides are glossed over or may not be mentioned. So, Colombia tends to be portrayed by some publications through rose-colored glasses.
On this website, there is no sugar-coating or looking at things only through rose-colored glasses. We cover both the benefits and the downsides or the pros and cons about living in Colombia and traveling in Colombia.
18. Medellín vs Mexico City: Which is the Better Place to Live?
Medellín vs Mexico City, Mexico, which is really the better place to live? In our Medellín vs Mexico City comparison, we comprehensively compare the two cities in 19 categories to see which is the better place to live in for expats.
We previously published an article about 11 reasons why Medellín is considered a top foreign retirement location. The foreign retirement publications have for several years been touting Colombia as a top foreign retirement location.
Several Medellin Guru readers asked for a comparison of Medellín with Mexico City, as we have published several comparisons in the past.
Mexico City is located in the Valley of Mexico, which is a large valley in the high plateaus in central Mexico. And Mexico City is the largest city in Mexico with a metro population of about 21 million.
Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia with a metro population of about 4 million located in a valley in the Colombian Andes Mountains in Colombia. And mountains surround Medellín with a river running though the city.
19. 11 Downsides to Living in Cali, Colombia: An Expat Perspective
Cali is the third largest city in Colombia with a growing number of foreigners living in the city. But there are downsides to living in Cali. So, we look at 11 Cali downsides for expats living in Cali.
In addition, we previously compared Medellín vs Cali in 18 categories to see which is the better city to live in for expats. And in that comparison the Medellín won if the categories were equally weighted.
I have seen a few posts on the Internet that have looked at the pros and cons of Cali. But some of these tend to miss some of the downsides of living Cali.
The biggest benefits to living in Cali include the lower cost of living and warmer climate plus less pollution than is found in the larger cities in Colombia.
20. Cuts of Beef: A Comprehensive Guide to Cuts of Beef in Colombia
We provide a comprehensive guide to cuts of beef in Colombia. Colombian cuts of meat can be difficult for foreigners to understand so we provide a guide.
Several Medellin Guru readers asked about cuts of beef in Colombia. So, we researched and provide a comprehensive guide that matches over 40 cuts of beef in English with the Spanish equivalent in Colombia.
There are only a few other posts on the Internet about Colombian cuts of meat. But these all tend to include no more than 10 cuts of meat and are missing many cuts and some of these posts have inaccuracies.
Medellin Guru 2019: Relocation Services
In 2019, Medellin Guru started offering relocation services for foreigners. And in only 10 months over 190 clients have already used our services.
We now offer an expat consultation service that can help you get your questions answered before you arrive or when you first arrive.
In addition, we partnered to offer visa, health insurance and real estate services to foreigners to help with relocation:
- Visa services with Expatgroup.co
- Insurance services with Insurance agent– including health, homeowners, car and life insurance
- Real estate services with RE/MAX Coffee Realty
These three partnerships are affiliate relationships (like the Amazon affiliate program). If you use these partner services, Medellin Guru receives a small commission and you support the website. This is at no additional cost to you. The price remains the same, whether you use a button or affiliate link on this website or not.
We have additional relocation services in-work, which we plan to roll-out early in 2020.
When I moved to Medellín over eight years ago there was little help available for foreigners. And our goal with our relocation services is to make it easier for foreigners to move to Medellín.
Medellin Guru 2019: Security and Safety in Colombia
In 2019, Medellin Guru published several articles about security and safety in Colombia.
- Is Colombia Safe? Colombia Security and Safety Tips – 2019 Update
- What Are the Safest Neighborhoods in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley?
- Is Bogotá Safe? Bogotá Security and Safety Tips – 2019 Update
- Is Cartagena Safe? Cartagena Security and Safety Tips – 2019 Update
- Is Cali Safe? Cali, Colombia Security and Safety Tips
- Is Pereira Safe? Pereira, Colombia Security and Safety Tips
- Is Santa Marta Safe? Santa Marta Security and Safety Tips
- Is Manizales Safe? Manizales Security and Safety Tips
So, we now have a series of 11 popular articles about security and safety in Colombia.
Medellin Guru 2019: Expat Tips
In 2019, Medellin Guru published several articles with expat tips that were very popular with readers. The following are our 10 most popular expat tips articles:
- Cuts of Beef: A Comprehensive Guide to Cuts of Beef in Colombia
- Rent vs Buy: Downsides of Renting and Buying Property in Medellín
- Guide to Overcoming the Fiador Requirement in Colombia
- Establishing Credit: A Guide How to Establish Credit in Colombia
- Gringo Pricing: The Reality of Gringo Pricing in Medellín and Colombia
- Why the Retirement Publications Get Medellín and Colombia Wrong
- Estratos: A Guide to Understanding Estratos in Colombia
- Moving and Movers: A Guide for Expats to Moving in Medellín
- Homeowners Insurance in Colombia: A Guide to Colombian Homeowner Insurance
- Auto Insurance in Colombia: A Guide to Colombian Auto Insurance
Medellin Guru 2019: City Comparisons
We published several popular city comparisons in 2019. In each comparison, we comprehensively compare the two or three cities in many categories to see which is the better place to live in for expats.
- Medellín vs Mexico City: Which is the Better Place to Live In?
- Pereira vs Manizales vs Armenia: 3 Cities in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle
- Medellín vs Santiago: Which is the Better City to Live In?
- Cartagena vs Santa Marta: Which is the Better City to Live In?
- Medellín vs Rio de Janeiro: Which is the Better City to Live In?
- Medellin vs Puerto Vallarta: Which is the Better City to Live In?
- Medellín vs Armenia: Which is the Better City to Live In?
- Medellín vs Fortaleza: Which is the Better City to Live In?
We now have a total of 22 popular city comparisons.
Medellin Guru 2019: Top Restaurant Articles
We published many restaurant reviews in 2019 including some articles looking at the best restaurants in a category. Here are our 10 most popular restaurant articles published in 2019:
- 14 Best Restaurants in Sabaneta, Colombia – 2019 Update
- La Octava Maravilla: A Popular Restaurant with a View in Sabaneta
- Mercado de Sabaneta: A New Gastronomic Market in Sabaneta
- 9 Best Colombian Restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- 17 Best Restaurants in Laureles in Medellín – 2019 Update
- El Barco: A Hidden Gem Restaurant in Itagüí with Good Seafood
- 13 Best Burgers in Medellín: Best Burger Places in the Aburrá Valley
- 15 Best Restaurants in Envigado, Colombia – 2019 Update
- 9 Best Italian Restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- Carmen Restaurant: One of the Best Restaurants in Medellín
We now have over 120 restaurant articles on Medellin Guru.
Medellin Guru 2019: The Largest Monthly Events for Foreigners
In 2019, Medellin Guru hosted 12 monthly events in Medellín, which are the largest monthly events for foreigners in Medellín. We averaged 175 attendees for each of our events in 2019:
- January 2019 at Medellin Beer Factory – over 170 attendees
- February 2019 at 20Mission Cerveza – over 175 attendees
- March 2019 at Medellin Beer Factory – over 170 attendees
- April 2019 at Mercado Del Tranvía in Envigado – over 140 attendees
- May 2019 at 20Mission Cerveza – over 180 attendees.
- June 2019 at Mercado Del Tranvía in Envigado – over 140 attendees.
- July 2019 at 20Mission Cerveza – over 190 attendees.
- August 2019 at Medellin Beer Factory – over 160 attendees.
- September 2019 at Mercado de Sabaneta – over 150 attendees.
- October 2019 at 20Mission Cerveza – over 185 attendees.
- November 2019 at 20Mission Cerveza – over 210 attendees.
- December 2019 at Mercado de Sabaneta – over 160 attendees.
In addition, our January 2020 Medellin Guru meetup is at Mercado de Sabaneta on January 21, 2020. This is a new gastronomic market in Sabaneta near the popular Parque Sabaneta with lots of space for our meetup and about 15 different restaurant options.
Join the January 2020 Medellin Guru Meetup
We plan to have meetups each month in Medellín that will be announced in our Medellin Guru Events & Discussion Forum.
The Bottom Line: Medellin Guru 2019 Year in Review
Thanks to everyone who read Medellin Guru in 2019. We have many new and interesting articles in work for 2020. And we look forward to continuing to keep you informed in the new year.
We are always looking for feedback and suggestions. Are there any topics you would like us to cover in 2020? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.
Also, you can see our article about the 2018 Medellin Guru year in review where we looked at our 20 most popular articles and accomplishments in 2018.
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