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What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

13 Things You Should Know When Traveling to Medellin

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If you’re planning a trip to Medellin, it can be somewhat challenging because the destination is so new on the travel scene, and authentic and insightful information can be lacking. It is, however, growing in popularity and many more people are now traveling to Medellin, including a growing travel blogger community that often just visits briefly and writes superficially about the city.

I wanted to do something different though… I wanted to write about this city that I know and love from a more authentic, respectful, and honest perspective. I’ve spent a few years now living in Medellin, Colombia , I know the place extremely well, and in a way that goes beyond the surface level.

Since you’re here, I want to help you plan a better trip to Medellin with some of these important tips or insights… These are the types of things you should know when traveling to Medellin for the first time, the types of things that can make your trip amazing, unforgettable, and go beyond the stereotypes, or at least beyond the typical advice I see others writing online.

13 Things You Should Know When Traveling to Medellin travel, south-america, medellin, colombia

In this comprehensive Medellin travel guide, we are going to be covering a bunch of travel tips ranging from where to stay, what to eat, safety in Medellin, how to deal with money, the Spanish language, and so much more.

Are you ready? Buckle up, this is a big one… Let’s get on with these 13 things you should know when traveling to Medellin for the first time — and don’t miss #13 as it covers the critical issue of safety and security.

If you’re pressed for time, you can also get these travel tips and much more delivered straight to your inbox for future reading or reference with my FREE Medellin Travel Guide:

things to know when traveling to medellin

Where to Stay in Medellin

Ninety percent (or more) of the foreign travelers that come to Medellin stay in Poblado, but there are a number of pretty awesome barrios or neighborhoods to stay in Medellin that are worth considering.

My top picks for where to stay beyond Poblado include Laureles (my favorite neighborhood) and Envigado (although you won’t find any hostels here). The Estadio neighborhood is probably the second most popular area for budget travelers with a myriad of great lodging choices available.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

Finally, there is also El Centro, which may appeal to those budget travelers who like more off-the-beaten-path type experiences that many gringos never explore or even appreciate (there are actually a lot of cool things in El Centro, to be honest).

If you’re staying in Poblado, I’d recommend the Manila or Provenza sectors, or the Golden Mile if you’re looking for the high end.

Poblado: #1 Hostel in Poblado: Los Patios Boutique Hostel (Manila)  #1 Budget Hotel in Poblado: Kolor Hotel Boutique (Provenza) #1 Mid-Range Hotel in Poblado: Celestino Boutique Hotel (Parque Lleras) #1 Luxury Hotel in Poblado: Medellin Marriott Hotel (Milla de Oro – the Golden Mile) — Read my in-depth review

Laureles : #1 Hostel in Laureles: Backpackers Inn Medellin #1 Budget Hotel in Laureles: Hotel Pomarosa   #1 Mid-Range Hotel in Laureles: Inntu Hotel  

Estadio: #1 Hostel in Estadio: Hostal Cattleya Medellin #1 Budget Hotel in Estadio: Obo Hotel   #1 Mid-Range Hotel in Estadio: El Portón de San Joaquin  

Envigado : #1 Best Hotel in Envigado: Arame Hotel (it’s actually the only hotel, but it’s good). While not technically iN Envigado, I would still recommend the Fairfield by Marriott Sabaneta for a great mid-price hotel!

El Centro : #1 Hostel in El Centro: Medallo Social Hostal (Boston) #1 Budget Hotel in El Centro: Hotel Gallery (Bombona)

For longer stays, my top recommendation is Airbnb ( new users can get a free travel credit here ), also don’t overlook travel hacking to get points for free hotel stays (like the expensive Marriott), and be sure to read my guide to finding cheap accommodation .

If you need more help trying to decide on the best neighborhood, be sure to read more about where to stay in Medellin or my comprehensive guide to the best Medellin hostels .

Look Beyond Poblado

Poblado is a popular place to stay for foreigners in Medellin… But I’ve got a little secret for you: I don’t particularly love Poblado. I’ve stayed there before, I visit every once in a while, but it just isn’t my favorite neighborhood. I mention this Medellin travel tip because it can dramatically change your perspective and experience of the city, so pay close attention.

Poblado is right for some travelers and very wrong for others.

Every travel blogger who comes through for a couple of days stays in Poblado, of course, and they go on to write about Poblado, and then everyone else who comes through after follows in their footsteps. It becomes a sort of feedback loop.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

One of the most prominent travel bloggers recently traveled to Medellin for the first time and went on to write about how Medellin didn’t feel “real” and was just full of chains like Dunkin’ Donuts or Domino’s Pizza.

Another prominent travel blogger said (privately, at least) that he couldn’t see what people really liked about Medellin… And left town with a sour taste in his mouth.

I can understand their perspective because both of these guys were staying in Poblado, in the middle of gringolandia , constantly surrounded by gringos, socializing with gringos, and only left that bubble on organized tours or excursions… Seriously.

These self-proclaimed travel experts were so far from the “authentic” Medellin that they missed the real draw here and what makes this place special. Then other travelers like you read their advice about where to stay and what to do and end up leaving slightly disappointed or let down. That’s a shame.

If you are looking for any semblance of the “real” Medellin, then you should NOT stay in Poblado. Look, it’s a fine place to visit (I do go there once in a while myself!) but I wouldn’t (and don’t) make it my home base. If you do stay in Poblado (totally fine, if it’s right for you), at least make a concerted effort to get out of that bubble on a regular basis.

Medellin is not Poblado, and Poblado is not Medellin.

It all depends on what type of traveler you are… Do you like to be surrounded by English and other travelers? Do you feel uncomfortable only seeing locals and hearing Spanish? You definitely want Poblado.

Personally, I travel to interact with locals, practice the language, learn from people unlike me, etc, and not be surrounded by other travelers doing the same thing as me. That’s part of why I travel. If I wanted to hang out with other foreigners, speak English, and eat the same chain food as always, I would have just stayed home and never left.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

Here’s a thought exercise to determine what kind of traveler you are:

  • If you go to New York City, do you think Times Square is the best place and never leave or are you more interested in neighborhoods like the Meatpacking District, the Lower East Side, Harlem, etc? Do you want to eat where New Yorkers eat or where the tourist bus lets you off?
  • If you go to Las Vegas do you prefer to stay on the Strip or in the Old Town / Fremont area?
  • If you go to Cancun do you stay in an all-inclusive resort and only leave on organized Cancun tours or do you prefer to stay in town and experience more of the authentic Cancun?

If you answered the former to any of those, then Poblado is right for you, if you answered the latter, then it is wrong for you.

Poblado is great for nightlife, foodies, and people who like a little luxury at a more affordable price, but if you want to get off the beaten path (even slightly), have a more local experience, talk with Colombians, and so forth, then it is best to look elsewhere.

Honestly, you can get nightlife, food, or even a bit of luxury in almost any cool neighborhood in Medellin.

Getting Around Medellin

Public Transport: Medellin has a pretty excellent public transportation system. Granted it isn’t on the scale of places like Mexico City , but it is nonetheless quite impressive. It features a two-line above-ground metro system (subway) which connects to an integrated streetcar route, gondola system (MetroCable), and bus rapid transit (BRT) lines known as MetroPlus.

If you are staying in any of the principal areas, you will have easy access to the public transportation system. You should get a Tarjeta Civica as soon as you can upon arrival which is available from a few different metro stations like San Antonio.

You can get the Tarjeta Civica for free with your passport. This allows you to use the integrated transportation system and pay reduced prices for connecting services.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

Taxis: Taxis are available basically everywhere in Medellin. You can easily flag down taxis pretty much anywhere, although this is not always recommended due to safety issues (more on that later). A better bet is to try and use either an official taxi stand or (if you have a SIM card) to use an app like Cabify to call a taxi with your GPS location.

That being said, I generally don’t worry about flagging down taxis from the street during the daytime, but I am more cautious after dark.

It is rare, but the majority of problems that people have here in Medellin happen while in taxis. There are some bad apples out there who work with robbers and tip them off when they have a good target (you) in their cab.

The rules of using taxis here are to sit in the back, keep the windows almost all the way up, lock the doors, and never use your phone or show valuables in the back seat.

Uber: Uber is actually illegal here in Colombia but that doesn’t stop people from driving for them or utilizing the service. I tend to trust Uber drivers more than taxi drivers, but using Uber can have its own complications here if drivers are reluctant to stop near you (if they see transit police nearby). Normally, they will want you to sit up front with them (like a friend) rather than alone in the back (like a taxi), which is done to avoid problems with the law.

Bike Share: There is a growing bike share service here in Medellin called Encicla. With the previously mentioned Tarjeta Civica, you can use the bike share service here in Medellin and Envigado by enrolling in Encicla online. Neighborhoods like Laureles or Estadio are much more conducive to this type of transport since it is flat and has bike lanes. You must enroll for Encicla online with your Tarjeta Civica, so it is only practical for longer stays in Medellin.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

Getting to Medellin from the Airport: The Jose Maria Cordova Airport is actually about an hour outside of Medellin (don’t be fooled by that airport in the middle of town, that one is not used for international flights). Getting from the airport is pretty easy, you’ve got options for either a bus (cheapest), shared town car (cheap), or private town car (best).

I pretty much always go by private car when coming from the airport to Medellin. They go door to door, it’s a stress-free way to travel, and it isn’t expensive. The rate is fixed based on destination and you can expect to spend about $20.

Alternatively, you can ask at the airport for a colectivo (they are the same white cars) which charge about $5 (22.000 pesos) and need four passengers, and will drop you off at the San Diego Shopping Mall, from there you can grab a taxi to your final destination.

Getting to the Airport from Medellin: In terms of going to the airport from town, I prefer to go by shared town car which you can grab from the San Diego Shopping Mall at the base of Las Palmas (go here by taxi and tell the driver “ los colectivos al aerpuerto ”. The shared ride will wait to fill up with four passengers and costs about $5 per person. Unless you’ve got a really weird flight time, I’ve never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes to leave.

These cars are much better than the bus, believe me, don’t go by bus — it’s slower, more nauseating, and doesn’t save you much money. If you’re worried about the whole airport and transport thing, you can also book a private car in advance .

Eat Like a Local

There is a growing and vibrant food scene here in Medellin which is one of the things that makes it so great to live here and call this place home over the long term, but this type of food is definitely expensive for local standards (but cheaper than home standards).

One way you can save a lot of money and eat well though (instead of eating at these more upscale restaurants) is to eat as the locals do…

This is especially true for lunch and the set menus of the day “menu del dia” where you can score good food including soup, main dish (salad, rice, meat, and maybe a plantain), along with fresh fruit juice for about $3. Perhaps one of the best reasons to visit Colombia is just to try some of the incredibly exotic Colombian fruits and all the juices!

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

That’s a pretty hard price to beat… If you eat in a restaurant you can expect to pay around $8 just for comparison.

At these same local restaurants, you will usually find a cheap and hearty breakfast (eggs, arepa with cheese, and coffee) for about the same price as lunch.

Dinner, on the other hand, doesn’t have these cheap and affordable menus of the day, unfortunately, as they all close up shop after lunch. In this case, you’ll need to hit up a restaurant — there are some local restaurants where you can order off the menu — or go from some fast food (also very popular here) or street food.

Be sure to consider going on a traditional food tour while here if you want a great introduction to Paisa food.

The street food choices can be pretty good and definitely cheap, but it pays to ask for tips from someone in the neighborhood. What most locals do for dinner is to eat an arepa at home, but if they have to grab something, they will usually get an empanada or pastel (stuffed meat pies, basically) to eat with a coffee.

Lunch here is the biggest meal of the day and dinner is relatively modest.

Read more about what to eat with my guide to Colombian food .

Do You Need Spanish in Medellin?

Tourism in Medellin is still relatively new… This isn’t like going to Cancun or something where everybody at your resort speaks English. Now, do you need Spanish here? No, plenty of people get by. But you should try to have as much Spanish as possible before you arrive.

It will make your life here a lot easier in terms of getting around, getting what you need, etc. Not to mention the fact that the locals are friendly! People all over Colombia really like to chat with foreigners… If you’re open to it, they will chat with you.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

Small talk is like a sport here, seriously. Expect people to spend five minutes greeting one another asking how they woke up, what’s new, and beyond, and another five minutes (at least) to say goodbye. It’s almost comical sometimes.

You will find that if push comes to shove, there are quite a lot of local Paisas that do speak English — often way better than your Spanish — but they are too shy or timid to use it until like 20 minutes into the struggling conversation.

In summary, you don’t need Spanish, but you should have at least the basics, and the more you have the better. Medellin is a great place to study Spanish , as well, in my opinion, thanks to the friendly locals and the relative clarity of the local accent.

Read more about the best resources to learn Spanish on your own.

About That Medellin Weather

Medellin has gotten the nickname “La Ciudad de Eterna Primavera” — the City of Eternal Spring. This nickname comes from the fact that the city is quite green, flowers are always in bloom, and the weather is supposed to be moderate thanks to its elevation of 4,905 feet.

I always joke though that it is more like the City of Eternal Summer. According to locals, the temperatures have increased quite a bit in recent years, and back in the day Medellin had truly incredible weather when it was never too hot or too cold, and that Eternal Spring name really made sense (although it still makes sense with year-round flowers).

Of course, the temperature and humidity here are nothing like it is on the Colombian coast, and for a city in the tropics, it is a pretty agreeable climate. But the daytime weather is more often between 80 and 90 degrees year-round… Those average annual temperatures of 72 or rarely exceeding 78 like you might have read online seem to be a thing of the past.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

For me, as a fair-weathered Seattlite, the temperatures from about 11 am to 3 pm are way too hot and I try to avoid going out, or if I do, I stay in the shade while walking down the street. But the temperatures at night here are pretty much perfect. For reference, I basically always use t-shirts even at night and don’t sleep with anything more than a bedsheet and my underwear.

There are basically only two seasons here in Medellin: dry and rainy. They also used to be much more predictable, but have gotten a little more off-kilter and unpredictable lately. They should be:

  • December to March = Dry Season,
  • April to May = Rainy Season,
  • June to August = Dry Season, and
  • September to November = Rainy Season.

That being said, if you come to Medellin in the rainy season, it isn’t a deal-breaker, because the rain is fairly predictable, striking in the mid to late afternoon. More often than not, it rains really hard and goes away pretty quickly too. That means you can still usually get out in the evening for dinner or drinks after the rain.

Keep in mind that due to its location in the tropics, sunrise and sunset are basically consistent year-round. It gets light at about 6:30 am and dark at 6:30 pm. The early darkness can affect safety which we’ll discuss below.

Read more about the best time to visit Colombia for weather and tourist crowds.

What to Wear in Medellin

So, given the (mostly) beautiful weather here in Medellin, what should you wear? At first blush, it seems like perfect shorts and t-shirt weather… And it really is! But everyone says not to wear shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops here because no locals wear that and you will stick out like a sore thumb.

Honestly, unless you’ve got black hair and mestizo features, you’re probably going to stick out no matter what you wear.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

Beyond that though, I think the whole No Shorts and No Flip Flops thing is totally overblown. Truth is, you’ll see locals wearing shorts and flip-flops here in their local barrios.

It’s almost a sort of game for me at times where I will count how many locals I see dressed like that when I’m out. The other day on the bus I counted nine people out and about in like five minutes…

That being said, locals do tend to dress up a lot more than your average traveler. There’s a big difference between shorts and flip-flops and someone dressed like an Argentinean busker with mangy dreads, dirty clothes, and filthy feet in sandals about to fall apart. Don’t go for the homeless look.

On the flip side, you also don’t want to dress up too fancy because if you look like you’ve “got money” then you can often become a target for thieves.

Your best bet is to go middle of the road… Bring along some nice shorts, wear t-shirts all the time if you want, bring along a pair of decent jeans or long pants. That’s all you need.

Women tend to dress up even more here, but you can most definitely wear open-toe shoes or sandals and wear those tank tops or similar shirts. Many local women do so as well, just with lots of accessories, make-up, and a little bit of plastic surgery.

It’s also important to note that the place or context is also important in terms of what you choose to wear. If you’re going out for a night on the town, yeah, shorts and flip-flops are under-dressed. Nice-ish restaurant, same thing. Fancy mall, you guessed it. Wandering around doing tourist things, who cares?

If you’re the type that tends to get cold easily, then you may also want a light jacket or sweater here to use at night time. On a rare occasion, I will use one, but I’m mostly a nice pair of shorts or pants and a t-shirt kind of guy in the daytime and jeans and t-shirt kind of guy at night time. I almost never need a long sleeve shirt or jacket here for the cold (I’m from Seattle, so it always seems super hot here).

Bring DEET?

You’re going to be heading to the tropics, not far from the Equator… That means jungles and mosquitoes and all sorts of communicable diseases… West Nile, Malaria, Chikungunya, and god knows what else…

Thankfully, mosquitoes are not a big problem here. Medellin isn’t the jungle, and indeed, mosquitoes are actually pretty rare here. I’ve spent years living in Medellin now, and I only see mosquitoes occasionally, usually after a heavy rain, and usually in sectors where there is heavy vegetation or water nearby.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

When they do come around, it is usually just one or two coming through your window in the evening, and not like a swarm or never-ending nightmare like other parts of the world (I’m looking at you, Cancun). If you’re in a place where the windows shut completely or have screens, you’ll probably never even see a mosquito during your trip.

Even so, from all the research and accounts I’ve read, the mosquitoes here don’t pose a significant risk of communicable diseases… That is something more common on the coast or in the jungle. Those types of diseases in Medellin aren’t a worry thanks to its climate and altitude.

Here’s the CDC malaria map for Colombia , you’ll notice there is NO known risk in the entire area surrounding Medellin. 

Don’t Drink the Water?

If there is one thing almost every traveler has heard about traveling to Latin America, it’s that you should NEVER drink the water because you will undoubtedly get sick. Having traveled through virtually all of Latin America myself, this is definitely a good rule of thumb.

But that’s just not true in Medellin. The water quality in Medellin is excellent and is one of the few destinations in Colombia where you CAN actually drink the water without concern.

What to Know when Traveling to Medellin

I drink the water all the time, I drank the water when I first got here, and I’ve never had any problems. The tap water in the city is totally safe and quite good unless you are staying in some supremely run-down place with questionable pipes.

Ditch the plastic bottles or water bags for a while and drink the local water… It’s the rest of Colombia where you gotta be cautious. While traveling throughout Colombia and the rest of Latin America, I do keep on hand a small ultraviolet purification device called a Steripen which works great.

How to Handle Your Pesos

Cash is king here in Colombia, so you better get used to handling the Colombian Peso. A few helpful notes: the exchange rate has been around 4,400 pesos per $1 USD. Quick and dirty conversions can be done by dropping three zeros and dividing by three. So 50,000 pesos gives us 50/4, or about $12. 

The rate has been getting even better lately, but I still do the above back-of-the-napkin calculations… But prices are actually even cheaper for you in the end! The current official rate for 50,000 is about $11.30 USD. 

Money in Colombia

Paper bills are most commonly seen in denominations between 2,000 and 50,000 pesos. Keep in mind that 50,000 peso bills can be difficult to break in most small stores or with small merchants (even with taxi drivers). For one thousand and below, you’re likely to see coins (there is a 1,000 peso note, but it is increasingly rare).

Scams in Medellin

Overcharging or gouging tourists here in Medellin is NOT very common. I’d say that it’s rare, actually. As someone who has lived here for so long, I know prices, and I honestly never see any attempts to overcharge on the street. On the contrary, most local merchants here are overwhelmingly honest and will give you back money even if you accidentally overpay.

When people talk about “gringo prices” here in Medellin, they are generally referring to things like renting apartments or other things more associated with ex-pat life, which can be difficult and thus are made easier for foreigners by charging more.

The one group to watch out for is taxi drivers. They have a bad reputation all over the world, same for Medellin. Thankfully, there are taxi meters here in Colombia that display the price (unlike in other big cities in Colombia), and you can generally tell pretty easily if you are getting the run around in terms of the drive since the majority of most routes have to stick to the few main roads (the Regional, Las Vegas, Av. Poblado, etc).

13 Things You Should Know When Traveling to Medellin travel, south-america, medellin, colombia

If you are scammed in Medellin it will most likely be by a taxi driver. A good practice is to always pay with exact change (or as close as possible). If you have to pay with a big bill like the 50,000 peso note, try to get into the practice of holding it up to the light and acting like you are examining the bill before handing it over.

The most common scam is a quick switch of a legitimate bill with an obvious fake… Then they play nice guy showing you that you must have been duped, what is wrong with the bill, and how to avoid problems. Then they hand you the fake (when you really gave them a legit bill) and they get another big bill off of you for payment.

ATMs in Medellin

The best practice is to only withdraw money from ATMs inside big box stores or malls. It is best to avoid withdrawing money from the street. Malls are everywhere here, so it is pretty easy.

When you do so, be sure to withdraw a small amount from the ATM rather than carrying around big wads of cash. You get hit with ATM withdrawal fees each time, so that’s why I recommend a bank that will reimburse you for all external ATM withdrawal fees. I use Charles Schwab .

Withdrawing money on the street or taking out big wads of cash is an invitation to problems with robbers. I usually go to the mall, withdraw cash first thing, then wander around for a while.

Anytime you go to larger restaurants, major stores, or bigger hostels/hotels, you should be able to use a travel credit card rather than cash. Do this whenever you can to reserve your cash, just be sure that your credit card has no foreign transaction fees.

Read more about travel banking fundamentals and how I handle money.

Locals Hate Vice Tourism

I wish this one didn’t even have to be said, but there is an ever-growing amount of vice tourism here in Colombia, especially among people traveling to Medellin (when compared to Cartagena or Bogota , for instance).

This vice tourism is mainly from two groups: young dudes who want to engage in drug tourism and old dudes who want to engage in sex tourism. You can skip this section if it doesn’t apply to you.

It’s true that drugs can be cheap and readily found in Medellin, but they are not exactly legal here. Some people even go on tours to cocaine processing facilities, which is just a terrible idea. Prostitution, on the other hand, is actually legal here.

Regardless, both groups of vice tourists are generating increasing bad will or outrage by the locals. There are even public campaigns and signs around town lashing out against both. If you’re in one of those groups of people, you are better off staying at home because they don’t want you here.

First of all, if drugs or prostitutes are your primary motivation for travel, that’s pretty lame, to be honest. Medellin (and Colombia) has so much to offer and it goes well beyond those stereotypes.

Second, know that by doing so, you will dramatically increase your odds of running into big problems here in terms of getting ripped off, robbed, drugged, or even killed (the few foreigners killed here in Medellin are like 90% linked with drug or sex tourism, while the other 10% is resisting a robbery).

Scopolamine druggings (pretty much the most terrifying thing ever ) are almost entirely linked to both, although it does also happen while just out having drinks (so never leave your drink unattended).

Third, you give a terrible name to other travelers by doing this stuff. Honestly, I didn’t like Medellin much at first because I was surrounded by a bunch of these horrible tourists like the Russian chick who blew a hole in her nasal passage from doing too much cocaine in Medellin, or the American dude whose afternoon ritual was to go to the whorehouse before hanging out at the bar all night drinking dollar beers (the last part ain’t bad).

Once I got out of that shared living situation and started seeing more of the “real” Medellin, my opinion of the city changed almost instantly.

Look, if what you are wanting to do is illegal in your home country and something you don’t normally do, then Medellin is not the place to do it and certainly not the place to start. This isn’t Thailand or Amsterdam, stuff happens here, seriously.

Medellin is not a huge city, physically speaking… But there are nearly three million people crammed into the Valle of Aburra. The size of the city would suggest that you don’t really need to focus highly on trying to coordinate or optimize your visits to different parts of town because you should be able to easily go back or get around the city.

That’s kind of a mistake though, because while the city isn’t big, traffic here is terrible, particularly during rush hour. If you’re going to go explore El Centro or Envigado or wherever you should try to plan a solid itinerary to pack in everything you can in an individual place.

If you’re going by Uber or taxi and you get caught in the morning or early evening traffic, you can expect massive delays. The shape of the valley here and the general infrastructure basically funnels all the traffic into a north-south pattern along just a few roads. Traffic is only growing worse each year.

13 Things You Should Know When Traveling to Medellin travel, south-america, medellin, colombia

You’re better off taking public transport like the metro, although if you go at rush hour, you should expect tons of people and an almost sardine-like experience. Be sure to watch your pockets and belongings in those situations — pickpockets aren’t super common, but those are the situations to watch out for.

There are a ton of things to do in Medellin , so you shouldn’t be left bored, even if that just means exploring the many awesome restaurants and cafes. But if you’re looking for a more logical way to coordinate your activities, check out my suggested itinerary for 3 days in Medellin .

Organized Tours

I’d also encourage you to do a few organized tours in Medellin to give you a better perspective on the history and culture of this city. A few top choices are:

  • Medellin Free Walking Tour in El Centro
  • Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour
  • Barrio Transformation Tour
  • Exotic Fruits Tour

Pablo Escobar Tours

The one tour that you should not do, please, is the infamous Medellin Pablo Escobar tour … Locals hate Pablo and are growing ever more irritated with the tourists flocking to Medellin because of Pablo and the Narcos series on Netflix.

He was a terrorist and patronizing these types of tours only serves to glorify a hated man. You would never go on a Hitler tour so you can take happy selfies at his grave, so I’m not sure why people take Pablo tours in Medellin… Read more about this touchy and complicated subject .

Instead of a Pablo tour, maybe check out one of these other top Medellin tours instead? There are so many options that are much better!

Read more about the best Medellin tours . 

Is Medellin Safe?

Medellin is a long way gone from the bad ol’ days of Pablo Escobar, FARC, kidnappings, and all the terrible ways it made the news in the 90s. I’m sure your parents almost fainted and your family told you that you were nuts when you said you were going to Colombia.

Look, things aren’t perfect here, but the bottom line is that Medellin is more or less safe.

Mas o menos…

Bombings and kidnappings and all that is long gone and not of concern, today the main concern is street safety and the potential for robbery.

13 Things You Should Know When Traveling to Medellin travel, south-america, medellin, colombia

That type of thing is honestly a concern here, but not overwhelmingly so… It is basically the same throughout all of Latin America. If you’ve traveled to any big Latin American city, you probably know the drill, but let’s rehash.

Safety Precautions in Medellin

  • Be very careful about showing valuables on the street, especially cell phones. This also applies while in taxis, as mentioned earlier. Cell phones are the biggest targets for thieves who are known to rob at gunpoint for a cell.
  • Never, ever resist a robbery. Give them what they want. Not doing so is what causes tourists to get killed here .
  • Be very cautious of motorcycles, they are most likely to rob you, rather than some guy on foot. Be especially cautious of two men on one motorcycle.
  • Don’t walk around in unfamiliar areas after dark, particularly if there is light foot traffic. Walking back drunk is also a recipe for trouble. This is what they call “dando papaya” or giving Papaya which is basically an invitation for someone to rob you — more on that in a second.
  • Unlike the US, it isn’t as simple as saying “avoid the bad neighborhoods” because you are actually probably more likely to get robbed as a tourist in Poblado rather than in El Centro — El Centro has higher crime figures overall, but Poblado is a popular target because that’s where the “rich people” are. To date, the only robbery I’ve witnessed here was on the corner of Parque Lleras at midday on a Sunday.
  • Don’t carry around more money than you need for the day.
  • Use ATMs only inside large malls or big box stores — avoid taking cash out from ATMs on the street. Take out small amounts of money rather than big withdrawals.

Colombia may not be the best destination for someone entirely new to Latin America, but if you are a bit streetwise and exercise common sense, you’re not likely to become a victim. Indeed, it is rare that something happens.

No Dar Papaya

In Colombia, they have a saying “No Dar Papaya” which means don’t give papaya… Basically, they are trying to say, never offer up papaya (which is anything, really, a cell phone, money, etc) because someone will take papaya if it is “offered” to them. 

This is a bit of victim-blaming, unfortunately, but it is ingrained into Colombian life. Never Dar Papaya, else you make yourself an easy mark and a likely target for robbery. It’s better to always lean toward the cautious side here in Medellin or throughout Colombia.

On the whole, people here are very nice, honest, friendly, and want to make sure you have a good time, just don’t provide a window of opportunity to the bad apples that might be out there.

There is still a lot of poverty and huge economic inequality here… Just imagine, the price of the cell phone you are carrying in your pocket is basically a few months of income at minimum wage here (~$250/month for 48 hours of work per week).

Solo Female Travel

Obviously, this is a tricky thing for me as a guy to talk about, so I’ll refer you to this post about solo female travel in Colombia by Adventurous Kate .

I think she gets things mostly right in her article although there does seem to be some outdated or misguided things like the discussion of walking alone after dark as a woman (guys have the same concern since the bad things here are robberies, not sexual assault), or the whole “don’t travel by bus between places,” or “don’t travel by bus at night” thing. Although if your local knowledge and travel experience level is low, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to follow her more conservative advice.

I can speak a little bit about my perspective for female travelers here based on so much time living here, all that I’ve seen on the streets, talking with fellow travelers, and based on the perspective of my girlfriend who is a local Paisa…

Street Harassment: This is something that is generally quite rare. Men here will not hesitate to get a good, long look if they like what they see (leering), but I rarely see things escalate to even the catcall level. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but it happens way less than in places like Italy, for example. From my perspective as a Seattlite, the whole leering thing in Colombia borders on creepy, but what is acceptable differs from culture to culture.

Colombians speak much more affectionately than most may be accustomed to, so don’t mistake “ mi amor ” from the taxi driver as flirting… That’s just how many speak to women in general, whether it is an older lady or an attractive young woman. I can be sitting there right beside my girlfriend and locals will use terms of endearment like that (which at first struck me as weird). It’s no different than old ladies calling younger guys “ mijo ”.

Kisses on the cheek between men and women (or women and women, just not between men and men like Argentina), even among people that don’t know each other very well, are also super common. If you ever go to a family event, expect to kiss like a thousand tias on the cheek.

Purses: I would strongly recommend against using a purse at all here, especially the cross-body type. Just put your spending money for the day in your pocket (even get a money clip) as well as your cell phone. Purses can be easy targets for those motorcycle thieves and a grab-and-go theft (which can throw the victim to the ground, causing injuries) is not unheard of.

Travel Insurance for Medellin

I’ve personally never been the victim of a robbery, theft, or any violent crime in Medellin, and that’s after a number of years here and many instances where I was giving papaya (according to my girlfriend). My girlfriend, on the other hand, has firsthand experience this sort of insecurity a few times, but that’s with a lifetime living here.

In any case, it is a very good idea to purchase travel insurance for Colombia and Medellin in order to protect yourself against not just theft, but also illness and injury. I use and recommend World Nomads , and would encourage you to protect yourself while in Colombia, just in case. It’s cheap and offers peace of mind.

Traveling to Medellin?

In any case, I hope these comprehensive travel tips and this guide help you better understand the ins and outs of traveling to Medellin. It is truly a pretty incredible place, I’m excited that you’ve chosen to travel here, and I hope that I’ve helped you get a little more out of your trip.

Traveling to Medellin soon? Be sure to book your lodging today on to save. Don’t forget to purchase your travel insurance to protect against illness, injury, and theft. I use and recommend World Nomads .

Did you enjoy this post about things to know when traveling to Medellin? Please take a second to share it on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. Thanks!

Colombia Travel Tips

Colombia Travel Tips

Important tips and resources for planning an amazing trip to Colombia, based on my years of traveling and living in Colombia.

Colombia Trip Planning

  • Lonely Planet Colombia
  • Momondo Flight Search
  • ViaHero Itinerary Planning
  • SafetyWing Travel Insurance
  • Get Your Guide Tours


  • Book a cheap fligh t to Colombia with Momondo , or better yet, start travel hacking so you can fly for free. Traveling between major cities is much better by flying, trust me.
  • Plan a rough itinerary and how long you will spend at each destination. Use an itinerary planning service for custom recommendations and pick up Lonely Planet Colombia .
  • Work a little every day to teach yourself Spanish , you'll want to know as much as possible before you arrive.
  • Book cheap accommodation in advance, at least for the first destinations -- For hostels use: Booking , for cheap hotels use: , for apartments use: Airbnb .
  • Reserve your on the ground tours and activities through Get Your Guide .
  • Purchase travel insurance for Colombia with SafetyWing to protect yourself from illness, injury, and theft while in Colombia. VERY important. And be sure to read my article: " Is Colombia Safe? " for my honest opinion and safety tips.
  • Sign up for my free emails about planning a better trip to Colombia, and be sure to check out my comprehensive guide about traveling to Colombia .
  • Learn more money-saving tricks with my top budget travel tips .
  • Put together your Colombia packing list .
  • Enjoy this incredible country!

I hope this helped you plan your travels in Colombia! I know it can be a struggle to find accurate and on the ground information when traveling to a new place like Colombia, which is why I started writing so extensively about it!

If you have any questions about Colombia, budget travel, or anything else shoot me an email at [email protected].

(I love getting questions! That is how I get ideas for my blog posts and what to write about!)

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Please let me know with a comment on the blog below or reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram. Feel free to share a photo on Instagram with the #desktodirtbag hashtag once you put this into action!

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Ultimate Medellin Travel Guide

By: Author MC Miller

Posted on Last updated: July 29, 2023

Categories City Guides , Colombia , South America , Travel Guides

Far from the heady days of the 80s when Pablo Escobar terrorized the population contemporary visitors to Medellín will find a thriving modern city and welcoming natives looking to change a tarnished reputation one smile at a time.

The Medellin travel guide covers what to do, where to stay, which day trips you can’t miss, and what to eat & drink.

At the end we’ll share with you some tips for day trips, and where you should travel next in Colombia. Plus find out the best way to travel from Medellín to Salento .

Essential Things to do in Medellin

Medellín is a sprawling city with a diverse range of things to do to keep everyone happy.

We cover the things we did which we actually enjoyed.

Taking a trip to Park Arvi is a cool way to kick back to nature for a day.

While there are some nice forest tracks at the top, the best part of this place is getting the metro cable up.

The nature view as you ride the metro cable is absolutely stunning.

The metro cable also gives you a birds eye view of how the locals live as you pass communities on the way up.

If you are so inclined, you can even experience some adrenaline junkie sports such as zip lining at Park Avri.

The hours of operation of the cable going to Park Avri are 9.00am to 6.30pm.

How to get to Park Arvi

Take the metro cable first to the community of Santo Domingo.

You can explore Santo Domingo for a while and taste some traditional street food including arepas and plantains on your way to Park Avri.

This section of the metro cable costs 2200 pesos per person.

From there, take a second metro cable to Park Avri for 5000 pesos.

smile travel medellin

Metro Cable to Park Avri

smile travel medellin

Hiking in Park Avri

Plaza Minorista Fruit Market

Colombia is full of exotic fruits and the good news is you don’t have to leave the capital to find them.

If you want to try all the exotic fruits Colombia has to offer be sure to take a trip to Plaza Minorista fruit market .

This place is also your best bet if you want to score some good deals on fruit.

How to get to Plaza Minorista

To get to the Plaza Minorista market, take the metro to Minorista station.

We visited this market by ourselves. However, if you are interested in knowing more about the fruits at this market then you can always sign up for an exotic fruits tour for 45,000 pesos per person.

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Plaza Minorista fruit market

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Guava Fruit @ Market

Lleras Park

If you are looking for a trendy area to enjoy a beer in the park or a nice hipster restaurant to eat, look no further than Lleras park.

While this area is practically dead during the day, it comes alive at night and is definitely worth checking out.

smile travel medellin

Parque San Antonio

Perhaps the biggest reminder of Medellin’s past as the worlds most dangerous city can be seen at Parque San Antonio.

Here, two bird sculptures of the famous Columbian artist Fernando Botero stand. In 1995, one bird was blown by a guerrilla group killing 20 people.

These days the sculptures stand as a symbol of the progression the country as made – from a country living in fear to the Medellin of today where people walk around the street without fear.

smile travel medellin

Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica

This cathedral was once dubbed the biggest in the world by a prominent travel advisory who hadn’t bothered to visit the city.

While this claim is in fact incorrect, the cathedral is still worth half an hour of your time as it is just gorgeous inside.

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Plaza Botero

In Plaza Botero, you can admire many of the statues of the artist Botero which play with size proportion and surround Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe, a gothic checker board pattern style building designed by a Belgian artist.

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Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe

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Botero statutes

Plaza Cisneros

Plaza Cisneros is yet another example of the transformation of the city of Medellin.

The area used to be dangerous and plagued by drug violence.

However, nowadays light columns have been inserted to symbolise the hope and prosperity of the city.

If you visit at night, the columns illuminate with light. There are also complimentary bathrooms in the area.

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Go on a free city walking tour

The free city walking tour will take you to many attractions including Parque San Antonio, Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Botero, Plaza Cisneros among other things.

Our guide taught us many interesting facts about the city including not to offer Papaya, meaning if you give someone an opportunity they will take it.

In other words, take care of your belongings or someone will take the opportunity to take them from you.

The tour is free but the guide expects a tip for his or her time at the end.

If you prefer to hear more about the transformation of the city, a better tour may be the Pablo Escobar Tour  which costs around $60 per person.

smile travel medellin

Real City Walking Tours

Take a day trip to Guatape

Just two hours outside of Medellin lies the gorgeous, colourful town of Guatape where you can experience ‘the best view in the world’.

We were pleased this wasn’t just a marketing gimmick – the view is really special. Below is a photo of the incredible rock(?) you climb.

We wrote about how to get to Guatape from Medellin – there’s photos of the incredible view too!

Where is the best place to stay in Medellin?

Most tourists chose to stay in the El Poblado area of Medellin.

This is primarily due to the safety of the area and the proximity to bars and restaurants. We would highly recommend staying in this area. Read our post for more details about the best places to stay in Medellin .

You can get a clean and comfortable double room for $20 -30 USD a night.

We stayed at a place called  Guest House Poblado  which we would highly recommend because it was clean and comfortable.

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Guest House Poblado

smile travel medellin

View at Guest House Poblado

Medellín Restaurants & Bars

Medellin is a very cheap city by Western standards. However, it is a little more pricey compared to other cities in Columbia.

Expect to pay between 10,000 to 30,000 for a meal at a cheap to moderate restaurant in the city.

A beer usually costs between 3,000 – 6,000 pesos depending on where you go and what you order.

A trip to Medellin wouldn’t be complete without trying the typical Colombian dish Bandeja Paisa.

You can buy the dish all over the city. We would highly recommend trying the restaurant  Mondongos.

It costs 30,000 for a huge dish that could easily feed two. If you want to keep costs low, Medellin also has some great street food to try.

On virtually every corner, you can buy an Arepa or a fried plantain with cheese (our personal favourite) for around 3000 pesos.

Another interesting thing to try in the city is the refreshing Colombian drink, Guarapo, which you can buy off street vendors in the city centre for only 1000 pesos.

Columbia is also home to some of the world’s best coffee so if you are a coffee lover you are sure to find a good cup while in Medellin.

For great Colombian coffee in the Poblado area, try Velvet cafe . For a place with great wifi, Starbucks has recently entered the Medellin market and sells coffee (by Starbucks standards) at bargain basement prices.

smile travel medellin

Guarapo drink

smile travel medellin

Bandeja Paisa

How to get to Medellin?

From Medellin, there is easy bus connections to Bogota, Cartagena and Salento Colmbia . Check out the best Salento Hotels including instagrammable eco lodges, romantic hideaways and the most pumping backpacker hostels near the party zones.

Here’s a guide to traveling from Medellin to Cartagena by air and bus. 

Arriving in (MDE) Medellín Jose Maria Cordova Intl

Good news: Uber is legal in Colombia! This makes getting to and from Medellín Jose Maria Cordova Intl airport fast, simple and cheap. No need to haggle for deals.

MDE, commonly abbreviated when discussing it to Medellín Jose or Cordova Intl, is south west of town, about a 30 minute drive in duration.

Before you set off, download our 2 Week Colombia Itinerary which covers important tourist destinations you must not miss. You can easily spend much longer using this itinerary.

MC Miller

MC Miller is a travel blogger and writer who has travelled America extensively and abroad to over 80 countries. He founded Couple Travel The World in 2017. Since then, he has spent over 6 years on the road as a full time travel couple. When he not traveling he likes to spend quality time with his partner Bett, planning our their next date or romantic getaway!

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(+57) 305 330 8699

Love your smile with Colombia Dentistry

You will love your smile - and our prices, request a free online consultation now.

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Please contact us with any questions

A division of Eva Galvis OdontologĂ­a , we are a full-service dental clinic in the heart of El Poblado, MedellĂ­n.

We combine the latest technology with years of international experience to provide the very best in dental care. having our own laboratory allows us to complete most treatments in a single day., our prices are surprisingly accessible, contact us now for a free online consultation ., patient services, medellĂ­n, the city of eternal spring, is colombia's most vibrant city and we make sure to give our patients an unforgettable time., we offer a full package of dental tourism services for our international patients., let us take care of your travel and transportation, so that you arrive perfectly rested for your treatment..

City Tour of Medellin

Sightseeing tours

Make the most of your visit – we can arrange sightseeing tours in Medellin and beyond!

Travel & transportation

We can arrange a secure and complete transportation service, including airport transfers.


We work with some of the best hotels in El Poblado to provide special rates for our patients.

What our patients say

Frequently asked questions

Why travel to colombia for dental work.

We provide international standards of treatment at a very economical cost. Our prices are a small fraction of those charged in the United States and Europe.

We are happy to help our patients arrange travel and accommodation for their stay in Colombia, and to see the many sights of MedellĂ­n.

What technologies do you have available?

We have the latest technologies from the United States, Europe and Japan, and use the best materials to guarantee perfect results.

Our in-house laboratory is a game-changer.  It eliminates errors, mix-ups and delays, and allows us to complete most treatments in a single day.

Who will carry out my treatment?

All our dentists are specialists, with postgraduate qualifications in their chosen field. They have extensive international experience and embrace the very latest standards in patient care.

Before travelling to Colombia you will meet your specialist for an online consultation.

How much will my treatment cost?

Each case is different. That's why we prefer you to attend a free personalized consultation, which can be carried out online.

Our prices are always affordable, and we are transparent and honest with all our patients about the cost of their treatments.

How do I make an appointment?

Chat with us on WhatsApp (+57) 305 330 8699 or email your details to [email protected] and we will call you.

Better still, click here to access our personalized consultation form.

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Short Trip for a Forever Smile

It's time to smile with confidence.

Schedule an appointment

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Schedule a Free Consultation

For ease of mind, you don't pay anything until you are in our office in Medellin.

Your quote is likely to be 50-75% lower than equivalent services in the US.

Medellin is an experience itself. Come and visit all the wonders of this captivating city.

We are happy to transport you to and from the airport and our clinic.

We also offer warranty on your treatment.

Transforming Lives

Your smile matters, we are waiting to speak with you.

We love receiving messages from our patients and clearing up their doubts and concerns.

Write us directly to our ONLINE CHAT and we will respond immediately.

Transform your smile

Our team of dental professionals specialize in providing smile makeovers to people around the world.

Ceramic Veneers


A natural-looking smile with our state-of-the-art procedure. Personalized thin ceramic shells are crafted in our lab and placed over your natural teeth, requiring no tooth shaving. In just two sessions, experience a long-lasting solution for stained, chipped, or misaligned teeth, and embrace the smile you desire.

Composite Veneers


A great option for a fast and economical way to enhance a smile. The resin is applied directly on the tooth and can be shaped during the same session. Making this a great choice for those who want to make cosmetic improvements to their smile with minimal time, cost and effort.

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The future you is a vacation away

Your dental experience includes.

Visit Colombia, a leading country in cosmetic procedures, and leave with a perfect smile. We'll be with you 24/7, guiding you on the best places to stay, coolest restaurants/bars in  town or any other aspect of the city you're interested in experiencing. We can work on a customized vacation or choose one of our pre planned packages.  

Basic Tourist Package for our Dental Procedure

Standard Plan

Smile Makeover

Airport tran sportation

Recommendation to points of interest including hotels, restaurants, clubs, shopping and tours

Anytime phone concierge 

Tourist Package for our Dental Procedure

Socialite Plan

Airport transportation

Transportation to our office s

Three meals at top end  restaurants

VIP access to one of the most sought out clubs in Provenza

Anytime phone concierge

Tourist Package for our Dental Procedure

One meal at a top end  restaurant

Access to Graffiti Tour 

A day trip to the Pueblo of Guatape

Sarah Davis, New York NY

Everything worked out perfect. They had someone pick me up from the airport. Mariana was amazing and i couldn't be happier with my teeth. 

John Martinez, Atlanta GA

The overall experience was great and pretty effortless. I was in each session for less than two hours and I got a chance to see Medellin which is one of the coolest cities I've been to.

Michael Wright, Orlando FL

Definitely recommend smiles abroad. They were beyond attentive. Their team was extremely professional and I am very happy with the results. Great job guys. đź‘Ź

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Serving Patients with a Special Human Touch

+1 954 837 6512

+57 300 611 8015


Welcome to our Dental Clinic and Welcome to Medellin.

Serving our patients with a special and humane touch

Welcome to our Colombian Dental Holistic Clinic, where you will be served with up-to-date dental protocols to prioritize foreigners by bilingual professionals along with getting an unforgettable relaxing and enjoyable experience like you never had before!

Holistic Dental Care in Colombia

Here is what you can find if you decide to join us on this journey: All dental specialties to ensure we are the best fit for you and your dental needs.

“International Smiles is the place where patients become friends and friends become family”

smile travel medellin

“We are a multispecialty dental team with a healthy, functional and compassionate approach”

At International Smiles , our dedicated team is committed to delivering exceptional dental care and patient education with warmth and compassion. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to our city, we extend a heartfelt welcome to join our dental family.

Expect nothing but excellence from our comprehensive range of professional dental services. Our staff, comprised of seasoned professionals, is not only well-trained and experienced but also deeply empathetic. We prioritize listening to your needs and concerns, striving to assist you and your loved ones in achieving lasting dental wellness.

Overview of Services

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Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique   


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Pediatric dentistry

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Why to choose us

International standard and quality services.

Our services are within the standard of care based on the American Dental Association and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, along the Center of Disease Control.

Virtual Meetings, previous to your trip

We gladly offer virtual meetings so you can discuss all your questions and concerns with our doctors, previous to your trip

Our doctors are bilingual

Our doctors are bilingual and the rest of our staff also knows a basic to moderate level of English, so you will not have a barrier language

Focus only on your case

Our model of business of dentistry is only focused on attending one patient at the time so each doctor has un deviated attention from you

Cleaning procedures are performed by a dentist

Our dental cleaning procedures are performed by a dentist, not by a hygienist, therefore the extension of the cleaning is significantly more effective

Holistic approach

In the philosophy of our care prevails YOUR best interest, with a holistic approach that provides a spa like experience

Excellent customer service

All our staff has been trained with courses on customer service and humanized health care.

Why our patients love ISM


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The Dental care here at Internationals Smiles isn’t just painless, it’s a pleasure

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  • Mon - Fri. 8:00 to 5:00 / Sat. 10:00 to 12:00 upon request


Travel And Smile

International patients choose high quality dental treatments in our clinics with great discounts compared to their countries of origin. They can also benefit from visiting all that Medellin and the surrounding area has to offer. The perfect weather, good food and friendly people make this a wonderful place to visit. 

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Free Transport

We offer free transportation from your apartment / hotel to our Dental Clinic. 

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Just 30 Minutes FROM AIRPORT

We are just a  30 minute drive from Medellin’s International Airport (JosĂ© MarĂ­a CĂłrdova International Airport). 

For reference Medellin is a Direct 3 Hour flight from Miami.  

P ick-up and drop-off from the airport can be arranged for your comfort and security. 


Dental Tourism has become the new way for citizens of foreign countries such as Canada and the United States to take care of their dental needs. One of the biggest advantages and main reasons why people are choosing dental tourism in Colombia is because of its high quality of care at very affordable prices. Combine that with the opportunity to be in ideal weather, surrounded by kind people, and beautiful greenery and this is the ideal dental tourist location. It is not uncommon to see tourists decide to make this a long term residential location! 

We are committed to our patients’ well-being, providing you the best attention and helping during your complete dental vacation experience. Offering the best dental work in Colombia is just part of our job. You are not only saving thousands of dollars, but you are also traveling, relaxing, and creating a brighter future with your new beautiful & functional smile.



  • The treatment cost will be available to you prior to booking.
  • Ours specialists from all branches of dentistry are available within our 2 facilities next to each other.
  • In all our dental clinics we have the latest in dental technology meeting the most demanding international standards.
  • Free concierge service for arranging hotel reservations, transport and visits to the main attractions in and around Medellin.


Dental Clinic can offer travelers from the United States, Canada and Europe the best experience in high quality dental services for a great discounted price compared to what you’d pay in the US, Europe or Canada. Here are some of the services we have for you.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is used to support one or more false teeth. It is a titanium screw that can replace the root of a tooth when it fails.


Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. One common treatment is the root canal.

Metal-Free Crowns

Metal-free crowns represent the best aesthetic solution, because they are the closest to the natural look of teeth.

Dentals Resins

Dental composite resin is a tooth-colored restorative material used to replace a decayed portion of tooth structure.


It is the surgical act by which the teeth of their alveoli are extracted with the least possible trauma.

Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth are stained, discolored or have obscured by a blow. It can be performed on vital teeth or on teeth with endodontics.

Panoramic X-Ray USD 75 FROM USD 5 1 days

What to expect from dental work in COLOMBIA?

You will be amazed by the quality standards of Oral + Servicios Odontologicos, which are not compromised by our low prices. Check out the rest of the site to see our facilities and equipment.  

The team is led by Marcel Hincapie, with over 30 years running and leading the team at Oral Mas.

The vast majority of dental treatment procedures are the same in Colombia as they are in the US / Canada / UK, but due to cost of labor, treatment prices can be 5x as much in those countries. Enjoy the benefits of professional treatment at a fraction of the price in Medellin. 


Jonathan  A.

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+57 311 617 9457

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Bono de $500.000 de descuento

Oferta exclusiva por tiempo limitado, oferta irresistible, diseño de sonrisa, bono de: $500.000.

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Más de 15 años de experiencia en Odontología Estética e Implantes Dentales

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Doctor smile travel, turismo odontolĂłgico.

En Doctor Smile travel somos un grupo de especialistas que contamos con experiencia clínica entre 15 y 20 años, estamos ubicados en uno de los centros médicos y empresariales más importante del país, en la ciudad de Bogotá.

Somos un grupo de profesionales, todos especializados en rehabilitación oral y alta estética, implantología oral, endodoncia, ortodoncia y armonización orofacial.

Nuestro grupo de especialistas cuenta con capacitaciĂłn en OdontologĂ­a digital, ya que contamos con nuestro propio laboratorio y equipos de Ăşltima tecnologĂ­a para realizar tratamientos seguros y exitosos

¿List@ para la sonrisa de tus sueños? 🌟 Envíanos un mensaje por WhatsApp ahora y agenda tu consulta. ¡Tu nueva sonrisa te espera!

smile travel medellin

  • Nuestras especialidades

Resultados 100% naturales en tu sonrisa

smile travel medellin

  • Diseño de sonrisa

Transforma tu sonrisa, transforma tu vida

¿List@ para la sonrisa de tus sueños? Con nuestro servicio de Diseño de Sonrisa, combina arte y ciencia para revelar una sonrisa deslumbrante. En Doctor Smile Travel , utilizamos tecnología avanzada y técnicas personalizadas para crear sonrisas que no solo se ven bien, sino que también reflejan tu personalidad única.

 ¡Aprovecha nuestro bono de descuento de $500.000 Cop!

smile travel medellin

  • Implantes Dentales

Recupera tu sonrisa natural con implantes dentales

Los Implantes Dentales son la solución perfecta para restaurar dientes perdidos. En Doctor Smile Travel , empleamos implantes de la más alta calidad y técnicas de vanguardia para asegurar resultados duraderos y naturales. Nuestros expertos tienen más de 15 años de experiencia, garantizando tratamientos seguros y efectivos.

¡Consulta hoy y disfruta de un 30% de Descuento!

smile travel medellin

  • Aclaramiento Dental

Una sonrisa más blanca y brillante te espera

¿Sueñas con una sonrisa más blanca? Nuestro tratamiento de Aclaramiento Dental es tu respuesta. Usamos métodos seguros y comprobados para blanquear tus dientes, mejorando tu apariencia y autoestima. Con tecnología avanzada y atención personalizada, te garantizamos una sonrisa que impresionará.

¡No te pierdas nuestro descuento especial del 30%!

smile travel medellin

  • Ortodoncia Sin Brackets

Ortodoncia invisible para una sonrisa perfecta

Descubre la Ortodoncia del Futuro: invisible, cómoda y eficaz. En Doctor Smile Travel , ofrecemos soluciones de Ortodoncia Sin Brackets que se adaptan a tu estilo de vida sin comprometer los resultados. Nuestro equipo especializado te guiará en cada paso del camino hacia una sonrisa alineada y hermosa.

¡Pregunta por nuestro descuento del 30% y comienza tu transformación hoy!

🦷 ¿Tienes preguntas sobre nuestros tratamientos?

Chatea con nosotros en WhatsApp para una asesoría personalizada. ¡Estamos aquí para ayudarte!

Tu Viaje hacia una Sonrisa Perfecta Comienza AquĂ­

Doctor smile travel.

En Doctor Smile Travel , combinamos tratamientos dentales de excelencia con la belleza de Bogotá. Experimenta la odontología de primer nivel en un entorno relajante y rejuvenecedor. Nuestros especialistas en rehabilitación oral, implantología y más te esperan con la más avanzada tecnología y una calidez que te hará sentir en casa. 

Tu viaje a una sonrisa perfecta comienza aquí. Contáctanos para planificar tu experiencia . ¡Tu nueva sonrisa te espera!

¡Aprovecha nuestro 30% de descuento y haz de tu sonrisa el recuerdo perfecto de Colombia!

  • Testimonios

Expertos en dar naturalidad y armonĂ­a a tu sonrisa

Agenda tu cita ahora, y obtén un: 30% de descuento.

¿Tienes preguntas? Obtén respuestas rápidas. Chatea con nosotros en WhatsApp ahora.

Conoce el antes y después de nuestros pacientes:

smile travel medellin

Sonrisas naturales y duraderas

Pacientes felices, creemos que una sonrisa feliz es el mejor testimonio de nuestro trabajo. cada sonrisa que hemos transformado cuenta una historia de confianza, cuidado y excelencia..


¡Reserva tu Consulta Ahora!

Tu sonrisa ideal está a solo un formulario de distancia.

  • Estoy de acuerdo con la politica de privacidad.

smile travel medellin

En Doctor Smile travel somos un grupo de especialistas que contamos con experiencia clínica entre 15 y 20 años.

  • Turismo Dental



  • Service Details
  • Online Consultation

smile travel medellin

Why Choose Us

Your smile makeover will become a memorable experience.

Everyone has an image they want to achieve. The new smile allows you to get the physical part down, the experience will push you forward to your goals. Let us be part of your new image. This experience will get you to the person you have always wanted to be.

smile travel medellin

We are 100% committed to each one of our patients and their dental cosmetic process.

24×7 Support

Throughout the Top Smiles Experience we are available 24/7 for your convenience.

We guarantee you fulfilment of our privacy policies and securing your personal data.

Bilingual staff

All of our staff is fluent in English and Spanish.

smile travel medellin

“I couldn’t be happier with my smile. It was always something I was self conscious about growing up and now I can’t stop smiling from ear to ear.

Thank you Top Smiles team – you honestly changed my life

smile travel medellin

“The top smiles experience is the absolute best. Dr. D and his wife genuinely care about the experience you receive and the environment they welcome you into. Their clinic is gorgeous and has the BEST views of Medellin. Highly recommend them if you want a luxury experience here in Colombia.”

smile travel medellin

“Dr. D and his staff went above and beyond. My veneers came out natural and I couldn’t be happier. Best Doctor in Colombia!“

smile travel medellin

“I can’t recommend Top Smiles enough. From start to finish I feel like Dr. D, Mrs. Londono and their team were fully committed to my every need. From the transportation, luxury hotel, their gorgeous clinic, the professionalism, there is no better experience in Colombia that would not include them. My veneers came out perfect, they completely made my vision a reality. I’m so grateful for Dr. D, Mrs. Londono and their staff.“

smile travel medellin

“From the beginning of my arrival to the departure was magical. The clinic is absolutely gorgeous with the best views of the city. I’m obsessed with my veneers. Top Smiles is the best clinic in Colombia.“

smile travel medellin

“• The best in Colombia! The best doctor with the most up to date technology to give you a perfect result! Science+ art+ Dr. D = Perfection.”

smile travel medellin


smile travel medellin


smile travel medellin


  • Medical Tourism
  • Before and after

></center></p><h2>What Is Medical Tourisim ?</h2><p>Traveling for medical purposes has been a thing for a long time. Colombia is known for the quality and affordable dental work, that combined with a fun trip explains the big demand. that’s why we have set up travel packages tailored for our clinic in Medellin Colombia.</p><h2>The Trip From The Us To Colombia</h2><p>We offer a comprehensive  travel package  that includes flight tickets, hotel, private transportation and our local guide to make the experience smooth and fun for you and your family</p><h2>Fly Straight</h2><p>There are several daily options to fly straight to Medellin (Colombia) from anywhere in the US. We’ll assist you to choose the flight that suits the best for your schedule.</p><p><center><img style=

Comfortable Boutique Stay

We’ve partnered with the Blue Doors Hotel in Medellin to welcome our guests and offer one of the best accommodations in the city, just 5 minutes away from our dental office and very conveniently located. 

Private Transportation

Our drivers will pick you up or drop you off at the airport, take you to the hotel and to your medical appointments. We’ll share your entire itinerary for them and they’ll be right on time, ready to take you. You could also arrange personal rides if you’d like to enjoy the service for sightseeing around Medellin with them. 

smile travel medellin

Special Family Package

Would you like to travel with family? Even better! We have special group packages to offer you and your loved ones.

Kosher-friendly Environment

Kosher food, Shabbat dinner, Shabbat Medellin.

smile travel medellin

From the moment I walked into the consultation room and the Doctor's initial response to my smile I felt overwhelmingly at ease. For a healthcare professional to understand exactly what i didn't like about my smile was something different but more importantly fixing it so perfectly was the best thing i ever did

Giving Back to Humanity

Did you know 30% people do not have access to a dentist?

That’s what inspired us to do something about it and offer help, as well as try to raise money and resources to support those unprivileged. We have exciting plans for 2022 to really make an impact in peoples lives.  

Please call our office if you want to volunteer or help the efforts. You can also just click the donate button below and donate today for men, women and kids in need.

+1 (212) 895-4444

  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Medical Center
  • Smile makeover

Stay in touch

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240 Kent Ave Brooklyn, NY 11249

  • E-Mail: [email protected]
  • Tel: (212) 895-4444
  • ©2023 The Elegant Smile Group
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Smile Odontologos

smile travel medellin

Turismo Odontologico

Si estás pensando en realizarte un tratamiento odontológico y vives en el exterior, en SMILE ODONTOLOGOS encontraras todas las posibilidades para materializar la sonrisa que siempre has anhelado y hacer realidad tu sueño de sonreír con confianza.

Para que tengas un viaje de turismo y salud, te ofrecemos diferentes planes y destinos en donde nos encargaremos de toda tu estadía de principio a fin, a través de nuestro aliado en turismo VIAJAR CON SENTIDO, con una trayectoria de 12 años en el mercado.

Nuestra sede está ubicada estratégicamente, donde tendrás fácil acceso al sistema de transporte Metro de Medellín, además podrás disfrutar de un centro comercial que cuenta con línea y outlet en un solo lugar.

Para dar comienzo a esta experiencia de turismo odontológico nuestra ASESORA DENTAL PERSONALIZADA , en conjunto con nuestra asesora de viajes coordinará todos los aspectos de su visita:

  • ProgramaciĂłn de citas
  • AsesorĂ­a dental integral
  • Alojamiento
  • Planes turĂ­sticos

Que tu tratamiento dental sea una excusa para disfrutar unas vacaciones en Colombia.

Diagnostico Virtual

Este servicio te ayudara en el proceso de avanzar con tu tratamiento dental, pero debes tener en cuenta que puede estar sujeto a variaciones y que la única forma de tener un diagnostico real es a través de una cita de diagnostico presencial en nuestras instalaciones.

smile travel medellin

En SMILE ODONTOLOGOS estamos seguros de que un tratamiento odontológico también puede ser una gran excusa para tener unas vacaciones maravillosas y estamos preparados para hacerlo. Ofrecemos a nuestros pacientes tratamientos odontológicos integrales, así como actividades turísticas completas.

El éxito de los tratamientos con nuestros viajeros se basa en una muy buena pre-planeación del tratamiento, de esta manera podrás elegir el paquete que mejor te convenga.

smile travel medellin

Solo tratamiento

Valoración inicial on line: acá podremos identificar las necesidades puntuales de tu tratamiento, posible plan de tratamiento, para lo cual se solicitará vía correo electrónico soportes con fotos, radiografías o tomografías, o registros dentales previos; para calcular una duración aproximada de tratamiento.

Costos de tratamiento: Los tratamientos se calcularán con base a su comunicación inicial con nuestros profesionales.

Nota:  No incluye los costos de transporte ni hospedaje.

Tratamiento + Turismo

Visitar Colombia puede ser una de sus mejores opciones este año, una gran elección porque Colombia es uno de los países más importantes de Sudamérica en salud dental

Puede viajar por el país antes o después de su tratamiento dental. Ofrecemos varios paquetes turísticos que se pueden equipar a sus necesidades e intereses individuales, SMILE ODONTOLOGOS EN ALIANZA CON VIAJAR CON SENTIDO diseñan una experiencia para usted mientras visita los lugares más increíbles que Colombia tiene para ofrecer.

Costa Caribeña (Cartagena-Santa Marta-San Andres)

Villa de Leyva y Boyacá

MedellĂ­n y Municipios de Antioquia

Parques nacionales

smile travel medellin

Alianza comercial con el Hotel Fairfield by Marriott

smile travel medellin

¡Colombia un territorio por explorar!

Datos importantes que deberĂ­as saber

Preguntas Frecuentes

No, las ayudas básicas como fotografías intraorales y radiografía panorámica son la condición mínima para garantizar antes de tu llegada cual es el posible tratamiento para realizar y así poder definir el tiempo de tu estadía en nuestro país, así como de manera tentativa saber cuales son los posibles costos de tu tratamiento.

Una de las grandes ventajas de realizarte tu tratamiento de odontología en la ciudad de Medellín son sus excelentes precios, además Medellín es reconocida mundialmente como uno de los mejores destinos de turismo de salud a nivel mundial por su excelente calidad a precios módicos y justos. Además, podrás visitar y explorar esta mágica y cosmopolita ciudad.

Para poder realizar una planeaciĂłn adecuada de tu viaje a MedellĂ­n, es necesario realizar una cita virtual, para poder identificar cuales son tus necesidades y con base en ello establecer un plan de tratamiento y una duraciĂłn de este.

No, dependiendo de tu plan de tratamiento, se escogerá la posibilidad de tener citas mas largas o de configurar un cronograma de citas en el que puedas disfrutar también de unas cómodas vacaciones bien sea conociendo la ciudad de Medellín o desplazándote a otras ciudades

Si, después de realizar la consulta virtual y enviar las ayudas diagnosticas mínimas se puede hacer un presupuesto tentativo pero muy aproximado, teniendo siempre en cuenta que puede variar al momento de realizar el tratamiento

Si, Smile odontólogos cuenta con un aliado estratégico en turismo, la agencia viajar con sentido tiene 12 años de trayectoria generando experiencias inolvidables y te ayudara a planear tu viaje con el apoyo de tu asesora dental personalizada y así poder según tu plan de tratamiento, crear las vacaciones que se ajusten a los tiempos de tu tratamiento.

smile travel medellin

smile travel medellin

American DJ rescued by Good Samaritan after he was found wandering around Colombian neighborhood after he was drugged and robbed

  • A Los Angeles DJ was found at the San Lucas Mall in MedellĂ­n on Sunday morning after he was allegedly drugged and robbed
  • The man, who identified himself as John, told a Good Samaritan that his cell phone, laptop and money had been stolen

An American man was rescued by a woman after he was seen wandering at a MedellĂ­n mall after he was allegedly drugged and robbed.

The victim was seen asking shoppers at the San Lucas Mall on Sunday morning to assist him in contacting his mother back home when a Good Samaritan obliged, El Colombiano newspaper reported.

The man, who identified as John and a Los Angeles resident, told the woman he had been robbed of his cell phone, laptop and an undisclosed amount of money.

The Good Samaritan, who declined to be named in the report, recalled John telling her, 'I am going to tell all my friends not to come to MedellĂ­n.'

Police arrived on the scene and registered an incident report and claimed the only friend John had in the area was a tattoo artist in Envigado, six miles southeast of MedellĂ­n.

Before placing him in an Uber to take him to the friend's home, the woman advised him, 'Please tell everyone, all your friends who come looking for prostitution and drugs, please don't come.' reached out to the Aburrá Valley Metropolitan Police for comment. 

The alleged robbery is the latest incident in which tourists in MedellĂ­n have fallen victims to crimes in which they were drugged before they were either robbed or killed.

At least 13 foreigners have died in MedellĂ­n in the first two months of 2024 after 30 deaths were reported in all of last year. E ight Americans in MedellĂ­n between November 1 and December 31, 2023.

In January, MedellĂ­n cops arrested Sharit MejĂ­a and two men for the December murder of American community activist and comedian Tou Ger Xiong. 

In response, the  United States Embassy in Colombia warned travelers about the use of dating apps.

The embassy indicated that several of the deaths pointed to 'possible drugging, robbery, and overdose and several involve the use of online dating applications.'

The embassy advised also American visitors that they should 'strongly consider meeting only in public places and avoiding isolated locations, such as residences or hotel rooms, where crimes are most likely to occur.'

'It is also recommended that if Americans decide to invite a person they met to a home or hotel, they speak to the 'attendant/concierge beforehand and establish a policy as to what information your new visitor should provide before being authorized entry (photo of identification, etc.) and what process should be followed when your visitor departs,' the mission said.

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scor 2030

Scor’s 2030 Is a Brilliant Blend of Speed, Capability, and Playfulness

If riding the 2030 doesn't make you smile, you might be dead inside.

The Takeaway: Scor’s 2030 is a little bike with a big attitude. It is lively, poppy quick, and crisp. The suspension is excellent and it offers well-balanced handling in most terrain. It is very capable when the trail turns steep and technical, even if this sort of riding isn’t its specialty. Ultimately, the 2030 is a bike for everyday trail riding that blends efficiency and shred into one of the most entertaining and rewarding bikes on the planet.

scor 2030

Builds and Prices

Ride impressions, notes from the field, .css-1dxgn05{-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;background-color:#ffffff;border:0;border-bottom:none;border-top:0.0625rem solid #e5e5e5;color:#000;cursor:pointer;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;font-style:inherit;font-weight:inherit;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;padding-bottom:0.3125rem;padding-top:0.3125rem;scroll-margin-top:0rem;text-align:left;width:100%;}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-1dxgn05{scroll-margin-top:3.375rem;}} .css-b4ahb2{border-radius:50%;width:1.875rem;border:thin solid #737373;height:1.875rem;padding:0.4rem;margin-right:0.625rem;} .css-jlx6sx{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;width:0.9375rem;height:0.9375rem;margin-right:0.625rem;-webkit-transform:rotate(90deg);-moz-transform:rotate(90deg);-ms-transform:rotate(90deg);transform:rotate(90deg);-webkit-transition:-webkit-transform 250ms ease-in-out;transition:transform 250ms ease-in-out;} details (click arrow to expand).

Price as tested: $6,499 (2030 GX) Weight as tested: 29.6 lb. (size medium) Sizes offered:  S, M, M-L, L, XL Model price range:  $4,999 to $7,999 Frame only:  $3,499 Fork travel: 140mm Frame travel: 120mm Recommended shock sag: 28-30% Max tire clearance:  64mm/2.5” Bottom Bracket:  Press Fit 92 Seatpost: 31.6mm Shock Dimensions: 185 x 47.5mm trunnion Piggyback shock compatible: Yes Coil shock compatible:  Yes Derailleur Hanger:  UDH Warranty:  Three years on frame (extended to five years if registered with BMC within six months of purchase), two years on Scor components and paintwork.  Crash replacement:  Upon registration, a one-time discounted crash replacement is offered

Features and Details

Scor’s 2030 is the BMC sub-brand’s shortest travel (120mm rear, 140mm front) full suspension bike. The brand states it created a shorter travel bike that rides like a “slimmed down enduro bike” rather than a “bulked up XC bike.”

In stock form, it boasts 120mm rear travel paired with a 140mm fork. However, while Scor designed this bike around a 47.5mm stroke shock, riders can swap in a 52.5mm stroke shock which bumps rear wheel travel up to 130mm. Nevertheless, the brand says, “We think 120mm hits the sweet spot though and we’re pretty sure once you’ve tried it you’ll agree.”

scor 2030

The 2030 utilizes the same dual-link rear suspension system as Scor’s other bikes. It’s a very compact linkage, with the lower-link driving the shock. This in turn places the shock very low in the frame as well. The result is a very tidy and low-slung package. And it allows for a small rear triangle and a quite open front triangle.

The front triangle features a cargo mount under the top tube—also suitable for a water bottle with a very secure cage or Fidlock system —as well as a water bottle mount atop Scor’s Stash Hatch storage system built into the downtube.

Brake hoses, rear derailleur cable, and dropper housing do not route through the headset. Instead, they dive into the frame at the downtube and run through full-length tunnels. The dropper housing takes quite a twisty path from where it exits downtube to where it enters the seat tube, but it didn’t seem to compromise function on my review bike.

scor 2030

Smaller but notable details include a UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger) for SRAM Transmission compatibility, an angle adjust headset that lets the rider switch from the stock 64.5-degree head angle to 65.5 degrees for a sharper feeling front end, and a press-fit 92 bottom bracket. The 2030 also features an integrated top guide for extra chain security (it has the “lower” ISCG ’05 tabs if you want to mount a bash guard), and a little sneeze guard to keep gunk from piling onto the shock shaft.

SCOR 2030 GX

2030 GX

In the USA, Scor sells the 2030 in three complete builds, and as a frame. All builds feature mechanical SRAM Eagle drivetrain, Maxxis Dissector (rear) and Rekon (front) 2.4-inch tires, and WTB Silverado saddle.

Comparing prices, Scor’s bikes are on the higher end of the scale, and more akin to a boutique brand like Yeti than a big brand like Trek. The GX-equipped model I tested sells for $6,500: The same price as the similarly kitted Yeti SB120 Lunch Ride C2 (the Yeti is currently on sale for $5,525). In Trek’s line, $6,500 gets you a Shimano XT equipped Top Fuel 9.8 XT , or Fuel EX 9.8 XT —and both feature carbon rims.

SCOR 2030 X01

2030 X01

The 2030 X01 ($7,999) is the top of the line build and features Fox Factory 34 fork and Factory Float shock, SRAM X01 Eagle (mechanical) shifting and cranks, SRAM Code Ultimate brakes, and DT-Swiss XRC 1501 wheels with carbon rims.

The 2030 GX ($6,499) is the middle child. It features RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 fork and Deluxe Ultimate RCT shock, SRAM GX (mechanical) shifting with a X1 carbon crank, SRAM Code RSC brakes, and DT-Swiss XM 1700 wheels. This is the model I tested.

SCOR 2030 NX

2030 NX

The base build is the 2030 NX. It is kitted with RockShox Pike Select RC fork and Deluxe Select+ RT shock, SRAM NX Eagle shifting with Descendant 6K crank, SRAM Code R brakes, and “XDX-530” wheels.

SCOR 2030 Frameset

2030 Frameset

The 2030 frame sells for $3,499 fitted with a Fox Factory Float shock.


Continuing the theme laid down by other Scor bikes, the 2030 has a quite slack head tube angle (64.5 degrees, adjustable to 65.5° with headset cups) and rather short chain stays (429mm).

Among comparable bikes (examples: Yeti SB120 LR, Pivot Trail 429 Enduro, Knolly Fugitive 125, Commencal Tempo, Norco Optic), the 2030 is one of the slackest up front while also boasting some of the shortest chainstays. Reach and top tube lengths (based on comparing medium size bikes) are average. However, the stack is decidedly on the lower end of the spectrum. BB drop/height is in line with other bikes with similar travel.

Curiously, the 2030’s 64.5° head angle is the same as the 4060 ST, a bike with 140mm rear travel and 150mm fork.

Usually, the more travel a bike has, the slacker the head angle becomes, but that’s not the case with Scor’s bikes. Most likely this is a temporary overlap: The 2030 platform is several years newer than the 4060 (it debuted in September 2021). Although the pace has slowed significantly, mountain bike geometry is still evolving and I expect that when the 4060 gets redesigned or replaced (which should be soon), it will be slacker than 2030.

scor 2030

I fell in love with Scor’s 4060 (in both ST and LT variants) for its snappy, poppy, lively, and crisp feel. While it is not the most stable bike for plowing chunder at warp speed, at typical trail speeds it was a joy to ride. It is precise and plenty stable, an above-average climber, with well-tuned suspension that works in all conditions.

Those feelz are present in the 2030 as well. And with less travel, it is even more playful and efficient than the 4060. As I’ve noted in other reviews, I generally abstain from using the F-word (fun) to describe a bike because I think all bikes are fun. But there are a small handful of bikes that, for whatever combination of factors, feel more delightfully rambunctious and are more likely to make me shout out “yee-hah!” on the trail: The Scor 2030 is one of them.

This is a bike that finds a sweet spot between quickness and stability. With shorter travel and that compact rear end—plus what feels like a lower-than-average center of gravity—it is dynamic on the trail. The steering is light and changes direction easily but it’s locked in once you set it on a line.

The rear suspension is very good. It wrings impressive sensitivity, support, and control from a mere 120mm of travel. Of course, XC race bikes like the Specialized Epic 8 also have 120mm rear travel these days, but the character of the Scor 2030’s120mm is very different from an Epic’s 120mm. The Scor is plush and pillowy, and more eager to use its travel than an XC race bike.

scor 2030

The 2030 climbs very well too. The rear suspension feels firm and efficient under power but retains enough suppleness to maintain traction when it is scarce. And despite the ultra-short chain stays and slack head angle, the 2030’s front end was reasonably well-behaved on steeper climbs.

However, the stock cockpit (due to the 35mm stem) was a bit too cramped for my tastes and didn’t put enough weight on the front tire. I found the 2030 fit more comfortably and has even better handling with a 45mm stem.

The slacker head angle and longer front end give this little bike some impressive manners in steeper and more challenging bits of trail. If you’re precise and a bit daring, the 2030 can handle most anything (it works even better in nervy terrain if you install beefier tires and bump up to heavier-duty disc rotors).

scor 2030

But if you’re charging big terrain and bike parks on the regular, this isn’t your bike nor is it meant to be. It’s a fast and deft handling bike that’s well suited to long days and big climbs, but absolutely shreds most descents too. It’s a step up from an XC bike without the bloat of a longer travel trail bike, which is a wonderful compromise.

With 140mm and 150mm trail bikes seemingly getting ever heavier, I think bikes like this 2030 and other superb bikes in the same general niche ( Yeti SB120 , Pivot Trail 429, Knolly Fugitive 125, Commencal Tempo, Norco Optic, Evil Following , Ibis Ripley, Revel Rascal, Spot Mayhem 130, Santa Cruz Tallboy) are a better choice for everyday trail riding. Bikes like this 2030 are lighter, faster, and more engaging on the average trail.

Random observations and reports from my time testing the bike.

• I don’t know why Bike Yoke uses such long bolts for its saddle clamp. They stick up super high and, with a rider’s weight, contact the saddle base. I don’t want to think about what goes on with a lower-profile saddle that features a cutout. This is an issue with all Bike Yoke droppers. One can easily fix it with a hacksaw or Dremel, but a better fix would be for Bike Yoke to ship its posts with shorter bolts.

scor 2030

• I love in-frame storage, but Scor’s execution leaves much to be desired. The opening is small, and the shape of the downtube doesn’t offer much space so getting a standard tube in and out was a bigger struggle than it should have been. An (expensive) TPU tube fits much more easily. Perhaps because the space is small, Scor’s zippered pouch is, thin and unpadded: With hard metal objects inside (Co2 cartridges, mini tool) the rattling is loud and constant. I wound up wrapping things in some pipe insulation to maintain my sanity. Finally, the storage door doesn’t fit snugly and, with a water bottle on the bike, shakes and rattles. I used a few strips of athletic tape around the edges of the downtube hole to improve the fit.

• The shock’s shaft is hidden by frame members, which makes it very difficult to set and check sag. I had to use a flashlight and engage in spontaneous yoga to get a clear view of the etched sag gradients on the RockShox shock. I don’t know what riders on the 2030s with Fox shocks (which don’t have sag gradients) will do. If ever a bike needed a sag gauge integrated into one of the pivots, it’s this one.

•Big thumbs up for etching the torque specs on the pivot bolts. Unfortunately, I needed them because a few worked loose during my first rides. I torqued them to spec and they remained tight for the remainder of my testing.

scor 2030

• Tires. Oh boy… Mountain bike tire choice is hard; it’s a big world with many different trail surfaces and conditions. No tire is ever perfect, and there’s a good chance a bike’s stock tires are one of the first things you’ll change. A product manager once told me he wished he could sell bikes without tires and leave it to the dealer or rider to pick the best ones for the local trails. Anyway, I saw the EXO casing—Maxxis’ lightest trail casing—on the 2030’s stock tires and figured I was in for it given the abundant square-edged chunk on my trails. Sure enough, I pinched the front’s casing in the first rock garden. Once home I swapped over to tires with the equivalent of Maxxis’ EXO+ casing and had no more issues. YMMV, but when a shorter-travel bike has the capability of this 2030, you’ll carry more speed and hit stuff harder which may challenge the stock tires.

• Other than my issues with the tire casing (which won’t be universal) I think the 2030 GX’s build kit is almost perfect. It’s simple, no bullshit, high performance, and lasts. You can spend more to upgrade to electronics and carbon which may save weight and add polish if you want, but this build has all the performance you need for everyday riding. Even the Bike Yoke Divine dropper which I find sluggish and notchy did its job well over the many months I tested this bike

Headshot of Matt Phillips

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling , Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race. 

preview for HDM All Sections Playlist - Bicycling

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