When looking to travel or live in another country, considerations for a seniors destination include the safety of an area, healthcare availability, easy access to transportation, and an abundance of entertainment.
Recently, Medellin, Colombia has been a location frequently recommended to seniors and others looking for someplace different. But, with its shaky past as a high-crime drug capital, one has to ask why.
As it turns out, the past 20 years have brought about a remarkable change for Medellin and the surrounding area. Great efforts have been made to transform the area, shed the bad reputation, and stimulate growth of all types. These changes have led to an upsurge of business development plus improvements in infrastructure, technology, healthcare, social amenities and more.
Of particular interest to foreigners is El Poblado, an upscale neighborhood located at the eastern side of the Aburra Valley and in close proximity to El Centro, Medellin’s city center. This area is best described as being more developed than others, making it more appealing to boomers while staying in the region. According to Medellin Living, “It is essentially a wealthy suburb that offers Medellin’s elite a western lifestyle with all the creature comforts money can buy.”
Safety measures have been stepped up in El Poblado. The neighborhood has an increased police presence, allowing visitors and residents added comfort and security when going about their activities, both day and night.
There are several medical clinics located right in El Poblado providing services from general medical care right on up to plastic surgery and, according to International Living and the World Health Organization (WHO), Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe in nearby Medellin is higher ranked than comparable facilities in the United States and Canada.
Getting around Medellin and El Poblado is easy for seniors with transportation options that include access to taxis, bus service, the metro, and even Uber.
As the most well-to-do neighborhood of Medellin, El Poblado’s tree-lined streets are dotted with modern high-rise buildings offering mostly luxury apartments. High-end shopping can be found in several malls and many small boutiques. Restaurants and bars are plentiful and the nearby Zona Rosa features several nightclubs with a hip and vibrant nighttime scene.
For seniors interested in adventurous activities in and around the area there is much to consider. There are numerous parks with hiking paths, streams, and even ocean views to entice those who want to explore nature. Laguna de Guatape, provided by Tours Guatape, is a day trip takes participants up 650 steep steps up a rock to provide spectacular views of the coast and its surrounds.
Not to be missed is the chance to see an Atlético Nacional football (soccer to Americans) game – considered an electrifying experience even for those who don’t like the sport of soccer.
Other more adventurous activities in the area include horseback riding, parasailing, a cable car excursion, ziplining – the list goes on and on.
The El Poblado and the city of Medellin have each made a strong comeback and travel to the area should be high on anyone’s bucket list of places that provide a safe, comfortable travel experience with an abundance of things to do for all involved.