Medellin to Panama

Time For a Border Run? How About Panama to Medellín? 3

So…is it time for your border run? Ever think of doing your border run from Panama to Medellín (pronounced meh-dih-jjjjean)? We just came back from ours and if you haven’t done the quick hop from Panama to Medellín, you should. Why? Well, for starters, you can replace the words to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean is not my lover…” with “Medellín is not my lover“. But I don’t know why you’d do that though.

Anyway, in my short time in Panama I’ve been loathe to do a border run to Paso Canao. I’m sure I’ll have to do one soon enough, especially now that we have a car and those guys in fatigues that stand at the side of the road indicate I’m only allowed to drive in Panama for 90 days.

But instead of making a run to the CR border and back in one day, we decided to make border runs a little more fun and exciting.  Our last border run was to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, crossing at Sixaola. This time we decided to make another journey of our border run from…

Panama to Medellín, Colombia.

Rather than compare Panama to Medellín, or gloat about Medellín and how awesome it was, and how amazing the food was, and how outstanding the public transportation systems were, and how reliable the electricity proved to be, and how much cheaper things seemed, I thought I’d break down our costs so you can get a glimpse of what five days in Medellin might cost you if you decide to do a Panama to Medellín border run.

Oh, but wait, a tip about where to stay in Medellín. Most people will tell you to stay in El Poblado. It’s nice there, but pretty touristy and thus, prices will reflect that. It reminded me of Bocas Del Toro that way. There were a lot of 2 for 1 signs for drinks, and one burger joint had a sign that read “50% off burgers, all the time”. My question to that is, why not just lower the price and keep it like that. That marketing didn’t fool me.

Mmmmm, mmmmeat in Mmmmedellin

Mmmm, mmmeat in mmmMedellin


Anyhow, we stayed in another barrio called Laureles. Taxi drivers told us it was an upper-middle class neighborhood, which it appeared to be, so I guess I can’t call Bull$#!t on that. The people of Medellín also seemed to genuinely care about their neighborhood. Garbage was nowhere to be seen except in the garbage cans that were attached to every other light post. And the restaurants were both amazing and FULL OF PEEPS!

picture of Inntu Hotel Rooftop Jacuzzi

Not a bad view, eh?

Oh, and if you’re active, the one tour I highly recommend is the Medellin Bike Tour. We spent five hours (minus an hour for lunch at the Botanical Gardens ((which was free entrance))) riding around Medellín and the whole time we were thinking of that line in Macklemore’s song Thrift Shop…This is F@#king awesome! Except for when I got a flat tire. WTF. Rented a quad in Bocas…got a flat tire. Rented a bike in Medellín…got a flat tire.

picture of flat tire in Medellin

Another Flat? I’m never renting anything with wheels again!

Crap, I almost forgot to mention the cable car and metro system. Again, riding the metro and cable cars had us singing Thrift Shop again…This is F@#king awesome! For 2000 Colombian Pesos, which is about a buck, you can go pretty much any direction you want. North, South, East, West, Up, Down. Seriously, there’s a line that you can connect with that is included in the Cable Car, it’s the San Javier line if you’re wondering. And for a few bucks more there’s a line that went up to Parque Arvi, which is a pretty cool nature reserve that makes you feel like you’re in Banff…or possibly some mountain town in Colorado.

picture of Medellin Cable Cars

Up, up and away!

Hmm, I seemed to run out of time and didn’t even get to the costs. Well, tune in next week when I actually do what I say I’m going to do and talk about the costs of a border run from Panama to Medellín!

Oh, and if you started singing “Medellín is not my lover” to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, then you’ve won two tickets to the monster truck extravaganza…being held tonight at the Carson Fairgrounds…featuring Big Daddy Don Bodine’s truck,“The Behemoth.” *

Later Dudes!


* Movie line delivered by Steven Wright in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.


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