Working for Instinct Magazine since September 2014, I’ve been fortunate to go on many trips and meet many people. This last October, I went on one of the top trips ever, and it was during the pandemic and it was to Colombia. We visited a couple of destinations within Colombia, but for this post, I’ll share just my Medellin leg of the trip. If you asked me right now, what city I’ve visited in the past that I would want to revisit the most, it would be Medellin, the City of Eternal Spring, and here are some reasons why.
It was October 2020 when I interviewed Sam Castañeda Holdren, owner of Out in Colombia. I had never been to Colombia, let alone South America and Colombia had been coming up on my radar (also many Colombian gays hitting me up on Tinder from 1400 miles away). Living in Fort Lauderdale, I knew that it is often easier, quicker and cheaper to fly to Latin America than it is to fly to New York or New England. Thanks to recent additions, Jet Blue has made it even easier to get to countries like Colombia and Ecuador. So combining a great interview experience with Sam and knowing that the travel would be direct with Jet Blue, it was time to plan my journey.
2020 Interview – When Planning That First Big Getaway, How About Out In Colombia?
I had interviewed Sam during October 2020 and during COVID and we were still not out of it a year later, but I had already been to multiple cities in the US, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. But this was a bigger trip than I had ever planned so the control was given to Out In Colombia and Sam and his crew. They were able to coordinate all transportation, COVID concerns and testing, lodging, restaurants, cultural tours, club recommendations, and more. Here is my recap of our trip.
Where to Stay – The Click Clack Hotel–
The design and cheeky-ness of this hotel will have you smiling throughout your stay. Located in the Provenza/El Poblado area of Medellin, the most walkable part of the city, with an array of restaurants, bars, nightlife, and green spaces. Even the lobby is an outdoor green space where you check in meet friends, have breakfast, have late night drinks, watch the visiting rugby teams as they do whatever. A rooftop bar, rooftop pool and great city views are just an elevator ride away. There were a great deal of fun and quirky gay, sexual things, but the most fun was my shower that had a floor to ceiling window exposed to the street, showering at night and watching the traffic going by was an experience.
The Nightlife. So many people talk about the hottest boys/men and where to find them. Medellin will not let you down. We had time to check out two clubs while there, Club Oraculo and Bar Chiquita. Chiquita has great drag, quirk almost over the top decorations while still being a cozy place to either meet people and catch up or go all out. Oraculo has you energized with djs in multiple rooms spinning a variety of music. We were in the main/larger room for most of the night. The men were quite pleasant to meet, chat, and dance with. I’m missing those spots.
Cultural Focus – Comuna 13 – Medellin was the most dangerous city in the world and Comuna 13 (district 13) was the most dangerous neighborhood. A local guide from the urban collective Casa Kolacho shocked us with the history of this district and shared the beauty and story of how the grafitti came about.
Food, Shopping, Spa, & More
The Click Clack Hotel was truly in the best spot we could be in Medellin. The shopping, the restaurants, the nightlife, everything that we needed on this trip was there. This last video recap of the trip starts off with a fun cooking experience.
Cooking out with Estaban – I am not sure what was hotter the food or the men of Medellin. Before seeing what Estaban was cooking with, we went to the Plaza Minorista (local public market) to select some ingredients, saw some big plantains, and some cakes, then we were off to the kitchen for some culinary fun.
We also had some great food at La Matriarca – accompanied by a superb mariachi band.
Shopping in Medellin was too much fun, but we had to remember how much room we had in our bags. Of course some of the finer shops like Orozco was more than happy to ship after alterations were made.
There is a ton more to share and there was a ton more that I needed to experience. The climate (think San Diego), the food, the culture, the men, and the ease of it all will be the reasons I return to Colombia and to Medellin.
Next time I go, I will definitely reach out again to Sam and Out in Colombia as there were zero worries and zero effort on my part to have one of the best experiences in travel I have had. I cannot imagine how it will be if we ever get past COVID, but I may not wait until then to return. So grab some friends and make it a great trip and a wonderful memorable journey.