A colorful wall with posters in Laureles Medellin Colombia

Complete Guide to Laureles, Medellin with Insider Tips!

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We spent two months working online while living in Laureles, Medellin. To us, Laureles is the best place to stay in Medellin! It is full of tree-lined walkable streets, great cafes, bars and restaurants.

It is also a very safe part of the city that has everything a digital nomad or slow traveler could need. So let’s dive in and find out everything you need to know about Laureles Medellin! ✨

Why should you stay in Laureles Medellin?

We stayed in Medellin for 2 months and Laureles was our favorite area in terms of living and everyday life. It is a very walkable area full of green leafy streets and great cafes, bars, and restaurants.

There is also an amazing free workout park in Belen just south of Laureles. So if you like being outdoors and walking around I think it is the perfect area!

Read also: 29 Proven Ways to Travel Cheap 💰

Laureles vs El Poblado vs Envigado

The most popular place for expats to live in Medellin is El Poblado. El Poblado is full of great restaurants and is home to the city’s most wealthy people.

But what I didn’t like about El Pobaldo is that it is very hilly and full of busy roads. While it is a nice part of Medellin we missed the local feel. Plus it is much more expensive than Laureles!

Another area of the city that many expats choose to stay in is Envigado. It is a very nice part of the city and feels a lot more “Colombian” than Laureles. Many families choose to live there but to us, we felt better connected in Laureles.

Benefits of Laureles:
👟 Walkable
🌳 Very green
💛 Safe & quiet
💰 Cheap!
☕️ Great cafes
🍽️ Yummy Restaurants
🏋️‍♀️ Best Free Outdoor Gym

Laureles Medellin Map (It’s bigger than you think!)

Laureles covers a huge area in Medellin as you can see in the red area on the map below. But I think if you are thinking of staying here many areas are much more desirable than others.

Certain areas of Laureles have much more restaurants and cafes than others. Also, you can have much fewer green leafy streets in some parts. So it is good to choose wisely where to stay in Laureles.

Laureles Medellin Map
This is Laureles Medellin on the map
Map showing the best area to stay in while living in Laureles Medellin
This is where I recommend staying in Laureles Medellin

The marked square on the map contains most of the best cafes, bars, and restaurants in Laureles. If you stay in the southern part you are also closer to Belen which is another nice area with an amazing free workout park.

If you are north of the square you will probably find cheaper rent. But there are fewer nice restaurants, bars, cafes and parks up there. So I don’t recommend staying there.

To the west of the square, there are some very nice areas so it is also a good place to stay. But you are just a little bit further away from the city center and the hip places to eat and hang out.

Read also: 12 Best Cafes in Laureles Medellin ☕️

Laureles Medellin Accommodation

There are tons of affordable and great places to stay in Laureles Medellin – for singles, backpackers, couples and digital nomads!

Airbnb Laureles

Medellin is full of Airbnbs. You will see new condos being built that say they are purpose-built to be rented out as Airbnb’s. So there is no shortage of apartments in Laureles.

Costs: We were able to find a small studio for 300 USD a month. But most basic apartments will start at about 500 USD per month. If you want a nice apartment you will have to pay 700 USD per month or higher.

🏠 If you are looking for a cheap mini apartment greatly located in Laureles then we can recommend our Airbnb host here. Jonathon is super nice and has 3 listings. We loved the neighborhood, tons of great cafes nearby!

Co-Living Laureles

Because Medellin is so popular with digital nomads a few co-living hotels have started to open. Staying at one of these can be a great way to meet other digital nomads.

One particular advantage is that you will have dedicated workspaces outside of your room. I find it better to have a space to work that isn’t inside your room so you can have a change of scenery.

Hotel Casa Santa Fe is a co-working hotel with a great location in Laureles and very good reviews. The most basic rooms start at just over 700 USD (for singles/couples) if you book on their website.

All the rooms are super clean and comfortable. There is a rooftop area with a barbeque and dedicated co-work with 120 MB of internet.

👉 Book Hotel Casa Santa here 👈

Hostels Laureles

If you are only coming to Medellin for a few days or a couple of weeks then a hostel may be a good idea. Oasis Hostel has very good reviews and capsule-style beds that look like a great place to stay.

Book Oasis Hostel here or search for more hostels here 👇

Hotels Laureles

If you are looking for a reasonably priced hotel then Hotel Brana is a great option. They have rooms starting from 45 USD with a good breakfast included.

Book Hotel Brana here or search for more hotels here 👇

House Sitting Medellin

A great way of living in Laureles like a local is to look after someone’s house and pets while the owner is on holiday. We have done tons of housesits around the world and can highly recommend joining TrustedHouseSitters.

Sign up to TrustedHouseSitters via this link for free + use code HAPPYHEALTHYNOMADS at checkout for a 25% discount on your membership! 🐶 Read about our experiences here.

TrustedHousesitters - The Freedom To Travel

Read also: How to Stay for Free in Colombia 🏠

Co-Working Laureles Medellin

Working online is super common in Medellin. But it is not just foreigners who visit as digital nomads. In Laureles, most cafes, co-works, or even shopping malls are full of locals working online.

So if you decide to come to Laureles and work online you will have no shortage of great places to choose to work from.

Our Airbnb and every cafe that we worked at had great internet as well. So you should not have trouble at all with wifi speed.

The most well-known co-work in Laureles is Semilla It is always packed full of people and is a great place to work. The downstairs of Semilla has a cafe and upstairs you can hire a private workspace.

Tip: If you have travel insurance with SafteyWing you get discounts at Semilla. Read why we choose SafetyWing here.

co-work space in a shopping mall in Laureles Medellin
Most malls in Medellin have co-work spaces!

What to do in Laureles Medellin?

While Laureles is one of the best areas in Medellin to live like a local and enjoy daily life you will also have no shortage of cool things to do!

1. Go to a Football Match

If you are a football fan then Laureles is an awesome place to stay. No matter where you are in Laureles the soccer stadium is within a 30-minute walk.

You will usually know when a game is on because you will see a lot of people with the local team’s jersey on heading to the stadium.

The easiest way to buy a ticket for a Nacional game is at the stadium at the merchandise shop. Two teams play at the stadium but Nacional (the green team) is the most famous.

Tip: If you do not want to go to the game by yourself you can join a Medellin Soccer tour including a team jersey, a drink, and an English-speaking guide ⚽️

2. Enjoy amazing Colombian Coffee

Colombia is known around the world for great coffee and Laureles has one of the best cafe scenes in Medellin. We became coffee snobs!

Surprisingly it was only very recently that you could find great coffee in Colombia itself. Up until around 2009 all of the good coffee was exported overseas because it could be sold for a higher price.

But luckily in recent years, the local artisanal coffee scene has exploded in Colombia. So there are now lots of cafes in Medellin that specialize in making coffee from locally produced beans.

Read also:
☕️ 12 Best Cafes in Laureles
👩‍🌾 Medellin’s Best Coffee Tour
🫘 Book a Coffee Farm Tour here

3. Visit Parques del Rio Laureles Medellin

Medellin is an amazing city but there are not many parks within the city. But if want to escape from the concrete jungle you can head to Parques del Rio in Laureles.

Parques del Rio is located on either side of the river on the edge of Laureles. It is quite a new park and the city has made great use of the area.

It is a great place to go for a walk or run or relax with a picnic on the grass. There are also some nice cafes and restaurants.

Tip: If you are in Medellin in December check out the gigantic Christmas statues an lights there! 🎅

A woman walking along the Medellin river

4. Join a Laureles Medellin Food Tour

One of the best things that we did in Medellin was to go on a free walking tour and the Barrio Transformation Tour with Real City Tours. They have superb guides and it is a great way to get to know the city.

Real City Tours also offers a Laureles food tour for 100,000 pesos (20 USD) where you will sample 10 Colombian foods and snacks. You will also learn about the history and culture behind it.

On the tour, you will also get to visit Cielo Tostado which is one of our favorite cafes in Laureles! In case you make it to Jerico, Antioquia – you can visit their coffee farm there.

Read also: 12 Best Cafes in Laureles Medellin ☕️

5. Dive into Laureles Nightlife

Laureles is a well-known area in Medellin for nightlife. The main street with all the bars and clubs is Carrera 70 known as La 70. Nearly every night of the week you will find locals hanging out at the bars and restaurants along this street.

To be honest La 70 was not my kind of scene. The music was crazy loud and the bars and restaurants are quite tacky. But if you want to party this is the place to go in Laureles!

Read also: 25 Free Things to do in Medellin✌️

Laureles Gyms

There are plenty of options to get a (free) workout in Laureles Medellin!

Free Workout Park Belen

The best place to work out in Medellin is the free workout park in Belen. It is only a 10-minute walk from the south of Laureles.

The park has tonnes of free workout machines that allow you to do everything you would in a normal gym. Usually, free machines in parks are for old people and the resistance cannot be increased much.

But the machines at this park are super well designed and will be more than enough resistance for most people.

There is also a running track next to the workout area in case you want to do cardio. The park is also full of basketball courts and soccer fields. So there is something for everyone!

Read also: Best Free Workout Parks in Medellin 🏋️‍♀️

A free workout area in a park in Laureles Medellin
Best free outdoor gym we have ever been!

Best Laureles Indoor Gyms

If you feel like going to an indoor gym then there are also many options in Laureles.

  • Magnum Gym isn’t pretentious and caters more to lifting weights than cardio
  • Smart Fit has multiple locations all over Medellin. There is one located in the Uni-Centro Mall and memberships start at 69,000 pesos (17 USD) per month

Read also: How to stay fit while traveling 💪

Laureles Restaurants

Laureles is one of the best areas in Medellin to find great restaurants of any cuisine and preferences.

  • Salud Pan makes healthy meals with natural ingredients. Try the menu del dia for 30,000 pesos (7 USD) including soup, drink, main dish and little dessert!
  • Roll Up Sushi Burrito is great for a casual meal with an Asian twist
  • INA Restaurant serves fantastic vegan food surrounded by plants
  • Zacatecas Bolivariana is a popular Mexican restaurant with authentic food
Menu del dia with soup, main dish and dessert on a table

Food Shopping in Laureles (An experience!)

Laureles is a great place to get your groceries. If you are looking for shops and other things you can head to Unicentro Shopping Mall which also has a cinema.

Local Tiendas (Support locals)

If you want to grab a few fruits and vegetables then look for a small corner store. They are scattered all throughout Laureles and Colombia.

I like to buy as much as I can from tiendas because it helps to support the community. Plus in Colombia, the corner stores can have great produce and are usually cheaper than the supermarkets!

I got to know the owner of the local corner store where we stayed. He told me they buy their produce directly from the farmers. This means the farmers get a better price and so do you. If the farmers sell to the supermarkets they get a much lower price. So it is a positive in all regards.

Read also: How to eat healthy and cheap while traveling 🥑

Plaza de Mercado la America (Try fruits you don’t know)

If you want to visit a larger local market then you should head to Plaza Mercado la America. It has all the fresh produce you could want plus local meats and fish.

The prices at the market are also generally cheaper than at supermarkets. Plus there are some food stalls where you can grab a cheap authentic Colombian meal like Bandeja Paisa or Mondongo.

Colombia also has a wide range of fruits – some that you probably haven’t seen before! When we first arrived we went to Plaza de Mercado la America and bought every fruit we didn’t know and had a taste test at home. It was good fun!

Health Food Stores (Everything you can dream of)

We are always looking to eat healthy while on the road. Luckily there are plenty of great health food stores in Laureles Medellin. Our favorites are:

  • Vita Integral has a large selection of products such as tempeh, tofu, pasture-raised eggs, kombucha, kefir and so much more!
  • Nutri-Light located right next to the Unicentro shopping mall
Inside a health food store in Laureles Medellin Colombia

Supermarkets (Plenty of big ones)

There are plenty of supermarket chains and department stores in Laureles Medellin. They are scattered throughout so you will have one nearby.

  • Exito is the most popular one to visit. There are 3 of them in Laureles!
  • Euro is another chain similar to Exito and has 1 in Laureles
  • Carulla is a bit fancier with higher-end products
  • Tienda D1 is smaller, cheaper and convenient for snacks

Most Exitos also have department stores where you can buy clothes and household goods. It is a good place to buy cheap clothes if you need some.

Colombia has a huge textile industry so a lot of the clothes are made in Colombia and are actually very good quality.

Vegetable selection at Exito supermarket in Colombia
The veggie selection at Exito 👌

How to get around Laureles Medellin?

Laureles is a very walkable neighborhood which is one of the best parts about staying there. Many of the streets are full of big green trees and quiet.

But it can still take a long time to walk from one side of Laureles to the other. So the best options to get around are:

  • Rideshares such as Uber📱
  • Yellow taxis 🚕
  • City bikes 🚲
  • Metro 🚊

There are also buses but it is not easy to figure out where they go. There are no cable cars and trams in Laureles Medellin but in other parts of the city.

A green bus driving down a street with trees over the top
A woman walking down a green shaded streets

1. Use Ride Share Apps Medellin

There are 4 main ride-share apps in Medellin:

  • Uber
  • Cabify
  • DiDi
  • Indrive

We usually found Uber to be the best option but during rush hour we would try multiple apps to see which service was available.

Fun fact: In Colombia, it is rude to slam doors when getting in or out of cars. So gently close your door or you will see your Uber ranking decrease! It makes no sense because many of them drive like maniacs and then have a heart attack if you close the door a little too hard. But that’s just part of the culture 😆🤷🚗

2. Wave down a Yellow Taxi

There are local yellow taxis everywhere that are also very cheap. But there is a slightly higher risk of getting ripped off or something bad happening. So it is almost always better to grab an Uber.

But if you are confident with your Spanish and are an experienced traveler they can be a great option. They are usually just as cheap as Uber and you can easily wave them down at the side of the road.

A group of four yellow taxis on the street in Medellin

3. Rent an Encicla Bike

Medellin has a system of public bikes that you can use for free for up to an hour at a time. To use the bikes there is a signup process where you need to register on the Encicla website with copies of your passport and a personalized travel card.

Read how to sign up for Encicla bikes here 🚲

Public bikes for rent at a park in medellin colombia

4. Take the modern Metro

Medellin has a very clean and modern metro system with a line that passes through Laureles. You cannot use it to travel around Laureles but it can be useful to travel from Laureles to El Poblado or other parts of the city.

The metro can be useful if you want to travel long distances (for example to Parque Arvi or Comuna 13) or if the traffic is bad. Because Ubers are so cheap it is usually more convenient and not much more expensive to take one.

Read also: How to get to Parque Arvi by cable car 🚠

Metro station in Laureles Medellin with people waiting for the train

Is Laureles Medellin Safe?

Compared to many other areas of Medellin, Laureles is very safe. However, you should take precautions walking around at night just like anywhere else in the world.

Book: Flexible travel insurance with SafetyWing. Read about our experience plus other options here ✈️ We are already 2+ years insured with SafetyWing!

Nomad Insurance by SafetyWing is the one of the best travel insurances for Medellin Colombia

Read here: Best travel & health insurance for digital nomads 🩺

Best time to visit Medellin, Colombia

Medellin is also called “the city of eternal spring” so it never gets too cold or too hot. Expect some rain with clouds followed by sun on most days. We loved the weather!

The drier season is from December to March, with January being the driest. But that’s also high-season! The wettest days in Medellin are from April to November, with October being the wettest.

We have been in Medellin in August and September (off-season) and barely had rain. So the best time to visit Medellin is when it fits your schedule! If you are on a budget, choose the “rainy season”.

Tip: To see Medellin in blossom visit in August for their annual flower festival 🌸

A woman standing in front. oga Medellin sign with a flower on top

Enjoy your stay in Laureles, Medellin!

Our 2 months in Medellin were awesome and we really enjoyed staying there. It is one of the best places to live and work online that we have visited in Colombia.

If you prefer to stay in Envigado or El Poblado or have any questions about Laureles please let us know in the comments below! We are always interested in your opinions.


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Hi, I am Allan, a travel, health and fitness fanatic from New Zealand. I'm a former lawyer who turned into a full-time nomad in 2020. For the last 4+ years I've been traveling the world. I'm always on a hunt for good food, activities on a budget and workouts on the go. I hope you find my tips helpful and get inspired to travel more!

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2 thoughts on “Complete Guide to Laureles, Medellin with Insider Tips!”

  1. Hi, how safe would you say Medellin is to visit? What are some things to be particularly aware of considering the climate in Columbia at the moment.

    1. Hi Lena, we stayed for 2 months in Medellin and found it very safe. Of course, we took the usual big-city precautions. Stay away from the city center (Plaza Botero area) after 5pm and take extra precautions at night in general. If you are unsure join guided tours – there are plenty in Medellin!

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