Known as the City of Everlasting Spring, Medellin is the capital of Colombia’s Antioquia department. Founded on 2 November 1675 it is currently home to some 2,500,000 inhabitants, making it the country’s second-largest city.
Medellin is famed for the warmth of its citizens and is the only Colombian city to possess two airports. It also boasts Colombia’s only mass transport urban metro, which includes connected bus and cable car services, known as Metroplus and Metrocable respectively.
With its extensive cultural and event infrastructure, the city generates considerable business tourism and has hosted the likes of the 2008 General Assembly of the Organisation of American States, and the 50th Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank, and great sport events like the 2010 South American games, FIFA World Cup qualifiers for South Africa 2010, and the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011.
Museum lovers should not miss a visit to the Museo de Antioquia, where a large collection of works by the Colombian figurative artist Fernando Botero are exhibited. Among many other attractions, the city also offers a wealth of theatres, theme and cultural parks, libraries and an impressive botanical garden.
It’s location in the scenic Aburra valley make it an excellent starting point for eco-tourism in the nearby foothills. Just minutes from the city limits, you can find wonderful colonial architecture in its traditional Antioquian villages, many of which have their own micro-climates.
As in almost every corner of Colombia, football reigns in Medellin, where it has the backing of various state entities. In terms of club football, the city is home to two professional institutions, Atletico Nacional and Independiente Medellin, who are arch-rivals and perennial candidates for the national championships. The former shot to fame in 1989 when it become the first Colombian side to lift the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club competition.
Some of Colombia’s all-time greats have come from the ranks of the two clubs, including the likes of Rene Higuita, Faustino Asprilla, Ivan Cordoba, Amaranto Perea, Juan Pablo Angel, and Mauricio Serna David Ospina and Camilo Zuniga, among others.
Futsal in Medellin
The department of Antioquia, where Medellin is the capital, can pride itself on no fewer than three teams to have graced the Liga Argos Futsal since it was first launched in 2011.
Of that trio, regular hopefuls Aguilas Doradas are the most successful. Based in Itagui and founded in July 2011, they won the 2012-1 title after seeing off Club Deportivo Lyon in the final, and they repeated the feat against the same opponents in 2013-1, with a side largely composed of veterans from Colombia's Thailand 2012 adventure.
Club Rionegro Futsal have likewise posted significant wins since they came into being on 1 February 2013. Outsiders during their first year of competition, Los Leones del Oriente (Lions of the Orient) turned heads by taking the title in the second half of 2013.
The department's third outfit is Real Antioquia, who made their Liga Argos Futsal bow in the opening campaign of 2015. Although they have yet to progress beyond the first round, Real have been a genuine revelation this year.