Getting Around Medellin and the Surrounding Areas

One of the most fun things to do when traveling in different countries is to take a ride either on their public transportation system or unique taxi like cars to take you on shorter distances.

Bus stop - chivas in colombia

Of course I did the metro in Medellin, but that’s not the only way to get around.

The main buses that is more for taking people from the big city to the smaller villages surrounding Medellin are called Chivas. When I first saw one, it reminded me of the chicken buses of Central America. However, when I said that to the Colombians, who have never been to Central America, they never even heard of that term.

chivas, colombia

Ironically enough, the word chiva means ‘cool’ in Guatemala. And the Colombian Chiva is exactly that – as they are beautifully decorated, with intricate art work.

chiva on a country road, guatape colombia

In Guatape area they use Moto Chivas. What this is are basically tuk tuks decorated the same way as a Chiva bus, but in miniature form. It was the only way I liked getting around.

Moto chiva, guatape colombia

And the most fun, and crazy, are ancient renault taxis that are more or less gutted out, and probably with the same motor and break system from the original year. As often as I thought it would either not stop due to horrible breaks, or breakdown, it was one of the funner rides by far.

Ancient Renault taxi, colombia

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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