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Tiger Paw Hostel

Tiger Paw Hostel
Carrera 36 #10-49, El Poblado, Medellin
(034) 311.6079
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tigerpawhostel.com

Overview: Medellin's Tiger Paw hostel may be the best in town. Centrally located in the El Poblado neighborhood, it's just minutes from Parque Lleras, and some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the city. Medellin has rapidly arrived to be a playground for international tourists and wealthy Colombians, and you'll find anything your heart desires within walking distance. You're also not terribly far from Medellin's impressive Metro: just head down to Calle 10 and walk 10 minutes west until you hit the El Poblado metro station.

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Neigborhood: People come to Medellin to party. This is backpacker central, and is just crawling with restaurants catering to every taste you can imagine, and all manner of bars, pubs, discotecas, and fancy nightclubs. The party scene in Medellin largely centers around three areas: Parque Lleras, right next to the hostel; la Milla de Oro, an area along Avenida el Poblado where you'll find Rio Sur, La Strada, and numerous casinos, and Barrio Colombia, which is just 20 blocks north of Tiger Paw.

If you're looking for cultural activities, museums, or a taste of the "real" Medellin, head north to the Centro. It's not particularly dangerous during the day, but take care at night, when downtown acquires a bit more gritty flavor.

How to Get There: If you're arriving at Medellin's Jose Maria Cordova Airport, there are two options. You can take a taxi from the airport directly to the hostel for about $60.000. Or, you can take a bus from the airport to downtown Medellin for just $7.000. Then, hop in a taxi for just $5.000 or $6.000.

If you're arriving by bus, there are two terminals in Medellin: la Terminal de Norte y la Terminal de Sur. Buses from Bogota, Cartagena, and Santa Marta arrive at the north terminal, while buses from Cali and the Coffee Zone arrive at the southern terminal. From the southern terminal it's just a 5 minute ($5.000 or $6.000) taxi ride, while from the further northern terminal it should cost between $10.000 and $15.000.

Management: American owner Justin has put the time and effort in, turning Tiger Paw into a Medellin backpacking institution. He's also hired an incredible staff: some of the nicest girls in Medellin work the bar and reception at the Paw. Just don't get your hopes up: they get hit on by American/European/Australian backpackers all the time!

Rooms: Dorms are clean and comfortable, with high-quality mattresses. There are three dormitories, each containing six beds. Or, you can treat yourself to one of the six private rooms. Showers have good water pressure, and consistent piping-hot water.

Shared Rooms: Dormitories cost $20.000 a night, or you can get an air conditioned dorm for just $22.000. It doesn't get all that hot in Medellin, but better safe than sorry: go with the AC dorm.

Private Rooms: There are seven private rooms in totalPrivate rooms without bathrooms are $60.000, while private rooms with bathrooms are $70.000.

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Amenities: There is a combination pool/ping-pong table in the area next to the bar.There are two television lounges, one in the restaurant area, and another with couches. You can enjoy your food and beverages in a delightful outside patio setting, or on a rooftop terrace.

There is a small kitchen with refrigerator and stove for guests to use, although as hostels go, the kitchen is not exactly a focal point. Breakfast is not included in the price, but breakfast and lunch are served daily, and for $7.000 COP you can get a great almuerzo ejecutivo, one of the best deals around town.

The bar offers a great selection of domestic beers, including Medellin's Tres Cordilleras, and a wide range of tasty shots and mixed drinks. Every night from 9 to 10pm enjoy a two for one happy hour on all beverages! Domestic beers (Pilsen, Aguila) are just $2.500, while Tres Cordilleras are just $4.000. It's a great way to start out your evening. 

Tiger Paw also offers a laundry service, and a very friendly and helpful staff who can answer all your Medellin-related questions, and help you arrange your transportation to other parts of the country.

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Conclusion: So if you're heading to Medellin, stay at Tiger Paw. Whether you're looking for a dorm or private room, you can't argue with the great location, reasonable prices, nice helpful staff, and superb amenities.

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