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General Information

MEDELLIN

Medellin is the capital of Antioquia, a Colombian department that concentrates 12% of the country's population and contributes 15% of its GDP. The city is located in the center of the country, approximately midway between the Pacific and the Caribbean regions. Colombia is the only South American country with access to two oceans, and this puts Medellin in a position of privilege for implementing investment programs for export purposes. This competitive advantage is reinforced by the fact that it is the Latin American capital with the best public service infrastructure and the business acumen and commercial temperament of the "paisas" (as the people from Antioquia are referred to in the rest of the country), both key factors for the emergence of thriving, stable and reliable business.

The city's main industries are textiles and fashion (two of the world's most specialized fashion fairs – Colombia Moda and Colombia Tex – are held here), which account for 53% of employment in the region. In terms of commercial activity, Medellin is a pioneer in urban trading centers and concentrates 60% of the country's financial activities. It is also home to important stock exchange activities.

The city was founded in 1646, when San Lorenzo de Aburrá discovered the Aburrá Valley where the city is located. Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia in terms of population and economy. It is surrounded by mountains and located at an altitude of 1538 meters above sea level. The temperature ranges between 18 and 28 degrees, for which reason Medellin is known as the "city of the eternal spring." Its population is officially 2 368 282, but the city is much more populated if we consider the metropolitan area in its entirety, which includes several surrounding municipalities.

Along with New York and Tel Aviv, Medellin has been nominated as one of the world's three most innovative cities in a competition organized by the Urban Land Institute. This nomination considered, among others, the reduction of the CO2 emissions of its subway system, the inauguration of an electric escalator to Comuna 13 (one of Medellin's poorest neighborhoods), the significant reduction of homicide rates (from over 1400 murders per 100 000 inhabitants in 2001 to 149 per 100 000 in 2012) and the construction of Library Parks (structures in underprivileged communities that house books and computers as well as social and cultural activities which aim at promoting integration and culture among the lower-income population).

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

Colombia's official language is Spanish.

CURRENCY

The national unit of currency is the Colombian peso ($).

EXCHANGE RATE

USD 1 = $ 1796 (Colombian pesos). The exchange rate floats freely and may vary over time. There are many currency exchanges around the city and it is important that you exchange your dollars as it is customary to pay in the local currency.

BANKS

Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Those located in the city's main shopping centers are open extended hours.

CREDIT CARDS

Major credit cards (VISA, MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS, DINERS) are accepted at hotels, restaurants and shopping centers.

ATMs

ATMs are available throughout the city (hotels, shopping centers, banks, etc.).

JOSÉ MARÍA CÓRDOVA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

http://www.airplan.aero/

Depending on the time of day, the trip from Intercontinental Medellin Hotel to Jose Maria Cordova Airport (located in Rio Negro) typically takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. We recommend confirming your arrival time and checking out of the hotel with enough time to get to the airport. International flight passengers are required be at the airport 2 hours before the anticipated time of departure, while those travelling to Bogota must arrive 1 hour in advance. We also suggest that you check in online, as this will simplify your boarding process. A taxi from the Intercontinental Hotel to the airport will typically cost $ 59 000.

ELECTRICITY

Power supply in Colombia is 110 volts. If necessary, you may request a transformer/adapter at the hotel's customer service desk. Please take this into consideration and check whether your laptop computers/cell phones/devices comply with the 110v-220v conversion regulations; if not, remember to bring a transformer to avoid delays or inconveniences, as the hotel might not have sufficient transformers and adapters for every guest.

CLIMATE

The temperature ranges between 18 and 28 degrees, reason for which Medellin is known as the "city of the eternal spring." Due to climate change, severe storms now occur frequently so you should consider carrying an umbrella or a change of clothes. In addition, because it is located in the mountains, Medellin and its surrounding areas are not as hot as other cities located at the same latitude near the equator. During the evenings and when visiting the city center you should carry a light jacket to protect yourself against the cold.

MALLS AND SHOPPING CENTERS

All shopping centers and malls are open Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm. Food courts, however, close at 8 pm Monday through Thursday, so please remember this when planning dinner.

TELEPHONE

Medellin's calling code: + 57 + 4 + local number.

International direct dial (IDD) telephone services are available in all hotel rooms. Please check the rates with the hotel reception.

  • Emergencies:          123
  • Police:                    112

VISA

A valid passport is required to enter the country, except in the case of citizens of the countries that have signed the AGREEMENT ON TRAVEL DOCUMENTS FOR MERCOSUR MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATE STATES, namely, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, who may enter Colombia with their identity cards. Please remember that in case of doubt as regards a person's identity or if your identity card is damaged, the consular officer may request that you present your passport.

If you are from a country other than those mentioned above and would like to know whether you will need a tourist visa to enter Colombia, please check the visa requirements at the following link: (Martín, para que completes con un link a la web de LACNIC o donde vayas a subir el archivo).

In case of doubt, please check with the nearest consulate. More information on Colombian consulates is available at the following link: https://tramites.cancilleria.gov.co/ciudadano/directorio/Misiones/enExterior.aspx

TIPPING

You can usually request that the tip be included in the bill (10% of the value of the service). If this is not possible, 10% gratuity is considered appropriate.

BADGE/ CREDENTIAL

Presenting your identification card or credentials is mandatory for entering the rooms where the activities will take place.

Presenting the corresponding invitations is mandatory for attending the welcome cocktail and social events.

LUGGAGE IDENTIFICATION

We suggest using luggage identification tags.

TRANSPORTATION

We recommend using hotel taxis or a radio taxi service. You may use the FLOTA BERNAL radio taxi service: 57 (4) 361 6464.

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AND INSURANCE

If you need medical assistance, please inquire at the reception desk. The InterContinental Hotel offers on-site medical care but, nevertheless, we recommend medical insurance for travelers.

The Organizing Committee assumes no responsibility for medical, travel, theft or personal insurance.

SMOKING

Smoking is not allowed in most hotel rooms. However, smoking rooms are also available, so please remember to specify your preference when booking.