UN BARRIO QUE ES UNA GALERIA URBANA
Commune 13 of Medellín
Listed as a must-see in Colombia by countless travel guides on the internet, The Commune 13 de Medellín surprises for its history of resilience and social transformation, for the colors of impressive murals and graffiti by mostly local artists, and for a neighborhood life as genuine as the inhabitants who kindly welcome the people who come to visit it.
Although at first, it is unsuspected, it is enough to set foot in The Commune 13 to begin to be aware of the innumerable experiences and expressions that occur there: its guides are often people who inhabit the neighborhood and who are testimony of its history, young people rap and breakdance and an escalator in the middle of the place lead to one of the most impressive views of the city; its colors, buildings, and mountains.
Where is it and how to get to Commune 13?
San Javier or The Commune 13 is one of the sixteen communes of Medellín and is located to the west of the city, in its 74 km2 it houses more than eighteen neighborhoods.
Get to Commune 13 by Metro
The Medellín Metro station closest to The commune 13 is the San Javier station, the last one on Line B heading Central – West. To get to the San Javier station it is necessary to get to the San Antonio station on Line A and descend to locate the stairs that lead to Line B, which you have access to with the 2,255 COP or 0.61 USD that costs a ticket on the Medellin Metro.
Once at the San Javier station you can take a taxi to get to the escalators or take the route 221i or 225i bus that you take at the traffic light stop on the right leaving the San Javier station, both can leave you two blocks from the escalators, where the Graffitour begins. Do not forget to tell the driver where you are going to let you know where to get off.
Get to Commune 13 by Metrocable
Once you are at the San Javier station, instead of descending there, you have the option of taking Line J of the Medellín metrocable to contemplate Commune 13 of Medellín and the entire city from the air, an enriching experience not only for the landscape, if not for the invitation to be aware of the contrasts of this Colombian metropolis.
Our recommendation is to leave this plan for the end before leaving The Commune 13 or at the beginning and return to the San Javier station to go to the escalators since if one of your plans is to visit the neighborhood and enjoy the Graffitour, seeing it from the air will not be enough.
Get to Commune 13 by taxi
Getting to Commune 13 by taxi is, of course, very easy. The distance from the City Center is approximately five kilometers and the average cost of the trip for 2020 is 12,000 COP, 3.25 USD.
From the Laureles neighborhood, the journey is approximately four kilometers and the average cost of the journey for 2020 is 10,000 COP, 2.71 USD. The Barrio el Poblado, one of the most popular among visitors, is approximately ten kilometers away and the average cost of the journey for 2020 is 20,000 COP, 5.42 USD.
Both in the Metro and throughout the city it is very difficult to get lost, because the people of Medellín, recognized for their kindness and spirit of hospitality, will always be willing to help you locate, even if they do not speak your own language, with their ingenuity they will seek the way to tell you how to get to your destination.
- Use sunscreen, the climate of Medellín is usually unpredictable and despite the fact that it is sometimes cloudy, being an outdoor place, the sun is still present. Likewise, it is advisable to carry a sweater or light jacket for the winds when the afternoon falls or an umbrella in case of rain.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Commune 13 is a very simple place and the more you can connect with the local, the more rewarding the experience will be. In addition, many of its routes are through steep streets and stairs so it is convenient to be able to move freely, good tennis shoes or boots will be a great idea for this urban route.
- Hydrate yourself. Water is also a must for outdoor tours, if you do not have a thermos with you it is possible to get a bottle of water in a local store, but be aware not to leave any garbage in the place.
- Invest in the territory, promote local products with their consumption, and try to contribute with your presence to the development of sustainable and responsible tourism. In large part, thanks to tourism, Commune 13 has managed to leave behind its past of violence and has transformed the neighborhood into a territory for peace, consuming what the inhabitants of the neighborhood offer is contributing to the development of the community.
- Take a tour with local guides. Definitely, they are the ones who know the history of the neighborhood best, they are living testimony of its history and in their words, you can glimpse the sense of belonging and the love they have for the neighborhood.
- Go without prejudice. Having been a violent place nowadays does not define Commune 13, this is a safe space for visitors who come respectfully to know and tour the neighborhood; Keep in mind that people live there and your visit should not be invasive, if not promote coexistence and cultural exchange between you as a visitor and the inhabitants of the neighborhood.
- Take a camera, and carry it with enough memory space. The Graffitour of Commune 13 is full of graffiti and its composition and history will make you want to take a picture of each one; This is perfectly the most instagrammable place in Medellín. In addition, from the highest part of the escalators, you can see a privileged view of the city.