The Metrocable is a system of gondolas that connects the center of Medellín with the neighborhoods located on the slopes. The Medellín Metro has 6 Metrocable lines, 3 of them with a large tourist influx. Traveling in them is quite an experience that allows you to appreciate not only the beauty of the city, but also its impressive contrasts.

If you are visiting the city for the first time, something may surprise you: what is used throughout the world as a system to visit tourist attractions, in Medellín is used to provide access to transportation to thousands of families who live far from the central areas of the city.

Something that is not only exclusive to the metrocables, but also to other infrastructures such as the escalators in commune 13.

And this is precisely what makes the trip on the Metrocable something so magical. Since you can give yourself the pleasure of seeing different views of Medellín “from the sky” at the same time that you get closer to the daily life of its inhabitants.

I like to compare the Metrocable to a trip in a multicultural elevator. Since in a small cabin, with a view of the entire city, you can easily meet tourists from other parts of the world, inhabitants of Medellín who are going to “tourise”, inhabitants of the popular neighborhoods who use it as their means of transportation.

You could even get in touch with farmers who go to their farms located in rural areas of Medellín. A magical mix!

Rates

The price of a trip on the Metrocable is $3,280 colombian pesos ($0.7 USD), except for the “L” line that connects with Parque Arví. In this case you must pay 2 tickets, the first to access the subway, which costs $3,280 pesos and the second to take the cable to Arví, which costs $12,500 pesos.

To understand exactly how much you have to pay, it is important that you understand that the Medellín Metro is an integrated system. Where with a single ticket you can make transfers between trains, gondolas, tram and buses. So the $3,280 is really a system access fee.

In other words, if you enter the system through a train station, you will not have to pay more, as long as you stay inside a station.

But keep in mind. The main exception is the Parque Arví metrocable, which is charged as a differentiated rate as it is considered a route for tourism.

History

The first metrocable arrived Medellín 9 years after the Metro train system was inaugurated. And it arose because despite the fact that the Metro was making life easier for people who lived in central sectors of the city, the inhabitants of the hillsides continued to have great difficulties in accessing quality transportation.

The great success of this project meant that new points were deployed in the next years to connect with other areas of the city. Next on the list was the San Javier Metrocable, which since 2008 has connected the west of Medellín with the train system. From there, the network of 6 lines has been built and there are 5 more in the pipeline.

These projects have been accompanied by the urban transformation of the sectors in which they are implemented. Normally these are neighborhoods of humble origin, where people with fewer economic resources live, who are made visible and reconnected with the rest of the city thanks to the Metrocable.

Another curious fact is that Medellín was the first city in Latin America to use this infrastructure as public transport and inspired other cities such as Caracas or La Paz. And it still remains the second city on the continent with the most extensive and far-reaching aerial cable system.

Metrocable Santo Domingo (Line K)

The first Metrocable line that Medellín had was that of Santo Domingo and it was inaugurated in 2004. At first, its main attraction was that it connected with an imposing building in the middle of the commune, called Biblioteca España.

Currently, it is a necessary route for tourists who want to reach Parque Arví through the Metrocable.

To take this route you must get off at the metro Acevedo station, which is located to the north of line A. Go up to the second floor of the station and get into one of the cabins. You do not have to pay an additional ticket

Metrocable Arvi Park (Line L)

Parque Arví Metrocable begins where line K (from Santo Domingo) ends. This is a 25-minute tour that connects the urban part of Medellín with one of the most important ecological reserves in the city.

The route is quite calm, since most of your cabin will be going through the forests, on flat terrain and without major shocks.

One caveat that may be relevant is that if you suffer from fear of heights or claustrophobia, this may be a difficult journey, as there are no stops during the 25-minute journey. Therefore, once you enter the cabin you will not be able to leave until you reach the Park station.

As I mentioned above, to access this Metrocable you will have to pay an additional ticket of $12,500 pesos ($2.5 dollars). This ticket only includes one trip. If you leave your cabin and want to return hours later, you will have to pay again

Metrocable San Javier (Comuna 13)

With the popularity that Comuna 13 has gained among tourists, the San Javier Metrocable has also gained its own fame. Despite the fact that this route does not have any stops of tourist interest, it allows you to see how the inhabitants of the Comuna 13 live on a daily basis.

While the Grafitour in commune 13 is much more culturally involved (with music, works of art and commerce adapted to the large influx of visitors), the Metrocable tour gives you a much more realistic vision of the daily life of the residents of the sector.

My recommendation, if you are going to visit commune 13 by metro, is that before leaving the San Javier station, you first do the circuit of the route by Metrocable and after that go to the GrafitiTour sector, which you can get to by taxi or by bus.

General suggestions

If you are planning to visit one of the Medellín metrocables, I am sharing a list of general recommendations so that your experience is the best.

Leave the stations only if you are clear about what you are going to do

Although the surroundings of the Metrocable are guarded and safe areas, in most stations there are no tourist attractions. The ride in the cabin can be an attraction in itself.

If you still want to leave a station to better connect with the local culture, my advice is to stay no more than 4 or 5 blocks from the station. Normally the surroundings will be surrounded by merchants and people willing to share a little with you and tell you their story.

Use sunscreen

If your tour takes place on a sunny day, it is possible that the rays hit your face very directly. Take sunscreen with you so you can enjoy the tour without consequences on your skin.

Stay with your group

Since the cabins have limited capacity for 6 people, it is possible that a cabin has space for you but not for your companions. You can give your place to another person in line until you can enter with yours.

Take your camera or take out your phone

All Metro and Metrocable stations are very safe places where you can use your devices without problems. Take the opportunity to take good panoramic photos of the city during your tour.cd

Fear of heights?

Finally, it is worth noting that this can be a traumatic tour for people who are afraid of heights. In parts of the routes you can get to be up to 30 meters above the ground, and even experience some “turbulence” in the cabin.

But don’t worry, as in airplanes, these are small movements that can cause discomfort but will not affect the safety of your “flight” at all.