For several years now, the idea of museums as cabinets of curiosities has been giving way to something called interactive centers, where instead of simply contemplating objects, users must build their own experiences involving all their senses and new technologies such as video games and reality. virtual.

In Medellín, Explora Park is the place that best combines the curiosities of a traditional museum and the interaction that only state-of-the-art technology allows. It is a space, together with the Planetarium, dedicated to the dissemination of scientific knowledge, which offers its visitors both entertainment and an amusement park.

Whether you are planning a long trip or just a few days in the city, this is definitely one of our must-see destinations, as you will find the largest freshwater aquarium in Latin America, among other things that will surely blow your mind.

If you want to know more, keep reading our review with several recommendations that will be very helpful.

Location

Parque Explora is located in the north of Medellín, Aranjuez district, within one of the most touristic sectors of the city due to the number of interesting destinations it houses, such as the Planetarium, the Bosque Plaza Shopping Center, the Botanical Garden and the North Park.

Its exact address is: Carrera 52 N° 73-75, right in front of the Universidad del Metro station, on the opposite side of Parque de los Deseos.

How to get there?

As for the Planetarium, your options are many: Metro, Encicla taxi or mobility apps, private vehicle and bus.

Metro

The occasional traveler ticket costs $3,280 (0.65 usd). You can take Line A to the Universidad station and there you get off at the scales that face north. You will immediately recognize the four red blocks that form the characteristic architecture of the park.

Under the terminal there is an Encicla public bicycle stand. Remember that to access this integrated Metro service you must first register.

Taxi/Uber

The trip from an area to the south of the city such as El Poblado usually ranges between $20,000 COP and $25,000 COP with a taxi or mobility apps.

If you go in your own vehicle, keep in mind that Explora and the Planetarium have a parking lot up Calle 73, behind the Universidad station. The payment of this is made at the ticket office of the park.

History

Talking about Parque Explora means talking about Aranjuez, one of the sectors in Medellín that suffered the most from drug trafficking violence between the 1980s and 1990s. Although this problem continues, several projects are being developed to achieve a social transformation based on education and tourism. That is why many attractions of the city remain there.

Behind its creation is the mind of the architect Alejandro Echeverri, who, hand in hand with many people who worked together on the “casa explora” from 2004, made this modern 22,000 m2 construction possible.

In addition to the experiences open to the public, the facilities have an auditorium, a theater, an Exploratory (lab), and if you check their website you will surely find that their services include Planetarium spaces. Technically, both are part of the same entity, although it is more practical to think of them as 2 separate destinations.

As such, Explora was founded at the end of 2007 and to this day it has won numerous awards that make it a national and international museographic reference.

What to do?

Explora Park has more than 300 interactive experiences in its different rooms, apart from an Aquarium and a Vivarium that house more than 2,000 individuals of various species. The tour of these facilities is free and can take about 2 and a half hours.

There you will find explorers or guides who will assist you at all times if you have questions. There are also bilingual scripts (Spanish and English) that accompany each experience, but, beyond providing some context, the fun does not depend on your reading.

Next I will show you a little of the 8 spaces that make up the park. Not counting its special exhibitions such as the one on dinosaurs, which brings these impressive creatures to our present.

Open room

Just after the ticket office, on the first floor, there are 25 large-format displays that allow you to experiment with physics through water, light, sounds, waves, force, and color, among other topics.

Aquarium

It is one of the largest in Latin America, with three floors dedicated respectively to freshwater and saltwater species and to the relationship of the human being with water.

They show the aquatic life of our country in all its splendor and fragility. So you can see quite exotic individuals such as the piranha and the pirarucu, whose existence dates back to the era of the dinosaurs.

Vivarium

Reptiles, amphibians and arthropods are the stars of this place, which shows why Colombia ranks third in biodiversity on the entire planet.

The Vivario promotes the conservation and study of boa constrictors, pythons, turtles and other almost surreal species such as the golden dart frog, considered the most poisonous animal on Earth.

Children’s room

On the second floor, next to the Vivario, is this educational games room designed for children from 0 to 6 years old, which has a limited number of entries and opens in turns every hour.

‘On Stage’ Room

Finally we reached the third floor, where the four red boxes are, each one dedicated to a different theme. Due to my love for cinema, this first one was my favorite, since there they set up a factory for the creation of stories inspired by the history of the media.

Inside you can do stop-motion scenes, photography, graffiti, comics, radio speeches, music and even act in a green screen movie, going behind the scenes of classic films to understand how film effects are made.

‘Mind’ Room

Entering here is like taking a look inside the brain, which, contrary to what is popularly said that we only use 10% of its potential, is activated in its various areas even with the simplest tasks.

In the games in this room you will expand everything you know about thinking, perception, communication and dreams.

‘Time’ Room

A fragmented clock welcomes you to this space, where there are nearly 45 experiences that will allow you to change your vision of time beyond its measurement with the hands.

Music Room

In the last box you have the opportunity to create your own orchestra through experiments based on synesthesia, that is to say that there the senses intermingle in a new way, allowing you to play sounds, see songs, etc.

In addition, this room pays homage to the native sounds of Colombia, so you can come into contact with musical genres and instruments typical of our regions

Open Times

During holidays the park opens at 10:00 in the morning and closes at 6:30 in the afternoon, although the ticket office only goes until 5:00 p.m.

Tickets and prices

There is free admission for children under 3 years of age and people from Medellín who live in neighborhoods of strata 1, 2 and 3, as long as the latter have the EPM public services bill (there are a limited number of free tickets so try go early).

For the rest of the people, the ticket prices are in the following table:

PlanPrice for colombiansPrice for foreigners
Individual $ 37.000 COP$ 42.000 COP
Family (for 4 people)$ 133.000 COP$ 150.000 COP
Plantarium Combo$ 55.000 COP$ 62.000 COP

There are discounts for large groups, but you must book on the park’s website. On the other hand, if you want to visit the Planetarium and Parque Explora together, I recommend buying the tickets directly at the Planetarium, where there is less line. Or if you prefer, you can do it online.

The payment link for colombians is this and the payment link for foreigners is this.

Food court

The park has several areas to have your meal. One of them is outside, between the Exploratorio and the Universidad Metro station. The other one is on the second floor and offers a good variety of places, from fast food to restaurants where you can have lunch at a favorable price.

I think that, due to the estimated duration of the tour, it is best to eat something before starting. However, don’t get too stuffed up, remember that some experiences require some physical activity and others can cause dizziness.

Store

The store is strategically located at the end of the trail, so you have to walk through it to exit the park. There you find clothing, stationery, household items, accessories and even geek-themed entertainment games.

The prices may be a bit high (especially for national visitors), but the designs are worth it and with your purchase you make a contribution to scientific dissemination.