A small mountain in the middle of Medellin is a picturesque replica of the traditional Antioquian towns, whose traditional architecture mixes indigenous techniques such as bahareque with the Spanish influence present in the distribution of space, characterized by the construction of a church in the main park as the center of the country life.

The most attractive things about this place are the gastronomy, the crafts and the ecological tour through the natural trails, going through a museum with old photographs of the city, until finally arriving at one of the best 360° viewpoints in Medellín. .

Being the point where the customs of the paisa culture are honored, this destination is most striking during some of our representative festivities such as the Feria de las Flore and the December holiday season, which is celebrated here like nowhere else in the world.

On the one hand, I think that you only have the authentic experience of getting to know the towns of the region if you visit them directly. Near the Metropolitan Area you will find several amazing destinations at your fingertips. But the Pueblito Paisa is a fun sample of rural folklore in the interior of the city, which you will definitely want to include in your itinerary.

Location

Cerro Nutibara, at the top of which is Pueblito Paisa, is located in the Belén neighborhood in the center-west of the city. It could be said that it occupies an entire block surrounded to the north by Av. 33, to the south by Calle 30A, to the west by Carrera 65 and to the east by the Highway and the Medellín River.

Another relatively nearby destination of interest is Parques del Río, through which you can cross to the eastern sector of the center. There you’ll find, among other things, the Metropolitan Theater and the Parque de los Pies Descalzos. A few minutes away by car is the Laureles neighborhood, famous for its rich gastronomic offer.

How to get there?

There are two entrances, one on the 33th avenue and the other on 30A street. You have several transportation options there, including the Metro, Metroplús, taxi, mobility apps, Turibus, or your own vehicle, which is my preferred method for this case.

If you do not have your own vehicle, the nearest Metro station is Exposiciones. When you get off, you must walk west along Av. 33 until you cross to the other side of the Medellín river. Then, turning around the 63B race you will find the entrance on the north side.

It is a short distance, but I don’t recommend the journey so much because of the feeling of unsafety that the industrial aspect of the sector can produce among those who are just getting acquainted with the city. Trust me, you’ll walk when you get to the hill.

On the other hand, the closest Metroplús Bus station is Nutibara, which leaves you a few steps from Calle 30A, from where you can access the south entrance of the hill. As for taxis and mobility apps, any will help you to get to the entrances, but private vehicles are not authorized to go up to Pueblito Paisa.

The Turibus has a route called Hop on Hop off that, according to the duration of your ticket, allows you to get on and off freely at the 7 authorized stops such as Pueblito Paisa. This one costs $69,000 and offers a fairly general overview of Medellín.

Finally, if you go by private vehicle, the parking lot is at the north entrance. There, they charge by the hour and their capacity is limited, so the stalls sell out quickly, especially during Feria de las Flores and December seasons.

What to do?

As I told you at the beginning, the greatest attractions of this destination are its gastronomy, crafts and ecological tour, which includes some cultural curiosities such as the Carlos Vieco Theater, the Sculpture Park, the City Museum and the 360° viewpoint in the top of the hill.

Gastronomy

Undoubtedly, the hallmark of local cuisine is the famous and abundant bandeja paisa, made up of beans, rice, pork rinds, chorizo, ground beef, fried egg, ‘morcilla’, sliced ripe plantains, arepas, and avocado. This is often accompanied by desserts such as ‘Mazamorra’ or ‘Claro’, both typical drinks made from corn and milk.

In its current form, the recipe has confusing origins, because although it includes a large part of our ancient culinary traditions, many say that its creation occurred in the second half of the 20th century, due to the need to consolidate an Antioquian flagship dish for commercial and tourist purposes. .

In Pueblito Paisa there are several restaurants that offer a bandeja and also other options for corrientazo (that’s what we call a cheap, big and delicious lunch).

Finally, there are local shops selling regional desserts and sweets such as ‘Manjar Blanco and passion fruit’, ‘Corn custard and arequipe’, ‘Raspados’ and others.

Handicrafts

Basically, Pueblito Paisa is a square full of shops and stalls that sell souvenirs for travelers.

What caught my attention the most was El Poncherazo, located on the opposite corner of the park from the church. There they have an old camera and you can recreate the experience of taking a photo as it was done in the middle of the 20th century.

Hiking in Pueblito Paisa

What I liked the most of all was the climb up the hill, completely accessible to most people in good health. The level of activity is moderate and the route has very good roads.

There are several trails, which differ in the time it takes to get to Pueblito Paisa on each one. The fastest one lasts between 15 and 20 minutes, although it is still demanding if, like me, you have a rather sedentary lifestyle.

On these trails you will find stops to have a drink and points with exercise machines. In addition to the pleasant biodiversity, since the reserve has 94 species of flora and 126 species of birds.

Throughout the tour there will be different viewpoints with a great view of the city, so you can choose any of them if you want to rest for a while and even have a picnic..

Sculpture Park

Since 1983, by the hand of the Museum of Modern Art of Medellín (MAMM), the permanent exhibition of 10 sculptures made by national and international artists, which were installed in the natural environment of the hill, was coordinated.

Among them, the sculpture of Cacique Nutibara stands out, a work by the artist José Horacio Betancur that exalts one of the richest and most powerful indigenous chiefs of pre-Hispanic Antioquia.

City Museum

This site offers a scale model of Medellín and a small exhibition of old photographs, which account for the social, economic, architectural and cultural development of the paisa capital.

360° viewpoint

Being on top of the most central hill in the city, this 6,000 m2 viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the entire valley, so it is perfect for taking some good photos.

It is ideal to go on a day when the sky is clear or go at night, when the small lights of Medellín turn on the magic of our landscape.

History

Cerro Nutibara was the first of the 7 hills that Medellín has. At the beginning of the 20th century, its more than 33 hectares belonged to different wealthy families, until the municipality acquired the land with the intention of turning it into a recreational park.

Its name was chosen as a tribute to the indigenous ancestors of the region. Then, with the supervision and designs of the architect Julián Sierra Mejía, the construction of Pueblito Paisa began in 1976, which despite being a relic keeps something authentic in itself.

The architect wanted to use objects taken from various municipalities in Antioquia, including the old town of Peñol, which had to be demolished for the construction of the reservoir. With this, the construction was inaugurated in 1978 and since then it has undergone several renovations.

The most recent was in 2019 and lasted until the years of the Covid-19 pandemic. That is the reason why on the internet there are some negative reviews corresponding to that time. But now it is completely open to receive travelers from all over the world.

Entry price

The entrance to Cerro Nutibara and Pueblito Paisa is free. The parking lot has an hourly cost of $4,000 for cars and $2,000 for motorcycles.

Within the Pueblito Paisa each establishment manages its own rates. For example, the City Museum has a cost of $5,000 (1.07 usd).

Open hours

Pueblito Paisa is Open every day from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. However, most of the commercial places such as restaurants and craft stores usually close earlier, around 6:00 p.m.

Suggestions

Here are some final tips for you to enjoy your visit to the fullest and take care of the environment:

  • Protect your skin using sunscreen and bring liquid to hydrate during the walk.
  • If you have reduced mobility, keep in mind that, even going by taxi or Turibus to the little town of Paisa, travel within this place requires going up and down stairs.
  • Cerro Nutibara is an ecological reserve, so when you pass through there, have respect for nature and please do not throw garbage.