Comuna 13: Medellin, Colombia

comuna 13 colombia

Comuna 13: Medellin, Colombia

City Spotlight By Eli Solidum

comuna 13 medellin

A reputation like Colombia’s is hard to get over. In a city ravaged by violence, Comuna 13 stood out even more as Medellin’s most notoriously dangerous neighborhood. A combination of drug cartel activity and rebel terrorism devastated this barrio throughout the mid-late 1900s.

Not even three decades later, this neighborhood has been transformed and brought back to life. Splashes of color have reinvigorated a section of a city that was the home of one of the world’s most polarizing figures. Street art is abundant and ubiquitous. The steep, hilly sections of the neighborhood have become connected by the world’s longest outdoor escalator. The bright orange escaleras emit some vibrance on their own, but lined with flowers and large murals every time you step off, they truly captivate you with a taste of Colombia’s liveliness. Once you get to the top, the view of how vast Medellin truly is will make your jaw drop. Backdropped by the lush, rolling green hills that Colombia is known for, this adventure is worth it for the view alone.

But one shouldn’t come to Comuna 13 just for a view.

comuna 13 medellin street art

Exploring Comuna 13 is  one of those off-the-beaten path destinations that will make your Colombian experience much more authentic and enjoyable. It is not a traditional destination for most. You’ll hardly encounter any tourists wandering through the vast neighborhoods, although a couple of tour agencies do offer daily guided tours. As you come up on it, the chaos of the area is evident. The cubic houses are stacked upon each other with seemingly no rhyme or reason. The tin roofs serve as the only semblance of separation. The tight alleyways, winding streets, and steep climbs make it easy to get lost.

If you can find the calm in the chaos, Comuna 13 will add a lot of color to your Colombian experience, both literally and figuratively.

Author: Eli Solidum

Find out more of Colombia has to offer by following Eli on Jet Journal @PartyingTraveler or checking out his blog and Instagram pages.