The Most Epic Views of Medellín And Where to Find Them

 

You should know by now that we love Medellín. We’ve been staying here now for almost three weeks and we’re still not tired of it. That being said, for photography it’s a different story. It may be a great city to live in but I don’t find it interesting to walk around and take photos here. There are just not that many interesting characters or scenes to capture. The streets don't spark my inspiration like some other Colombian cities. Cartagena was great and so were little towns like San Gil, Guatape or Villa de Leyva. But Medellín, not sure…

Sunset from Cerro Nutibara.

Sunset from Cerro Nutibara.

Now, if you’re a landscape or urbanscape photographer, it’s a different story. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really a landscape photographer but I do like shooting landscapes once in a while. Medellín is probably one of the most photogenic cities in the world located in a valley surrounded by green mountains. Thousands of brick houses climbing up the slopes. Those communities were once one of the most dangerous places in the world, by the way.

Anyway, Medellín looks epic from any viewpoint and I really enjoyed photographing the different areas and communities of the city. Here are a few of my favourite viewpoints overlooking the city and the photos I took there. The amazing thing is, wherever you're staying in Medellín, there’s always a great viewpoint close by.

1. Cerro Nutibara or Pueblito Paisa

Pueblito Paisa is a replica of a typical turn of the century Antioquia town located in the middle of Medellín on the top of Cerro Nutibara. It has a traditional stone fountain in the middle of the town square and is surrounded by the church, the mayor’s office, a barber shop, and a school house. 

Medellín after sunset from Cerro Nutibara viewpoint.

Medellín after sunset from Cerro Nutibara viewpoint.

Some people might find it interesting but… naah, me not so much. However, the top of Cerro Nutibara is the place to be if you want to take photos of Medellín. It’s one of the seven “guardian” hills in the city and its location is just perfect. The viewpoint on the top offers you a 360 degree view of Medellín and it’s close to pretty much anywhere. Take the metro to the Exposiciones station and just walk for 15 minutes to reach the foot of the hill. It takes around 30 to 45 minutes to reach the top.

Cerro Nutibara viewpoint.

Cerro Nutibara viewpoint.

Make sure you go around sunset. When the sun starts to go down behind the mountains, is when the magic happens.

2. Comuna 13

Comuna 13 is as real as it gets. A lot of the violent history happened here and it’s a must to visit when you’re in Medellín. Once you know what the people of Medellín had to go through, you’ll appreciate the city even more.

Comuna 13 viewpoint.

Comuna 13 viewpoint.

And not only that, Comuna 13 is also a great place to take photos with many viewpoints to discover. You won’t get a 360 degree view but it’s the height that makes it an impressive view. For the best viewpoint, you need to take six escalators. They were installed to connect the comuna to the rest of the city. Once you reach the top of the last escalator, you can walk around to find the best spot for an epic photo of Medellín and the comuna. If you’re a landscape photographer, you might stick around for a while there. Don’t worry, snacks and beer for sale everywhere…

 
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And again, it’s easy to go there by metro. Hop off at San Javier station and then take a bus for just walk like we did. It’s not scary people!

3. Arenales

Arenales is a teeny tiny town in the mountains close to Envigado. Actually, from what I saw, it’s just a few streets. We went there to do the hike to the Angels Waterfall, which was quite an adventure. I think Joanna will write about that later. But a few minutes from the bus stop, there’s a lesser known viewpoint overlooking Medellín.

Medellín from the Arenales viewpoint.

Medellín from the Arenales viewpoint.

You can see a large part of the valley from that viewpoint and it gives you a good idea of how vast the city is.



4. The metro cable to Parque Arví

Medellín once won an award for best public transport system in the world and I have to say it is pretty damn good. One of the more peculiar ways of public transport is the metro cable. Because a lot of the comunas in Medellin climb up the mountains, the city installed cable cars to reach the higher parts.

Metro cable to Parque Arví.

Metro cable to Parque Arví.

The one to Parque Arví goes high… very high. It’s not ideal to take photos from because the windows aren’t always that clean but if you’re lucky, you might get some amazing shots and it’s a nice change from the classic viewpoints. Just improvise and be creative.

Do you know some good viewpoints and views overlooking Medellín? Let me know in the comments because I just love that city…

 
ColombiaJoris Hermans