The word suburb usually evokes boredom in the minds of North American expats, but it bears reminding that in Colombia, satellite cities are often self-contained and started out as totally independent villages and towns long before they swelled from the presence of a nearby city.
Many have done a great job preserving their past. One such place is La Estrella. It’s at the southern end of the Valle de Aburrá and also at the end of Medellín’s north-south metro line. Here you can enjoy walking narrow streets with a small town flavor in the district around the Parque Principal (main square).
The streets use modern paving stones in part of the area. You’ll find many intersections colorfully painted with a different geometric design. The focal point is, of course, the central Parque. Surrounding it are old buildings with restaurants and shops and as always, a beautiful church.
Urban but also Rural
You get the feeling that the countryside isn’t far away. All around you can clearly see the thick green forests of the surrounding mountains. You could even walk out of the city into pastures!
If you’re from the Medellín area, you can spend a few hours here instead of going to distant pueblos. Pueblos which can often be cut off by landslides and flooding. Get off at the Estrella Metro station and grab any bus that goes to the Parque de La Estrella (Ruta 5 is one of them).
The area is on a mountainside so lots of steep streets and stairs. Walking from the Metro is not advisable as the distance is large and you’ll have to cross a lot of dusty industrial areas, never mind get across the river!
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