If you are looking for a cozy old-town feeling, you must visit El Pueblito Paisa in Medellin. El Pueblito Paisa is a replica of a typical town in Medellin. It has a cobbled Plaza with a classic fountain in the middle; it also has a church, a rectory, a church, a barbershop, a school, and a town hall.
The architecture resembles a typical Spanish town: colorful and nostalgic. It’s better to see it than to imagine it.
You can buy souvenirs, taste the Colombian staple dish “Bandeja Paisa” at one of the restaurants or enjoy a stroll in the town. You can visit it during the day or night; most tourists prefer the night stroll, as the town lights up and you can see the whole city.
Read along to learn about Pueblito Paisa: what to expect, what you should wear, and a bit of the little town’s history.
Where is Pueblito Paisa?
Pueblito Paisa is located in Medellin, Colombia. It’s a traditional Spanish town replica. You can feel the Antioquian experience (the name of the province where the little town is): architecture, craftsmanship, and gastronomy. Since the Pueblito Paisa is high in the mountains, you can see the whole view of the Aburrá Valley.
The best view points of Medellín: The Cerros tutelares
The Pueblito Paisa is at the top of Cerro Nutibara, one of the mountains of the Aburrá Valley. Medellin city is in the valley of the Aburrá mountains.
You can have a good view of the whole city from 7 points in the mountains; locals named them “Cerros tutelares,” meaning Tutelary hills in Spanish. The Cerros tutelares are the following:
- El Picacho: This hill is northwest of the city. It is known among the locals as “The Protective Sanctuary of the Aburrá Valley” because it has a statue of Christ on top.
- El Nutibara: It is the hill in the question of this article. Here is located the Pueblito Paisa. The name of the mountain comes from an indigenous cacique of the area.
- El Volador: It is in the central-western zone of the city of Medellín. It was declared a Metropolitan Regional Natural Park. You can go hiking and cycling and see some typical Colombian birds.
- La Asomadera: This hill is in the center east of the city. It is in the district of Buenos Aires. It stands out for having the most remarkable diversity of native trees and species of animals and birds of all the hills in the city.
- Las 3 Cruces: The mountain is in the northwest of the city. It is called Tres Cruces (Three Crosses, in Spanish), and it is the favorite hill of sportsmen. At the top are three crosses, which you can visualize as the goal when going up.
- El Pan de Azúcar: It is the highest hill. It connects with Parque Arvi, another tourist destination in Medellín. This hill is on the outskirts of the city. Since it is the highest hill, it offers the best views.
- El Santo Domingo: The mountain is in the northeast of the city. It has a Metrocable, so it is easily accessible. At its top, there are viewpoints, recreation areas, and shops.
Pueblito Paisa History
In 1976, the architect Julián Sierra Mejia drew the plans for constructing a typical Antioquian town, and that’s how the touristic project design began.
The construction used materials from an old Spanish town in eastern Antioquia called El Peñol. They repurposed the materials from El Peñol town since they flooded it to build another destination: El Peñol-Guatapé reservoir.
The Pueblito Paisa was officially inaugurated by the city’s mayor Guillermo Hincapié Orozco on Friday, March 3, 1978.
Through the years, the little town had many renovations. The most recent one took place before COVID-19, between 2019-2020. Pueblito Paisa complies with Medellin’s goals, promoting green areas and more sustainable tourism.
The little town’s charisma
What makes this little town so unique? You might wonder if it’s its old-town charisma. Antioquian people are proud of their history and roots. Since Medellin is a booming city with rapid economic and social growth, the old times’ nostalgia is a shared feeling by locals.
The architecture of the old town, with repurposed materials from El Peñol town, seems to be stuck from a century ago. Nevertheless, it keeps the essence of ancient cities in Colombia: a Plaza with a large fountain, a church, a town hall, a school, a rectory, and a barbershop.
You will see well-preserved elements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Also, you can buy artisan goods made by locals preserving tradition.
FAQs about Pueblito Paisa
They are open all week long, from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM. So, you can visit during the day or night. We recommend doing both to have a whole experience.
What to do in Pueblito Paisa?
El Pueblito Paisa is the representation of an old town. You can eat, buy handicrafts from local vendors, walk through the spaces, take photos, explore the surroundings and enjoy the varied gastronomic offer.
There are sculptures and monuments in Pueblito Paisa. However, a monument that stands out is the sculpture of Cacique Nutibara by the Colombian sculptor José Horacio Betancourt. The statue is 3 meters high and represents the Nutibara indigenous chief, a female warrior, and a feather on his feet; the sculpture depicts this indigenous chief’s bravery and strength.
How much is the entrance ticket?
It’s free. You only need to pay to get to Pueblito Paisa.
What’s the best time to visit?
You can visit at night or day; both experiences are different and unique. If you go during the day, wear fresh clothes, enjoy eating the Colombian staple dish “Bandeja Paisa” for lunch, and drink cold beverages like Guarapo or Mazamorra. These corn-made beverages usually go with milk. Remember to wear sunscreen and carry a bottle of water. If you go at night, wear a light jacket, and be ready to drink hot cocoa or coffee. Since it is at the top of a mountain, it gets chilly.
Is there anything prohibited?
There is nothing expressly prohibited in Pueblito Paisa. But, of course, you must take care of the surroundings and the traditional architecture. It is forbidden to damage the space in any way; before touching any sculpture or monument, ask the guide.
- Buy local: it helps preserve natural craftsmanship traditions and strengthens the local economy.
- Wear sunscreen and a light jacket: Medellin’s weather can sometimes be unpredictable. Since the Pueblito Paisa is high in the mountains, you can get a sunburn.
- Take a good camera with you: you will visit one of the spots with the best views of Medellin, plus an old town. Naturally, you will want to take a lot of pictures.
- After heavy rain is best not to visit: the weather can get humid, and the roads surrounding the little town are slippery. Avoid going when it is raining and after heavy rain too.
Last but not least, don’t miss visiting the community that used to be known as the crib of drug cartel lord Pablo Escobar, which today is an example of a thriving community: Comuna 13. It’s less than a 30-minute drive.