The day I arrived in Medellin I rode on some of city’s public transportation for the first time.
The metro in Medellín was by far one of the most impressive public transit systems I’ve seen: fast service, no delays and clean, like if I needed another reminder that the NYC MTA system really needs to step its game up. At certain metro stops there is also a free transfer available to one of the metrocable lines in the city.
The metrocable is a gondola lift system installed to allow easier access to different settlements of the city, mostly on steep hills. The lifts provide a great panoramic view of the city, however, if its raining, the way it was the first time I went, the view and photos will be blurred. Having been able to ride one during a rainy and sunny day I highly recommend riding with clear skies. The rides aren’t more than than 30-40 minutes roundtrip and put into perspective the size of Medellín (HUGE).
On my first day in Medellín I was with two locals (my friend’s cousins) and as we rode the metrocable and looked around at the city from above our reactions were very different. I was quite shocked to see some homes that looked rundown or unfinished while they were neutral. I took a step back and quickly snapped out of it, these people and no people in the world need my pity and thats what I felt like I was unintentionally giving them. I am confident the people living up in those mountains don’t complain, they have their daily necessities and live happy lives never missing the materialistic things many people (including myself at times) place too high value on.
The structure of homes often depict the class rank of that pueblo and it was common to see unfinished homes, roofs halfway done, homes boarded with wood, while also seeing skyscrapers in different areas. As we kept going higher and further I wondered how the people who live high on these mountains would travel before the installation of the metrocables and how defined their leg muscles must have been.
There are five metrocable lines, most of them allow access to different parts of the city free of charge but one connects to the Arví Park, a tourist destination, with a $5,200COP (approx. 2USD) charge.
The stops connecting to a Metrocable:
- Line H: Oriente, Las Tores
- Line J: San Javier, Juan XXIII, Vallejuelos & La Aurora
- Line K: Acevedo, Andalucia, Popular & Santo Domingo
- Line L: Santo Domingo (to Parque Arví)
- Line M: Miraflores
If You’re Taking the Metro:
- There are several buses throughout the city that take passengers to metro stations (not on google maps)
- Metro fare: with rechargeable Civica Card $2,000COP/ride, without $2,300/ride
- Rush hours: Monday-Friday afternoons
- Metro maps & information