The neighborhood of El Poblado is considered today as the most prestigious residential area of Medellin. It was the site of the first built houses in the Aburra Valley back in 1616. However, the first dwellers did not consider El Poblado to have any strategic importance and they moved north in order to create La Candeleria village, the heart of today’s city center in Medellin.
Avenida Poblado is the main artery that runs through the area. Near the San Diego neighborhood it joins Avenida Oriental, which connects El Poblado and the city center also known as El Centro. Apart from the zone adjoining the park, the rest of the neighborhood was made up of farms and ranch houses owned by prominent families. In fact, many of the sub neighborhoods in El Poblado such as Astorga, Vizcaya, Patio Bonito, Manila & Provenza took their names from these countryside properties.
The popular tourist destination area of known as Parque Lleras makes up the epicenter of El Poblado‘s bar and restaurant district. This area was initially conceived as the first formal multi-tenant housing complex in the city. Its original purpose was to house hundreds of peasant and migrant families that had arrived to the city and no place to stay. Financed and built by a state bank, Parque Lleras is a popular tourism destination that full of hostels, retail shops, restaurants, clubs, bars & discos. A similar fate befell other neighborhoods in the area such as Colombia, Manila & Astorga, whose original inhabitants have long ago left to give way to commercial buildings and private enterprise. Due to El Poblado‘s rise in residential and commercial growth, the local government, through a system of increased value, have financed and built important roadways such as Avenida Las Vegas and the new access road to the neighboring town of Envigado. In addition, other important connecting thoroughfares such as Transversal Inferior & Transversal Superior were built into the hillside. These new access roads allowed for the further development and construction of some of the most prestigious apartments and homes in Medellin today.
El Poblado’s Golden Mile
El Poblado‘s Golden Mile is the main access road that runs through the barrio where one can walk from Parque El Poblado all the way down to the neighboring community of Envigado. This commercial and retail strip is officially known as Avenida El Poblado. It is where you will find some of Medellin’s most expensive and prestigious commercial real estate and properties such as San Fernando Plaza. Here you will also find many hotels, retail centers, banks, restaurants, national & international companies, supermarkets, malls and social gathering areas. Some of the recent additions to El Poblado include the Hard Rock Cafe and Santa Fe Mall.
Popular hotels in the area include the Medellin Executive Hotel, Dann Carlton, Sheraton Four Points, Poblado Plaza, Porton de Medellin as well as the recently built Holiday Inn Suites. There have also been important health clinics and medical facilities that have moved to the area in the last few years such as the new branch of the Clinica Medellin.
El Poblado Main Attractions
Lleras Park (Parque Lleras)
Lleras Park or Parque Lleras as the locals refer to it, is an area of El Poblado that is full of restaurants, bars and cafes. Parque Lleras has grown tremendously over the last several years and has become one of the prime tourist areas as well as dining and party hot-spots in all of Medellin. There are many fine dining options available here as well as hotels, hostels and entertainment options to keep you busy. Recent additions to the area include the popular North American franchise Hooters.
Santa Fe Mall
Recently opened in 2010, the Santa Fe Mall is currently the largest retail mall in all of Colombia. The mall is conveniently located along the cities Golden Mile and can be accessed from either Metro Station Aguacatala or Poblado. With more than 450 stores, 25 restaurants, a VIP movie theater and 2 million square feet of total space, this shopping paradise aims to please. The Chile based Falabella is one of the malls premier anchor tenants and offers a full range of consumer based products including house and kitchenware, cosmetics, clothing as well electronics to name a few.
San Fernando Plaza
San Fernando Plaza is a series of three identical multi-use commercial buildings also located along the Golden Mile. Located just due north of the Santa Fe Mall, this area contains many dining options, shops and a casino for those who wish to gamble. Recent additions to San Fernando Plaza include the North American franchise Burger King which has become quite popular in the city since the original opened in 2007.