Sightseeing History & Culture medellin city guide photography Colombia > Andino > Medellin

Things to Do in Santo Domingo: Most Violent Neighbourhood In Medellin

Things to Do in Santo Domingo: Most Violent Neighbourhood In Medellin
Karen
Karen
Updated

Previously the operational grounds of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, the characteristic Colombian neighbourhood of Santo Domingo in Comuna Popular of northeast Medellin has turned over a new leaf in the past decade and shed its ill reputation of the 90s as one of the most dangerous places in Latin America!

With the installation of Medellin Metrocable in 2004, the neighbourhoods in Comuna Popular has gone from 5 pm curfew to welcoming investors and tourists to witness its progressing glory. If you seek local connections and community engagement in your travels, don’t miss Santo Domingo Savio in Medellin, Colombia. Here are a few things to do when you are in the area:

Visit the Spain Library Park (Parque Biblioteca España)

Biblioteca España
Source: Photo by user david peña used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Under the Northeast Integral Urban Project (Proyecto Urbano Integral (PUI) Nororiental), a city initiative to improve infrastructure in this part of the city, library parks were built and the most popular one happens to be in Santo Domingo Savio. The Spain Library, named after the country who helped to fund the project, consists of three iconic buildings that resemble giant boulders at the mountain’s edge. At night, the library is illuminated and can be seen from afar.

The architect, Giancarlo Mazzanti, stated: “we wanted to take people from this poor community into another world and change their reality”.

One interesting aspect of its architecture is the small windows, designed so to help visitors disconnect from their contextual surroundings of the neighbourhood!

Spain Library (Biblioteca España)

Address: Cl. 107a #Cra 33B # 107A-100, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

Website: Spain Library

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Medellin, Andino, Colombia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Medellin, Andino, Colombia

Enjoy beautiful views of Medellin

View from Spain Library's patio
Source: Karen Zheng

At the patio of the Spain Library, one will also get to enjoy beautiful views of the city while cable cars coming and going periodically. Join locals and visitors here to enjoy the breeze and partake in a slower pace of life. This is reputed to be one of the best places to see Medellin from above!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Medellin, Andino, Colombia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Medellin, Andino, Colombia

Photo walk in Santo Domingo Savio

Art murals at Santo Domingo Savio
Source: Karen Zheng

With friendly locals hanging out on the streets, some working while others enjoying the bliss of retirement and grandchildren; a stroll in the neighbourhood of Santo Domingo Savio makes for great street photography. For art lovers, don’t miss the wall murals along the path towards Spain Library and its vicinity.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Medellin, Andino, Colombia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Medellin, Andino, Colombia

Taste a slice of local’s life

Grilled mushrooms
Source: Karen Zheng

Literally. There are several street vendors selling local snacks and some eateries for more solid meals. Food prices are affordable, predictably more so than in the city center. A local plato (plate in Spanish) consisting of rice, side dishes and a soup would set you back from 5,000 COP (~1.70 USD) in exchange for a full belly.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Medellin, Andino, Colombia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Medellin, Andino, Colombia

Move on to Arví Park for fresh country air

Arvi Park
Source: Karen Zheng

Continue on to Arví Park (Parque Arvi) - the final stop on Metrocable by Line L from Santo Domingo Savio station. The 15-minute ride to the ecological park in Santa Elena affords expansive views of woodland stretching over the mountains that seem to go on like a never ending story! No complaints though!

This green area boosts 16,000 hectares of nature and is part of the network of pre-hispanic trails of Parque Ecological Piedras Blancas. There are seven well-marked paths, which brings one through cloud forests(!) and mountain lakes along with some of the best views of the Valle de Aburra and Medellin. You can go one a self/guided nature walk or rent a bike.

There’s usually a small farmer’s market near the entrance of Arvi station with some of the best (and affordable) handmade crafts and local produce. Don’t miss the blackberry wine!

Arví Park (Parque Arvi)

Address: Via a Piedras Blancas, Antioquia, Colombia

Website: Arvi Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Medellin, Andino, Colombia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Medellin, Andino, Colombia

How to get to Santo Domingo, Medellin

Medellin Metrocable
Source: Karen Zheng

To visit this characteristic neighbourhood, you may take a taxi (prearranged or UBER) or hop on Medellin Metrocable for a cable car ride from Acevedo K station to Santo Domingo Savio station. The cable car ride is an attraction on its own and presents a great contrasting view of the Comuna 1 neighbourhoods beneath and the city center from afar. A visit here will take about 1 to 2 hours, depending on one’s pace of exploration.

Medellin Metrocable

Website: Medellin Metrocable

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Think travel, writing, photography and food. In no absolute order of preferences, these are aspects in life that excite and motivate me. I am always caught in situations that confound me but...Read more

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Medellin
Good things are meant to be shared!