What’s the Deal With Comunas in Colombia?

What’s the Deal With Comunas in Colombia?

TLDR? Medellin is divided into comunas that are in turn divided into neighborhoods that make up an entire city.

As the capital of Antioquia, Medellín is one of Colombia’s main cities. 

Nicknamed “the City of Eternal Spring,” Medellin consists of a total of sixteen comunas. Each of these different sectors brings something unique to this Paisa city. 

Read ahead to learn about the makeup of Medellín! Let’s begin! 

How Is Medellin Divided?

How Is Medellin Divided?

Medellín, like many Colombian cities, is divided into comunas. The city then divides each one of those comunas into different neighborhoods. 

The city currently has 275 neighborhoods split into sixteen Comunas. There are also some corregimientos surrounding Medellín. These are rural areas, and aren’t part of the city proper.

What sets Medellín apart is the unique tourist attractions unique to each Comuna, and it’s worth investigating each to find out what makes them special. 

If you’re going to spend some time in the City of Eternal Spring, I recommend taking a tour of the Comunas to learn more about the culture, art, history, and natural beauty amid the buildings of the city.

What Is a Comuna?

What Is a Comuna?

A comuna in Colombia is simply an administrative subdivision.

At a political level, the division allows each Comuna to manage itself and resolve its individual needs quickly. Each Comuna has an administrative board in charge of taking care of their section. 

Don’t confuse Comuna with favela, as some sectors of Brazil call it. When referring Favelas, they’re talking about invasions of land due to the needs of people with limited resources. 

Difference Between Neighborhood and Comuna in Colombia

Difference Between Neighborhood and Comuna in Colombia

Comunas are then divided into smaller neighborhoods. Each one has something that differentiates it from the others. 

The number of neighborhoods within a Comuna varies. Some are much larger than others, with different commerce and tourism, despite being in the same city. 

These unique neighborhood differences foster a sense of pride and belonging in their inhabitants, who work to care for their territory. 

What Are the Comunas of Medellin

What Are the Comunas of Medellin

The Paisa city of Medellín is divided into sixteen comunas. Among them are Popular, Santa Cruz, Aranjuez, Castilla, Doce de Octubre, Robledo, Villa Hermosa, Buenos Aires, La Candelaria, Laureles-Estadio, La América, San Javier, El Poblado, Guayabal, and Belén.

The rural area of Medellín is divided into five townships. Among the most well-known are San Antonio del Prado and San Cristóbal. Perhaps you’ve heard of them! 

Among its other corregimientos are San Sebastián de Palmitas, Altavista, and Santa Elena. Santa Elena is famous for the farms where peasants make and display their work in a flower fair. 

What Are the Most Popular Neighborhoods in Medellin

While Medellín, in general, has so much to offer residents and visitors alike, there are some neighborhoods and Comunas that stand out more than others. 

Here’s a small list of famous Comunas and neighborhoods I recommend checking out: 

La Candelaria

La Candelaria

At the center of the Paisa city, La Candelaria is a place full of culture and art. 

One of the area’s most popular attractions is La Plaza Botero, an open-air sculpture garden dedicated to the works of Colombian artist Fernando Botero. His pieces are on permanent display here for visitors to enjoy. 

La Candelaria is also home to the Museo de Antioquia. It’s located right next to Plaza Botero at the Parque Berrio. 

There are other museums in La Candelaria as well. For instance, there’s the Casa Museo de la Memoria and El Museo del Agua.

San Javier

San Javier

If you’re in Medellín and haven’t already visited San Javier, what are you waiting for? 

The famous Comuna 13 is located in this area, one of the places in Medellin dedicated to giving space to street art. So, you should take a tour of the murals to discover their stories, and visit some of the local galleries along the tour as well. 

This is a must-see place in Medellín. Its streets are easily accessible and are even equipped with escalators. 

El Poblado

El Poblado

El Poblado is considered one of the most exclusive places in Medellín. The area boasts the majority of hotels, bars, restaurants, and luxurious residences. It’s also home to the Medellín Museum of Modern Art. 

In addition to being one of the most touristed places in Medellín, it’s also where international artists stay or even buy properties of their own. 

Laureles

Laureles

Laureles boasts one of the most recognized stadiums in Colombia, the Atanasio Girardot. Additionally, it’s also home to local sports teams. 

Known for it retaining some classic architecture, Laureles is a truly gorgeous sector of Medellín. 

The Aburrá Foundation is one of the places you must visit if you’re in Laureles. This museum is dedicated to the indigenous ancestors of the Antioqueños and displays some of the elaborate pieces of art they made many, many years ago. 

Belén

Belén

Finally, the last comuna on the list is Belén! 

Among the most touristed places in Belén is the Cerro de Nutibara. An ecological park located within the city, you’ll find the famous Pueblito Paisa here at the top of a hill, a replica of an original Antioquian town. 

The City Museum is located right next to the Pueblito Paisa, surrounded by green areas, a sculpture park, and other small outdoor art exhibitions. 

Medellin and the Beauty of Its Comunas

Now you know the difference between a Colombian comuna and a neighborhood. With that, you’re ready to enjoy your stay in the paisa capital and have fun! 

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