The History of Medellín’s El Poblado Neighborhood

The History of Medellín’s El Poblado Neighborhood

TLDR? El Poblado, Medellin’s safest and wealthiest neighborhood, has one of the most fascinating histories in Colombia. 

Today, tourists love exploring El Poblado because it has everything you need to enjoy and relax. El Poblado has vast boutique shops, restaurants, and even clubs to cap off the night. 

But did it ever cross your mind how El Poblado became the beautiful neighborhood it is today? Let’s talk about the captivating history of El Poblado in this guide. Sit back, relax, and discover the unique past of Medellin’s one-of-a-kind neighborhood. 

A Brief Overview of El Poblado, Medellin

A Brief Overview of El Poblado, Medellin

El Poblado is one of the comunas in Medellin’s metropolitan area. It has more than 95,000 residents with a land area reaching almost 1500 square kilometers. El Poblado currently has 24 barrios

Today, = Poblado serves as the wealthiest neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia. You’ll see several high-end shops, malls, and Michelin-star restaurants. 

Moreover, this commune is known as “Las Manzanas de Oro” or The Golden Apples. This is because it’s the center of commercial and industrial life in Medellin. It also serves as Colombia’s second-largest economy. 

Poblado’s Early Days

Poblado's Early Days

Francisco Herrera y Campuzano is a Spanish explorer. And you should be thanking him today for founding Poblado. Campuzano created the first-ever European Settlement in the famous Aburra Valley on March 2, 1616. Today, that settlement is El Poblado Square. 

The new European settlement was part of San Lorenzo de Aburra, a small village with 80 indigenous people. 

However, a new mandate later informed everyone that the white, mestizos, and indigenous people could not live together. This led to the European settlement transferring to Berrio Square, a new village. Poblado became a marginalized neighborhood until the 20th century. 

By 1845, the parish was named San Jose del Poblado. The marginalized neighborhood started to have streets, plazas, and lands for sale. During that time, famous estates were the following:

  • Vizcaya
  • Provenza
  • Patio Bonito
  • Manila
  • Astorga
  • Castropol

These estates remained the barrio names until today. 

The Modern Era in Poblado

During the start of the 20th century, Poblado was converted into a neighborhood preferred by the city’s wealthy families where they could buy rural villas. 

The travel around Medellin and El Poblado was difficult. But this did not stop business families and industrialists from finishing business matters in Poblado. Later on, Medellin-El Poblado Avenue was constructed. And the land became more valuable for more urban settlements. 

Envigado became a place for more villas. And during the 1930s, more farming families sought Medellin to look for new income opportunities. They were fascinated with El Poblado’s industrialization. 

And because of this, Barrio Lleras, a new barrio, was created. Banco Central Hipotecario provided the finances for establishing this barrio. 

By the 1950s, Medellin’s city center started to include Poblado because more industrial activities were taking place in the neighborhood. More rich families from Barrio Prado moved to El Poblado for lower land prices. 

1970 was an excellent year for Poblado. It became Medellin’s second urban center. And you’ll see most of the wealthy Colombian residents living in this commune. 

El Poblado was also named “Milla de Oro” or golden Mile. Moreover, Colombians established Zona Rosa. It’s an exclusive area for tourists filled with businesses, activities, and nightclubs

El Poblado’s Streets and Transportations

El Poblado’s Streets and Transportations

Today, Poblado has become more modernized. It has various well-maintained streets and transportation. When it was totally unimaginable to reach this place from Medellin, everything is already easy and accessible today. 

El Poblado’s main streets are oriented in a north-to-south direction. This follows the flow of the Medellin River. Most roads and streets in Poblado have names stating their orientation:

  • Avenidas or Avenues: the main street or major thoroughfare
  • Carrera: streets going from north to south
  • Loma: streets going to certain hills
  • Calle: street going from east to west
  • Circumvalar: streets going around certain areas

For public transportation, El Poblado has buses, Metro de Medellin and Metroplus Station. 



There are five lines you can ride when going from Downtown Medellin to Poblado:

  • The Poblado 130
  • The Poblado-Exito 132
  • Poblado 131 Barrio Colombia
  • Poblado-San Lucas 133
  • Poblado Intercontinental-Las Lomas 134

You can also find Medellin-to-Envigado buses running through Poblado. 

Metro de Medellin

Metro de Medellin

Three stations of the metro of Medellin are in Poblado:

  • Aguacatala Station
  • Poblado Station
  • Ayura Station



Metroplus is the newest public transportation system in Medellin. It integrates subway stations to various parts of the city. In Poblado, Metroplus provides service from Industrialists Station to Zuniga Creek. There will be a total of twelve stations. 

El Poblado Today

El Poblado Today

Today, Poblado is one neighborhood worth visiting in Medellin. You will be surrounded by nightclubs, shopping malls, hip bars, and boutique shops. There’s also a high chance you’ll meet foreigners because they frequent this neighborhood. 

Also, don’t miss the chance to visit some of Medellin’s high-end shopping malls:

  • El Tesoro
  • Santa Fe
  • Oviedo
  • La Strada

If you want to meet more locals, visit Parque Poblado. It’s an eco-park packed with younger individuals at night. And it’s a great place to drink and unwind with friends! 

Overall, Poblado resembles the beautiful cities in Panama, Los Angeles, and Miami. You will also find yoga studios, dog groomers, and gourmet grocery stores. Most restaurants also have their al fresco dining options.

El Poblado is A Neighborhood You Should Visit

If you think you only find beautiful and high-end cities outside of Colombia, think again. El Poblado has so much activities and attractions to offer. And you’ll be amazed at how this neighborhood rose from its humble beginnings. 

Check out El Poblado, and appreciate the beauty of this high-end and safe neighborhood. 

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