One of these metro cable lines goes from Acevedo station to Santo Domingo Savio. It is in Santo Domingo that a new library, “Parque Bibiloteca España, was built about three years ago with the help of a grant from the King and Queen of Spain, hence the name. The library also received a donation of 1500 books from the Prince of Spain, and an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The library consists of three black towers that really stand out against the background of the houses of the local neighbourhood nestling on the mountainside. I really like the design of the library, which I find very bold and formidable while at the same time being aesthetically beautiful. In a way it gives importance to an area of the city which would otherwise be forgotten.
In Santo Domingo it is possible to change to a third metro cable line which takes you up, over the mountains to Parque Arvi, in Santa Elena. The distance covered is just over 4.5 kilometres and the journey takes almost fifteen minutes.
Santa Elena is famous for its “silleteros,” and the Medellin Flower Festival. It is here they grow the flowers used in the festival and make all the displays (silletas) which they parade through the streets of Medellin on their backs during the festival in August.
You can read more about the Flower Festival here.
The region of Santa Elena comprises of eleven small villages and covers an area of over 70 square kilometres. The climate in the region is between 12°c y 17°c, which for me, coming from a country that has four seasons, is cool, but for Colombians, who are not used to the extreme temperatures of winter, this is cold. The area is situated between two valleys with an altitude of between 2,200 and 2,600 metres. Santa Elena is part of Medellin and is what is called in Spanish a “corregimiento.”
Arriving by metro cable you alight in the area known as Tambo. The park has different areas which they refer to as nuclei. In the Tambo nucleus you can orient yourself and get information about the park and the options available for exploring it. When I visited, I went by car as we took our two dogs with us; however, from where we parked it was only a short walk to this area.
There are six nuclei in total, Tambo, Comfenalco, Laguna, Biodiversidad, Mazo and Comfama. The last two are currently under construction.
There is a farmer’s market on the last Sunday of every month where local people sell a wide range of fresh local produce. The market is from 9:00am to 5:00pm with 59 stalls, if you are there on the last Sunday of the month take the time to visit the market and help the local people by buying some of their goods.
There are many, well signposted, paths you can take to get some exercise and explore the park’s natural beauty, and there are also guided walks of different distances available throughout the day. I have taken one of these walks and can certainly recommend this as a great way to get to know the park.
There are four signposted routes you can follow and three more under construction. They are; Biodiverso, Ancestral, La Flora and Arroyuelo. Those being prepared at the moment are; Embrujado, Arrierías and El Molino.
The park also has a picnic area, though this can get busy and somewhat noisy for my liking especially at weekends, and is not really my cup of tea. For me the park is about being close to, and interacting with, nature. It’s about walking, getting exercise, breathing fresh mountain air, seeing and learning about the region’s fauna and flora, and how it is possible to live in harmony with nature.
For me the beauty of Parque ARVi, is its natural, unspoilt state. It’s an excellent place to visit if you want to escape from the noise and congestion of the city, and with the metro and metro cable access couldn’t be easier.
If you are in Medellin, take the time to visit Parque Arvi, it’s well worth it and will give you a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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