Centro Comercial Los Molinos is the only Western-style shopping mall located in the Belén comuna of Medellín. Belén is located west of the river in Medellín and is the largest comuna in Medellín with a population of over 194,000.
Los Molinos mall is located only five blocks from Universidad de Medellín. Since it’s located near a large university and it’s the only mall in the biggest comuna in Medellín this makes Los Molinos normally a fairly busy mall.
I used to live two blocks from Los Molinos mall, so I used to go there frequently. Los Molinos is a nice mall that is very convenient, as it has an Exito for groceries, Homecenter for home improvement projects, a Cine Colombia for movies and a Panamericana bookstore. In addition, it has many of the typical shops you’ll find in other malls in Colombia as well as a food court with many fast food options plus several restaurants.
History of Centro Comercial Los Molinos
The history of Centro Comercial Los Molinos goes back to 2004, when a group of companies, Viviendas y Proyectos, Muros y Techos and Londono Gómez, started planning a mall project for the western neighborhoods of Medellín.
This western part of Medellín had about 600,000 inhabitants but no Western-style mall at the time.
After carrying out rigorous studies about the habits and purchasing behavior of local residents, they began construction of the mall. It was built on land from one of the most important textile companies of the country, Paños Vicuña.
Los Molinos mall opened on May 10, 2006 after an investment of nearly 35 billion pesos. The last expansion of the mall was reported completed in October 2011.
The mall used to have a La Polar store as an anchor tenant. But this closed several years ago and was replaced by a Panamericana store.
While Los Molinos is the only Western-style mall in Belén, there is also the Unicentro mall in Laureles that is near the Fátima barrio of Belén.
The Shops in Centro Comercial Los Molinos
The anchor tenants of the mall include Alkomprar, Cine Colombia, Exito, Jamar, Homecenter and Panamericana. In addition, the mall has over 160 shops and businesses of all types.
The shops and businesses in the mall include banks, male and female fashion, children’s and youth clothing, footwear, jewelry, sporting goods, stationery, furniture and decoration, lingerie, opticians, travel agencies, restaurants and fast food places.
One place of interest for expats in the mall is iShop, which is a premium Apple reseller that is authorized to repair Apple products.
There is also a City Park in the mall with games for kids. And there is a Smart Fit gym in the mall.
There are also shops in the mall of the cell phone providers in Colombia including Claro, Movistar and Tigo.
The banks in Los Molinos mall include AV Villas, Bancolombia, Banco de Bogotá, BBVA and Davivienda.
Alkomprar in Los Molinos Mall
You can think of Alkomprar as a small version of a Best Buy in the U.S. It sells appliances, audio equipment, cellphones, computers, televisions, mattresses, motorcycles and other electronics.
Most noteworthy, Alkomprar frequently has sales that are advertised in fliers. You can pick up the fliers in the stores and they also sometimes have people handing out their fliers in the malls.
Typically, the sales include some televisions with up to 45 percent off, some computers for up to 35 percent off, some appliances for up to 35 percent off and some cellphones for up to 40 percent off.
You can also find Alkomprar in several other malls in Medellín including Florida Parque, Mayorca, San Diego and Puera del Norte. Also, there is an Alkomprar store in Rionegro at San Nicolás mall.
Exito Supermarket in Los Molinos Mall
Exito is a large supermarket chain in Colombia that also sells appliances, electronics, clothes, home furnishings, kitchen items, and many other things. An Exito in Colombia is similar to a Walmart in the U.S.
The Exito at Los Molinos mall is frequently busy, particularly after work and on weekends and before holidays.
Exito has 26 of its large grocery stores in the Medellín metro area. It also has some smaller Exito local markets. In addition, Exito owns the Carulla grocery store chain, which has several locations in Medellín.
If you shop frequently at Exito and/or Carulla you should sign up for Puntos Colombia, which is a program that used to be known as Puntos Exito. Puntos Colombia is a frequent shopper program where you accumulate points for each purchase. You can use these points to purchase items in the future.
To sign up for Puntos Colombia you just need a Colombian cedula ID. And it’s essentially like getting 1 percent cash back on your purchase that you can use for future purchases. With the program you get 1 punto for every 700 pesos in purchases. And that 1 punto is worth 7 pesos.
Exito frequently has sales on appliances, TVs and other electronics. Jumbo is another chain of big box stores like Exito that also frequently has sales. If you are furnishing a place, make sure to check out the sales at both Exito and Jumbo.
Movies at Cine Colombia
Cine Colombia has a movie theater in the mall with seven screens located on the third floor. In this location, Cine Colombia occasionally shows some of movies in English with Spanish subtitles. But most movies are in Spanish. Furthermore, you can see the schedule of movies on the company’s website.
Cine Colombia is the largest movie theater chain in Colombia with 43 movie theaters located in 13 cities in Colombia. In the Medellín metro area, Cine Colombia has six movie theaters in the Los Molinos, Oviedo, Santafé, Unicentro, Viva Envigado and Vizcaya malls.
Cine Colombia has the Cineco frequent moviegoer card that provides discounts for movies. The card cost 10,000 pesos. For every 1,500 pesos in spending at Cine Colombia you receive one point. Points can be redeemed for movie tickets and food products. For example, for 100 points you can get one 2D general admission movie ticket.
Homecenter in the Mall
You can think of Homecenter as being similar to a Home Depot in the U.S. But a Homecenter store also has home furnishings similar to a Bed, Bath & Beyond in the U.S., including items for bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens. So, a Homecenter can be considered a combination of a Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond in the U.S.
Homecenter frequently has sales. The sales are typically posted on an advertisement, which you will see when walking into a store. When I first furnished my apartment in Medellín I bought many items at Homecenter. And many things I bought were on sale.
Homecenter has over 35 stores in Colombia. In Medellín, it has three stores. And it also has stores in Bello, Envigado and Rionegro. Homecenter also has stores in Armenia, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Cali, Cúcuta, Giradot, Ibagúe, Manazales, Monteria, Neiva, Palmira, Pereira, Santa Marta, Tulua, Villavicencio and Yopal.
Jamar in Los Molinos Mall
Los Molinos Mall also has Jamar as it’s newest anchor tenant. Jamar is a furniture store that frequently has sales. And it’s possible to buy entire rooms of furniture at Jamar.
Jamar has three stores in Medellín located in the Mayorca mall, Florida Parque mall and Los Molinos mall. Also, Jamar has 13 other stores in Colombia located in Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Montería, Riohacha, Sincelejo and Valledupar.
Panamericana in the Mall
Panamericana is a chain of large bookstores in Colombia. The Panamericana stores also sell office products as well as computers and printers and a number of other products.
In addition, you can find some English-language books at Panamericana. Panamericana has two stores in Medellín, one is located in El Poblado across from Oviedo mall and the second is in Los Molinos mall.
Panamericana has additional stores in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cartagena, Manizales, Neiva, Pereira and Valledupar.
Los Molinos has several locations with food in the mall. There are over 20 fast food places and restaurants in the mall.
There is food court on the second floor and additional restaurants and fast food options found on the third floor.
Fast food options include Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Frisby, El Corral, Kokoriko, McDonald’s, Sarku Japan and Subway.
Restaurants in the mall include Chef Burger, Crepes & Waffles, El Rancherito, Il Forno, Parmessano and Pizzería Olivia.
How to Get to Centro Comercial Los Molinos
Centro Comercial Los Molinos is located in the Los Alpes barrio of Belén. Los Molinos mall is easy to get to on the Medellín Metro.
It’s located only a couple of blocks from the Los Alpes Metroplús bus station on Line 1 and 2. To get to the Metroplús bus lines from the metro train you connect at the Industriales station on Line A of the metro.
Furthermore, most taxi drivers in Medellín will know where Los Molinos mall is located. It’s also normally easy to catch a taxi at the mall with a line of taxis usually lined up on both sides of the mall.
Also, if you drive, Los Molinos mall has about 1,800 parking spaces available. Parking is free for the first 15 minutes. And parking costs 1,500 pesos for up to 6 hours.
Address: Calle 30A # 82A-26, Los Alpes barrio in Belén, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 238 3505
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm; Sunday and Holidays: 11 am – 8 pm. And the main food court and restaurants are typically open from noon until 10pm.
The Most Popular Malls in Medellín
Several readers of Medellin Guru have asked for information about the malls in the Medellín metro area.
So, we have provided up-to-date guides to the 14 best and largest malls in the Medellín metro area in a series on this website:
- Viva Envigado – one of the newest malls in the Aburrá Valley located in Envigado, which is reportedly the largest mall in Colombia
- Santafé – one of the largest malls in Medellín located in El Poblado
- Mayorca Mega Plaza – a popular mall in Sabaneta with several outlet shops
- El Tesoro – Medellín’s popular mall with a view in El Poblado
- Premium Plaza – one of Medellín’s largest shopping malls with entertainment on the third floor
- Puerta del Norte – the largest and most popular mall in Bello
- Arkadia – the newest mall in Medellín and the nicest mall in Belén
- Los Molinos – the oldest Western-style mall in Belén
- Oviedo – the oldest mall in El Poblado.
- San Diego – the oldest mall in Medellín.
- Unicentro – the largest and most popular mall in Laureles-Estadio
- Monterrey – Medellín’s technology mall in El Poblado
- Florida Parque – the only Western-style mall in the Robledo comuna in Medellín
- La Central – the only Western-style mall in the Buenos Aires comuna in Medellín
Also, we included Los Molinos in our article about the 14 best malls in Medellín.
The Bottom Line: Centro Comercial Los Molinos
Centro Comercial Los Molinos is one of the nicest mall in Medellín and it’s the only mall in Belén. So, almost every local in the western part of city knows where Los Molinos mall is located.
I used to live in Belén near Los Molinos mall, which I found was very convenient. But I now live in Sabaneta and I miss having a Homecenter nearby as the nearest Homecenter to me now is in Envigado.
Furthermore, you won’t see many foreigners at Los Molinos mall. In my four years living near this mall I didn’t hear English very often in the mall.
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Editors note: updated on June 24, 2018 to add the Jamar furniture store as the newest anchor tenant in Los Molinos mall.
Editors note: updated on August 20, 2018 to reflect the change in Exito’s frequent shopping program that has changed from Puntos Exito to Puntos Colombia.
Editors note: updated on October 6, 2018 to add the new Viva Envigado mall.
Editors note: updated on November 14, 2019 to add the Arkadia mall, which is the newest mall in Medellín.
I live near Los Molinos and agree its a nice mall. But the checkout lines at the Exito there sometimes are insanely slow. It is like they have the world´s slowest checkout staff.
Hi Tom, I agree with you that sometimes the checkout lines at Exito are infuriatingly slow. And the Exito at Los Molinos is at times very busy with long lines that don’t seem to move.
Nice article. A friend lives near Los Molinos and we go there to eat frequently. The best restaurants in the mall to me are Pizzeria Olivia, Chef Burger and El Rancherito.
I seem to recall that when I decided to sign up for the Exito Puntos program I was unable to qualify because (although I’m a MIGRANTE full time resident) I do not have a Colombian bank account. I prefer to remain “off the grid” as it were by using my US debit card, ATM’s and paying bills in cash at places like Baloto. Maybe I read the application wrong? I’d like to get the card.
When I signed up for Exito Puntos all they wanted was an ID, address and phone number. I have had a puntos account for over 6 years now and have likely saved hundreds of dollars. There was nothing about a bank account and there is no reason for a bank account with the program. Are you sure they didn’t give you the application for an Exito credit card?
Could be a mistake of some sort. I’ll go back and give it another try. The points would also be earned on purchases at Carulla.
Yes, the points are also earned at Carulla anywhere in the country as Carulla is owned by Exito.
When I signed up for Exito Puntos last year they did not require a bank account. And another benefit of the program is when they have coupon day specials when you can save a ton of money.
Thanks Jeff another great post. do you take the pictures yourself? Or does someone else take them.
Hi Brock, thanks. I took the photos myself.
Nice job Jeff. I’m impressed.