Pueblito Paisa is located at the top of Cerro Nutibara (Nutibara Hill) and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Medellín. Also, Museo de Ciudad, the Medellín City Museum is nearby and worth seeing.
Pueblito Paisa is a replica of a turn of the century town in Antioquia, complete with a fountain in the middle of a cobblestone town square plus a white church.
Since it is located on a high hill in the middle of the Aburrá Valley, it also offers great views of the city of Medellín and the surrounding mountains.
Due to being a popular tourist spot, there are several shops selling souvenirs. In addition, there are several restaurants serving coffee, ice cream and many typical Colombian foods like bandeja paisa.
We included Pueblito Paisa in our recommended tourist itinerary for a day in Medellín. Note the above photo of Pueblito Paisa is by Jenny Bojinova.
History of Nutibara Hill and Pueblito Paisa
During the 18th and 19 centuries, Nutibara Hill was originally named Morro de Marcela de la Parra and later Morro de los Cadavides.
The city of Medellín bought the hill in 1927 with a plan to create a recreational park on the hill. In addition, at that time, the hill was renamed to Nutibara in honor of one of the historically most powerful of the chiefs in Antioquia.
The plan to build a park was approved in 1939. This included the design and construction of roads for access, gazebos, bridges, parking and viewpoints plus planting of trees. Also, an initial restaurant was built at the top. The park is currently sized at about 81 acres (33 hectares).
In 1975, during planning for the tri-centennial of the city, Medellín and several local companies joined forces to finance construction of a replica of a typical turn of the century pueblo in Antioquia at the top of Nutibara hill, with all the traditional characteristics.
The project was led by architect Julián Sierra Mejía. And construction began in 1976. Pueblito Paisa officially opened on March 3 1978. In addition, it was built at a cost of over two million dollars.
Furthermore, the site uses a number of materials that were salvaged from homes in a pueblo that were flooded when the manmade lake El Penol was formed. This was due to construction of a dam and massive hydroelectric power plant, located about two hours from Medellín.
When building the replica town, they reused a number of building materials from the now flooded pueblo, including doors, casings and windows. The wooden alter used in the church reportedly dates back to the 1920s.
Besides the church, the replica pueblo includes a mayor’s office, small school, barber, and some typical houses. One house even has a turn of the century kitchen.
There is also a sculpture park created in 1983 on Nutibara Hill. The Museum of Modern Art in Medellín coordinated a permanent exhibition of sculptures. The sculptures were made by 10 national and international artists, which were installed in the natural surroundings of the hill.
Probably the most famous of the sculptures is Cacique Nutibara by the teacher José Horacio Betancur Betancur. This sculpture, made in 1955, is painted concrete, weighs four tons and measures 3 m high by 2.9 m wide. The figure depicts Chief Nutibara, accompanied by a warrior and a puma at the feet, as a symbol of bravery and power.
Pueblito Paisa at Christmas
In December, Pueblito Paisa becomes even more popular with a big increase in visitors. Each December, it is decorated with Christmas lights as part of the world-famous Los Alumbrados Christmas lights in Medellín.
During the month of December, Nutibara hill becomes a more popular location for tourists, as it offers excellent views of the city during the holidays. Most noteworthy, from this location it is possible to see not only the Christmas lights at Pueblito Paisa, but also the Christmas lights throughout the city.
Museo de Ciudad – Medellín’s City Museum
Next to Publito Paisa at the top of Nutibara hill is Museo de Ciudad, Medellín’s City Museum. This museum is a relatively small museum. But it’s worth seeing while visiting Publito Paisa.
Museo de Ciudad is intended to show the urban and social history of the city of Medellín. It has a very interesting photo exhibit with many photos from the 1890s to about 1950 showing the history of the city of Medellín.
I found it very interesting to see all the old photos of the city of Medellín. Here are several of the photo exhibits:
Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Biblioteca Publica Piloto de Medellín started a process to collect the visual and photographic history of the city of Medellín. This impressive collection of photos now includes about 1,700,000 images. And many photos from this collection are displayed in Museo de Ciudad.
Also, there is an interesting scale model of the city of Medellín, which is a permanent exhibit in the museum .
Museo de Ciudad is currently operated by the Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo Foundation.
Museum Hours: Monday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm.
Museum Telephone: +57 4 444 2633 Ext. 113 and 114
Museum Entrance Fee: 2,000 pesos per person.
How to Get to Pueblito Paisa
The easiest way to get to Pueblito Paisa is to take a taxi (or Uber) as every taxi or Uber driver in the city knows where it is. The taxi cost from locations in El Poblado should be less than 10,000 pesos. In addition, when you leave it is typically easy to catch a taxi since it’s a popular tourist destination.
It is also possible to reach Pueblito Paisa by walking from the Industriales metro station. But it’s a long walk uphill. And sometimes the road is lonely. So, to be safe we recommend taking a taxi.
Address: Calle 30 # 55-64, Tel: 57(4) 235 83 70
Hours: The park is open from 5 am to midnight daily. The stores and restaurants are open from 10 am to 8 pm. We recommend going when the stores and restaurants are open.
Museums in Medellín
On the Medellin Guru website, we have looked at 17 different museums in Medellín:
- Museo de Antioquia – the most popular museum in Medellín, worth visiting. It’s best known for a collection of art of Medellín-born artist Fernando Botero.
- Medellín’s Museo de Arte Moderno (Modern Art Museum) – worth a visit with an intriguing mix of exhibitions located in a striking building.
- Parque Explora – Medellín’s popular interactive science museum and aquarium. It has over 300 activities and the largest freshwater aquarium in South America.
- Jardín Botánico – Medellín’s free botanical gardens that is also considered a museum with over 1,000 different living plants on display.
- Planetario de Medellín – Medellín’s Planetarium and space museum that is very popular and worth seeing, particularly with kids.
- Museo El Castillo – Medellín’s beautiful Gothic-style castle that is a museum.
- Museo Cementerio San Pedro – a cemetery that is also a popular museum in Medellín worth visiting. It also has a church with many beautiful stained-glass windows.
- Museo Casa de la Memoria – a museum dedicated to honoring the victims of urban conflict in Medellín and Colombia and is worth seeing to better understand the city and country.
- Museo del Agua – the popular Medellín water museum.
- Casa Museo Otraparte – a hidden gem in Envigado consisting of a museum, cultural space and café dedicated to the life and works of Colombian philosopher Fernando González.
- Museo Universidad Antioquia (MUUA) – a Medellín museum located on the University of Antioquia’s campus with a huge collection of nearly 40,000 archaeological and natural history pieces.
- Museo Casa Gardeliana – a museum located in Medellín that is dedicated to tango music and musician Carlos Gardel.
- Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo – a museum located in Aranjuez that is dedicated to the life and works of important Colombian artist Pedro Nel Gómez who is best known for his extensive work as a muralist.
- Museo Etnográfico Miguel Angel Builes – a hidden gem museum in Medellín dedicated to showing the cultural diversity of indigenous and ethnic groups in Colombia.
- Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture – Medellín’s palace in El Centro is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. It’s considered a museum by the city of Medellín but there aren’t very many exhibits to see inside.
- Museo Entomológico Piedras Blancas (MEPB) – an insect museum located at the Parque Ecológico Piedras Blancas, which is an ecological park located in Santa Elena near Medellín.
- Museo de Ciudad – Medellín’s City Museum, which is located next to Pueblito Paisa. This museum has a scale model of the city and a photo exhibit with photos from the 1890s to about 1950 showing the history of the city of Medellín.
The 10 English-language Colombia guidebooks that I have are missing several of these museums. And each guidebook only includes six to nine out of the 17 museums in Medellín we have looked at.
The Bottom Line: Pueblito Paisa and Museo de Ciudad
Pueblito Paisa is a popular tourist location in Medellín that is definitely worth seeing. Nutibara Hill offers some great views of the city of Medellín.
Also, Museo de Ciudad, the Medellín City Museum, is located next to Pueblito Paisa and is also worth seeing.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.