Puerta del Norte is the largest and most popular mall in the Bello municipality, located north of Medellín. The mall is one of the largest in the Aburrá Valley metro area with over 350 shops.
The mall is very popular since it’s easily accessible via the metro. And shoppers at this mall are not only from Bello. Shoppers also come from northern Medellín, which doesn’t have many malls. In addition, they also come from municipalities to the north and east of Bello including Copacabana, Giradota and Barbosa.
However, this large mall likely hasn’t been discovered by many foreigners since it’s located in Bello. This is relatively far from the most popular neighborhoods for expats in the metro area including El Poblado, Laureles-Estadio, Envigado, Sabaneta and Belén. So, you will rarely hear English being spoken in this large mall.
History of Puerta del Norte Mall
Puerta del Norte Mall originally opened in 2006. It’s located in the Niquía barrio of Bello. And in 2010, the mall was expanded with a major second phase.
This is one of the largest malls in the metro area, as it has over 1.38 million square feet of space (128,469 square meters). There isn’t really another Western-style mall in Bello. But there are several small “Centro Comericals” in Bello like Bello Centro located next to Parque Bello that is just several tiny stores and an Exito.
Bello is the second largest municipality in the Aburrá Valley after Medellín. Bello has a population of almost half a million.
The Shops in Puerta del Norte Mall
The anchor tenants of the mall include Alkomprar, Exito, Cinemas Procinal, Homecenter and Smart Fit. In addition, the mall has over 350 shops and businesses of all types. The mall also has several outlet stores with good prices.
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.
Also, there are shops in the mall for the three major cellphone providers in Colombia: Claro, Movistar and Tigo-UNE.
The banks in Puerta del Norte mall include Banco Caja Social, Banco de Bogotá, Banco de Occidente, Bancolombia, BBVA and Davivienda. In addition, for the kids there are two arcade and game areas in the mall: Star Park and Play Time.
Alkomprar in Puerta del Norte
Alkomprar is like a small Best Buy selling appliances, audio equipment, cellphones, computers, televisions, mattresses, motorcycles and other electronics. And they frequently have sales.
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 including some televisions with up to 40 percent off, some computers for up to 30 percent off, some appliances for up to 35 percent off and some cellphones for up to 40 percent off.
Exito Supermarket in Puerta del Norte Mall
Exito is a large supermarket chain in Colombia that also sells appliances, electronics, clothes, home furnishings, kitchen items, and many other things. Most noteworthy, an Exito in Colombia is similar to a Walmart in the U.S.
The Exito at Puerta del Norte mall is very large and 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. Also, it 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 Cinemas Procinal in Puerta del Norte
Cinemas Procinal’s movie theater in the mall has four screens. And Cinemas Procinal is located in the old phase of the mall. Furthermore, you can see the schedule of movies on the Cinemas Procinal website.
Cinemas Procinal is a movie theater chain with movie theaters in eight cities in Colombia. It has movie theaters in Apartadó, Barrancabermeja, Bogotá, Cartagena, Rionegro, Medellín, Santa Marta and Villavicencio.
Also, Cinemas Procinal has a frequent moviegoer card. With this card, you can buy movie tickets at discounted rates. In addition, you can receive discounts on food and beverages.
Flamingo in Purta del Norte
Flamingo is a department store that sells a wide range of items including appliances, clothing, electronics and furniture. In addition, Flamingo has four other stores in the Medellín metroplex with three located in El Centro and one in the La Central mall and another in the Mayorca Mega Plaza mall.
Flamingo also has additional stores in Colombia located in Armenia, Bogotá, Ibagué, Itagüí, Monteria, Pereira, Piedecuesta, Rionegro, Sincelejo, Soacha, Soledad and Valledupar, Villavicencio.
Homecenter in Puerta del Norte
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. The only other mall in the Medellín area that has a Homecenter is Los Molinos mall. But there is a new mall being built in Envigado that is where there are existing Homecenter and Exito stores.
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.
Smart Fit in Puerta del Norte Mall
Smart Fit is a Brazil-based fitness chain that expanded to Colombia with the help of MAS FIT and Grupo Bio Ritmo.
The “Plan Smart” membership at Smart Fit costs 90,000 pesos to sign up and 59,900 pesos per month plus an annual maintenance of 89,000 pesos. This plan provides access to a single location.
And the “Plan Black” membership at Smart Fit costs 45,000 pesos to sign up and 69,900 pesos per month plus an annual maintenance of 89,000 pesos. This plan provides access to all Smart Fit locations and permits you to invite a friend.
In Medellín, Smart Fit has 10 locations plus an additional three locations in Envigado, two in Itagüí, one in Bello and one in Sabaneta. So, it has 17 locations in the metro area.
Smart Fit reportedly has a total of over 50 locations in Colombia with additional locations in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali, Ibaqué, Manizales, Montería, Neiva, Palmira and Popayán.
Puerta del Norte Food Options
Puerta del Norte has several locations in the mall with food options. And there are over 50 fast food places and restaurants in the mall.
There two food courts. One is in the old section of the mall and a larger one is located in the newer section of the mall. In addition, there are several restaurants in the mall.
Fast food options include Dogger, Dunkin Donut’s, Frisby, Kokoriko, El Corral, McDonald’s, Montolivo, Qbano, Sarku Japan, Sr. Wok and Subway.
How to Get to Puerta del Norte Mall
The easiest way to get to the mall is via the Medellín metro. To get there take the A line north to the Niquía metro station, which is the last metro station going north.
Getting to the Niquía metro station is about a 25-minute ride from the Poblado metro station. And it’s a very short walk from the Niquía station to Puerta del Norte via a pedestrian bridge
Furthermore, any taxi driver in Medellín will know where this mall is located. In addition, it’s fairly easy to catch a taxi at the mall with usually several taxis lined up on both sides of the mall.
Address: Diagonal 44 # 34-67, Bello
Telephone: +57 (4) 482 7792
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm; Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm; Sunday and Holidays: Noon – 8 pm. And the restaurants and fast food places are open Monday – Thursday: Noon – 9 pm; Friday and Saturday: Noon – 10 pm; Sunday and Holidays: Noon – 9 pm.
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
- Forida 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 Puerta del Norte in our article about the 14 best malls in Medellín.
The Bottom Line: Puerta del Norte – the Most Popular Mall in Bello
Puerta del Norte is a nice mall with a Cinemas Procinal for movies, an Exito for groceries, a Homecenter for home improvement and many fast food and restaurant options. It also has big selection of shops with about over 350 shops.
It’s also the largest and most popular mall in the Bello municipality. And the mall tends to have lower prices than you can find in the malls in El Poblado. But foreigners are more likely to go to Mayorca mall in Sabaneta looking for low prices in the outlet shops, since it’s closer – only about 10 minutes via the metro from the Poblado metro station – compared to 25 minutes going to the Niquía station.
However, I have met some foreigners living in Bello that shop at this mall. And it’s possible to find some lower cost apartments near Puerta del Norte. For example, I recently saw a nice 2-bedroom apartment near the mall renting for only 1,000,000 pesos per month ($350 USD).
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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.