The following is a guest post by Shane Talmage.
It is a residential area consisting of many small barrios but is commonly referred to as Acevedo. This area also encompasses the area between estacion Acevedo and Estacion Andalucia for the Santo Domingo metrocable line.
Santa Cruz consists mostly of houses, schools, sports courts and churches. There are small shops and bars that line the main streets, but nothing of special note for foreigners or outsiders to visit.
The population is a little over 100,000 and the majority of residents fall within Estrata 2 (meaning it is one of the poorer parts of the city).
In my opinion, and that of many others who live in the area, there is not too much to say about it.
Only the principal street at the bottom near the river is truly flat. Many of the streets going North to South are relatively flat as well, but not completely and do not provide good consistent sidewalks for pedestrians.
Everything going West to East being basically just one big tough hill.
The biggest fear I have is getting hit by a moto or taxi. There are few sidewalks for pedestrians and it’s the typical Medellín driving style, with little respect for those walking or on bikes.
The main street below the metrocable is one direction going up only, but the motorcycles will go down as well, so be cautious if you are crossing the street.
The motos also go on the wide pedestrian sidewalk when there is congestion or they are lazy.
My students and friends tell me to be more careful the more south you go in the community and the higher up in the barrio you go.
In the parts of Santa Cruz I have visited, I always felt safe in the daytime hours and I have walked around a lot. Many people are friendly and are more surprised to see a tall white foreigner than anything, and if given the opportunity will try to engage you in conversation.
If you mind your business and act smart, you should be ok.
The main street under the metrocable is always full of people during the day and most of the night and the principal road near the river is the same in the daytime hours, so few issues with safety in those areas, during those hours.
Nightlife and Restaurants
This is not a tourist area or a place outsiders typically visit. Most of the shops for clothing and food are small and for the neighborhood residents. You can find inexpensive bread, empanadas, fruits, etc.
It is nice buying bananas for 100 pesos (5 cents) and empanadas in one place for 200 pesos (10 cents).
Near the North bridge for Estacion Acevedo you can find many small shops and a nice inexpensive ice cream place on the east side of the road, across from the big fruit stand and kitty corner to a school.
As you climb the hill under the metrocable other small shops can be found, but mostly just small stores providing the locals what they need. There are no Exitos nearby, so everything is found in the small shops, otherwise you have to make a trip to Centro.
About the Author: Shane Talmage has gotten to know Santa Cruz through his volunteer work there.