When first arriving in Medellín, or anywhere in Colombia, it takes a minute or two to understand the set up of the city. And, without a map or a local explaining it to you, it may take even longer.
So how do you locate street addresses in Medellin?
Reading the Map
There are Carreras (Avenues) and Calles (Streets), which run perpendicular to one another, with a few exceptions. It sounds easy enough.
However, when you have to find an address, you will be given something that looks like this:
Kr 72 no. 14-28
Let me break it down for you:
- Kr 72 = Carrera 72
- no. 14 = Calle 14
- 28 = the house/ building number between Calle 14 and Calle 14a or Calle 15
Cl 10a no. 66b-24
- Cl 10a = Calle 10a
- no. 66b – Carrera 66b
- 24 = the house/building number between Carrera 66b and Carrera 66c
Then to make it even more interesting they will throw in a transversal, circular, and a diagonal every once in a while.* The map above will give you an example of a K, Carrera, C, Calle and Circular
The most well-known streets running through Medellin, which usually include many restaurants and clubs are:
- Calle 10
- Calle 30
- Calle 33
- Calle 44 (San Juan)
- Calle 50 (Colombia)
- Carrera 43a (Avenida Poblado)
- Carrera 46 (Oriental, crosses Downtown)
- Carrera 52 (Guayabal)
- Carrera 64 (Regional)
- Carrera 65
- Carrera 76 (crosses Belen)
- Carrera 80
Local Tip #1
Many streets do not have “Walk/ Don’t Walk” signs. Therefore, you have to be very careful and look every which way before crossing the street. Especially around the round-a-bouts.
You may think you have a clearing and then a bus will round the corner at very high speeds forcing you to book it to the other side. Drivers do not slow down for you here. Run.
Local Tip #2
Motorcycles do not always follow the same rules as the other cars. They act more like cyclists in the fact that they may run a red light if they see no cars are coming from the perpendicular street ahead of them. Stay alert, and be extra cautious with them.
Local Tip #3
When walking down the street, always check the street number you are on. Sometimes the Carrera or Calle will change even though you have not switched streets.