No visit to Medellín would be complete without a trip to Zona Norte in the area beside the Universidad de Antioquia.
Adjacent to the university one will find a number of great attractions including Jardín Botánico, Parque Explora, Planetario de Medellín and Parque Norte.
At the center of all this activity is the Parque de los Deseos, an open-air public space that attracts a varied crowd.
During the day time you’ll find the public square full of groups of school children that come to learn and enjoy the interactive museums that make the Planetarium and Parque Explora so popular.
In the evenings, the park takes on a more bohemian feel as the college students gather to socialize after classes and before heading out in search of more fun.
During the weekends, one will find the park full of families and their young kids, there to enjoy the water fountains, sand boxes, or perhaps take in an evening movie being played on the side of the planetarium.
As the name implies, Parque de los Deseos, or the Park of Wishes, takes on many forms for many different audiences.
It serves a crucial role as the center of public activity and social interaction for families and people from all socio-economic levels.
Parque de los Deseos was designed by architect Felipe Uribe de Bedout as the first public space in Colombia that aimed to link science and technology to the lives of the local paisas.
The park contains a number of interactive science pieces from the acoustic moon halves which allow you to throw your voice across the sandbox to a friend, a solar clock and a demonstration of how solar eclipses happen, among others.
The plaza itself was built by EPM, the local public utilities company, in 2003 in order to provide a place for residents to interact with their natural environment and understand more about the importance of science.
The park is more than 12,000 square meters in size (nearly three acres) and provides an excellent break during a visit to one of the area attractions.
You can find numerous restaurants located beneath the Casa de la Musica located within the perimeter of the park, as well as numerous street vendors selling food, drinks and snacks just outside the university.
I was fond of Kaffe Kaldi, located in the Planterium building, for it’s coffee drinks and delicious snacks with a great view of the sometimes chaotic activities of the Parque de los Deseos.
I also found the plaza to be particularly enjoyable in the early evenings with a date–you can make a day out of time spent in the nearby attractions and then relax on the benches in the park and gaze up into the night sky.
Although you can’t really see any stars here in Medellín–you’ll have to go to the planetarium for that.
It’s great to see that Medellín has wholeheartedly embraced free and open-air public spaces, with the Parque de los Deseos and the Parque de los Pies Descalzos (the Barefoot Park) located adjacent to Alpujarra, being the premiere examples.
Be sure to stop by and enjoy the Parque de los Deseos during your visit to Medellín, it is easily accessible and located immediately adjacent to the Universidad metro station.
On Friday nights it’s a gay mecca.