Puerta del Norte originally opened in 2006 in the Niquia barrio in Bello and was expanded in 2010 with a new section of the mall. Bellocentro is the other mall in Bello, which is much smaller than Puerta del Norte.
Bello is the city on Medellín’s northern border and is easily accessible using the Medellín Metro. Puerta del Norte is conveniently located a short walk via a pedestrian bridge from the Niquia metro station at the northern end of the line.
I believe that Puerta del Norte is the largest mall in the Medellín metroplex that hasn’t yet been discovered by many foreigners.
My real estate agent lives in Bello and I have seen a few apartments close to Puerta del Norte mall that are inexpensive – with prices similar to the prices of apartments in Belén and some with even lower prices.
For example, I recently saw a nice 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment in a high-rise with a 24/7 porteria, which was located a few blocks from the mall that rented for only 900,000 pesos ($436) per month. There are also several new apartment buildings being built near the mall.
I believe a foreigner looking for an inexpensive place to live that is conveniently located close to a large mall and a metro station possibly could find something in Niquia close to Puerta del Norte.
The Shops in Puerta del Norte
The anchor tenants of Pueta del Norte are Exito, Flamingo, HomeCenter and a four-screen Cinemas Procinal movie theater. The mall also has the EMMSA clinic.
The Puerta del Norte mall has over 330 shops and is one of the largest malls in the Medellín metroplex. The mall has stores selling clothes, shoes, home furnishings, mattresses, eye-care and several other categories.
Exito is a supermarket that also sells electronics, clothes, kitchen items and home furnishings similar to a Walmart in the United States. The Exito in Puerta del Norte has grocery prices that are somewhat lower than the prices found in Exito stores located in El Poblado.
Make sure to sign up for Exito Puntos (points). This is a frequent shopper program where you accumulate points that can be used to help purchase items on sale in the future. To sign up you just need an ID: cédula or passport.
HomeCenter is similar to Home Depot stores in the States but with the addition of home furnishings like a Bed, Bath & Beyond store including items for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
The HomeCenter in Pureta del Norte is normally fairly busy considering that it is the only HomeCenter located in Bello.
HomeCenter frequently has sales that can be found in an advertisement posted as you walk in the store.
Cinemas Procinal in Puerta del Norte is a movie theater with four screens. The movie theater is typically pretty busy considering that Bello doesn’t have many movie theaters.
In Medellín, Cinemas Procinal has six locations: in the Monterrey, Las Américas, Florida Parque, Mayorca and Aves Maria malls.
The movie theater chain also has cinemas located in Apartadó, Bogotá, Barrancabermeja, Cartagena, Rionegro and Villavicencio.
Flamingo is a department store that sells a wide range of items including clothing, furniture, electronics and appliances. Flamingo has another store in the Medellín metroplex located in El Centro.
Flamingo also has additional stores in Colombia located in Armenia, Bogotá, Itagüí, Pereira, Rionegro, Sincelejo, Soledad and Villavicencio.
Pueta del Norte has several stores with good prices.
Silverstore is a store in the mall where I recently found Levi’s on sale and I was able to buy two pairs of Levi’s jeans on sale for only 50,000 pesos ($24) each.
Puerta del Norte has two food courts located in the older and newer parts of the mall. In the newer part of the mall you can also find several restaurants. Between the two food courts you have over 30 different options to choose from.
You will find several of the typical fast food places in Medellín in the mall including Asia Wok, Dogger, Dunkin Donuts, Frisby, Hamburguesas Del Oeste, Kokoriko, La Ponderosa, McDonalds, Mimo’s, Qbano, Sarku Japan, Sr. Wok and Subway.
You will also find some restaurants in Puerta del Norte including Crepes and Waffles, Il Forno and J&C Delicias.
Pro’s – It’s the largest mall in Bello and it’s a nice mall with an Exito for groceries, a four-screen Cinemas Procinal movie theater, a HomeCenter for buying things for the apartment, two convenient food courts and many shops with good prices.
Con’s – Since Puerta del Norte is one of only two Western-style malls in Bello it can be pretty busy, especially on the weekends or holidays. It is also relatively far from the neighborhoods where most foreigners stay or live (El Poblado, Laureles/Estadio, Envigado and Belén).
My Verdict – The mall is worth a visit as the large mall has many stores with good prices. Each time I have gone I have found things I needed at good prices.
How to Get There – You can take the Metro to the Niquia station and the mall is conveniently located a short walk from the station via a pedestrian bridge. The Niquia metro station is about a 25-minute ride from the El Poblado metro station.