Santa Cruz (Comuna 2)

Santa Cruz
The metrocable extending from the Acevedo station over the river and Santa Cruz (photo: David Lee)
Santa Cruz
The metrocable extending from the Acevedo station over Santa Cruz (photo: David Lee)

The following is a guest post by Shane Talmage.

Santa Cruz (Comuna 2) is at the northwestern edge of Medellín and is bordered by Bello to the North, Popular to the East, Río Medellín/Castilla to the West, and Aranjuez to the South.

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.

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  1. For shopping, Bello is almost right next door so residents of Santa Cruz don’t necessarily have to go all the way to El Centro as the end of this post indicates – they can go to nearby Bello, which has an Exito located in the Puerta del Norte mall, which is easy to get to as it is next to the Niquia metro station. Actually Bello has at least two Exito stores that I am aware of. There is also in Exito in Aranjuez, which is closer than El Centro.

    In comuna Santa Cruz the households are only estrato 1 or 2 with an average estrato of 1.87, which is the second lowest in Medellín. Only the higher up the metro-cable comuna of Popular has a lower average estrato number.

    • Yes, good point about Bello. There is shopping and a big mall in Bello, but both centro and bello require a bus each way, and the people going to centro are usually looking for cheap places like “el hueco” for prices and variety of items not easily found in the north end. With their EPM utilities bill from estrato 3 or lower, they can visit the museum of Antioquia, the water museum at “pies descalzos” park, etc. And do some shopping. Further south they can visit premium plaza mall, the small punto clave shopping center, ciudad del Rio park, and MAMM(museum) all in one shot with some walking and the free city bike ( to sign up).

      • To get to Bello, Santa Cruz also has the metro available as an option to a bus. There is a metrocable station as well as a metro station in Santa Cruz. And the Niquia metro station is right next to the Puerta del Norte mall. So you could take the metro from Santa Cruz directly to Puerta del Norte mall.