Centro Comercial Viva Laureles

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Centro Comercial Viva Laureles seen from outside. Photo taken from official website.
Street view of Centro Comercial Viva Laureles (photo: Viva Laureles)
Street view of Centro Comercial Viva Laureles (photo: Viva Laureles)

Centro Comercial Viva is a project signed by Éxito Real Estate and it opened its doors in Laureles in November 2012.

Located a few blocks from Avenida Nutibara, it doesn’t have any reference point other than Éxito de Laureles.

There are only 10 of them across the country. It’s not as known as El Tesoro, Santafé or Premium Plaza, especially by the foreigners.

Truth is, it doesn’t even compare with them, as it only has one floor and a small (but smart) selection of shopping brands in the gallery. I paid a few visits to the one in Laureles to see more about what it can offer.

On its one floor, it somehow manages to incorporate pretty much everything you need in terms of cool shopping brands, fast-food and grocery stores. It even has a kids zone and a large parking lot.

As it’s Christmas time, at the entrance, I met a nice guy whose purpose seemed to be to announce the kids event taking place behind him.

Entrance in Viva Laureles
Entrance in Viva Laureles

Shopping

There’s a handful of clothing shops that are worth walking into, both local brands and international.

The local fashion brands include Fruta Fresca (general clothing and accessories, appreciated by Colombians, personally I’m not the biggest fan), Onda del Mar (swimwear and summer footwear), Vélez (great leather accessories, footwear and clothes), Tennis (youth dedicated brand, pretty cool I may add).

If you prefer a higher quality and design, go for Naf Naf (personal favorite) and Parfois. Perry Ellis, the menswear brand, is also there. Actually, it first arrived to Medellín in Centro Commercial Viva.

And since we’re talking about fashion, if you happen to need a tailoring in the neighborhood, I’d suggest you choose one from the larger commercial centers instead of the little shops you see on almost every corner of the street. I’ve heard many cases of beautiful dresses or fine fabrics being ruined.

There a tailor in Centro Comercial Viva at the pedestrian entrance called El Botón Sastrería.

One of the many Christmas events dedicated to children in Centro Comercial Viva
One of the many Christmas events dedicated to children in Centro Comercial Viva

There’s also a Mac Center, authorized distributor of Apple products, just in case the need for a new Apple device or accessory occurs while you’re doing your groceries.

Speaking of which, the Éxito supermarket is large, covering food as well as clothing, home wear and electronics, all of them usually in a good price range.

I bought a washing machine and fridge when I moved to Laureles and the service was ok. There were no special issue in the process, except for the typical Colombian ones, such as delayed delivery and too much paperwork for so few products.

Food Court

The fast food area covers some well-known local brands as Il Forno, the Italian food restaurant, the El Corral Frisby and Dogger fast food chains. You can also find Burger King and Subway, if you need an international touch.

The dessert area is ensured by the presence of the delicious coffee and desserts players like Juan Valdez, Oma, Deli, Mimo’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, along with others.

The Food Court seen from outside. Photo taken from official website.
The Food Court seen from outside (photo: Viva Laureles)

Other Services

Car service and washing is also available in Viva, as well as shoe repair services, optical office, organic products shops, and a kids zone.

Also, if handicrafts is your thing, there’s something for you too in there: La Reina offers trimmings and haberdashery items in case you’re preparing some special Christmas presents (I know I do).

If you want to go to the cinema but don’t feel like leaving the neighborhood, you’d better choose Unicentro because Viva doesn’t have any theaters.

After a shopping session and a good meal you might get fooled by the escalators, thinking they take you to another round of fun. Well, sorry to break it to you, but it’s just the parking lot up there. A quite large one, I must admit, 570 for cars and 110 for motorcycles. So I guess the fun in here is just for drivers.

How to Get There

I’m almost always going there by foot from Avenida Nutibara area and I get lost every time, as Laureles is known for its oh, so very complicated streets.

It’s nowhere close to a metro station so if you don’t want to wander around (although it can get quite fun, let me say) I advise you take a cab.

Ease the taxi driver’s job (and save some money) by asking for a ride to Éxito de Laureles, it’s way faster to find.

Final Thoughts

I’d say the pricing offers are a bit higher than the ones in Unicentro, for example, but overall, the products you find here are definitely worth the pesos. After some visits there I can say it’s pretty comfortable for a quick shopping session (said no woman ever).

Have you been to CC Viva Laureles? How did you like it?

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