Not too long ago, tourists would not dare venture into this neighborhood that used to be the most dangerous place in the world: Comuna 13. Now, tourists flock this part of Medellin for its giant, colorful murals painted by its locals. A lot of the Comuna 13 tours are guided by locals who grew up in the district.  The street art is more than just a backdrop for tourist photos. They tell stories of the neighborhood’s dark past and its hopes for a brighter, more vibrant future.

Here, you will also experience the first outdoor electric escalators installed to help the locals of Comuna 13 climb the steep hills of the neighborhood.

Comuna 13 is bigger than you think and you can get lost easily in its narrow streets! We highly recommend visiting with a local guide who knows the streets and stories of this neighborhood. Our fellow expats recommend the following tours:

Toucan Cafe’s Medellin Graffiti Tour

Urban artists from Casa Kolacho foundation will be your tour guides if you book Toucan Cafe’s tour. Ninety percent of the street art in Comuna 13 is painted by members of this foundation. What you pay for the tour will go a long way as it will Casa Kolacho provide educational programs to the youth of Comuna 13. They are pretty popular so make sure to book the tour in advance here.

Fee: 70,000 COP (you can pay the guide directly)

Start Time: 8:30 am

Meeting Point: Toucan Cafe

🌐 https://www.medellingraffititour.com

✉ coffee@toucancafe.co

✆ +57.458.69215

Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour in Medellin

Toucan Tours boasts of their partnership with local urban artists from Casa Kolacho Foundation.  Photo:www.medellingraffititour.com

 

Free Zippy Walking Tour

They are rated as one of the best free tours in Latin America and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. The tour guides of Zippy Walking Tour are also locals who can give you a glimpse of what it’s like to grow up in what used to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods. Prepare to bust your moves as the guides will introduce you to some of their dances!

Fee: Free! Make sure to tip your guide well though! The recommended tip is from 20,000 to 30,000 COP.

Start Time: 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (They do not have tours on Sundays.)

Meeting Point: San Javier Station -Main entrance (The guides will wear blue.)

🌐 https://zippytourcomuna13.jimdo.com/

✉ zippytour13@gmail.com

✆ +57.314.878.77 75

 

Comuna 13 Medellin Graffiti Tour

Comuna 13 Tours is one of the top-rated tours of this district. Like with other tours, their guides are also locals who grew up in the neighborhood and speak English well.  Email them before your tour because their tours are in demand.

Fee: 70,000 COP (you can pay the guide directly)

Start Time: 10:00 am

Meet-up Point: Poblado Metro Station Main Entrance

🌐 http://www.comuna13tours.com/

✉ comuna13tours@gmail.com

✆ +57.302.374.4448

 

BNB Colombia Private Graffiti Tour

This extended tour caters to a maximum of 10 people. After a tour around Columna 13, they also take you to Laureles, one of the most affluent areas of Medellin. This is followed by a tour of Values Hill, another neighborhood that has been transformed positively like Columna 13. You can ask for their rates and book in advance here.

Start Time: Between 7:00 to 10:00 am, depending on your chosen time

Meeting Point: They will pick you up from your accommodation

🌐 https://www.bnbcolombia.com

✉ info@bnbcolombia.com

✆ +57 310 579 498

 

A Comuna 13 tour is an experience you should not miss when in Medellin. The history and transformation of the place give visitors a better understanding of the neighborhood in contrast to what is seen on TV. Practice precaution though as there are still days when it can be dangerous in the neighborhood. Do not wander the streets without your guide!

We’d love to hear about your most memorable part of the graffiti tour in the comments!

 

Featured photo: www.medellingraffititour.com