EXPLORING THE MOST DANGEROUS BARRIO IN MEDELLIN, LA SIERRA

Colombia has always fascinated me, and not only after I’ve seen the popular Netflix show “Narcos”. I’ve just always been fascinated by this country. The history, the people, the food, and everything in between. So when I was looking for a new home base, it was easy to pick Medellin as a choice of interest. Medellin has A LOT of history, but it also has a lot of uplifting spirits. It’s a city that has gone through so much history in the past, but still somehow managed to get on top, survive, and has become one of the fastest growing and most innovative cities in the entire world. Like WOW!!!

THIS PAGE MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

But the past and history of Medellin is something that will never be forgotten. Today I want to concentrate on a neighborhood in Medellin called La Sierra, which was also known as the most dangerous neighborhood in all of Medellin. Today the neighborhood has changed a lot but it still holds a stigma and is not visited by many tourists. La Sierra Tours is a new tour company that I had a chance to work with while living here in Medellin and here is my experience with the most dangerous barrio in all of Medellin, La Sierra.

Prior to going on the tour

Before you go on this tour I highly recommend checking out the 2005 documentary “La Sierra” I was able to find it on youtube and watch it with English subtitles. The documentary depicts the harsh life of this community and goes into the lives of three young men who have contributed to the violence and war.

The documentary shows the harsh reality of what it was like to live in La Sierra in the early 2000’s. Though the neighborhood has changed since this documentary was filmed it was interesting and heartbreaking watching a community live like this. I was aware of the violence that has gone on in Medellin but it wasn’t until this documentary that I really understood the harsh reality that this city and neighborhood has gone through.

Looking for accommodations in Medellin? Click here to get the latest deals on hotels

La Sierra Tour

The tour started off at the meeting point of the tram station, which is one the main reason changes to the La Sierra neighborhood started. The La Sierra neighborhood is located deep in the mountain of Medellin, and even literally translates to “The Mountain Range”. There used to be only one road that went to this neighborhood, but with the development of the tram and even more recently the cable car, this area of town is easily accessible for not only locals but tourists as well.

La Sierra00

The tour started off with my guide explaining to me how the metro and cable cars work in Medellin. She explained to me the evolution of public transpiration and how public transportation has brought the city closer together. I personally think it’s super cool that a city made up of mountains has cable cars as transportations. Currently, they have 4 cable cars and a 5th is being built.

La Sierra01

La Sierra02

After a short tram ride, we got on a cable car and rode all the way to the end, Villa Sierra. Getting off the cable car we stopped to take everything in for a moment. The city views from this high up looked incredible, and I was in complete awe overlooking the entire city.

Once we arrived at La Sierra my tour guide started explaining to me the history of the area. I found the history absolutely incredible and I was excited to see what was in store for the day.

La Sierra03 La Sierra04

We got on a short bus ride that dropped us off higher into the neighborhood. The first thing I noticed when getting off the bus was so much greenery. I was amazed at how upkept this area was and even more amazed when we started walking through the neighborhood.

La Sierra05La Sierra06

We began walking toward a very peaceful looking park which was a park modeled by the Medellin indigenous ancestors. This park was built to bring the community closer together and to promote wilderness and community. This park was also a symbol to show the community that they are giving back the public spaces and greenness back into the community. I thought it was amazing to see all the greenery and how the community came together. My tour guide and I took a minute to sit and chat about the harsh history that was once in this neighborhood at the top of the park. It was amazing to be able to sit peacefully in a public space in what used to be Medellin's most dangerous neighborhoods.

La Sierra10 La Sierra09



After our walk through the beautiful park, we came across a beautiful mural that was painted by the locals. This mural was designed to bring the entire community together. Everyone from this neighborhood contributed to painting the mural. I think this is such a beautiful way to promote community and bringing everyone together.

La Sierra08 La Sierra07

Want to continue the fun? Look for flights to Medellin here.

Every local has his own story

After our stroll and getting to know some history about this area it was time to meet some locals. This was definitely my favorite part of the tour. My tour guide and I sat down at a local shop to enjoy some snacks where we were approached by some locals. Don’t worry if you can’t speak Spanish well, they are super kind and friendly, and the tour guide is more than happy to translate.

La Sierra11 La Sierra12

Two men that were in their 40’s sat down and chatted with us about the brutal history that happened in this neighborhood not that long ago. Both of these men were permanent residents of this neighborhood. It was amazing to hear their stories and what they had to say. The men went on to tell us everything from the curfew that they used to have where they weren’t able to go outside after 6 pm to stories including how they had to build their own rifles to protect themselves from the guerrillas. Both of them had two different stories but heartwarming to see them so cheerful today.

La Sierra13 La Sierra14

Looking for accommodations in Medellin? Click here to get the latest deals on hotels

Overview of La Sierra Tours

What an incredible tour! I’m a huge fan of getting to know about a place from real people and this tour definitely has all of that. I was so amazed to see that these people literally had everything they had taken away from them and they still kept fighting and believing. It only shows me that you don’t need much in life to be happy, and you have to be grateful for what you have. What an amazing experience to be able to peacefully walk down what was once the most dangerous neighborhood in all of Colombia with no worry in the world.

La Sierra15 La Sierra16 La Sierra17

Loved learning about this tour? Check out La Sierra Tours social media.

Want to continue the fun? Look for flights to Medellin here.Look for accommodations in Medellin here.

Xoxo Ania Travels 💜


If you like this post pin it here:

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by La Sierra Tours. As always, all opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links which will earn me a few cents to contribute to the running of this site if you make a qualifying purchase at no extra cost to you.

This post is linked up with #FollowMeFriday Facebook Community and The Weekly Postcard.

Follow Me Friday

California Globetrotter

Related Post