Parque Lleras

Editorial Note: In April, I took a month off in Medellin. For me, this meant an interesting and diverting month. For you, this means 30 days of posts about my vacation. I’ll try to make them somewhat amusing.

Parque Lleras is a center of nightlife in El Poblado. It is also gringo central; there are a zillion hostels in this neighborhood, and this is where many of the Lonely Planet types wash up when they come to Medellin. As a result, prices are a little higher and businesses are a little more touristy. This is also the only part of the city in which I heard English spoken with any regularity.

If I were to pick a synecdoche for Parque Lleras, it would be the street with the Thai restaurant on one side and the Hooters franchise on the other. It’s a weird combination of backpacker-friendly businesses (Thai food) for the tourists and a US theme park (Hooters) for the Colombians. I did have some good Unagi here (though, really, there’s no such thing as bad BBQ eel), as well as a large number of tasty steaks. Also, Il Forno does pretty good Italian dishes.

As a point of minor interest, I ran into these fellows one night when returning from Parque Lleras. This was the only political thing I saw in Medellin, and I have no idea what they were upset about. (Their signs seemed to say something about “monopolies”, but my Berkeley training kicked in and I skedaddled before enquiring into their specific grievances.) They were a pretty ineffectual group, probably less than 100 strong, and they quickly moved on from the streets I wished to pass.

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