Ever been walking and thought:
“Wow, imagine if the sidewalks were escalators and you could just stand on them and move?”
Well, Medellin, Colombia has done just what we lazy people have always dreamed of….installed outdoor escalators!
Medellin, Colombia is the forefront of public transportation in Colombia. They have (the cleanest ever) metro system, the metro cable which is cable cars that go up a mountain (yes like on ski lifts and in the Alps, but in Medellin it is used as daily public transport…not just to bring tourists to the summit ski resorts), and now they have installed OUTDOOR ESCALATORS.
Yes, in a poor section of Medellin, the city is creating escalators that go up the side of the mountain so people can have easier access between their homes and the public transportation system. Its awesome, because there are no roads going up this mountainside neighbourhood…just stair after stair after stair.
So, in true Medellin ‘we’ve made our city so awesome you’re never going to want to leave it’ fashion (ok, so those are my words)…they now have moving stairs outdoors.
These things are amazing. It’s a series of giant escalators that go up the side of an almost vertical mountain neighbourhood. The bottom section of this escalator road is still under construction…so you have to walk up a dirt road up the hill a bit, to get to the first escalator…but standing at the bottom, looking up at the line of moving stairs is amazing. I really never expected to actually see set after set of escalators weaving straight up an outdoor mountainside.
Not all the escalators were turned on while I was there. One escalator was turned on, and one got turned on for me, then turned back off once I got to the top. But Medellin is still in the process of building the escalators. I’m not sure when the proposed finish date is, but from what I’ve understood (in my very bad Spanish) and been told, once finished, the escalators will also be covered and go to the very bottom of the hill where the main street is.
You can see the Medellin Escalators by taking the metro to the San Javier station, then jump on bus that says 20 de Julio. (at the time of writing this , the bus only cost 900 pesos).
Once there, walk straight down the road (where the construction is) and up the dirt road. (This is where I’ve been told the escalators will also be once construction is complete).
After about a 5 min walk you will come to the escalators. Medellin is an amazing city that is on the fore-front of public transportation for social improvement. And its cool that what us lazy people have always wished for is finally coming true.
I think this is an absolutely amazing undertaking. And by the amount of children playing on these new machines, so do the young citizens of this area.
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.