Best Day Trips from Medellin [ Things to Do in Medellin ]

Are you looking for Day Trips from Medellin? Many travellers enjoy visiting Medellin, a vibrant city located in the center of Colombia. For a long time, New York City was considered dangerous and deadly, but today it is recognized as a veritable megalopolis. 

Day Trips from Medellin

The number of tourists visiting the city has gone up to nearly half a million people per year. The city is built on rich history, has a gorgeous landscape surrounding it, and is the place to visit.

Day Trips from Medellin

There are many things to do in the city, but it’s also an excellent base for day trips. On the other hand, after a few days in Medellin, you might want to experience something new, so here I am going to share some fantastic Day Trips From Medellin you can take from the city.

Take a Day Trip to Guatape And The Monolith El Peñol

Historical center in Guatape Colombia

This magnificent view from El Peñol is one of the highlights of Colombia, and Guatape is the most famous day trip from Medellin.

Artificially created lakes and landscaped hills surround the colonial town. The vibrant colors used to paint each house, with a feeling of Arlequin-sweetness, imbue the streets with an energetic vibe. 

Restaurants in the main square handpick their menus of the day and serve chilled natural juices to guests.

Guests who ride downhill enjoy water games and a remake of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Despite their excellent work, they must still work on Jack Sparrow’s charisma.

Hostels, for the more battered backpackers, sit among the lower slopes. The expensive hotels on the higher slopes put out welcoming bouquets for their guests. 

When travellers look out from the terraces, they have a good view of El Peñol, a giant monolith that stands by itself, weathering the harsh conditions for thousands of years.

The Colombian government built a long stairway (740 steps) to go to the top and see the fantastic view.

Museum House of the Memory

colombia medellin museum house of memory

At the Museum House of the Memory, you can learn about Medellin’s sordid past, collective progress, and hope for a better future. 

This striking (and free-of-charge) complex opened in 2012 to provide a space for victims of Colombia’s armed conflict to collect and honor their memories.

The archival collections document the country’s history of drug-related and paramilitary violence and the struggle for peace and unity.

Perhaps the best place in Medellin to confront Colombia’s headline-grabbing history and put a face to the victims of Latin America’s longest-running armed conflict is here.

Arvi Natural Park

Arvi Natural Park Day Trips from Medellin colombia

You can reach Arvi Natural Park by public transportation, metro, or car and parking from Medellin. To the northeast of Medellin, Arvi Park is nestled in the Andean Mountains

While numerous activities are compatible with the natural environment, you can pick among several options.

This is because the park is large, so only part of it is open to the public. If you want to experience the park to the fullest, you will need to make a reservation. 

You can also plan for a horse ride, bike rental, or hiking as a form of additional interest.

Of course, if you like birds, you’re bound to have a great time spotting all of the flora and fauna as well as plenty of birds.

Santa Fe de Antioquia

Santa Fe de Day Trips from Medellin colombia

Santa Fe de Antioquia, one of Colombia’s network of “Heritage Towns,” is located a couple of hours north of Medellin and is a popular Day Trip from Medellin destination for those seeking a hot climate and beautiful, traditional architecture in a beautiful setting. 

Wandering the picturesque, cobblestone streets of Santa Fe de is a pleasant diversion from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the nearby Puente de Occidente bridge over the Cauca River is a true marvel of Colombian architecture.

Jerico

Jerico from Medellin colombia

Sister Laura Montoya, Colombia’s first saint, was born in Jerico, a colonial town in Colombia. A cathedral, a sanctuary, and a few other churches guard the village’s perimeter.

It’s a damn good thing you’re protected from Lucifer. Buses transporting visitors to Jerico must travel a long and winding road through lush green mountains to reach the destination.

Travellers can take pleasure in the peace of the area, as well as the spectacular landscapes made up of coffee plantations and steep slopes.

The Parque de Los Nubes, located above the village and a 30-minute walk away, offers breathtaking views and secret picnic spots.

Tour Comuna 13

Day Trips from Medellin

This section of Medelln was once the most violent. Murder, drugs, and violent crime were prevalent (and the area remains unsafe to visit at night). Previously, access to this area required passing through guards; if you did not live here, you were denied entry.

However, the city has seen a massive influx of tourists due to its street art (which was created in response to heavy-handed police raids). This has improved the safety of a portion of the area and increased business and commerce.

It has significantly altered the community’s fabric. Locals are now flocking here, reasoning that if tourists are coming, it must be good!

You can visit independently or as part of a tour (where a guide will explain the history of the area and the artists).

San Rafael

San Rafael

San Rafael is an “off the beaten path” town close to Medellin, where you will find fresh-water rivers and lagoons; it is a tourist attraction that has yet to be discovered by the general public. 

Because it is located at a lower elevation, the weather is warmer, which is ideal for swimming in the fresh waters that flow directly from the mountains’ pristine environment. It is, without a doubt, another perfect location for nature enthusiasts.

You can quickly get here by public bus, or if you are short on time, you can take a tour with Guatape to see everything in one day.

Explore Jardin

Colorful houses in colonial city Jardin

A much longer day trip from Medellin (it takes approximately four hours to get here), but one that is well worth the effort, Jardin is unquestionably one of Colombia’s most beautiful small towns. And it is the ideal destination for coffee enthusiasts looking for a day trip from Medellin.

Aside from a charming central plaza filled with tables and chairs and locals sipping coffee, Jardin is also well worth the extra effort it takes to get there. Thanks to tours available to local coffee farms and waterfalls and terms available to nearby waterfalls.

El Carmen de Viboral

El Carmen de Viboral

Visitors to El Carmen, Colombia, should plan a day trip if they want to pick up some truly unique souvenirs from their trip; the town is world-renowned for its unbelievably beautiful handmade ceramics.

It is a long-standing tradition that dates back to the nineteenth century, and Colombian ceramics are widely regarded as one of the country’s most important artisan products.

No two ceramic pieces in El Carmen de Viboral are alike, and every one of them is meticulously hand-painted by the artist. In Medellin, if you want to indulge your shopping addiction, this is the place to go.

Stay in Rio Claro

Rio Claro

In the vicinity of the famous Hacienda Napoles (Pablo Escobar’s mansion), a 650-hectare natural reserve called Rio Claro is flanked by a crystal-clear river of the same name. Rio Claro translates as “Clear River” in Spanish.

Trails lead to a series of cabanas, caves, and natural beaches made of sediments in this spectacular environment. As a result, visitors can wander through an eerie deep green rainforest on their own or with a guide, admiring the vast biodiversity of birds, butterflies, and plants along the way. 

The river is always within sight distance, ideal for cooling off during your hot and sweaty excursions.

The important thing to remember is that you can spend a few days living within the natural reserve. The accommodations are completely integrated into the natural environment and provide a beautiful view of the forest and river from the rooms. 

There is no pollution caused by noise. Bird whistles and river songs will assist you in falling asleep in this location.

Plaza Cisneros

colombia medellin Plaza Cisneros

Plaza Cisneros is yet another example of a section of Medellin that was once a haven for drug dealers and gang members but is now a relatively safe and popular tourist destination due to its low crime rate and lack of violence.

If you pass by during the day, it may not appear to be much, but if you return after dark, the 300 light poles scattered throughout the plaza will undoubtedly make an impression. 

These 24-meter-high beacons are like giant Jedi lightsabers, illuminating the night sky like giant Jedi lightsabers.

This plaza is home to more than just pretty lights; it is also home to some spectacular architecture, such as the angular Biblioteca EPM, which serves as a library and a small museum and provides free Wi-Fi. 

Continue on Avenida San Juan for even more architectural wonders, such as the bumblebee-colored towers of Plaza de la Libertad, which can be found across the street.

San Carlos

san carlos colombia

San Carlos was a war zone, and almost the entire population was forced to flee during Colombia’s darkest period. Fortunately, the situation has improved significantly over the last decade, and San Carlos is now a model for many other towns.

As with San Rafael, travellers who enjoy the outdoors will not be bored in San Carlos. Indeed, the town is known for its canyoning and hidden natural pools. 

Between the two activities, you can stroll along the ecological path to a beautiful waterfall or hike to the summit of El Tambor for a breath-taking view of the valley.

Medellín Museum of Modern Art

columbia medellin top attractions mamm medellin museum modern art

Ciudad del Rio is the centrepiece of the recent gentrification of an industrial area along the Medellin River. It is now home to artists’ lofts, sculpture-filled gardens, and higher-end dining.

Some of Colombia’s contemporary art scene stars, including pop artists Beatriz González and expressionist Débora Arango, display their talents inside and around MAMM, a modern art gallery built in a refurbished steel mill. 

Go to the top floor of this five-story building and descend through each foot in a non-linear pattern to get the most out of the trip.

Santo Domingo and Biblioteca España

Biblioteca España Colombia

If you take the metro cable up, you’ll pass through a few of the city’s poorer barrios on your way up and down.

It’s an authentic look at life in these vibrant neighborhoods that were once the epicenter of conflict.

It’s acceptable to stop in Santo Domingo during the day to explore – perhaps grab a beer and some fried chicken and arepas from one of the small local restaurants.

Many people also stop here to visit the Biblioteca Espaa, a massive, modern library constructed entirely of black slate that has evolved into a neighborhood community center.

Wander the Cementerio Museo de San Pedro

Cementerio Museo de San Pedro

As well as a museum, there is a columbarium in this cemetery, where you can see the tombs and monuments of numerous notable Colombians and learn about their lives and contributions. A lot of these statues and mausoleums are made of marble.

Watch out for things like midnight tours and movie nights, as these are a couple of different types of special events.

The cemetery is not large, but it is also close to the botanical gardens, making it possible to complete both things on the same day.

The Botanical Garden

colombia medellin botanical garden

Are you in need of a break from the city’s bustle? Proceed to the Botanical Garden, located near the Universidad metro station and features 14 hectares of green space.

This sprawling, free-to-enter garden features over 600 different tree and plant species, as well as a herbarium, lagoon, and popular butterfly enclosure.

Parque Explora

colombia medellin Parque Explora

Parque Explora is a favorite of all ages, including adults and those who do not have children.

South America’s largest freshwater aquarium is housed in an interactive science museum and a science center.

The building’s four red cubes house more than 300 interactive exhibits, as well as a planetarium, a 3D auditorium, and a television studio. 

This science and technology center is conveniently located in Zona Norte, close to botanical gardens and shopping malls, making it easy to spend an entire day here exploring, learning, and playing. However, it’s also a convenient pit stop on your way to other tourist attractions in the area.

If you have children with you, you will have an even better time at Parque Explora, which is completely fascinating and enjoyable on its own.

Things to Do in Medellin

Take the Metrocable Up to Parque Arvi

Metrocable Up to Parque Arvi

The Medellín metro and metro cable have been applauded for uniting disparate neighbourhoods of the city.

Whether you want to go in every direction or just to the park, you can get around the city using your metro ticket. 

If you want fresh air and incredible views, you can pay an extra amount to take the metro cable from Santo Domingo to Parque Arvi.

This ride offers beautiful views of the city and the lower city areas.

Stop to enjoy the view and grab some Colombian-style snacks (like grilled mushrooms) while you’re at the top.

There are tents and street vendors in the park selling souvenirs. Then go for a walk on the many walking trails the park has to offer.

Free Walking Tour

THINGS TO DO IN MEDELLÍN

Real City Tours’ free walking tour of Medelln is one of the most popular walking tours in the world.

Discover the city’s turbulent past with the assistance of an insightful and experienced guide.

This is an excellent way to get out of Poblado and see more of the city, sample some local cuisine, and learn the true feelings of the locals about Pablo Escobar.

You’ll pass through locations such as Parque Berrio, the Forest of Lights, and Parque San Antonio.

Conduct this tour at the start of your stay in Medellin to gain a thorough understanding of the city’s history – plus, your guide will provide you with excellent food and nightlife recommendations! 

Make sure to sign up in advance to ensure a spot, and keep in mind that the tour is not entirely free – you are expected to tip after the 4-hour tour.

Casa En El Aire

Casa En El Aire

The Casa En El Aire is unique, and you will never find another one anywhere in Colombia. The explorers depart from Abejorral, loaded into a truck, waiting to give them their adrenaline rush.

After a short drive, they have to hike through bushes and trees for over 20 minutes before finally getting a view of their future lodging, located at the edge of a sheer cliff that stands at 40 meters.

This place, known as Casa en el Aire, is indeed an unusual hostel made of logs wedged into a cliff. To beat the view is problematic.

To gain entrance, you can use the zip line or the rock stairway.

Ranging from sitting and watching the sunset in suspended hammocks to rappelling and short hikes, your stay at the hostel will offer various activities (with additional cost).

Paragliding At Cocorna

Paragliding At Cocorna

For a day trip from Medellin, this small town is less than two hours away from the capital that is well worth a visit. What draws people to this location? Paragliding is primarily used to get people’s blood pumping.

Like a bird, you have a bird’s eye view of the entire city, mountains, and rivers. So it’s recommended that you strap up and get ready to paraglide over Medellin, where you’ll have an amazing experience that will last a lifetime!

Booking this ahead of time with a company that will pick you up from Medellin will save you the hassle of arranging transportation yourself.

Recommended reading: Isla Mucura Travel Guide [ Hotels, Food, Culture ]

The Coffee Shops of El Poblado

The Coffee Shops of El Poblado

Colombia is the world’s third-largest producer of coffee, with the majority of beans coming from the Antioquia hills surrounding Medellin. Of course, you do not have to leave town to sample Colombian coffee’s distinctive flavours.

El Poblado’s trendy neighbourhood is a coffee culture hotspot brimming with hip cafés grinding robust local roasts.

Pergamino is the grandfather of them all, with hot and cold beverages primarily made from beans grown on the owner’s family farm.

Across the street is the similarly recommended Café Velvet, while on the other side of the neighbourhood (and much closer to the El Poblado metro stop) is Urbania Café, which features rotating art exhibitions and a great selection of Colombian design and fashion magazines to read while sipping your latte.

These cafés create blends from locally sourced beans and sell them by the bag at prices you won’t find at home.

Eat Colombian Food

colombia medellin food Colombian Bandeja Paisa

The city of Medellin is the ideal place to learn about Colombian cuisine if you haven’t already.

Everything from the many exotic fruits to the Mondongo (tripe soup) to the cheese-filled arepas will be available to you in abundance.

What you absolutely must try here is the local speciality, bandeja paisa, which is a stomach-busting combination of meats like sausage and pork cracklings served with beans, plantains, rice, and a fried egg on the side, as well as a few slices of avocado for good measure.

Hatoviejo, Hacienda Junin, and Mondongo’s are excellent places to sample some of the region’s cuisine.

Biking or Ride ATVs Outside the City

In the beautiful natural surroundings of Medellín, it’s an incredible playground for thrill-seekers.

To investigate them, join a guided mountain bike or ATV tour that will take you to an hour outside of town and allow you to get in some mountain biking or ATVing time.

It’s an excellent opportunity to get out of the city and visit some off-the-beaten-path locations.

By combining biking, ATV riding, parasailing, and river rafting, Guanabana Tours will offer their visitors a diverse selection of experiences.

Rugged terrain is covered while traveling through Medellín on bikes or ATVs (or both), with a stop for lunch on the way.

Final Words

The second city of Colombia is located in Medellín. It is well-known that the city’s violent, tumultuous past is prominent, but it is also highly modern, innovative, and appealing today. 

The great restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs in Medellin will have you salsa dancing until the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, We appreciate you taking the time to read our post about Day Trips from Medellin. Kindly notify us if you have any additional comments or questions in the section below. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

Day Trips from Medellin

  • Take a Day Trip to Guatape And The Monolith El Peñol
  • Museum House of the Memory
  • Arvi Natural Park
  • Santa Fe de Antioquia
  • Jerico
  • Tour Comuna 13
  • San Rafael
  • Explore Jardin
  • El Carmen de Viboral
  • Stay in Rio Claro
  • Plaza Cisneros
  • San Carlos
  • Medellín Museum of Modern Art
  • Santo Domingo and Biblioteca España
  • Wander the Cementerio Museo de San Pedro
  • The Botanical Garden
  • Parque Explora

Things to Do in Medellin

  • Take the Metrocable Up to Parque Arvi
  • Free Walking Tour
  • Casa En El Aire
  • Paragliding At Cocorna
  • The Coffee Shops of El Poblado
  • Eat Colombian Food
  • Biking or Ride ATVs Outside the City

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