5 Worthwhile Weekend Trips From Medellin, Colombia
Medellin is a beautiful city, but its surroundings are even more incredible. If you're in Medellin for more than a week, you'll want to take advantage of these nearby locations for weekend trips!
In order of importance:
1. Rio Claro
Rio Claro is an amazing lodge that can be reached by bus in about two hours from the city. [if you go to the bus terminal and ask for a bus to Rio Claro they will direct you]. We stayed in an open-air room with only three walls, which I feel can only be properly described in picture:
There are a variety of tours and excursions available through the hotel itself. They own a huge swath of property. We opted for a boat trip and caving, but wished we could have done more! We had only planned on a couple nights at the hotel and come our last morning seriously considering staying longer, but I was supposed to work the next day.
Due to the wet nature of boating and caving, I don't have any pictures, but I promise you the caving was INCREDIBLE. I mean, we had so much fun!
The hotel is located right aside a river (hence the name) where you can swim, relax, explore, hike, and hang out! Our room included meals and found it to be an incredible value.
Guatape is definitely on the list of most visited tourist attractions, but it is worth the trip! This giant rock is quite weird and really stands out in the landscape. Its a fun active trip to walk up the stairs (and try to race your friends of course).
We walked around the quaint little town nearby
Afterwards, my group of friends opted to go on a booze cruise! (please wear sunscreen I got sun poisoning)
Jerico is a small town outside of the city by about an hour and a half or about 3.5, depending which route you take, which we learned the hard way!
We opted to take a chiva (colorfully painted wooden bus) from Jardín to Jerico. We were told it would take an hour and it took over three! Oh joy! Piece of advice: don't take a chiva for more than an hour. It's not a smooth ride and stops being fun after thirty minutes.
In Jerico, we stayed at a nice hotel that the sweet woman in Jardín's hotel booked for us! This was a last minute trip and so we asked the receptionist if she could recommend something, and she ended up just booking something she knew we would like! Another nice room overlooking the main plaza for us :) This town was very quite, tranquil, and sweet. I felt much more in the country here and for this reason I liked Jerico more. We had a lazy couple of days here. We got very affordable hour-long massages from a woman who the receptionist recommended and relaxed.
After receiving repeated recommendations to visit Jardín, my SO and I were quite excited to make the journey. We started at the terminal in Medellin and took a bus to Jardín, which was easy enough. We had booked a room online ahead of time at a hotel located right on the main square. Open arrival, we were informed there was an opening in their main suite if we would like that --> free upgrade! Score! Well, we loved the suite! It was so nice, with high ceilings, double doors and a balcony overlooking the square! We actually decided to stay an extra night because of it.
We struggled to find restaurants to eat in around town, but we did love love love this adorable cafe: Cafe Macanas Dulceria Jardin, which is situated right in the main square.
Our main event was to go horseback riding into the mountains, then hike to a waterfall, and return! It was beautiful and we had an amazing time! I was a little scared of the horseback riding part, but Irf was a natural and loved it (he actually got a mule, ha!). We had planned to go swimming in the waterfall but it was cold when we got there and the water was absolutely frigid. Irf jumped in and I watched ;)
5. Sante Fe Antioquia
This small historic town is a quick and easy trip from the city, doable in one day. On the way, stop at the oldest suspension bridge in South America and hear a wacky store about the architect. Once in town, you'll find stone cobbled streets, sculptures, historic plaques, and beautiful churches.