The 2 Best Day Trips You Must Do on Any Trip to Medellín
Planning your first trip to Colombia can be overwhelming – after all, there are SO many beautiful places to see in Colombia, and most people only travel there for a week or so – not nearly enough to see all the country has to offer, from the coastal, colonial, Caribbean gem of Cartagena, to the stunning hikes and national parks of Santa Marta, to the city-chic bustle of Bogota.
You can discover a lot of what Medellin has to offer in just a couple days, but the most beautiful parts of Antioquia are found a couple hours outside of the city – in the stunning Andes mountains. It’s here that the locals spend their weekends at beautiful fincas in colorful Colombian pueblos, and it is here you’ll feel the richness of Colombia’s one-of-a-kind culture and natural beauty.
Both of these pueblos I recommend below are accessible for just the day, and I have recommendations for tours and private tour guides who can take you there for the day in the descriptions below!
Is Guatapé the most colorful town in the world or what?! This adorable little pueblo about an hour and a half from Medellín is a must-do on any trip to Colombia. I recommend hiring a driver and tour guide through this company to take you there. Their prices are reasonable and their tour guides make sure you see all the beautiful parts of Guatapé.
Aside from how absolutely breathtakingly colorful the town of Guatapé is, the main attraction of Guatapé is even more (literally) breath-taking… the “Rock of Guatape”
El Peñon de Guatapé
Zig-zagging 600 vertical steps up, (at altitude! so pack your water bottle!) this 10-million-ton rock overlooks the gorgeous beautiful lakes of Guatapé. The attraction was created after a group of friends scaled the rock in the 1950s using nothing but a wooden plank, and someone got the amazing idea to build a staircase in the rock’s singular, gaping crack. The best part? The freshly made mango micheladas at the top. YUM.
A little further away than Guatape (about 3 hours from Medellin), lies an adorable pueblo in the Andes mountains called Jardín. This fittingly named lush mountain pueblo is by far one of my favorite day trips from Medellín. It’s not touristy in the least, because it is still so undiscovered by everyone except the Colombian locals, but it’s here that you can find Colombian coffee farms, waterfalls, and a beautiful colorful town and plaza surrounding a catholic church. I highly recommend you take a day tour with this company, and ask for Daniel to be your tour guide if you can!… He is so knowledgable about Medellín and Colombia’s history, and a tour with him is just as much about the amazing culture of this beautiful country as it is the adventure of exploring such a cool spot.
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