10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day

best medellin hikes

Are you seeking the most captivating Medellin hikes, where vibrant landscapes and picturesque waterfalls await your exploration?

As an avid hiker and explorer, I’ve traversed the stunning trails of Medellin’s surrounding regions, ensuring that you can go on these hikes with confidence and an understanding of what each trail has to offer.

In this guide, you’ll discover:

  • A collection of ten remarkable Medellin hikes, each with its unique charm and character.
  • Tips and insights to ensure a memorable and safe hiking experience.
  • Details on trailheads and how to access these incredible hiking destinations.

These hikes offer an opportunity to connect with nature, experience enchanting waterfalls, and appreciate the breathtaking landscapes that make Medellin an adventurer’s paradise. This guide will lead you through the best Medellin hikes, providing an unforgettable journey through Colombia’s natural wonders.

Where is Medellin?

If you’re wondering, “Where is Medellin?” – you’re in the right place! Medellin is located in the heart of Colombia, a country known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. This vibrant city, once dubbed the “City of Eternal Spring” due to its year-round pleasant climate, has come a long way since its tumultuous past.

So, where exactly is Medellin located? Medellin is situated in the Aburra Valley, a region surrounded by majestic Andean mountains. It’s in the northwestern part of South America, making it a strategic destination for travelers exploring the continent. The city is the capital of the Antioquia department, offering a unique blend of urban living and natural beauty.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast, you’re in for a treat. The proximity of Medellin to the Andes Mountains means you’ll have numerous hiking trails at your doorstep. So, as you plan your journey and consider the question of “Where is Medellin?” – keep in mind the captivating hiking opportunities awaiting you in the mountains surrounding the city. It’s a place where you can explore the trails by day and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture by night. So let’s get started!

10 Best Medellin Hikes

#1 – Cerro Quitasol

10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day -

If you’re up for a challenging adventure, Cerro Quitasol, located slightly outside Medellin in the town of Bello, is a hike worth taking. Known for being one of the most demanding hikes in the Medellin area, it rewards hikers with unparalleled views of the city. Standing as the highest point in Medellin, this hike is an impressive feat.

What to Expect on Cerro Quitasol

This day hike is a 6.7-mile point-to-point trail that will test your mettle. The hike’s difficulty lies not just in its length but in the demanding elevation gain of 3,800 feet or 1,200 meters, which makes it one of the most challenging hikes in the region. Be prepared, especially for the steep, sun-soaked sections along the way. Make sure to carry enough water; running out of hydration in the midst of this challenging ascent is far from ideal. For guidance, consider downloading Wikiloc, a handy app for tracking your hike through Colombian trails.

Tips for Hiking Cerro Quitasol

Starting early in the morning is a wise choice, as it allows you to tackle the most strenuous parts of the hike before the heat sets in. To capture the beauty of this adventure, bring your camera. Wear comfortable, supportive footwear, and don’t forget to pack snacks for energy along the way. Staying hydrated is crucial, so be sure to bring ample water and sun protection to shield yourself from the high-altitude sun.

How to Get to Cerro Quitasol Trailhead

The journey to Cerro Quitasol begins at the northernmost Medellin metro station, Estacion Niquia. From there, follow the signs within the station to point you in the right direction. A stair path weaves through local neighborhoods as it ascends out of the city. While the climb to the top of the mountain is demanding, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the summit is a truly rewarding experience. As a bonus, don’t forget to explore the swimming hole at the bottom of the mountain on your way back down. This hike is more than just a physical challenge; it’s an opportunity to discover Medellin’s hidden beauty and immerse yourself in its natural wonders.

#2 – Cerro de Las Tres Cruces

Are you passionate about staying fit while traveling? Cerro de Las Tres Cruces is the ideal hike for you, offering not only an invigorating workout but also stunning views of Medellin. This local favorite is a testament to the city’s commitment to health and wellness.

What to Expect on Cerro de Las Tres Cruces

Cerro de Las Tres Cruces provides both a hiking experience and a fitness haven. At the summit, you’ll discover a gym where many fitness enthusiasts engage in their daily workouts. This short but intensive hike takes just 30 to 45 minutes to reach the top, making it accessible for all fitness levels. The round trip typically lasts around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Tips for Hiking Cerro de Las Tres Cruces

For an enjoyable experience, consider an early morning hike when the weather is cooler. Don’t forget your camera to capture the picturesque views from the summit. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear. With the hike’s short duration, there’s no need to bring a lot of supplies, but having some water and light snacks on hand can enhance your journey.

How to Get to Cerro de Las Tres Cruces Trailhead

The easiest way to access the Cerro de Las Tres Cruces hike is by taking an Uber or taxi from your location in the city. Alternatively, you can use public transport by heading to the Los Alpes Metroplús station near the Los Molinos mall. From there, it’s a short taxi ride of about 6,000 pesos to the base of the trail.

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or simply seeking a quick and rewarding outdoor adventure, Cerro de Las Tres Cruces offers breathtaking views and an opportunity to soak up the local fitness culture. Don’t miss out on adding this Medellin classic to your list of things to do.

#3 – Parque Arvi

10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day -

Why should you explore Parque Arvi? If you’re seeking a serene natural escape just outside Medellin, look no further. Parque Arvi is the most popular nature area in the city, offering multiple hiking options and a chance to experience the tranquil beauty of the region.

What to Expect at Parque Arvi

Parque Arvi is situated just outside Medellin, making it a go-to attraction for both locals and visitors. The park is renowned for its diverse hiking trails, each catering to different skill levels and preferences. Among the available options, the Ancestral Trail stands out for its breathtaking views of Medellin. This 2.7-mile out-and-back hike boasts a gentle incline and offers impressive vistas along the way.

Tips for Hiking Parque Arvi

To maximize your Parque Arvi experience, plan your visit during the park’s opening hours. Parque Arvi is typically open from Tuesday to Sunday, with varying hours. Starting your hike early is advisable to avoid crowds and the heat of the day. Wear comfortable clothing and suitable hiking shoes, and bring a light backpack with essentials like water, snacks, and sun protection. While hiking, you may encounter the iconic cable cars, offering a unique perspective of Medellin.

How to Get to Parque Arvi

Getting to Parque Arvi is convenient. Take the metro from Medellin to the Acevedo station, which costs $2900 COP. From there, transfer to the cable cars and ride to Santa Domingo, with an additional cost of $11,000 COP each way. This journey is a unique part of the Parque Arvi experience, providing you with a different view of Medellin. The cable cars offer a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the city from new heights.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the wonders of Parque Arvi, an ideal place to connect with nature and enjoy the splendor of Medellin’s surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or simply want to unwind in nature, this park has something for everyone.

#4 – Salto Del Angel

Why should you explore Salto Del Angel in Envigado, just outside Medellin? If you’re looking for an idyllic waterfall adventure and a serene escape from city life, Salto Del Angel is the place to be. This hidden gem is the perfect destination for those craving a peaceful and secluded waterfall experience.

What to Expect at Salto Del Angel

Salto Del Angel, located in the district of Envigado, is one of the largest and most popular waterfalls near Medellin. The hike to the waterfall is relatively short and straightforward. It begins at La Catedral, easily accessible from Medellin. You can take the A-line on the metro, get off at the Envigado station, and then catch a taxi to La Catedral for around $25,000.

The hike commences behind the building at the back of the parking lot at La Catedral. As you follow the trail, it’s a peaceful and isolated journey that leads you through the lush woods. After approximately 5-7 minutes of walking, you’ll reach a clearing, offering a distant view of the stunning waterfall. However, the real adventure begins here.

Tips for Hiking Salto Del Angel

The path down to Salto Del Angel is more challenging than some articles may suggest. It’s steep and may require some climbing with the assistance of a rope bolted into the rocks. This hike is not suitable for small children, senior citizens, or pets. It’s essential to wear proper footwear with traction to navigate the slippery rocks. Be prepared for muddy conditions and dress in clothes that can get dirty. But the effort is worth it when you reach the waterfall, a truly marvelous sight. The return journey, which is easier than the descent, typically takes about 15 minutes.

How to Get to Salto Del Angel Trailhead

To reach Salto Del Angel, take the metro to the Envigado station, and from there, a taxi to La Catedral. This short but exhilarating hike is a hidden oasis near Medellin, offering a peaceful and private encounter with nature’s beauty. Don’t miss the chance to explore this captivating waterfall.

#5 – Cerro El Volador

10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day -

Why should you explore Cerro El Volador? This hike offers a relaxed yet culturally enriching experience. It’s the ideal choice if you’re looking for a leisurely hike with cultural significance.

What to Expect on Cerro El Volador

Cerro El Volador is a popular local spot in Medellin, known for its laid-back charm. Unlike some of the more strenuous hikes on this list, this one provides a pleasant and easy-going stroll. The hike offers a glimpse into Medellin’s rich history, with sculptures and exhibits that showcase the city’s past. As you ascend, you’ll come across an interesting feature – an airport located right next to the hill. This means you’ll witness planes flying closely overhead, adding a unique touch to your hike.

Tips for Hiking Cerro El Volador

For a delightful experience, you can embark on Cerro El Volador, taking around 30 to 40 minutes depending on your chosen route. It’s a manageable 1.8-mile loop trail. At the top, you’ll find benches, making it an excellent spot for a picnic or to enjoy lunch while soaking in the view. What’s special about this park is its commitment to preserving natural plant species and archaeological findings, demonstrating its appreciation for the Borra Valley.

How to Get to Cerro El Volador

Reaching Cerro El Volador is straightforward. From Medellin, take the metro to the Estadio station, and you’ll find one of the hiking entrances just 10 minutes away. If you’re in the Laureles neighborhood, it’s a pleasant 25-minute walk to the trailhead. On the other side of the hill in Robledo, there’s a main entrance to the park with a paved road.

Keep an eye out for the smaller entrance from the Estadio side, which is not clearly marked but can be identified by a park and a smiley face sign next to the stairs that lead you to the hill’s summit. Once you begin climbing the stairs, you’ll notice a sign that reads “Sendero Aviturismo la 70,” indicating you’re on the right path. This sign also provides a brief overview of the hike in both English and Spanish. Cerro El Volador is the perfect combination of a leisurely hike and cultural exploration, making it a delightful addition to your Medellin itinerary.

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10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day -

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#6 – El Salado Ecologico

Why should you explore El Salado Ecologico in Envigado? If you’re in search of an easy and peaceful hike that’s conveniently located in the hills of Medellin, this park is the perfect choice. It’s a budget-friendly adventure suitable for those living in the Envigado area.

What to Expect at El Salado Ecologico

El Salado Ecologico is a small yet beautiful park nestled in the hills of Envigado. The park’s entrance fee is just $1 each, making it an accessible destination. You’ll be greeted by the soothing sounds of a river as you enter the park, with rocks perfect for relaxing, reading, sunbathing, or even taking a refreshing dip in the cold water. El Salado Ecologico also offers short but stunning hiking trails that lead into the mountainside.

Tips for Hiking El Salado Ecologico

To make the most of your visit, consider packing a picnic for your hike, as there are several spots in the park to enjoy a meal. If you prefer dining out, there’s also a restaurant in the park. For the more adventurous, there’s a zipline course running through the canopy of trees, adding an extra thrill to your visit.

How to Get to El Salado Ecologico

Reaching El Salado Ecologico is easy. You can book a taxi or Uber for around 10,000 COP, or take one of the affordable buses heading to the hills, especially if you’re in the Envigado area. The park’s location is convenient and offers various trails for hiking, with options suitable for all abilities. After your hike, you can even stop at a nearby coffee plantation to savor a delicious cup of locally-produced coffee, combining the best of Medellin’s nature and culture. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the tranquility of El Salado Ecologico.

#7 – Arenales Waterfall

10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day -

Why should you explore Arenales Waterfall? This hike takes you to a picturesque natural wonder in Medellin, offering a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s the perfect spot for a refreshing day in the midst of nature.

What to Expect at Arenales Waterfall

Arenales Waterfall is a hidden gem just a short distance from Medellin. The trail guides you through a vibrant pine forest, along the way showcasing two stunning waterfalls and the remains of La Catedral, once Pablo Escobar’s infamous prison. As you hike, you’ll exit the forest into Arenales, where you’ll be greeted with panoramic views across Medellin. While there are some challenging terrain sections, this two-hour hike is not particularly demanding in terms of length and is mostly downhill.

Tips for Hiking Arenales Waterfall

To ensure a delightful hike, wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear suitable for the terrain. The trail may sometimes vanish, so consider wearing sandals and be ready to wade through cold water. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks to keep you energized during the hike. A waterproof bag to safeguard your belongings, especially if you plan to swim in the pools, is also a good idea.

How to Get to Arenales Waterfall Trailhead

Reaching the trailhead is straightforward. Head to the Envigado metro station and board the bus with an “Arenales” sign. The bus fare is incredibly affordable at just $0.69, and the journey lasts approximately 20 minutes. Once you arrive at the last stop, you’ll find yourself at the starting point of your hike.

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10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day -

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#8 – Camino Real La Ayura

Why should you consider the Camino Real La Ayura hike? This adventure offers a unique opportunity to explore the historical Camino Real trail, connecting Medellin to the picturesque Parque El Salado. It’s a journey back in time with a scenic twist.

What to Expect on Camino Real La Ayura

Camino Real La Ayura is a part of the Senderos Ancestrales, ancient paths that once crisscrossed the hills overlooking Envigado and Medellin. These routes held significance for indigenous populations in pre-Hispanic times and later served as transportation corridors for settlers and muleteers during the Spanish colonial and republic eras. The Camino La Ayurá, in particular, was used until the 1970s by farmers and campesinos to transport agricultural goods from the highlands to the city markets in the valley.

The trail meanders alongside several streams, revealing hidden waterfalls along the way, before ascending into the foothills to provide breathtaking panoramic views of the Aburra Valley and the city skyline.

Tips for Hiking Camino Real La Ayura

To make the most of your Camino Real La Ayura hike, wear comfortable clothing and sturdy walking shoes, as you might encounter uneven terrain. Pack sufficient water to stay refreshed during your hike and a light snack if you plan to spend a few hours exploring. Given that the trail can get muddy, consider wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty.

How to Get to Camino Real La Ayura Trailhead

Even without access to a car, reaching the Camino Real La Ayura trail is a breeze. If you have a taxi in Envigado, simply ask the driver to take you to El Salado Parque Ecotouristica. If you’re using public transportation, take the Metro to the Envigado station. From there, hop on one of the white buses marked Parque Ecologico or El Salado. After you disembark, continue walking up the road past the Trucheria Arco Iris on your right to reach the trailhead.

#9 – Cerro Tusa

10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day -

Why should you consider the challenging hike to Cerro Tusa? This adventure offers you the opportunity to conquer one of Colombia’s natural wonders, the Tusa Pyramid. While it’s a test of your physical endurance, the sense of accomplishment and the stunning views from the top make it a must-do hike.

What to Expect at Cerro Tusa

Cerro Tusa is renowned as the “natural pyramid hike” in Colombia, and for a good reason. While the distance covered is not extensive, it’s the steepness of the terrain that makes this hike particularly challenging. As you ascend, you’ll likely find yourself grabbing onto trees to prevent slipping. The trail is a true test of your determination, and the elevation gain of 1,600 feet adds to the adventure. The views from the summit are simply breathtaking and well worth the effort.

Tips for Hiking Cerro Tusa

To tackle the Cerro Tusa hike successfully, come prepared with a pair of gloves to aid you in the steeper sections. Wear comfortable hiking attire and shoes with good traction. Pack enough water and some snacks to keep your energy levels up during the hike. This journey may take more than four hours, so plan accordingly.

How to Get to Cerro Tusa Trailhead

The easiest way to begin your hike to Cerro Tusa is by taking an Uber or taxi to Venecia pueblo. Another option is to catch a bus from the Terminal del Sur bus station, and the ride typically takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes. Upon arriving at Parque Venecia in the heart of the town, you’re ready to start the challenging journey to conquer the natural pyramid of Cerro Tusa. This hike is a unique experience you won’t want to miss during your time in Medellin.

#10 – Chorro de las Campanas

Chorro de las Campanas, in the same region as the previous two waterfalls, is a popular destination for those seeking the perfect waterfall swim. This famous waterfall is more frequently visited and well-known.

What to Expect at Chorro de las Campanas

If you’re looking for a great spot for a swim, Chorro de las Campanas is the place to be. Many tour guides can take you to this popular waterfall, and it’s a refreshing oasis in the heart of nature. However, the weather can be unpredictable, with sudden downpours common making for a muddy descent.

Tips for Hiking Chorro de las Campanas

While the hike to Chorro de las Campanas is generally manageable, it’s essential to be prepared for unexpected weather changes, particularly in the rainy season. Wear suitable footwear with good traction and bring a waterproof jacket. Pack a swimsuit if you plan to enjoy the waterfall’s inviting waters. Be cautious and use your best judgment; if conditions become too challenging, don’t hesitate to turn back for your safety.

How to Get to Chorro de las Campanas

To reach Chorro de las Campanas, it’s advisable to hire a local tour guide who can lead you safely to the waterfall. These guides are knowledgeable about the trails and can help you navigate the terrain. If you decide to venture on your own, ensure you have a reliable map or GPS. This stunning waterfall is undoubtedly worth the effort and is a delightful spot for a refreshing swim in the midst of nature’s beauty.

Is Hiking in Medellin Worth It?

That sums up our extensive guide on Medellin hikes, providing you with an array of picturesque trails to explore. We believe this guide equips you with the knowledge you need to begin your adventure through Medellin’s stunning natural landscapes.

But if you’re still on the fence, we want to affirm that hiking in Medellin is unequivocally worth it. With captivating waterfalls, vibrant greenery, and breathtaking vistas, Medellin’s hikes offer an enchanting escape into the heart of Colombia’s natural beauty.

Wishing you an unforgettable journey in Medellin and throughout Colombia. If you have any specific questions or want to share your favorite Medellin hike, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!


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