I have nothing against parties but at this point in my life, no matter where I am in the world I much prefer to be in nature than in clubs. So when I was recently solo traveling in Medellin, I found out about these 5 best hikes Medellin has to offer, and if you are looking for some too, continue reading.
Medellin is the City of Eternal Spring, which means that the weather is almost always perfect for hiking. It also has a diverse landscape that includes mountains, rivers, waterfalls, jungles, and much more. Hence there is plenty to explore if you love the outdoors. Amongst the beautiful landscape are multiple trails to enjoy, and many of these will treat you to spectacular sights of the Medellin surroundings. Without further ado, let’s begin,
5 best hikes Medellin has to offer
- 5 best hikes Medellin has to offer
- 1. How to get to Cerro de Las Tres Cruces
- 2. How to get to Cuevas del Higueron
- 3. How to get to Arenales Waterfall Hike
- 4. How to get to hike in Parque Salado Ecologico
- 5. How to get to Parque Arvi via Cerro Pan
- 6. How to get to El Hato Waterfalls
- 7. How to get to Cerro Quitasol
- 8. How to get to the Cerro Tusa Hike /Cerro Tusa Natural Pyramid
- 9. How to get to the Paramo del Sol trek
- 10. How to get to Cerro Bravo
- 11. How to get to Guatape from Medellin
- Things to bring for your hikes in Medellin
- Let me know in the comments
1. How to get to Cerro de Las Tres Cruces
The easiest way to get to the base of this hike is to get an Uber/taxi from wherever you are located in the city. However, if you would like to use public transport the nearest Medellín Metro station is the Los Alpes Metroplús station near the Los Molinos mall. The base of the Tres Cruces trail is about a 6,000 peso taxi ride from the Los Alpes station or the Los Molinos mall.
Cerro de Las Tres Cruces is one of the easiest hikes on this list and offers excellent views of the city, and can be submitted in less than an hour. You will also see ex-pats and locals exercising at the pretty cool workout area at the top which makes it an interesting place to people-watch along with the views.
2. How to get to Cuevas del Higueron
As above, the easiest way is to take a uber/taxi. Alternatively, you can go to the Envigado metro station and take one of the frequent buses that have “El Salado” written on the front of the bus.
Cuevas del Higueron is a great hike for seeing some beautiful natural landmarks although the “caves” aren’t special at all, the waterfall’s nice and there’s a cool spot for having fresh-caught trout at the bottom of the hike. The hike takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete the return journey. Along the path, you will walk through Parque El Salado, some caves, a waterfall, a river, and an ancient trail.
3. How to get to Arenales Waterfall Hike
Head to the Envigado metro station and catch the bus that’s waiting at the Arenales sign. The ticket cost is $0.69, and the journey takes about 20 minutes.
Arenales Waterfall Hike is one of the most popular hikes Medellin offers. The hike goes through a pine forest and along the way you will see two waterfalls and the remains of La Catedral, which is the infamous prison of Pablo Escobar. After passing the prison and the waterfalls, you head out of the forest into Arenales. Once you get here, you will be greeted with views across Medellin. There are some difficult sections of terrain to tackle but overall this 2 hours hike isn’t challenging in terms of length and is almost all downhill.
4. How to get to hike in Parque Salado Ecologico
You can book a taxi/uber or get on one of the many buses heading up into the hills to take you there which is even cheaper and easier if you are in Envigado area.
If you are interested in hiking and exploring the Coffee Triangle, which is a combination of jungle and coffee plantations. Recommend hike in El Salado Eco Park. This nature reserve is located approximately 25 minutes outside Medellin, and there are various lengths of trails to hike. Anywhere from 30-minute walks to full day treks.
Each trail offers something different, and there are options for all abilities. After your hike, stop at the coffee plantation to enjoy a delicious cup of locally-produced coffee.
5. How to get to Parque Arvi via Cerro Pan
Another popular hike Medellin offers is Parque Arvi. To get here, drop off at the Acevedo stop and from there it’s quite easy to find your way to the cable car.
The Parque Arvi via Cerro Pan de Azucar hike offers excellent views and it is popular because the hike takes you to two of Medellin’s top attractions; the Metrocable gondola and Parque Arvi.
This hike can be completed between 3-4 hours, although it can take longer if you spend some time in Parque Arvi.
6. How to get to El Hato Waterfalls
Head to Bello Metro Station and get on the bus that says “Potreritos” because the trail begins close to the last drop-off point of the bus.
Swimming is not recommended here but the waterfalls itself is over 100 meters along with the views of the Bello municipality down below. The hiking trail is about 3.5 km but steep and takes about 2 hours which will lead you to the base of the waterfall. You can also continue up to the mountain to hike all the way up to San Felix Paragliding Launch, the paragliding home of the Abura Valley. If you are up for a bit of adventure you could also fly back down the hill instead of hiking!
7. How to get to Cerro Quitasol
Get on to the northernmost Medellin metro station, and from there the hike is all the way up.
So basically this hike starts at the metro station and then goes through a prehistoric trail where you will see ruins and breathtaking views along the way. It is a bit of hard work to climb to the top of the mountain, but once you are there the sense of accomplishment is a real reward. Don’t miss the swimming hole at the bottom of the mountain while hiking down.
8. How to get to the Cerro Tusa Hike /Cerro Tusa Natural Pyramid
The easiest way to start the Cerro Tusa hike is to get on an uber/taxi to Venecia pueblo. Alternatively, you can take a bus from the Terminal del Sur bus station. The bus journey takes approx 1hour 45 mins, and drop off at Parque Venecia, in the middle of the town.
This hike is famous because when you complete this hike you will see Cerro Tusa one of Colombia’s largest natural pyramids. It is a strenuous and challenging hike as it involves a lot of scrambling to arrive at the summit. There is also an elevation gain of 1,600 feet. Depending on your fitness level, this hike can take more than 4 hours to complete.
9. How to get to the Paramo del Sol trek
The straightforward way to get to the Paramo del Sol from Medellin is to get on a direct bus to Urrao cost 25000 COP from the principal transport terminal. After you arrive at Urrao, take a Chiva for 5000 COP from the main square to the spot where the trek begins. This Chiva ride takes about 30-45 mins.
The Paramo del Sol trek can be done in a day but takes about 7 hours so if you have some time, recommend allocating 3-4 days and recommend going with a guide or on a group tour if you prefer. Not the wild orchids, hummingbird beehives, and unique scenery along the way.
10. How to get to Cerro Bravo
Arrive at the town of Fredonia and you can start the hike to the town of Venecia while climbing the challenging Cerro Bravo along the way. Probably best to do it on the group tour from Medellin hiking companies if possible because they look after you round trip along the dirt roads, narrow trails, and through the Andean Forest. The best views of the mountain itself and the Antioquian landscape below are worth the hike.
Cerro Bravo is also known as ‘Angry Mountain’ and is one of many amazing hikes Medellin and its surroundings have to offer.
11. How to get to Guatape from Medellin
I have written a separate blog on how to get from Medellin to Guatape here.
This is an easy day trip either via public transportation or Uber/taxi. There are about 600+ stairs you can climb to get to the top of the El Penon rock which is one of the natural wonders of Colombia. The view behind the rock is an amazing landscape of the sea and the greenery that surrounds it. After the rock, you can visit the colorful Guatape town with beautiful colonial architecture. So this day is walking all day pretty much.
Things to bring for your hikes in Medellin
Long trousers with zip on knees so it can be made short if needed
Comfortable shoes with good grip
A large water bottle
Sunscreen and sunglasses
Hat or Cap
A light jacket or sweatshirt
A change of clothes, if possible, including an extra pair of shoes
Waterproof jacket or umbrella or raincoat (depending on the season)
Snacks or a packed lunch
Cash for all the buses and taxis
Medications and prescription (if applicable)
Face masks (preferably both cloth and disposable)
Antibacterial gel or alcohol
Personal identification document
Let me know in the comments
- if you have any other local hikes I should include
Read for detailed info on Solo Female Travel Colombia
- Check out where to stay in Medellin
- Take a step further and hike up all the 100+ stairs in Guatape, read how to get from Medellin to guatape
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