Medellín Day Trips

Medellin is a great city! However, one of the most interesting parts of Medellin is that it is surrounded by equally amazing countryside that is full of interesting places to see including greenbelt areas, national parks, lakes and rivers, colonial pueblos, working farms and ranches and more. The touristic routes of Medellin are divided according to North, South, East and West.

el penol, colombia, medellin day trip

Photo | Juan Giraldo

El Penol / Guatape:

Located just east of the city about an hour and a half away from Medellin is the beautiful lake and recreational area of El Penol (literally ‘the Stone’). Similar to the famous Sugar Loaf of Rio de Janeiro, El Penol is a 650 feet tall granite monolith rising from the banks of Embalse del Penol, an artificial lake built in the early 1960’s. Adventurous visitors can even climb the 649 steps to the top and get a bird’s-eye view of the entire region including the beautiful lake below. There is a visitor’s center and place to buy snacks on top of the rock.

Since the construction of a hydro-electric damn and subsequent flooding of the area, El Penol has become a popular tourist area. There are numerous activities to engage around the lake including hiking, biking, horseback riding, water sports and swimming, and an amazing zip-line in Guatape just to name a few.

West Route | Sun & Fruit

WESTERN ANTIOQUIA Abriaqui • Santa Fe de Antioquia • Anza • Armenia • Buritica • Cañasgordas • Dabeiba • Ebejico • Frontino (Colombia) • Giraldo • Heliconia • Liborina • Olaya • Peque • Sabanalarga • San Jeronimo • Sopetran • Uramita This journey takes us to the banks of the Cauca River, a hot weather zone containing a wide variety of fruit trees and […]

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South/Southwest Route | Coffee, Coal & Muleteering

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SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST ANTIOQUIA: Amaga • Andes • Angelopolis • Betania • Bolivar • Betulia • Caicedo • Caramanta • Concordia • Fredonia • Hispania • Jardin • Jerico • La Pintada • Montebello • Pueblorrico • Salgar • Santa Barbara • Tamesis • Tarso • Titiribi • Urrao • Valparaiso • Venecia The southeast tourist route begins at the Regional (La Variente) road exit […]

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East | The Green Route

EASTERN ANTIOQUIA: Abejorral • Alejandria • Argelia • Carmen de Viboral • Cocorna • Concepcion • El Carmen De Viboral • Granada • Guarne • Guatape • La Ceja • La Unión • Marinilla • Nariño • Penol • Retiro • Rionegro • San Carlos • San Francisco • San Luis • San Rafael • San Vicente • Santa Elena • Santuario • Sonson This […]

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Santa Elena

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The small town of Santa Elena is located just east of Medellin high in the mountainside and approximately 10 miles away from the city center. The weather is normally cooler due to its elevation and its soils are rich with nutrients that local farmers enjoy for growing an abundance of tropical and local varieties of flowers, may of which are exported to international markets abroad. […]

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Coffee Region of Colombia | Eje Cafetero

Coffee Region of Colombia | Eje Cafetero: The coffee region is an area south of Medellin that will take you into neighboring states (departmentos) of Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda. Because of this regions specific altitude and climate, it is hailed for producing some of the finest coffee beans in the world. Accounting for just 1% of Colombia’s total area, this region produces nearly half of […]

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Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia

Santa Fe de Antioquia: Northwest of Medellin about an hour down the road exists a town that has gone relatively unchanged in looks and character since the 18th century. The narrow streets are lined with well groomed, whitewashed houses that are mostly single story construction, many of them complete with beautiful Spanish courtyards. You will also find elaborately carved and typical Antioquian woodwork around doorways […]

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