15 Stunning Day Trips From Medellin You Will Enjoy (2021)

Villa de Leyva to coffee plantations in Pereira, there is something for everyone! Each destination has its own unique charm and beauty, so take your time and enjoy all that Colombia offers. Scroll down to start planning your next adventure on this list!

What to pack:

A bottle of water, comfortable shoes or sneakers for hiking, and appropriate clothing for the activities! Comfortable shoes, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lots of water.

How to get there:

Medellin is a cosmopolitan city filled with history, culture, art, food, and people. To enjoy the best of what this city has to offer, there are many day trips you can take from Medellin!

These are our top picks for the best day trips from Medellin. Most destinations are a 2-3 hour drive or bus ride from Medellin.

The best time of year to visit :

The best time of year to visit these destinations is during the dry season from December through February. Once the rain starts, many places get more difficult to reach due to landslides and other roadblocks. Hence, it’s important to research beforehand if you’re planning on going when it rains- the rainy season in Colombia typically lasts from April until November.

Top attractions and activities :

The best part about these destinations is that there is something for everyone! Whether you’re an adventure seeker, history buff, or foodie, Colombia has it all!

The most common method to get to Villa de Leyva is by bus.  There are several options available, but the most popular one is via Rapido Ochoa. It leaves Medellin at 8:30 am from the Caribe station and costs around 12,000 pesos.

Villa de Leyva: This UNESCO world heritage site filled with cobblestone streets and adobe architecture will enchant you. Don’t miss Museo del Sombrero , Bolas Canyoning , Hacienda San Pedro , El Castillo Real de Tierra , and Terciopelo Cave

The most common method to get to Salento is by bus. There are several options available, but the most popular one is via Rapido Ochoa. It leaves Medellin at 8:30 am from the Caribe station and costs around 28,000 pesos.

Salento :

Local market with sellers in the streets of the village Salento - Colombia SALENTO, COLOMBIA - Local market with sellers in the streets of the village Salento, on March 23, 2019 Salento colombia stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

‘This colorful mountain town filled with lush vegetation will have you in awe. Don’t miss coffee plantations, Cocora Valley , Valle de Cocora , Cerro de la Muerte , Las Brisas del Valle , Serrania de las Quinchas hike, and Lago Calima.

Biodiversity Museum :

This museum displays life-size dinosaur models that they say look just like the real thing! Not far from the museum is a small butterfly farm as well.

Cocora Valley :

This lush valley filled with palm trees and waterfalls will amaze you. Don’t miss Andean Condors, Las Brisas del Valle, and Lago Calima.

Medellin’s Gold Museum :

Hans Christian Andersen Museum Odense, Denmark - May 2, 2014: The museum for the world famous Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen. From the collection about the author in the museum a tourist is studying the poet's belongings. Museum stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

One of the most famous museums in Colombia, the Gold Museum displays an impressive collection of pre-Columbian gold artifacts in their 16,000 square foot vault!

Hacienda Venecia :

This coffee plantation located just outside Armenia offers something different than what you’ll find elsewhere. Their main house was built during Spanish colonial times and has been lovingly restored over generations to reflect modern luxury.

Guatape :

Visit this colorful town on a Friday and enjoy live music, traditional dance, food, and drinks. Check out the viewpoint for a panoramic shot of the town!

El Peñon de Guatapé :

At 2,592 feet tall, this rock formation will leave you in awe. Don’t miss hiking to the top of renting a floating device from La Piedra del Penol.

Armenia :

This city is filled with history and culture amidst cobblestone streets lined with flowers. Don’t miss Museo de Arte Moderno, Armenia Library Museum, Virgen de las Mercedes Sanctuary, Parque Biblioteca Espña library park, Armenia Cultural Museum, and the Library Museum.

La Piedra del Penol :

This 3,000-foot rock formation is the most popular tourist attraction in Guatape. You can hike all the way to the top if you’re up for it or take a cable car instead. There’s also a small village at the top with cafes and restaurants perfect for lunch!

East of Medellin lies one of Colombia’s largest National Parks, Eje Cafetero. The area contains over 40 towns filled with some of Colombia’s best outdoor activities like coffee plantations, waterfalls, salt mines, kayaking on rivers through gorges, lagoons surrounded by mountains, and wildlife areas where you can spot beautiful birds.

Coffee Plantation Tour :

Luwak Coffee & Tea testing in Bali Luwak Coffee & Tea testing in Bali Coffee Plantation Tour stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

During a coffee plantation tour, you will learn all about the process of how coffee beans are made. You will get to see the plants and drink fresh samples too! 

Salto del Angel Waterfall :

This beautiful waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and accompanied by a natural pool perfect for swimming in.

Hiking to Piedra del Peñol :

Hike up this 2,600-foot rock formation that takes about 3 hours round trip. Make sure you wear proper shoes since some areas can be steep!

Catedral de Sal   (Salt Cathedral) :

This underground church located in Zipaquira was formed by miners over several decades, beginning in 1954. The walls are covered in salt, and the underground space is often used for concerts!

Ciudad Perdida :

This ancient city, built by an indigenous tribe over 800 years ago, is deep inside the Sierra Nevada mountains. You’ll need to hike 6-8 hours each way to get there, but it’s totally worth it since you will be one of few that have gone to this special place.

Pamplona :  

At festival of San Fermin. Pamplona Pamplona, Spain - July 14, 2013: People run from bulls on street during San Fermin festival in Pamplona Pamplona stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The town is known for its colorful houses and nightlife on weekends. Make sure you check out the weekly market on Saturdays!

These beautiful limestone cliffs are where many scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed! The rocks provide a unique backdrop perfect for photographing. Don’t miss nearby Lover’s Beach.

Tips for getting around the city on a budget :

Walking :

Medellin is a large city, so it’s not feasible to walk everywhere- consider walking tours or taking public transportation. Buses :

If you’re in the mood for some adventure, take the bus! Many routes run all over Medellin, and tickets are cheap (around 1,100 pesos). Taxis :

Taxis will be your most expensive trip, but taxi stands are located throughout the city with fixed rates. It is cheaper if you call a radio taxi rather than hailing one from the street. Uber and Cabify also work well in this city.

Transmilenio Metrobus: This bus line costs about 2,200 pesos per two hours of travel. The route includes all 3 metro lines that run through the city—download the Transmi line for real-time bus arrivals and departures to save time.

Security :

The most important thing to remember about Medellín is that it has meager violent crime rates compared to other cities in Colombia. Most issues happen on the outskirts of Medellín, where people are poor and live in shantytowns, so you will rarely see this type of area while exploring the city center.

The only thing I suggest is not wearing expensive jewelry or walking alone at night since locals recommend it.

Busking :

If you’re a musician, know how to play an instrument, or sing, consider making money busking throughout the city. People love entertaining themselves on long commutes, so musicians have a good chance of making some money!  

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