The Five Best Day Hikes in Medellin, Colombia

Sitting in a valley in the midst of the Andes, Medellin has an allure that, in recent years especially, pulls travelers in droves. For some time, mention of its name brought memories of cartel-inflicted terror but today, the vibe is serene and friendly. These days, this South American spot deemed “the city of eternal spring” is one of Colombia’s biggest bragging points.

On a sunny day, Paisas mingle in public squares and the voices of fruit vendors mix with salsa music flooding from open doors. After heavy rain, clouds roll in level with windows of hillside homes. The city is, after all, perched nearly 5,000 feet in the sky.

That point alone should interest explorers with an affinity for hiking. Medellin is many things but for outdoorsy mountain types, it’s undoubtedly an interesting destination. In addition to the nightlife of El Poblado, the artwork of Botero, and the funicular, many hostels and guidebooks will recommend heading to Guatapé to climb the steps of the 650-foot El Peñol, but the trails that snake through the mountains that surround Medellin are an underrated treasure and a richer experience.

Luckily, there’s a suitable hike whatever the fitness level may be. The state of Antioquia, with its lush foliage, challenging terrain, and picturesque views won’t disappoint and to top it off, the traditional hearty food will be just the thing to tuck into after trying any of these hikes.


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