The first recommendation we always make when someone visits a city in Colombia is to also go to the nearby towns and places! So you can have a broader perspective getting to know both urban and rural areas and to know what makes each region special. And in this case Medellin is no exception. In fact, Medellin’s surroundings has so much natural beauty that it is simply impossible to visit Medellin and not tour its surroundings.
From heritage towns that preserve colonial architecture, to villages that protect cultural legacies such as flowers and handicrafts. Also imposing natural wonders such as giant rocks around a hydro dam and a town full of color and traditions.
This time we want to show you four incredible towns that you can visit if you are in Medellín and that will show you a little more of the authentic paisa culture.
Guatape is a must-see destination for tourism in Medellín and its surroundings. Not only for the natural views it offers, but also because its streets offer a surprising experience.
Here, the walls of the houses tell stories through colorful, high-relief baseboards. You can see images of customs, trades and traditional elements of the daily life of the region. It is a place to get lost on the roads because, in addition, the streets sell handicrafts and typical food.
In Guatape you will also find the impressive Peñol Rock. It is 200 meters high and you can climb it to the top. But don’t be scared! To do so you must climb some stairs (well, with more than 600 steps). This will allow you to see the town and the dam. You can even take boat rides to get to know a little more around. Quite a spectacle!
Guatape is one of the most touristic places in the region, and it is only two hours away from Medellin, so it’s usually full of visitors, but totally worth it.
For many, this heritage village is one of the magical corners of Medellin and its surroundings. It is 3 hours from Medellin and is a perfect place for sightseeing and traditional culture. Its streets are surrounded by houses with balconies full of flowers and many of those who live there preserve their peasant and coffee customs.
The best thing about this place is that it offers a variety of activities. You can visit the coffee farms and taste the local coffee. You can also hike through the streets or hike to some waterfalls, contemplate nature and enjoy bird watching.
Santa Fe de Antioquia
Near Medellín there is the ancient capital of the region, Santa Fe de Antioquia. For this reason, it‘s possible to find a neat colonial architecture. In fact, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Monument and heritage town of Colombia. All at the same time!
Hence, it’s a destination full of culture and history. Here you can visit the famous Puente de Occidente, another National Monument. It was a milestone for the advancement of the region and the country. In addition to becoming the longest wooden suspension bridge in America.
In this place you can take a historical tour to learn about important aspects of the Paisa culture in the development of the rest of Colombia.
Santa Elena is part of Medellin, but we think it is worth putting in our recommendations for being a natural charm. You don’t have to leave the city but when you arrive you will feel outside the urban area. Around this village you find cloud forest, mountains and prehistoric roads. It is an area of friendly farmers who grow all kinds of fruits, medicinal herbs and native flowers.
Santa Elena is famous for the silletera culture, as its inhabitants and farmers plant the flowers that later adorn the streets during La Feria de las Flores (Medellín Flower Fair). And the Arvi Park, which is another tourist site around Medellín, is part of Santa Elena. If you visit it you can get an idea of the nature that surrounds this place.
To get there you can take the Metrocable or public transportation. So the experience of going from the busiest parts of Medellin to this quieter and more natural space is a must.
What do you think? Do you already know where you will go once in Medellin?