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Rock climbing | © fcja99/Pixabay
Rock climbing | © fcja99/Pixabay
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The Best Rock Climbing Spots in Colombia

Picture of Chris Bell
Updated: 7 August 2017
Colombia has some incredible places to enjoy a range of different extreme sports, and rock climbing is no exception: with three ranges of the Andes mountains, as well as plenty of canyons and caves, Colombia has amazing rock climbing to suit all tastes, budgets, and abilities. So here are the very best rock climbing spots in Colombia.

Suesca

Definitely the most well-known and popular rock climbing spot in Colombia, the small town of Suesca to the north of Bogotá has been nicknamed “Colombia’s rock climbing Mecca.” With over 400 different climbing routes available, and over 70 years of climbing history, Suesca is by far the most well-developed climbing zone in Colombia. With several climbing shops and companies operating in the town and experienced guides available, anyone can enjoy climbing in Suesca, regardless of their level or experience.

Rock climbing in Suesca
Rock climbing in Suesca | © Yassef Briceño García/Flickr

La Mojarra

The other top-spot for climbing in Colombia, La Mojarra is located on the road between Bucaramanga and San Gil (Colombia’s adventure sports capital). It lies within the beautiful Chicamocha National Park and is home to over 300 climbing routes on wonderful sandstone cliffs and escarpments, all with a stunning panorama over the majestic canyon beyond: there can’t be many more stunning views in Colombia, regardless of your interest in climbing, but La Mojarra is truly a paradise for climbers.

Refugio de la Roca

While not strictly a rock climbing spot itself, Refugio de la Roca makes this list due to its reputation as the place to stay in Colombia for rock climbers: located just next to the aforementioned La Mojarra climbing area, the refuge boasts beautiful rooms and dormitories to suit all budgets, as well as the same stunning view over the Chicamocha Canyon. With equipment available to rent, as well as climbing guides and classes, the Refugio de la Roca is highly recommended for all levels of climber: if you are a climber in Colombia you need to stay here!

La Florian

This is the climbing spot in Colombia that has the professionals most excited—often described as Thailand-meets-Colombia on account of its impressive limestone formations, La Florian has only just been “discovered” by climbers, and it isn’t recommended for beginners. However, if you have some experience and equipment then it’s well-worth making the five-hour journey from Bogotá to the small Boyacá town for some excellent sport climbing on at least 30 different routes.

El Peñol, Guatapé

One of the major granite outcrops in Colombia, the iconic Peñol rock near the lakeside town of Guatapé is more traditionally “climbed” on a 750-step staircase by camera-wielding tourists. However, for rock climbers, it represents one of the most exciting and challenging climbs in the country, with at least 30 different potential routes, some scaling the entire height of the 390-foot (120m) rock. Rock climbing on El Peñol is not something you can just turn up and do, but there are tour operators in Guatapé and Medellin who can organize climbing excursions.

The mighty El Penol rock
The mighty El Penol rock | Chris Bell / © Culture Trip

Macheta

This is the place to visit if you are looking for some really tough climbs. With most of the routes at 5.11 or more, as well as plenty of 12s and 13s, Macheta is for really experienced rock climbers. There are also loads of tricky overhangs to contend with, making Macheta a place to definitely visit with a guide unless you are particularly skilled. And the best part is that it’s only two hours from Bogotá and is home to a lovely little guesthouse with rooms for around $10 per night.

Zipa

Probably the closest climbing spot to Bogotá, Zipa would make a perfect spot for any climbers in search of a quick day-trip from the Colombian capital. With lots of 5.10 and 5.11 climbs requiring some particularly “juggy” (i.e. lots of big holds) moves, Zipa has over 80 available routes, primarily for sport climbing and crack climbing. Zipa is definitely the place to visit if you are a fan of sport climbing and have a spare day to dedicate to some excellent routes.