The Top 10 Weekend Getaways from Medellín

The beautiful mountains of southern Antioquia
The beautiful mountains of southern Antioquia | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr
Chris Bell

Travellers love Medellín: the combination of great weather, friendly people, excellent transport and great tourist activities has turned the city from a byword for violence and danger into one of the most popular destinations in South America right now. However, even the most avid urbanite sometimes needs to escape the city for a few days, so here are the top 10 weekend getaways.


Jardín is one of Colombia’s prettiest small towns and it’s perfectly located for a weekend trip from Medellín, being about four hours south of the city. With tours of local coffee farms, hikes to waterfalls and some excellent birdwatching, there’s plenty to do in Jardín to fill a weekend. Even just relaxing on the pretty main plaza is an excellent way to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of the Colombian Coffee Region.

The pretty streets of Jardín|© Pedro Szekely / Flickr

San Rafael


A trip to Guatapé is arguably the most popular weekend escape from Medellín, particularly with backpackers. Visitors to Guatapé can climb the El Penol Rock with its stunning panoramic view over the lakes and islands of the Guatapé reservoir, and then wander the colourful streets of the town, sampling fresh local trout, or even hire a boat and take a day trip out onto the lake.


Santa Fe de Antioquia

This picture-perfect little historical town to the north of Medellín is easily another of Colombia’s prettiest towns and, with its year-round hot climate, it’s a great place to relax by the pool and catch some rays. The cobbled streets and historical buildings are well-preserved, and the nearby Occidente Bridge over the Cauca Valley is an engineering marvel and a must-visit for anyone with an interest in Colombian history and architecture.


This weekend trip is the most off-the-beaten-track of the lot, and also one of the best ways to get a real local experience during your time in Colombia. The people of Horizontes, a tiny little town on a mountain ridge with one street and breathtaking views, now organise homestay trips where you can spend the night with a local family; it’s a truly unique experience and a great way to learn a bit more about Colombian culture and hospitality.

The stunning view from Horizontes

Rio Claro

Rio Claro is home to one of Colombia’s best ecolodges and is only about three hours from Medellín. The stunning marble canyon towers over the clear waters of the river, and the whole place is surrounded by dense tropical rainforest; accommodation is in gorgeous open-sided cabins overlooking the jungle and river below, and if you’re lucky you’ll wake up with toucans and monkeys feeding right in front of your bedroom. Rafting, caving and canyoning are also available, and the birdwatching is some of the best in the region.

Lucky guests at Rio Claro can spot monkeys from their breakfast table


Cocorna is a nice little riverside town on the road to Rio Claro, a couple of hours from Medellín. It’s also one of the best places to practise adventure sports in Antioquia department: you can go white-water rafting, paragliding over an actual waterfall, canyoning or caving, or just take a refreshing dip in the river instead.


Jerico is one of Colombia’s Pueblos Patrimonios, or Cultural Heritage Towns, and is famous for being the birthplace of one of Colombia’s two saints. It’s a popular place for religious tourism with Colombians, but its gorgeous traditional architecture, nearby coffee farms, local artisanal crafts and spectacular views over the Cauca River valley make Jerico an excellent weekend trip option for any type of traveller.

Jerico in Antioquia


Tamesis is a small town on the edge of the Cartama Valley and is another excellent place to experience a range of extreme sports. Paragliding is an option, with some of the best views you can imagine, and you can also go rappelling down a huge waterfall or caving in the mountains above the town. Less extreme visitors can hike to the breathtaking Cristo Rey viewpoint overlooking the town or take a tour of the local residents’ gardens.

The stunning view over Tamesis and the Andes from Cristo Rey


Sonson is an up-and-coming tourist destination which, along with Horizontes, is one of the least well-known spots on this list. However, that’s not to say that there’s nothing to do: the town has lovely architecture and is so undefiled by tourism that it feels like a relic from another time. There is also beautiful high mountain paramo ecosystem above the town that is perfect for hiking excursions.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article