Medellin is one of the most developed and innovative cities in Colombia. Although industrialized, it still preserves a lot of nature around it and even within the urban area.
On the outskirts of this city, you can find parks and nature trails for hiking where you can enjoy the great outdoors.
Does this sound like the perfect way to spend a vacation? Check out this guide and embark on a getaway full of greenery in the City of Eternal Spring.
Parque Arvi is one of the city’s most iconic parks. Located in Santa Elena, the silletero town of Antioquia, this park is just a stone’s throw from the center of the city.
In Parque Arvi, you can enjoy different ecotourism activities such as hiking in the forest, bird watching, bicycle tours, picnics, and even swimming. If you swim, just ensure you know the water will be cold!
On top of outdoor activities, you’ll also find restaurants serving up typical Colombian food and local fruit. Plus, there are plenty of small shops selling handicrafts to take home with you as a memory.
Parque Arvi is very easy to get to, too. You can get there by taking the Metro Cable Arvi, where you will enjoy an almost 20-minute ride over the forests and mountains of Medellin.
Medellin Botanical Garden
The botanical garden is another place in Medellin where you can enjoy natural tours and learn about the flora and fauna of Colombia.
While you can absolutely wander around the gardens on your own, there are some great tours that take you through the park’s 13.2 hectares.
You can visit the botanical garden between Tuesday and Sunday from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. There are several restaurants and carry-out picnics that you can enjoy in the park, so make a day of it!
In the botanical garden, some private events are sometimes held, as well as “Orchids, nature and traditions” of the Feria de las Flores. Even though the park is usually free to visit, you’ll need to buy a ticket if you head there during this event.
To get to the Botanical Garden of Medellin, just take the Metro System to the Universidad station, walk a few steps, and you’re at the entrance!
Cerro El Volador
Cerro El Volador is the largest natural park in Medellin’s metropolitan area. It’s situated on the top of a tall hill and is renowned as an archaeological, heritage, ecological, and tourist preserve.
In fact, many of the first colonies that arrived in Medellin were established in El Volador. Today it’s an area surrounded by Commune 7 of the city next to the Quebrada La Iguaná, so it’s much more built-up than it was in the old days.
In this park, you can go hiking or take a drive down one of the scenic roads. You can spot hundreds of species of birds, many species of butterflies, mammals, and reptiles during your visit to the park!
In the park there are a few special zones where you can really connect with nature:
- The Indian trail
- The spiral of time
- The castle
- The open-air butterfly garden
- The top
Any of these are the perfect way to take in some nature and get a break from the big city for a while.
To get there, the easiest method is to go by metro. Take the metro to the Hospital station and taking an integrated route bus to the entrance of the National University. As soon as you get there you’ll recognize the hil!
Alto de San Miguel
Alto de San Miguel is the source of the Medellin River, located in La Clara hamlet. You’ll find it in the municipality of Caldas, the extreme south of Medellin.
This is one of the most striking places and is often suggested by tourists when it comes to ecotourism near Medellin.
To go to Alto de San Miguel, you’ll first have to head down to Caldas and then hike through a natural forest. The area can also be traveled by bicycle, but you’ll need a hardy bike.
The hike takes about 3 hours, and you’ll have plenty of spots to take a rest and go for a swim. It’s definitely an activity you don’t want to miss!
To get to Alto de San Miguel, take the metro to the Estrella station. From there, you’ll need to take a bus to the municipality of Caldas. Once in Caldas, transfer to another bus to La Clara hamlet.
Visit One of the Many Parks of Medellin
Medellin has different natural areas, both within the city and on the outskirts, where you can enjoy a day in nature.
Regardless of which park you pick, you’ll be surrounded by all the flora and fauna that differentiate this tropical city.
Have you already been to these parks? Or, maybe you’ve got a different go-to spot for immersing yourself in greenery. Whichever it is, let us know in the comments!