The leisure options in Medellín are varied and suit all styles and budgets. During your time in Antioquia, you can take leisurely walks in the mountains near the city, or get to know authentic typical villages of the Antioquia region. Whether it is biking, renting a moto, rafting, or other water sports, there are endless activities just a few hours from the city. If you get bored here, you just aren’t trying enough. This article will discuss a variety of adventure sports in Medellin and the surrounding towns in Antioquia.
Fly in a Hot Air Balloon through The Beautiful Skies of Antioquia
Experience the Magic of Guatapé
Guatapé is a traditional town in the eastern subregion of the Department of Antioquia. It is located 79 km from the city of Medellín, and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area. The place has hotels, inns and restaurants for visitors. Additionally, it is the site of various recreational water sport activities in the nearby represa.
The main attraction of the town is to visit the “Peñol de Guatape or Piedra del Peñol” – an iconic natural rock measuring over 200 meters high. This immense stone is composed of quartz, granite and feldspar. Legend has it that in pre-colonial times it was the object of adoration by the aboriginals of the area. You can currently climb 740 steps to reach the top. In the vicinity of the base of the rock, there are shops with all kinds of food, as well as a shop where you can buy souvenirs. In the middle of the stairs you can even see a Shrine of the Virgin Mary. At the top there is a watchtower and viewpoints where you can see a wide and incredible panoramic view of the town and surrounding area.
Water Sports that you Can Do in the Guatapé Lagoon
Thanks to the reservoir near Piedra del Peñol, a lagoon was created that is conducive to all kinds of adventure water sports:
Diving: In the town there are several schools of this discipline that have certification from the prestigious Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). These programs include theoretical classes, practices, appropriate equipment and even snacks for participants.
Kayaking: Another highly recommended activity for adventurers. You can rent everything you need and receive training from expert instructors. The tour includes rowing lessons, and a tour of the reservoir. There are even plans that offer a picnic in the nearby islands. Some hotels and inns have Kayaks to rent by the hour or all day. If you’re not staying at a hotel, generally in the Main Square of Guatapé, there is a meeting point for the delivery of rowing and kayak equipment.
Flyboard or Hoverboard extreme adventure: If wakeboarding is too chill for you, you can take it to the next level and rent a flyboard. These devices reach speeds of up to 100km per hour, as you do pirouettes and fly through the water. You can rent this equipment for periods of 30 minutes or longer. If you are a nervous person or with health problems, it is better that you consult your doctor, to avoid risks – as this is not for the faint of heart.
Fly Without Limits - Paragliding in Guatapé
White Water Rafting Down Raging Rivers
Perhaps you’d like to descend by boat through stormy rivers, or you simply dare to try it out for the first time. Every day, excursions leave from the town of Cocorná, located 90 minutes by road from Medellin .During these adventures, you can navigate the Rio Calderas. There are companies that offer complete packages, which include: transport, equipment, accommodation and meals. This river has rough and crystalline waters that are perfect for an unforgettable experience.
Another nearby alternative is the Rio Verde, located about 25.6km East of Medellin. This is surrounded by an imposing area of tropical jungle and owes its name to the emerald green color of its waters.
Medellín - A Paradise for Mountain Bikers
Route: Medellín – San Cristobal – Boqueron – Padre Amaya – Yarumito- San Antonio – Sabaneta: It is a route that covers an area of more than 66 kilometers. Since it has winding slopes and steep descents, it is recommended to do only if you have previous cycling experience. The terrain conditions make it quite demanding. It begins in the San Cristóbal region, and then takes a detour to Boquerón, where you can take a break and have breakfast. Next you continue to Las Antenas del Padre Amaya on an asphalt road. Further on you have to descend slightly and towards the end there is a stretch of 37 km which lacks the tree cover available on previous parts of the route. This adventure activity requires physical endurance but upon completion you’ll agree it was worth it.
Route: Medellín – Bello – Girardota – Don Matías: This route covers 79 kilometers, and is considered moderately difficult. Some companies carry out group excursions that are an excellent weekend sports option. The path begins in Niquia on an asphalt road. Then the ascent to the mountain begins in the most complicated and long part until reaching the San Andrés de Don Matías path that is located on a wide above. Here, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city of Medellin. Finally, the return is made through a paved area. For this tour it is recommended to bring enough supplies, as there are few places to stock up on the way.
Riding a Motorcycle is a Fascinating Experience
In Medellín there are several points for the rental of motorcycles and four-wheel scooters with low and high displacement. For this option you can participate in group tours or rent by day individually. The cost generally includes the helmet, safety elements and insurance (in case of accidents for the driver and that covers damages to third parties). Tourists can rent a motorcycle by presenting an official identity document and an international driver’s license. Leaving a deposit to cover damages is normal. Prices vary, but may start at around $50 per day. The hills surrounding Medellín are beautiful and this is one of the best ways to experience them.
Some Paradisiacal Beaches that you Should Know About
Necoclí: This coastline is located in the Colombian caribbean: geographically it belongs to the Gulf of Uraba and is at a distance of 384 kilometers from Medellín or 8 hours by road. Here there are several paradisiacal beaches where you can enjoy and do any type of aquatic activities such as diving, surfing, volleyball, beach tennis, among others.
Nuquí Beach: Located in the neighboring Department of Chocó, at a distance of 197 km from Medellín is this beautiful and undisturbed tropical paradise. It is one of the most popular destinations, due to its incredible beaches and jungle. You can arrive by plane via a flight from Medellín’s Olaya Herrera Airport and even take a ferry from Buenaventura. Surfing on this beach is highly recommended, and there a local companies that you can rent the gear from or get lessons.
Travel to The Mythical Caribbean City of Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena de Indias is a tourist town located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea in northern Colombia. It is the capital of the Department of Bolívar, and is located at a distance of 630 km from Medellín. While it is a lengthy road trip, it takes only 1 hour by plane. It has stunning tropical beaches suitable for any type of water sport. The most practiced in the area are: Diving, Kayaking, Kitesurfing, Snorkelling, Surfing, and Windsurfing.
Local tourism companies offer activity packages that you can purchase according to your preferences and budget. Generally each activity has an experienced instructor, equipment rental and transportation to the site. You can request “all-inclusive” plans, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Admire The Variety of Marine Species in San Andrés and Providencia
The Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina is located in the Caribbean Sea 480 nautical miles from the continental territory of Colombia and 140 miles from Nicaragua. The fastest way to get to this island paradise is by plane. You can take a flight from Medellin – there are 4 flights daily whose duration is 1 hour 50 minutes.
Colombia is an immense country, full of incredible activities and endless adventure. This article only scratches the surface of the types of fun you can have while visiting – countless other adventure opportunities abound. Write to me and tell me about other amazing adventure activities you’ve experienced in Antioquia.
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