5 Outdoor Activities Near Medellin for Adventure Nomads

With a climate ripe for adventure year-round, Medellin serves up a wild array of outdoor adventures. Here are give outdoor activities to try just beyond the city walls.

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Cycling

There’s nothing quite like exploring sun-blushed Medellin on two wheels. Sunday dedicates itself to cycling with the car-free Ciclovía covering over 30km (18miles) of the city, including Avenida Las Vegas and Poblado.

If you're looking for something a little more adventurous, try the tropical ride up Las Palmas or head to the inner city mountain Cerro el Volador, which is buzzing on Sundays.

Every Wednesday night as the sun dips behind the city’s surrounding mountain peaks, the SiCLas comes alive.

Meet at 7:30pm at Carlos E. Restrepo to join the peloton of around 1,000 riders, trawling through the city’s lesser-visited neighborhoods, passing waving residents, and arriving at some of the finest viewpoints.

Paragliding

Few views bring a wider grin to your face than soaring above Medellín’s olive-green mountains and terracotta-colored buildings. Just 40min from downtown is San Pedro, the official takeoff spot.

Go with Paragliding Medellin, who organize private transport or advise on which buses to take.

Pilots take beginners on a 20min tandem flight in a comfortable harness. If you're keen to get your own flying license, you can even join a course here. It includes theory, practical with an instructor, and solo flights with radio assistance.

Parque Arví

Travel above the sprawling city neighborhoods on the metro cable to reach this ecological playground. As well as forest walks and mountain bike trails, there’s a lake for swimming, as well as boating and camping facilities.

In the Comfama area, a series of zip lines, nets, and ladders take the more daring travelers into the high-altitude tree canopy. Groups of 20 or more can explore parts of the area on a new night walk. The 4-hour journey ends around a bonfire, drinking wine, and listening to the myths and legends of the land.

Relax in Jardin Botanico

Away from the city’s frantic pace, Jardin Botanico allows you to slide into serenity among nature.

Located just outside metro station Universidad, this 14-hectre Botanical Garden has blooming orchids, swooping butterflies, and roaming iguanas.

On weekends, local lovers deck the grass with picnic blankets, pop wine, and snuggling next to the seductive lake.

A honeycomb-colored indoor space hosts yoga classes (free on Sundays), as well as literary fairs and concerts.

Visit on the first Sunday of every month to pick up freshly made tamales, fresh fruit juices and locally grown organic vegetables at the farmers market.

Rio Claro

Head three hours from Medellín to this remarkable natural reserve. Voted by Colombians as one of the country’s most beautiful rivers, Rio Claro offers rafting, kayaking, swimming, and sailing.

Zip lines also run above the water into the tree canopy, where toucans and monkeys go about their daily business.

The biggest highlight is a venture through the eerie depths of its marble caves. Caving trips require good stamina and swimming capability, with certain parts to be navigated by the aid of a flashlight. Oh, and watch out for those fluorescent scorpions.

Many guests stay overnight in the beautiful wooden cabins overlooking the crystal-clear river.

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