5 Epic Day Trips From Medellin for the Ultimate Colombian Experience

If you’re visiting the eclectic city of Medellin and want to venture beyond the city limits, there are a few nearby destinations worth visiting. From colourful colonial towns and charming coffee districts to exhilarating adventures and breathtaking natural wonders, we’ve compiled a list of the best day trips from Medellin to help you decide where to go.


One of the most popular day trips from Medellin, this trip offers two jaw-dropping highlights: the lakeside town of Guatape and El Penol Rock. Less than 2 hours drive from Medellin, the small colourful town of Guatape is the perfect size and distance away for an exciting day trip packed with sightseeing and cultural experiences. Dazzling artificial lakes and lush green hills surround the vibrant colonial village, whilst the streets are lined with brightly painted houses and zocalos. With colour on every corner, wandering the streets of Guatape and marvelling at the unique architecture is an absolute must, and so is climbing the 740 steps to the top of El Penol Rock to feast your eyes on some of the best views in Colombia.

A woman walking down a cobblestoned street lined with colourful houses and with brightly coloured umbrellas hanging from above in the town of Guatape.


Between the rolling hills of the Colombian coffee district, sits one of Colombia’s most atmospheric colonial towns, Jardin. Located about 4 hours from Medellin, this day trip is a little longer but worthwhile. Boasting narrow streets lined with picturesque homes and plazas dedicated to sipping local Tinto, this charming town is definitely worth the extra effort it takes to get there. Go on a tour of a local coffee farm, head to the stunning waterfalls nearby, or shop at Dulces del Jardín and taste a variety of delicious local sweets. If you’re after an authentic experience and a taste of Colombia’s coffee culture, you won’t regret planning this day trip from Medellin.

Overhead view of a sack of coffee beans with a cup of coffee sitting in top and a scoop filled with coffee beans.

Santa Fe

One of the oldest towns in Colombia, the historic town of Santa Fe de Antioquia is filled with quaint cobblestone streets, striking colonial architecture and local markets. Less busy than other popular choices and just an hour and a half from the city, strolling the streets of this ‘Heritage Town’ is a relaxing choice for a day trip from Medellin. The town’s warmer, more tropical climate has earned it a reputation amongst locals as one of the best spots for chilling by the pool. Not only that, but just outside of town you can cross the Cauca River by walking across an impressive 291-metre suspension bridge, Puente de Occidente. The views from the bridge are second to none, and coupled with the alluring peaceful atmosphere of the town, this day trip is ideal for those searching for a quieter location.

A view from the entrance of the Puente de Occidente suspension bridge with mountains in the background.


A mecca for adventure enthusiasts, Cocorna is less than 2 hours away and is a lesser-known destination for Medellin day trips. So if you’re a stickler for breathtaking views and daring experiences, get yourself to Cocorna and view Colombia from the sky. Paragliding is a favoured activity for travellers visiting Colombia and people visit from all over to fly in the sky in various locations, with Cocorna being the closest to Medellin. Suppose you decide to face your fears and go on an exhilarating and unique paragliding experience. In that case, you’ll take off from a point high up above the town and fly over majestic waterfalls and jungles as you peacefully glide back down to Earth. Whether you want to fly in the sky or go rafting through the jungle, this is the place to do it.

San Rafael

A little further than Guatape, the simple town of San Rafael is a quiet respite away from other bustling tourist spots. Situated at a much lower altitude, the town enjoys tropical climates and is surrounded by imposing green mountains, spectacular hiking trails and magical waterfalls. Break out your swimming costume and bathe in sparkling blue swimming holes, hike one of the many wilderness trails, or visit the pretty church in the town square. If your priority is discovering Colombia’s natural wonders, you should certainly take the time to explore this off-the-beaten-track destination.

A woman submerged up to her shoulders in a swimming hole with her back to us, surrounded by trees.

What are you waiting for? If you’re heading to Colombia, try to fit at least one of these epic day trips from Medellin into your itinerary. 

For a seamless arrival, you can pre-book your airport transfer with a world-renowned company such as Welcome Pickups and take advantage of our fully personalised transfers, airport meet and greets and 24/7 customer support. Additionally, if you decide to opt for one of these epic day trips from Medellin, Welcome’s trusted English-speaking drivers will happily drive you wherever you need to go.

Was this helpful?