Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world. This is a clear invitation for those seeking for adventure in exuberant areas. Antioquia offers a variety of landscapes and geographical features that make it perfect for the practice of sports in Colombia. Here is the list the top three towns near Medellín to look for extreme experiences.   

Barbosa is the Heaven for Heights Seekers

   It is located in the north edge of the Aburrá Valley, less than an hour from Medellín. With mountains up to 7,000 feet, this town is a paradise for those looking for new heights from the famous Alto de Matasanos. Back in the day, the conditions were considered tricky, but from 1985 people started taking cross country flights, making it the most popular spot for paragliders and hang gliders from all over the world.   Now, there are about 12 professional pilots that allow people to experience the vertigo from above the ground. It is a family weekend destination, not only for its fresh air and incredible views, but for its food corridor. The plan is to create in the future a park that brings people together around popular sports such as paragliding and hang gliding, and also tejo, the national sport. 

San Félix, an extreme paradise

   This little town is only 30 minutes away from Medellín, which explains why is so popular among tourists looking for adventure. But besides the proximity to the city, the uneven geography and tropical landscapes, make it a great destination for ecotourism and extreme sports.   San Félix is located in the North of Antioquia highlands, an area that can go up to 9,000 feet, a perfect spot to fly on paragliding. On top of that, people can also practice rappel, zip-trekking, hiking, canopy and mountain biking. But eco-trails around the nine main gorges of Aburrá Valley might be the best opportunity to completely see the beauty of the region.   

Cocorná, the town for Sports in Colombia

   Less than two hours away from Medellín, this town amaze people for its natural diversity and the huge waterfalls. For this reason, the name is used a lot when talking about adventure tourism and sports in Colombia. Rafting in the Calderas river is the main attraction. This water stream twist through the untouched Colombia rainforest. You will be able to see all this beauty from the boat, while rafting on 4 class rapids.

At the end of the mini canyon, people will enjoy a snack in the quiet waters of a sandy beach. Tourists may also catch cormorants fishing in the near waters, or other wildlife that inhabits in this lush jungle.

Hiking along Melcocho is another popular activity around Cocorná. Tour operators usually offer a three-day trip, so people can take in the beautiful scenery of this natural circuit. There are 15 miles in total, where people will walk by the river, ascend mountains and jump from cliffs to river pools.


San Rafael, a peaceful destination for sports in Colombia

   But if you are looking for more hiking spots, Arenal river, in San Rafael, is made up by little streams and puddles. It is located in the greater area of the hydroelectric reservoirs of the department of Antioquia. These hiking trails are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, meaning you don’t have to prepare in advance for it.

The plan is to enjoy the breathtaking nature and learn about conservation efforts and needs. Tours include a lunch in the middle of the woods, and a staying surrounded by all the rivers. Nothing better than falling asleep with the sound of the water.   

Caving in Jardín, Antioquia

   Cueva del Esplendor is a fascinating place in the middle of the mountains, located in an area known as Alto de las Flores. It is a long way to the cave from the little town of Jardín, but it’s worth the effort. Either if you take a car and then walk, or you decide to walk from the beginning, you have to start the hike very early in the morning, and have to return before 2:00 p.m.

Wherever you look, the view is breathtaking. Along the trail, hikers will spot different species of birds, and at the very entrance of the cave, several water streams. Inside the cave, things just get better: The scene includes a full view of the waterfall, entangle with sun rays and big boulders. A natural spectacle beyond words.

So next time you travel to Medellín, be aware of the great natural richness you are surrounded by, and explore it while practicing some Colombian sports in a unique scene. 

 Also read: Planning your next trip to Colombia: a new tourist destination. 🚀