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A weekend in Antioquia – The four most beautiful villages to explore

Want to escape Medellin for a weekend without having to pay expensive fight tickets? Stay in Antioquia!

We know that your adventurous spirit will take you beyond Medellín at some point (if it’s not already done). However, there usually is a problem when it comes to picking a destination. Indeed, most of us are very limited either by the budget or the time, when it’s not both.

Luckily, the region of Antioquia is composed of 125 municipalities that you can visit. You can be sure that each and every one of them is worth a visit. Because there are so many, VICO concocted a list of the 4 best villages to prioritize for your weekend in Antioquia.

Jardín – “The most beautiful town for a weekend in Antioquia”

Located two hours and 43 minutes from Medellín (southwest), Jardín is a place for those who want to discover a unique architectural landscape. Its name is due to the fact that, during the colonization, those who discovered this territory saw that it was covered by yarumos (a plant) and crossed by two streams. Because of that, they exclaimed: “this is a garden!”.
In the middle of the park is the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. For those who enjoy religious tourism and architecture, this semi-gothic temple is considered as one of the most beautiful.
When going to Jardin, you must be prepared for all types of weather. The air currents that surround Jardin make its temperature vary between hot and cold along the day.
The village has different parties that take place during the year:

  • Fiestas de la Rosa – first week of the month of January.
  • Patron festivities of the Immaculate Conception – first week of December.
  • Art Fair – first holiday of June.

In addition, you can ride horses, visit caves, waterfalls, make the coffee tour, among others. The variety of activities and the beauty of the landscape really make Jardin a perfect destination for a weekend in Antioquia. We recommend the Jardin official website to obtain more information about activities and tips.


How to get to Jardín ?: You can take a bus in the South Terminal of the city of Medellín, the ticket has an approximate value of $ 26,000 per person, and you will arrive at the transport terminal of Jardín.

Guatapé – “The inner sea of Antioquia”

Photo: Vero4travel

Guatape is a municipality located in eastern Antioquia, at one hour and 45 minutes from Medellin. It is a village of zócalos (high relief images on the facades of the houses) and colors. Some people also call it “Guatapulco” since one of the dams that supplies energy to Colombia is there. Plus, you can also practice different nautical sports.

The biggest attraction of Guatape is the Piedra del Peñol, a gigantic monolith that was climbed for the first time in 1954. Nowadays, you can get to the top of the rock by climbing 740 steps. It’s a bit of a workout but it’s completely doable and the view you get at the top is priceless. The cost to get into this crossing is $ 18,000 (2019). If you want to know more about Piedra del Peñol enter the following website here.

You can find many other activities to do in this beautiful territory. For example, you could do canopy, visit the recreational park La Culebra, walk along the boardwalk, take a boat ride and more. If you navigate through the dam you can even see a farms of the deceased drug trafficker Pablo Emilio Escobar.

Guatapé also has a warm weather. However, it usually rains a lot and it can get quite coldat night. But you can also enjoy a very strong sun during daytime so don’t forget to carry sunscreen with.
You should also take advantage of the parties that take place in Guatapé:

  • Festivities of the Virgen del Carmen – July 16.
  • Festivities of the zócalos, reservoir and tourism – October.

How to get to Guatapé ?: You can take a bus that leaves from the North Transport Terminal of Medellín city, the ticket has a value between $ 13,000 and $ 20,000.

Santa Fe de Antioquia – “The mother city”



Photo: Chipviajero.com

Santa Fe de Antioquia is a colonial site at one hour and 18 minutes from Medellín in the West. It is a heritage hat has been preserved over the years but it was also the first capital of Antioquia. The charm of the city is its beautiful architecture like its eight churches and houses from the sixteenth century.

When you visit this village, you get the feeling that you are part of the history. Some of its touristic places confirm the tenacity and commitment of the Antioquenos to keep the tradition alive. The Puente de Occidente, one of the most emblematic places of Santa Fe de Antioquia, is already a national monument. You can find it on the beautiful Cauca River.

Between December 22 and 31, the city also hosts a very particuliar party, la Fiesta de los Diablitos. When slavery still existed, slaves only had one annual day to rest, which usually was December 28. On that day, those people had great parties sponsored by their masters. Nowadays, these holidays and parties last a week and are called “Fiesta de los diablitos” because of the “mischiefs” that are allowed. In short, you have to participate in one of them at least once in your life.

To visit this town, it’s better to wear very light clothes since its temperature is quite high. Actually, it can reach up to 38 degrees Celsius, so prepare your swimsuit, guayaberas and good sunscreen to fully enjoy.

How to get to Santa Fe de Antioquia ?: You can take a bus at the North Transport Terminal and the ticket is between $ 7,000 and $ 15,000.

San Carlos – “The sweet cost of  Antioquia”

San Carlos is at about three hours from Medellin, at the East of Antioquia. This municipality is rich in water resources and thanks to this it produces 20% of the country’s energy. It’s a perfect place for those who want to enjoy wooded landscapes with waterfalls, natural pools, and an incredible biodiversity.

For example, you can visit the “Pasitos del niño Dios” waterfall. hs name is because it seems that a little boy had left their footprints there, from there you will have a spectacular view. You can also take a walk to the El Tabor stone through the thick vegetation that covers it, this is the largest stone in Antioquia, the urban area of San Carlos is built on it.
If there is a town in Antioquia that has parties, it is precisely this, so do not fail to attend at least one of them:

  • Water festivities, second week of August.
  • arriero”s festivities, last week of June.
  • Games for peace and integration, in the second week of May.
  • Bocachico”s Festivities, in January.
  • forest and the cattle ranch festivities, in November.

We recommend you to take a little bit of everything in your suitcase to visit San Carlos, the weather is tropical but there are rains throughout the year, so a coat does not hurt. How to get to San Carlos ?: You can take a bus from the North Transport Terminal, the ticket is  approximately $ 25,000.

Photo: Tripadvisor

The idea is that “te entojes” as paisas call it (if you don’t know what it means, check our paisa vocabulary list here) to visit  different towns of Antioquia, so enter here and enjoy a very large album of photos from the beautiful municipalities of the region.
In Antioquia you have many territories to discover, each one of them full of history, tradition, culture and fun, do not miss the opportunity to take a piece of Colombia in your memory.