Category Archive: Antioquia

View of Guatape, Colombia

Best Time To Visit Guatape

Finding out the best time to visit in Guatape is easy if you have access to information resources like books and the internet. But you should make sure that the references you use are accurate to ensure your vacation to this part of Colombia. Now, some may argue the uselessness of pre-reading your destination since facts change over the years but there is definitely some value to knowing beforehand what travel and destination options you have. Apart from helping you build the right expectations, it also enables you to plan your itineraries well and not miss out on anything. With that said, you should be aware that the best time to visit this town is early in the year since it receives the least amount of rainfall and accommodates sightseeing pursuits.

View of Guatape, Colombia

View of Guatape, Colombia

Now, one of the places you should check out when you’re here is La Piedra Del Penol, a monolithic formation found one kilometre inside the city limits. The stone stands at a height of 2,135 meters and provide a great view of the city, including the hydroelectric dam of Penol-Guatape. It was recorded to have been first climbed back in 1954 by the locals and was formally developed in 2006 through the combined effort of Luis Villegas, Pedro Nel Ramirez and Ramon Diaz, who fixed sticks against the rock’s wall. Today, the top of the rock is reachable via 740 steps and is occupied by a handful of shops that sell handicrafts, postcards as well as refreshments. The best time to visit in Guatape for this would be early in the morning since the heat would not be as menacing as it would be in the afternoon. Yes, the evening also does provide a stunning view. But the climb might prove to be quite dangerous to the inexperienced in the cloak of darkness.

To add to this National Monument, you could also check out two monasteries in town that are run by the Benedictines. They are very welcoming so don’t worry about being intrusive to their privacy. Just make sure that you wear the appropriate clothes. If you’re lucky, you might even get to taste a free sample of their baked goods and preserved products. The lakes and waterfalls within and surrounding the region also extend adventure seekers a few activity options that are bound to spike their adrenalin levels. You can do everything here from ziplining to rock climbing, kayaking and island hopping. But be forewarned that the best time to visit in Guatape for these would be between December and February.

Plaza Jardin in Antioquia

Top Things To Know About Visiting Envigado

Among the top things to know about visiting Envigado is the fact that it is located in the department of Antioquia, north of El Poblado, Medellin. It is within the territory of the Aburra Valley and has El Retiro, Caldas and Itagui as neighbours. It is currently regarded as the birthplace of the philosopher Fernando Gonzalez and even has a cultural center and museum dedicated to his work and memory. But beyond this point of interest, Envigado is well-known for its paisa traditions and architecture, which is recognized as one of the best standard of living.

Plaza Jardin in Antioquia

Plaza Jardin in Antioquia

If ever you find yourself in town, make sure you drop by Pueblito Paisa, located on top of El Cerro Nutibara. See, apart from providing guests a better understanding of the traditional Antioquian lifestyle, it also offers a great view of the city and a challenging hiking experience. In addition, you should also check out Museo de Antioquia and its collection of contemporary art, which include those made by Fernando Botero, a Columbian artist and one of the most prominent sculptors in the world. Museo Universidad de Antioqiua is a great alternative to the former, with its assortment of visual art, natural science, anthropology and university history displays. Here, you’ll get to see a large number of pre-Columbian ceramic pieces, not to mention engage in a Galileo interactive room, which provides some of the top things to know about visiting Envigado. Now, just make sure you come by during weekdays between 10 AM to 5PM so you’d get to enter both premises.

To complement this experience, drop by the Wishes’ Park (Parque de los Deseos) near the University and check out the newly reconstructed planetarium. Plaza de Cisneros is also a fun highlight for you to explore a few miles away, with its 1920’s architecture, EPM library and line-up of shops. Parque de Berrio is just close by and has all the important financial buildings of the metropolis. And if you want to get acquainted with other top things to know about visiting Envigado, you should set aside time for Parque Periodista, the hang out spot of bohemians and musicians.

Concatedral de San Nicolás el Magno

Top Tourist Attractions In Rionegro

Don’t hesitate to discover the top tourist attractions in Rionegro when you find yourself with idle time in Colombia. Sure, it may not be as popular as other cities like Cartagena and Bogota but it still can satisfy your craving for fun and adventure. This town belongs to the region of Antioquia, on the eastern portion, and it is named about the Negro River, which is its most prominent landmark. It is also known as the Cradle of democracy as it became a primary setting for Colombia’s federal rebellion. And as a fun fact, it is also where the country’s 1863 constitution was penned.

Concatedral de San Nicolás el Magno

Concatedral de San Nicolás el Magno

Now, it should be noted that the municipality the city is located in the central mountain range of the Andes. As such, people can expect the top tourist attractions in Rionegro to involve a lot of outdoor highlights. There are boat tours held on Rio Negro if you’re interested to spend a relaxing day exploring its banks. And you could also involve yourself in swimming and kayaking if you wish. Of course, hiking and climbing is also an option in the area, if you are natural adventure junkie. And you could also rent yourself a horse so you could go horseback riding through trails.

If that does not float your boat, you could just stick to the city and visit popular architectural masterpieces like the Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Great or the Church of San Antonio de Pereira. The first point of interest is actually one of the most popular religious infrastructures in town, sporting a neoclassical design, and influenced by multiple architects in different time frames. In addition to those mentioned, it’s also worthwhile to check out the Church of San Francisco, the Church of Jesus of Nazareth and the Church of Our Lady of Chiquinguira so you’d have a complete orientation to Rionegra’s religious landscape.

To expound your list of top tourist attractions in Rionegro, you could also visit the different parks in the city, namely, Main La Libertad, Tutucan, Bears Comfama Rio Negro, and Parque San Antonio de Pereira. This should enable you to develop an appreciation for local flora without having to get down and dirty. The perfect complement to this would be a tour of historically relevant places like Casa de la Meastranza, the Historical Archives of Rio Negro and the Palace of Culture Ricardo Rendon as they would complete your immersion in local heritage. And you can end it all with a shopping spree at St. Nicholas Shopping Center.

 

Silletera girl

Top Reasons To Visit Saint Elena

If you want to escape the busy streets of Medellín then the top reasons to visit Saint Elena are worth a look. It’s one of the five rural districts in Medellín, Colombia located 10 miles from the city center. It has a total of 17 small villages called veredas within its territory and is bordered by Bello and Copacabana on the north, Guarne and Rionegro on the east, and Envigado on the south. Saint Elena is a charming place and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons for visiting it.

Reason #1: The weather

Medellín is regarded as a “City of Eternal Spring” but if you enjoy cooler weather, Saint Elena is an even better place. Since the town is located on a higher altitude than the city, it enjoys lower temperatures.

Silletera girl

Silletera girl

Reason #2: Siletta Culture

One of the top reasons to visit Saint Elena is the Siletta culture. The combination of pleasant weather and rich soil enabled local farmers to cultivate the land and grow an array of tropical flowers including local varieties. The flower growing industry in Saint Elena eventually gave birth to the practice of flower arrangement called siletta. And the siletta is the heart of the most celebrated festival in Medellin called Feria de Las Flores.

During the Festival of Flowers, the villages of Saint Elena compete against each other with their flower arrangements. Silitteros or flower-growers march downhill from the town with the silettas strapped on their backs. The main event, however, is the parade that takes place in Medellín. You can watch the silettas being made at Saint Elena the night before the parade.

Reason #3: Year-round attractions

Also among the top reasons to visit Saint Elena are the availability of year-round attractions. One of which is the Avri Regional Park. The national park spans for 28,000 acres and extends to Bello, Copacabana, and Envigado; all municipalities of Medellín. The eco park, besides its greenery, is best known for its numerous viewpoints where you can watch the sunset. Birds also thrive within Parque Avri. You can also enjoy different activities in the area including biking, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and camping. Marked trails meander through the park and will take you through lakes, the forest, and spectacular scenic views.

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Medellin

Top Tourist Attractions In The City Of Medellin

The top tourist attractions in the city of Medellin are mainly related to business and medical treatment, largely due to the fact that it hosts facilities that would ably cater to these intents. For instance, there’s the International Center Conventions and Exhibitions, otherwise known as Plaza Mayor, which has an area of 50,000 square meters and is perfect to hold conventions and conferences in. And it also has the Pablo Tobon Uribe Hospital which has helped the city earn its reputation as being one of the best when it comes to transplant procedures. But those looking for a good time won’t be disappointed in what this place has to offer as well. Here are some of the interesting sites in Medellin you should check out.

Medellin

Medellin

First up is the Medellin River. This tourist spot has bared witness to the metamorphosis of Medellin and in itself, presents tourists with a transformation every night as its banks are overrun by colorful lights, especially during Christmas. Also called Porce River, the Medellin flows through the city and is a tributary of the Nechi River, which then turns into the Cauca River. For years, the locals have struggled with preserving its beauty and bringing it back to its prior glory. And although much still needs to be done to accomplish that, people will still enjoy visiting this place when they are in town.

Second, there’s the Museum of Antioquia. As a cultural landmark and one of the top tourist attractions in the city of Medellin, this particular establishment houses a large collection of artworks done by native artists Pedro Nel Gomez and Fernando Botero. But that’s not all people can look forward to seeing. It also presents pre Colombian and Colonial displays as well as contemporary art, distributed among 17 rooms. The Museum of Antioquia is actually among the oldest museums in Colombia and it is conveniently located near the Parque Berrio metro station, so tourists will not have a hard time checking it out.

San Ignacio Square

San Ignacio Square

Of course, it is important to highlight the Arvi Ecotourism Park. It is one of the most visited sites in Medellin and it covers the entire territory of the village of Santa Elena. That is about 20,000 hectares of trails, forests, streams and lakes, which runs between Bello, Envigado and Copacobana. It is perfect for folks who enjoy spending time in nature, without having to travel far from city conveniences. It is a perfect location for activities like camping, biking, swimming, trekking and picnics. And it even provides tourists with rental fishing, boating and horseback riding gear so that they get to complete their nature escapade.

Aside from the three top tourist attractions in the city of Medellin that were mentioned, people can also visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, Botanical Gardens and Orquideorama, Biblioteca Espana, and the Pasaje Urbano Carabobo while they are staying in the metropolis.

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