Abejorral is a small pueblo only about three hours from Medellín that hasn’t yet been discovered by many foreigner tourists. But it’s a hidden gem with dazzling landscapes that is a perfect opportunity for hikers and rock climbers to escape Medellín.
I was looking for a new place to get away from the city and found out about Abejorral and went recently and had a great time.
Abejorral is similar to San Carlos that we looked in February, as both are off the beaten path of foreigner tourists but are worth visiting.
History of Abejorral
The region of this pueblo was originally inhabited by aboriginal ethnic groups of the Armas group when the Spanish conquerors arrived.
Abejorrral was considered to have been founded in 1805, although other scholars believe that it was 1811. In 1812, the official parish began to operate in the pueblo. In 1814, it was originally called the municipality of Messenia. And shortly after it acquired its current name, Abejorral.
Abejorral currently has a population of about 20,000. Its economy is primarily related to agriculture, cattle raising, mining and floriculture.
However, it’s hoped that tourism will increase in the area. Abejorral has tourism opportunities, since it has old houses of typical Antioquia architecture. And its historic center was even declared a National Monument of Colombia. There are also waterfalls and dazzling landscapes nearby.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Abejorral
Based on my recent trip, here are my recommendations of the top 5 things to see and do in and around Abejorral:
1. Rock Climbing
The main draw for many to Abejorral is the abundant rock climbing opportunities that the region presents. La Peña Hostel is a good place to base yourself for this. To get to the climbing area, it is necessary to hike up the steep mountain of San Vincente for around 30 minutes.
Pack your waterproofs and some good hiking boots, because this trail can become very muddy and slippery in the rainy season.
Once you reach the top of the mountain, you will find a range of trails along the rock wall suitable for beginners and professionals alike.
There are a variety of beautiful trails around the area, especially around La Peña and Casa en el Aire. The trails range in difficulty but all are complete with spectacular views. La Peña is located about 10 miles (16 km) from Abejorral, which is about 50 minutes by vehicle on a windy road.
The walk from La Peña to Casa en el Aire is around half an hour long and not too challenging.
It is also possible to deviate from the path down to the main road and to one of the only shops in the area known as La Ochenta. Some of the best views are visible from here.
3. Casa en el Aire
Casa en el Aire is a hostel literally built into the rocks about midway between Abejorral and the pueblo of Santa Barbara. The Casa en el Aire hostel is about 10 miles (16 km) from Abejorral, which is about 50 minutes by vehicle.
The complex looks like it could be straight out of Lord of the Rings. Here, climbers can scale a small wall at the entrance to train before embarking up the mountain.
For the more adventurous though, a wealth of activities is available. You can zip-line across the forest canopy to the other side of a large gorge. You can also swing out over the cliff if you’re still seeking that adrenaline fix.
The hammocks which dangle over the cliff are the hostel’s most unique attraction. Here, attached to a harness for safety, you can take a nap whilst being suspended in mid-air. Most activities cost between 25,000 – 30,000 pesos.
4. See the Pueblo of Abejorral
The pueblo of Abejorral is quaint, colorful and traditional. The colonial architecture that is so popular in Colombia is displayed prominently here, leading the historical center of the town to be considered a Colombian National Monument in its own right.
You can find the usual little plaza, headed by the Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen church and surrounded by small shops and restaurants. Have a “bandeja paisa” here before setting off to your next destination.
5. Los Saltos Ecoparque
Located about 27 miles (44 km) from Abejorral or about 1.2 hours by vehicle, in a pueblo called La Ceja, is the Los Saltos Ecoparque. Here you can dangle from the highest cables in Colombia, over the lush forest. Note that Los Saltos Ecoparque is only open on Thursday to Monday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.
The river El Buey in the park is an ideal opportunity for some more hiking. It eventually opens onto several beautiful waterfalls where you can take a swim.
The suspended zip-line hammocks that exist in Casa en el Aire also can be found here. And of course, there is a climbing wall too, which you can try for 8,000 pesos.
How to Get to Abejorral
The route to Abejorral can be confusing, as none of the information is published online. The latest bus will leave in the afternoon, around 2 pm. There are no evening buses.
The earliest bus leaves around 6 am. There are buses which leave from both Terminal Norte and Terminal Sur (North and South bus terminals), though the majority can be found in the North terminal. Tickets can be bought at booths 5, 6 and 8. Get a window seat to look at some magnificent views on the way.
Once you arrive in Abejorral, unless this is your final destination, it will be necessary to catch another bus from there to go to other nearby locations.
There are unfortunately no timetables for these buses that can be found online – these are small, local buses after all. Instead, try to get to Abejorral early and explore the town if you happen to have a long wait ahead of you.
What to Bring
If visiting in spring, waterproofs are a necessity. Insect repellent is a must, especially in the evenings and at night. Also, bring some high factor sunscreen and a hat for the times when the rain clears.
Where to Stay in Abejorral and Nearby
Casa en el Aire could possibly be the first choice for many travellers. While it’s not in Abejorral, private chalets and dorm rooms are available there, along with the many activities mentioned above. A chalet will cost you in the region of 150,000 pesos per night. For all other room prices, it is necessary to contact the hostel directly.
Another good option is La Peña, which sits at the foot of a mountain. The hostel is new and offers comfy rooms and camping options which start at 18,000 pesos per night. The staff are very professional and helpful, and it is easy to hike from there to a good climbing spot if this is the reason for your visit.
The Pueblos Near Medellín
We have been looking at the pueblos worth visiting near Medellín in a series on this website. So far, we have looked at six pueblos near Medellín:
- Guatapé – a very popular pueblo known for its huge rock and lake.
- Jardín – a tranquil get-away from Medellin that boosts breathtaking mountain views and less tourists than Guatapé.
- Santa Fe de Antioquia – known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and cobbled streets.
- El Carmen de Viboral – the heart of Colombia’s ceramics industry.
- San Carlos – a hidden gem surrounded by rivers, waterfalls and nature.
- Abejorral – another hidden gem surrounded by waterfalls and dazzling landscapes with many opportunities for hikers and rock climbers.
We plan to look at several more pueblos near Medellín.
We also looked at Salento, which is a popular pueblo in Colombia’s coffee region that is definitely worth visiting.
The Bottom Line: Abejorral
Abejorral is a picturesque pueblo that makes for a great weekend trip from Medellin. Also, it’s off the beaten path of foreigner tourists, so you likely won’t hear much English.
But there are many things to do, especially if you have an adventurous streak. And the area around the pueblo features spectacular views of the Colombian countryside.
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