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. 

Rock climbing near Abejorral, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

Rock climbing near Abejorral, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

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.

Rock climbing, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

Rock climbing, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

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.

The summit of San Vincente, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

The summit of San Vincente, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

2. Hiking

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.

One of the views, photo by Roisin Mulligan

One of the views, photo by Roisin Mulligan

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.

Casa en el Aire, photo by Roisin Mulligan

Casa en el Aire, photo by Roisin Mulligan

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 zip-line leading to Casa en el Aire, photo by Roisin Mulligan

The zip-line leading to Casa en el Aire, photo by Roisin Mulligan

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.

The Abejorral square with Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen

The Abejorral square with Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen

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 highest cables over a forest canopy, photo courtesy of Los Saltos Ecoparque

The highest cables over a forest canopy, photo courtesy of Los Saltos Ecoparque

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. Also, we have a guide to the Medellín bus terminals.

The kind of views you can expect on the bus to Abejorral, photo by Roisin Mulligan

The kind of views you can expect on the bus to Abejorral, photo by Roisin Mulligan

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.

One of the cabins available at La Peña, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

One of the cabins available at La Peña, photo courtesy of La Peña Abejorral

Where to Stay in Abejorral and Nearby

In Abejorral, Hotel San Fernando Abejorral is conveniently located on the square and has 25 rooms and free Wifi. Another conveniently located option also at the square is Casa Hotel Abejorral.

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 eight pueblos near Medellín:

  1. Guatapé – a very popular pueblo near Medellín known for its huge rock and lake.
  2. Jardín – a tranquil get-away from Medellin that boosts breathtaking mountain views and less tourists than Guatapé.
  3. Jericó – a picturesque pueblo known for its religious attractions, well-preserved colonial architecture and heritage, generous nature all around, hiking, paragliding, amazing landscapes and much more.
  4. Santa Fe de Antioquia – known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and cobbled streets.
  5. El Carmen de Viboral – the heart of Colombia’s ceramics industry.
  6. San Carlos – a hidden gem surrounded by rivers, waterfalls and nature.
  7. Abejorral – another hidden gem surrounded by waterfalls and dazzling landscapes with many opportunities for hikers and rock climbers.
  8. Barbosa – an overlooked pueblo very near Medellín with streams, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, hiking, horseback riding and many other things to do.

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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