Cerro de Las Tres Cruces (Hill of Three Crosses) in Medellín is definitely worth visiting, as it’s a hill that has some amazing views of the city. Also, it’s a great place to take photos.
However, not many expats living in Medellín or tourists visiting know about Cerro de Las Tres Cruces, as it’s not found in the English language travel guidebooks such as Lonely Planet.
Cerro de Las Tres Cruces along with Cerro Pan de Azúcar, Cerro El Picacho, Cerro El Salvador, Cerro El Volador, Cerro La Asomadera and Cerro Nutibara, make up the group of seven so-called tutelary hills of the city of Medellín.
Here are some details about the hike up to the top of this hill:
Duration: 30 to 45 minutes up from the base
Distance: 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) each way
Elevation gain: about 1,000 feet (320 meters)
Difficulty: moderate, hikers of all levels can manage
The Hike Up to Hill of Three Crosses
Hiking to the top of Hill of Three Crosses is a short 30 to 45 minute hike for most people or even longer depending on your fitness level and pace. It’s a steep and moderately difficult hike. The trail goes straight up in many places without that many switchbacks and turns.
The entire trail up the hill is hard-packed dirt with a few rocks. In addition, along the path steps have been carved out in many places making it easier to ascend and descend.
At the midpoint and at the top are stands selling fruits, juices and water. Also, at the base is another stand, which isn’t open all the time.
Along the hike to the top are breathtaking views of the city of Medellín.
And when you reach the top you will see the three small crosses, an outdoor gym and a stand selling juices, fruits and water. The outdoor gym has cement weights, several types of chin-up apparatus and big tires to work with.
We recommend bringing a bottle of water, sunscreen, a light snack and some sort of protection from the sun.
My Experiences Hiking to Hill of Three Crosses
I have hiked to the top of Hill of Three Crosses several times. The first time was several years ago when I was living nearby in Loma de Los Bernal. I also went several times when I lived near the Los Molinos mall in Belén. And I recently went with a friend that was visiting Medellín.
Each time I have gone I felt very safe climbing this path, seeing a number of families with pets and even a few children. I have even gone alone a couple times and didn’t feel unsafe, as there were many others on the trail.
You will find all types on the trail including fitness freaks, old-timers who likely are doing the hike for the hundredth time, regular Colombians, occasional foreigners and even a one-legged man as seen in the following video:
Also, each time I have gone I was able to take some amazing of photos of the city. You’ll notice many others doing the same, as this is a popular spot for photos.
However, use common sense. We don’t recommend going late in the day when it starts getting dark.
While the area is open 24 hours and the views of the city are nice at night with all the lights in the city, the trail will be empty. And I have heard that people have been robbed at night on this hill.
How to Get to Cerro de Las Tres Cruces (Hill of Three Crosses)
Hill of Three Crosses is located in the Altavista corregimiento located west of the Loma de Los Bernal barrio of Belén, which is west of the Medellín river.
The nearest Medellín Metro station is the Los Alpes Metroplús station near the Los Molinos mall. The base of the Tres Cruces trail is about a 6,000 peso taxi ride from the Los Alpes station or the Los Molinos mall.
You could also take a taxi from wherever you are located in the city. However, in my experience, not all taxi drivers will know where the start of the Tres Cruces hike is located. If not, provide the taxi driver the address Calle 8 # 88A, which is at the base of the trail.
Note there is reportedly another access to the Hill of Three Crosses. The second access is an uncovered 2 km road from Altavista. But the extreme slope and the conditions of the terrain make it impossible for any vehicle to travel this road.
Hiking in Medellín
We have looked at three different hikes in Medellín:
- Cerro de Las Tres Cruces in Medellín With Amazing City Views
- Cerro el Volador: A Quick and Beautiful Hike in Medellín
- Cerro Pan de Azucar in Medellín With Incredible City Views
And we plan to look at additional hikes in the Medellín area. We also looked at two other popular hikes in Colombia:
- Guide to Hiking the Spectacular Cocora Valley in Colombia
- Ciudad Perdida: A Guide to Hiking to the Lost City in Colombia
The Bottom Line: Hiking to Cerro de Las Tres Cruces in Medellín With Amazing City Views
Cerro de Las Tres Cruces has some amazing views of the city of Medellín and is definitely worth visiting. Also, it’s a relatively short hike up and down that can be done in about two hours including taking a break at the top.
We previously looked at five of the best panoramic views of Medellín. Cerro de Las Tres Cruces also has some fantastic panoramic views of the city and should be included on this list.
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Thanks, a Colombian friend recommended this place to me recently but I haven’t gone yet. Looks like a nice hike with some great views of the city.
Looks like a place to visit! Unfortunately I didn’t know about it until now! Nice photos Jeff ?. In my to do list when I will be back to Medellin!
Thanks Jeff it’s on my list of things to do when I get down there. Don’t think it will be too long from now. Happy to say.
While all this is interesting, my biggest concern is safety. I know Colombia well, having lived in Bogota for nearly two years. I like the thought of living in Manizales or Medellin because of the climate but safety is my biggest concern.
You can go with a group as I have done a few times. I also have gone alone, as there are many hikers on the trail and felt safe. See our security and safety article for more safety tips – https://medellinguru.com/medellin-security-safety-tips/
I enjoyed this hike on a weekday afternoon by myself. I didn’t sense any safety concerns. It was enjoyable to watch the takeoff and landing traffic at the airport with a pair of binoculars. I took an alternate path back downhill that veered toward the right and ended in front of an apartment complex. I found a bus heading back to the Los Alpes metroplus, but I don’t have a Civica card and the driver did not accept cash. Another passenger noticed my plight and took my money to tap their card and I made my way back home.
Thanks for sharing this location. I was having trouble finding a close hike from where I live now in Sabaneta. Really some amazing views of the city. I created a short clip of my experience with a friend. Thought I’d share it with you in return for allowing me to find this amazing location.