An escape from the urban jungle of Medellín is only a gondola ride away. Parque Arvi and Piedras Blancas, neighboring parks in the mountainous countryside east of the city, are crisscrossed by hiking trails and dotted with lakes, scenic lookout points, and wildlife museums.
Parque Arvi and neighboring Parque Piedras Blancas in Santa Elena rank among the most popular weekend escapes for Medellín residents, though they remain somewhat off the beaten tourist path. Explore the parks on your own, or opt for a tour to get you oriented. Some city sightseeing tours include a guided visit to the park, especially tours with a focus on the city’s architecture and urban planning.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The parks are a must-visit for outdoors enthusiasts and families traveling with kids.
- Wear sturdy shoes with good tread, as not all the park paths are paved.
- Plan to spend at least half a day exploring the parks.
- Pack a picnic lunch, or grab food at the Hotel Piedras Blancas restaurant.
How to Get There
The Medellin Metro system connects directly to the Arvi Cable Cars, which soar right from the train station to the conservation area. When to Get There
Since Medellin enjoys excellent weather throughout the year, thanks to its location near the equator, there isn’t really a bad time to visit these outdoor attractions. Plan to arrive early, especially on weekends when the parks fill up with local families out for a picnic.Attractions Inside the Park
While the nature paths and hiking trails are the biggest draws to this area, these parks are home to a few other attractions as well. On the grounds of Piedras Blancas you’ll find an insect museum and a butterfly enclosure, while Parque Arvi has another butterfly enclosure, as well as an environmental and cultural center, two watchtowers, and a market.