🏍️5 Off the Beaten Track Motorcycle Trips Close to Medellin (And A Couple That Are A Little Further)
Guatape and Pablo Escobars house, Guatape and Pablo Escobars house. Thats all I ever hear when people talk about motorcycle day trips from Medellin. (See how I added keywords in there 😊) Anyway, these motorcycle trips below are awesome and way off the beaten path.
Uno. Casa en el Aire
Originally built for climbers, this one of a kind hotel has become a tourist destination that offers housing like you’ve never seen before. Built into the side of a granite mountain 20 meters above the Colombian countryside is the “Casa en el Aire.” Accessed via climbing or by zipline cables the house can accommodate 10 people in total with 3 different types of lodging options: the house, refuge and a private cabin for couples.
A number of activities can be found in the area including the zipline, a wilderness hike to an owl cave, resting in the suspension net, or spending the afternoon hanging out in hammocks high above the ground. All this is fine and dandy but the best thing about this aerohostel is the amazing views and beautiful night sky.
Located only 2 hours from Medellin in the town of Abejorral, the Casa el el Aire is a must do day trip for adventurous motorcycle riders and shouldn’t be missed.
Dos. Amaga Railroad Bridge
I discovered this off-road motorcycle trail by accident while taking a detour around a landslide that wiped out a road. Located outside the town of Amagá, just about 40 minutes south of Medellin, the railroad bridge trail is a forested off-road track that takes you through what was once part of Colombias huge rail infrastructure. The railroad ties have were removed years ago to make furniture but the network of train tunnels still remain as well as the huge Amaga railroad viaduct which spans across a 40 meter high gorge.
Now the bridge is used for bungee jumping with several restaurants located nearby. If you are interested in taking a motorcycle day trip that is completely different than the rest I highly recommend this one.
Tres. Los Saltos Ecopark
Los Saltos Ecoparque is a natural park where you can see many waterfalls, located between the cities of La Ceja and Abejorral about an hour and a half from Medellín by motorcycle.
The ride down is beautiful and takes you through coffee and flower growing regions but be careful: it's a bit tricky to get to and if you miss the exit from the paved road you can spend several hours finding your way back.
You take a zipline to cross the canyon and then hike down to the water fall. You can't swim but you'll get 100% soaked through and through from the spray at the base of the fall.
They also have a nice restaurant and beautiful swimming pool with views overlooking the always beautiful Colombian countryside.
Cuatro. Cerro Tusa
Located near the town of Venecia, The Cerro Tusa hike isn't your typical hike. It's the steepest, crawl-your-way-up- and-don't-look-down hike you will probably ever take. Also, called the “Pyramid of Antioquia” Cerro Tusa is a a mountain so perfectly triangular that it looked like a 3-year-old drew it. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to climb because I’ve never done it, but I can tell you that the road down there makes for an amazing trip and the scenery is, as usual, spectacular.
If you don’t want to climb the mountain, the best thing to do is to stop into the Santo Tomas Parrilla Bar where you can have some great Colombian food and coffee on the deck while taking in some amazing views of the valley.
Probably the best kept secret in Medellin this area is known as "The Milk Route" by the abundance of dairy farms. Only a couple hours from Medellin the area is also as "The Switzerland Paisa" for its beautiful scenery. Go back in time as we visit the towns of San Pedro and Belmira. You can wind your way through the beautiful green rolling hills and meet and photograph real Colombian cowboys and see their way of life.
Leave Medellin in the morning and head off through San Felix, the paragliding capital of Medellin, then ride through the curving country roads and rolling hills until arriving in the town of San Pedro de los Milagros where you can stop and get a coffee and a snack in front of the basilica in the main square.
After San Pedro you can make your way to the small town of Belmira where you can see typical Colombian cowboys going about their daily routines. The mountains above Belmira are home to a paramo which is a type of alpine tundra ecosystem. Adventurous travelers can hike to the paramo and see ‘frailejones’. These ancient plants look like little palm trees with stubby trunks and flowers that resemble daisies but are actually members of the sunflower family.
More than a day
So these aren’t day trips they are so cool that I wanted to add it to the article.
Uno - Windows of Tiziquisoque
Located in Florian, Santander, the Windows of Tisiquizoque, are a a remote and rarely visited three-tiered waterfall that plummets from a mountain cave with amazing views over the countryside. You can spend the day exploring the huge 650ft cave, taking pictures and swimming in the pool below the waterfall. It’s quite the trip to get there and takes a two days including half a day on rough off road trail but once you get there its totally worth it.
Dos - Mine for Emeralds in Muzo
Deep in the the eastern portion of the Colombian Andes in the department of Boyaca lies the town of Muzo, known as the world capital of emeralds. Take an amazing trip from Medellin and drive through the heart of the Colombian andes to this remote area. Cross mountain ranges, and streams and see amazing vistas and waterfalls. The most interesting part of the trip is the emerald mining 💎.
Known as echando pala or “throwing the shovel” by the locals, informal emerald miners, called guaqueros, scour the river beds of along the Itoco river in the Muzo valley as well as scavenge the mining fields for overlooked emeralds from the private mines.
Truly a once in a lifetime adventure and completely different than any other motorcycle adventure trip you have ever taken.