What’s one of the best things to do in Medellin? Rock Climbing! Why not go for a quick day trip climbing to one of these locations close to town? Medellin has a number of places you can climb, both indoor and outdoor.
This is list to get you started. It will be focusing on the three areas closest to Medellin for outdoor climbing. For more information on the climbing around Medellin and Colombia, see our climbing in Colombia section.
For a downloadable PDF of this post, including additional information such as updated topos and information on how to arrive at these areas, see our Medellin Climbing Guide (coming soon!).
Rock Climbing at San Felix
Overlooking Medellin, sits beautiful San Felix. This is not only one of the closest places to rock climb near Medellin, but it is also one of the prettiest. The area is located in the mountains which surround Medellin, and has a spectacular view of the city.
In addition, the climbing is close to a popular location for parasailing in Medellin, so you could easily go climbing in the morning, then go parasailing in the afternoon. Sounds like a pretty fun day out if you ask me!
What You Should Climb at San Felix
San Felix is a small crag located in a secluded area well off of the main highway. The trail to arrive is difficult to find, and in the past there have been access issues. For that reason I highly suggest taking a look at our Medellin Climbing guide for more info.
The river that runs through the climbing area keeps the temperatures down and it makes for a good place to hang out. The climbing also has all day shade, which is super important if you happen to go on a hot day!
The routes here are all good quality, though if there has been a lot of rain the two routes on the far left can be wet (aptly names Aquaman and Aquaman Bikini).
La Gillette and La Sorpresa are both particularly nice climbs, and are the top “must-dos” for the crag.
Climber’s left, these three routes can be wet at times.
Middle of the crag and the location of the highest rock quality.
Climber’s right. A little dirty, but worth doing.
For a full and updated topo with route descriptions, and more information on the crag and how to arrive at San Felix, see our Medellin Climbing Guide (coming soon!).
Climbing at La Tasajera
La Tasajera is a small crag located about 30kL north of the city. The rock is pretty good quality, but has been quarried in order to make room for the road. However, this makes for unique climbing characteristic of modified rock.
The area has a nice mix of about 20 routes, all ranging in the 5.8-5.11 range. It is a great place to take beginners for a nice casual day out, as the approach is easy and the routes are short.
A major plus is that it is easy to get to by bus. This is the “chillest” place to climb near Medellin, and might be the best option if you’re nursing your Aguardiente hangover from the night before.
There is no topo available online. So I have put together a quick one to get you started.
The 5.11c and the bolted 5.9 crack to the left were my favorite two climbs at the crag.
For a complete and updated topo, and information on the location and how to arrive at La Tasajera, see my Medellin Climbing Guide (coming soon!).
Rock Climbing at El Peñol, Guatapé Colombia
I have to say the El Penol is the best day trip for climbing close to Medellin. It has a nice mix of close to 100 or so routes, ranging from 5.8 – 5.14. There is a good mix of sport routes and trad routes as well.
One of the best parts about El Penol is the beauty of its surroundings. Going to El Peñol/Guatape is probably one of the most popular things to do around Medellin, and for a good reason.
It is also a popular weekend getaway spot for rich Colombians, and it is easy to see why. If you only have the time for one place, I suggest checking this one out first.
For a full-length guide of the climbing at El Penol, see: “Rock Climbing Guide – El Peñol – Antioquia Colombia”.
For more reading like this see: “Rock Climbing in the Andes, A Guide to 3 of South America’s Best Rocks” and “The 3 Best Places to Climb in Colombia“.