Parque Arvi, a beautiful natural reserve just outside of Medellin, Colombia is a great way to spend a day during your travels. Parque Arvi is found in the mountains high above the city, and getting there is half the fun.
Your chariot awaits to whisk you away.
It doesn’t get much easier to get to a national park from a major urban centre. The public transit system in Medellin is connected to Parque Arvi, and will bring you there, from the city centre, in less than an hour. The total cost of the amazing journey to Parque Arvi is 5300COP ($3USD.) Try and get a site-seeing gondola anywhere in the world for less. That’s a personal challenge that I’m putting out there.
The station where your Parque Arvi journey begins.
No, the above photo is not a ski chalet in Canada, the US, or Europe in the summer time. The above building is the top gondola station, and where you disembark for your journey in Parque Arvi. The facilities are truly world class.
Indigenous ruins along the pathway.
OK, so you’ve made it to the top, and now want to explore a bit of the park. What are you to do? One of the things that truly impressed me was the fact that there are park guides at the top ready to show you around. You’re probably thinking “great, hustlers that I need to pay to walk with.” Wrong. These people work for the park, and when we tried to tip Patricia, the nice woman who guided us for about an hour and a half, she flatly refused to accept it. Impressive.
The lagoon that we reached at the end of our hike.
The hiking that we did was of the pretty easy variety. It was reasonably flat, and mostly on well worn paths. It took us through beautiful forests, with flowers, butterflies, and views of the city. Most anyone would be physically able to hike here.
Descending back into “The City of Eternal Spring.”
After your finished your hiking, and maybe grabbed a bite to eat at one of the tiendas, you still have the descent back into the city to look forward to. I kept thinking how weird it was to be in a gondola without my ski gear on. The gondolas are the exact same as the ones I’ve taken for years in Canada. The only differences being that there’s no place to put your skis, and that it’s about 28C outside, instead of 28F (-3C.)
Embarking on our journey.
Information on Getting to Parque Arvi
You can technically take a bus there, through Santa Elena, but that takes away half of the fun, and it takes much longer. Simply take the Metro to the Acevedo Station, then transfer to the gondola. Once you get to the top of the first gondola you will need to buy your ticket for the Parque Arvi gondola, which is 3,500COP. This gives you a one way trip up.
A few tips:
-Weekends and holidays are very busy, if you’re looking for a quiet hike, go during the week.
-The gondola to the park is closed Mondays. I found this out the hard way.
-It can get chilly up there. It’s over 1000m above Medellin. Prepare yourself by bringing a rain jacket or long sleeve.