It had been a full year since I had been in Medellin, Colombia, and much of life had changed. And not for the better around the world. Last March I happened to be in Medellin when SarsCov2 arrived and Colombia, and the rest of the world ground to a halt. I had only been in Medellin a few days and hadn’t yet explored outside of Medellin on this trip. In 2018, I visited Guatape but on this trip I planned to do a lot of hiking. Unfortunately, that was not to be and would have to wait until I returned. If I ever returned given that so much about how we travel and our freedom to associate had rapidly been altered.
Nevertheless, as I escaped the hell that had become a Joe Biden Communistic America in rapid decline, for the dictatorial druglord backed El Duque run Colombia, I traded one hellish president for another. But, Medellin. Oh, Medellin. How I had missed thee and oh how you renew my spirits. Having been in Colombia for a month before arriving in Medellin, I planned for 2 or 3 weeks in Medellin this trip. And it didn’t disappoint. And there was no way a stupid man-made virus pushed along by fearmongering politicians would ruin this trip to this city of eternal spring for me.
I searched for waterfalls hikes to do close to the city and found Chorros de Las Campanas. It is in the Envigado neighborhood about a 25-30 minute uber/taxi ride from Poblado where I would stay this trip. I happened upon a site (Civitatis) that linked me to a guided tour. Many bloggers and hikers with experience hiking in Colombia will tell you to go accompanied on most of these type hikes for various reasons, safety in numbers being one of them. Upon booking the tour Andres, the guide, sent me a whatsapp message about where to meet at the bus station in Envigado and that we would take a bus from there. However, I literally was 15 seconds late and the bus headed off without us. Calling for an Uber, as I felt terrible and we didn’t really feel like waiting another 25 minutes for the next bus, we made fast friends in the short time we would know one another. Andres spoke decent english and I tried my best attempts at holding conversation in espanol. My spanish is drastically improving and my iTalki lessons with my excellent profesora from Medellin help a lot. Arriving at the top of a hill with impeded views of Envigado and the Aburra Valley, we set out down what seems to be a driveway/tiny partially dirt/paved path leading to the jumping off point for the falls.
It was humid and warm but you are covered by a canopy of trees so the sun is not your enemy on this hike. Make sure to take another pair of shoes or least another pair of socks because you will get wet up to at least above the ankle within the first 10 minutes hiking along the creek. Also, it can be slippery but Andres does an excellent job of making you feel safe and guiding you where to step, what to hold on to, etc., to make sure you don’t fall. As you climb a very gently sloping incline, nothing rigourous at all, Andres does a fantastic job of pointing out different species of birds, flowers and plants, which make the trek more interesting. With my socks and shoes soaking wet we were getting close to the falls as you feel the wind pick up and hear the roaring sound of the falling water.
After about 45 minutes we arrived at the waterfall and the refreshing cold water pool beneath it. We had it all to ourselves until we decided it was time to return. Which was about 20 minutes. The waterfall is named for birds nest that are just above the waterfall that are shaped like upside down bells, more like a hershey kiss shape. Enjoying the serenity of the adventure and awe inspiring view of what nature and God are capable of creating, we sat next to one another gazing at the falls but alone in our thoughts. This, this is what I had come to Medellin in 2020 to experience. And I was finally here experiencing it. For all that had changed in the world the past 335 days, a couple things had remained constant. God and nature.
Andres led us back and we passed maybe 5 – 7 people who were making their way to where we had just been. Maybe it was the fact we visited on a Thursday morning around 9 am or maybe it is that the pandemic has made people afraid of being in nature, in a naturally immune cleansing tropical forest, but I loved the fact that we literally had the entire hike up, the swimming pool and waterfall, and hike back down all to ourselves. And Andres made it very worth while.
If you are heading to Medellin and desire for a fairly easy hike that is beautiful along with being very rewarding (at least if you have it all to yourself like I was fortunate enough to experience), contact Andres at the contact information below.
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whatsapp – +57 314 6299065