“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.”
– John Muir
With the confinement of COVID and the stress of a brutal U.S. election season (which we were far too plugged into, even from here in Colombia), we didn’t realize how much we had been missing nature. At least until a couple of weeks ago, when we took our first hike in many months. We headed up into the hills high above Envigado, the municipality just south of Medellín, and got a much-needed nature fix on one of the Senderos Ancestrales (ancestral trails). It wasn’t long or especially challenging, but this day hike near Medellín was just what the doctor ordered.
The Camino La Ayurá is one of many Senderos Ancestrales that trace the hills overlooking Envigado and Medellín. Many of these trails were important routes for indigenous populations in pre-Hispanic times and were later used by settlers and muleteers during the Spanish colonial and republic days. Right up until the 1970s, the Camino La Ayurá was used by farmers and campesinos to transport agricultural goods down into the city markets in the valley.
A year ago, we joined an organized hiking group to reach the Cuevas (caves) de Higuerón, the branch to the right on this map. (We wrote a bit more about that hike here.) Since that part of the trail goes through private property, we stuck to the left branch this time.
This Sendero is especially pretty.
The trail follows several streams with numerous hidden waterfalls, and climbs high into the foothills to offer panoramic views of the Aburra Valley and the city skyline.
Here’s a quick little video of the trek down to the waterfall. Our Indiana Jones moment of the day!
- If you don’t have access to a car, it’s still easy to get to the Camino La Ayurá trail. Ask a taxi in Envigado to take you to the El Salado Parque Ecotouristica. If you’re using public transportation, take Metro to the Envigado station. From there, take one of the white buses marked Parque Ecologio or El Salado. When you get off the bus, just keep walking up the road past the Trucheria Arco Iris on your right, to the trailhead.
- Speaking of Trucheria Arco Iris – it’s the perfect lunch stop if you’ve worked up a serious hunger after your hike. The restaurant’s specialty is rainbow trout raised right in their on-site trout pond. If you feel so inclined, you can even catch your own and they’ll cook it up for you (or you can be lazy, like we were). A yummy lunch for two of fresh trout, rice, salad, and a couple of cervezas each set us back about $15!