16 exciting Medellin tours worthy of your time and money!

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Medellin is a city where many travelers tend to stay longer than originally planned.

It’s a very cool city and there’s so much to see and do. We already listed tons of free and cheap activities you can do in the city, but you can also book an arranged tour for activities and excursions that aren’t so easy to do on your own.

An excursion is a great way to have a relaxing day out and learn a lot about the country and its culture.

Some of these activities are super relaxing, while others will get your adrenalin pumping!

These are the very best Medellin tours you can book online or with a travel agency in the city.

Our first tour is free and it’s one you should plan on one of the first days in Medellin. The free walking tour, operated by Real City Tours.

It is, by far, the best and most popular walking tour in Medellin.

This walking tour is the best way to get an idea of how the city is laid out and to find the interesting places to visit later.

Expect to learn about the districts of the city and corresponding urban legends. You’ll also explore the most interesting streets squares, barrios, etc, …

The tour is free, but you’re expected to tip the guide after the tour has ended. How much you want to give, is up to you. It’s something you can decide while doing the tour and you can evaluate yourself how much this tour is worth to you.

This walking tour is organized 3 times each day and you’re required to book it in advance. It’s just that popular. You will be accompanied by an English speaking guide and kids are not allowed to join these tours!

Duration: Around 4 hours

Comuna 13 and street art tour

Comuna 13 is a super hot topic for travelers in Medellin right now. This the notorious neighbourhood that underwent a huge transformation from the most dangerous barrio to this safe, artsy and hip place. It’s also the epicentre of street art in the city.

During this excursion, you will learn about the massive transformation and the impact it had on the region.

Your guide for this tour is experienced and knowledgeable. Expect to learn a lot about recent history of Medellin, as well as legends and stories about a violent history.

During this activity, you travel with public transportation and there’s some walking involved as well!

Duration: 4 hours

Street Art Tour

Medellin has a thriving street art scene and this tour takes you all the best places to see the street art around the city.

Various tours are organized to take you to Comuna 13, where a lot of the street art is localized. So you can either opt to join a Comuna 13 tour or you can get a tour that also takes you to different parts of town. But you should know that the major point of interest for most street art tours in Medellin is the Comuna 13.

This specific tour takes you to Comuna 13, as well as Poblado and Downtown areas.

With this activity, a minivan picks you up at your hostel and an experienced guide takes you to all the main sights, while explaining everything there is to know about the local street art scene.

Duration: 2 hours

Medellin museums tour

Learn about the best museums in Medellin and discover why this city has been named the most innovative city in the world.

Not only will this tour take you to the Museum of Antioquia and the Museum of Modern Art, but you will get to see 2 other cool places as well. Did you even know that Medellin has a castle… and a castle museum? You get to discover it during this tour! Lastly, you will visit the San Pedro Cemetery Museum.

The entire trip, an experienced guide will point out the important highlights and provide additional information.

This cultural tour holds loads of insightful information about Medellin and its history. Lou’ll discover how this city transformed from a dangerous place to a thriving and modern metropole.

Duration: 4 hours

Food tour

Joining food tours is one of the things we added to our to-do list over the years.

If you have allergies, like me, these tours are super valuable as you learn a lot about the different local dishes and what’s in them. Food tours are an awesome way to discover the local cuisine quickly and thoroughly.

This Medellin food tour lasts for 4 hours and you get to choose if you want to do it around breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

A professional guide takes you to the best local restaurants and food stalls, where you get an explanation about the food and its origin. Of course, you also get to eat and drink a lot!

This tour brings you to 4 local restaurants where you can taste a variety of different dishes and specialties you probably wouldn’t have tasted on your own.

Your guide explains how things are made and what ingredients are in them in English or Spanish.

Duration: 4 hours

Learn to prepare Colombian food

After tasting the best of Colombia, learn to prepare it!

Cooking classes are an excellent way to introduce exciting new dishes to your weekly menu back home. We love to try and reproduce different dishes we tasted during our travels and cooking classes are the ideal way to do so.

During this tour, you get a private tour at a local food market to stock on goods you’ll learn to prepare later.

Your personal guide explains all you need to know about the food market and the different exotic fruit and food. After that, she will take you back to her kitchen and educate you about her delicious menu.

Get a first hand experience and learn to prepare dishes, like Bandeja Paisa or Patacones.

After tasting the best of Colombia, learn to prepare it!

Cooking classes are an excellent way to introduce exciting new dishes to your weekly menu back home. We love to try and reproduce different dishes we tasted during our travels and cooking classes are the ideal way to do so.

During this tour, you get a private tour at a local food market to stock on goods you’ll learn to prepare later.

Your personal guide explains all you need to know about the food market and the different exotic fruit and food. After that, she will take you back to her kitchen and educate you about her delicious menu.

Get a first hand experience and learn to prepare dishes, like Bandeja Paisa or Patacones.

Duration: 4 hours

Coffee tour

Colombia is famous for its delicious local coffee and Medellin is the perfect place to learn more about the brown gold!

The rural areas surrounding Medellin are part of the coffee region and this full day tour takes you to a local coffee farm where you can experience the process from bean to cup first hand.

This coffee tour includes pick up at your hostel and transportation to the nearby San Sebastian de Palmitas.

A professional guide explains the entire process as you get to see all parts of the coffee farms. A delicious local lunch is included, as are refreshments and of course: a perfect cup of Colombia coffee!

Duration: 7 hours / all day

Helicopter flight

Get the best possible views over Medellin from the sky!

Joining a helicopter flight over the City of Eternal Spring is an experience you’re not likely to ever forget! Get a bird’s eye impression of how the city is wedged in between the mountains and how the city appears to gently flow out of the valley.

During the flight, the pilot comments on the views you see and explains a lot of important facts about the city.

A mini van picks you up at your hostel and takes you to the local airport where you will soon take off. The flight takes you over all the important neighbourhoods and barrio’s of Medellin.

The maximum number of passengers in the helicopter is 5 to 6, depending on their individual weight.

Duration: Around 2 hours (the actual flight is a bit shorter)

Paragliding

This activity is not for those with a fear of heights!

Paragliding is a super cool activity to do in Colombia and Medellin is an excellent location for this. The scenery surrounding Medellin is just superb!

Watch the beautiful valleys and and rough mountains from above during this spectacular excursion!

Prepare to get a rush from this activity!

The paragliding tour consists of a duo or tandem flight with a certified instructor. You don’t have to do anything, as your instructor takes care of everything, while you enjoy the scenery.

You can also do paragliding in other locations in Colombia, like Bucaramanga.

Duration: around 4 hours – the flight lasts 20 to 30 minutes

ATV Tour in Medellin

The ATV tour in Medellin is another adrenalin inducing activity. For half a day, you get to explore the rugged and mountainous terrain surrounding the city with an all terrain vehicle.

Get picked up at your hotel to be transferred over to Rionegro, where you start off with a few safety instructions and driving tips.

After that, the group rides off into the wild landscape near Medellin.

Participants older than 8 years old are allowed to join the activity and no experience is required. A qualified instructor is by your side at all times.

During this trip, there are a few scenic stops where you get a chance to take some pictures.

Duration: 4 – 5 hours – the actual ATV ride lasts 1 hour

Horseback riding

Is there a more relaxing way to discover the nature around Medellin than with a horseback riding tour? I don’t think so!

We’ve enjoyed horseback riding tours on different places in the world, but South America definitely makes the cut when it comes to rural exploration with a horse.

On top of that, it’s also one of the most economic ways to spend a cool and fun day in the Medellin area.

With this tour, you get picked up at your hostel and taken to a scenic area just outside of the city. A professional local guide accompanies you the entire time to make sure you’re doing fine.

You get a chance to establish a route that fits your level of experience and your interests. So routes may vary depending on these factors.

For the tours that take place around noon, you can get an optional local lunch (which is not included in the tour price)

Duration: 4 hours

Zip-lining in Medellin

Definitely a fun activity anywhere in the world, but especially in a scenic environment!

Zip-lining is fun and exciting. We love doing it and we’re always into trying it (after we made sure we’re firmly attached and secured and everything like that!)

This zip-lining tour from Medellin is a super cool full day activity, which takes you to the longest zip-line in Colombia. This zip-line has a stunning view over this impressive waterfall… a view you can’t stop staring at!

During this tour, you hike up to this majestic waterfall before zip-lining right in front of it. You’ll also get a tasty local lunch and a professional guide will be by your side the entire day.

Duration: 9 hours / all day

Day trip to Guatape

Guatape is a beautiful village outside of Medellin. It has a few nice features and we completely fell in love with this relaxed and laid back village.

What’s so special about Guatape: the village itself is super colourful and cute. The speed of living is so slow, we couldn’t not love it 🙂

Then there’s the surrounding landscape, which is the main reason tourists flock to this village. The area was flooded (on purpose) when a dam was built. So loads of houses and structures disappeared under the surface, leaving behind an amazing landscape.

We actually wrote an article about visiting Guatape for a few days, but if you’re short on time, you can also visit Guatape during a day trip with this tour.

During this excursion, you get picked up at your hostel and taken on a 90 minute drive to the town of Guatape.

Explore the colorful village and town square, climb the famous Penol de Guatape, and join a boat tour on the lake. This is the most complete day trip you can get!

The entrance fee for the Penol climb is not included, so you can skip it, but I’d recommend doing it, if you’re up for a 740 steps climb!

Duration: 10 hours / all day

Explore Jardin and a local coffee farms

This full day tour takes you to Jardin, a beautiful rural village South of Medellin, where you will visit a local coffee farm.

A minibus picks you up at your hostel in the morning and you meet your guide for the day.

The drive to Jardin takes 2 hours, but you won’t get bored with the scenic views from your window. Once you arrive, you’ll get a guided tour on the coffee farm, and of course, you get to see the entire process from bean to cup before you get your own cup for tasting!

A local lunch and a professional guide are included in this trip.

This day trip is relaxing and super interesting. It takes you away from the busy city for a day of nature and rural experiences.

Duration: 12 hours / all day

Medellin Pub Crawl

So many bars and pubs in Medellin! How will you ever know which are the best and which are just there for the tourists?

Take the Medellin bar crawl tour!

This evening activity helps you discover the very best bars and clubs in the city.

A minivan picks you up at 18h at your hostel. Then you get a chance to discuss your wishes and preferences. Do you want to visit hip and trendy clubs? Or would you rather check out a few local salsa bars to absorb local culture? You get a say in this!

You then start a 3 hour bar crawl, together with the other people in your small group. A local guide explains all the things you need to know and answers all your questions during this excursion.

Participants must be 18 years old (or older) and dresscode is ‘smart casual’.

Entrance fee for the clubs and bars included, as is a free welcome drink in each establishment.

Duration: 3 hours

Salsa experience

Not only Medellin, but all of Colombia and Latin America are the heart of the salsa culture. After Cali, Medellin is one of the top places in Colombia to experience the salsa culture.

The Salsa Experience tour takes you to the best and most legendary salsa clubs in the city. You won’t be visiting tourist venues, but the bars and dance clubs where locals go wild on salsa in the evening.

This tour is a great way to safely discover local nightlife. You will be accompanied by a local guide and get private transportation from your hostel to all the venues.

Food and drinks are not included in the tour, so make sure to take a few pesos if you feel like rehydrating after dancing the night away!

This is an evening activity which starts with your pick up at 19h. Expect to get back to your hostel around 23h.

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Pablo Escobar city tour

The last one in this list is the most controversial tour in Medellin.

We don’t recommend doing this tour for many reasons. Many travel bloggers have written about this before and I could not explain it any better than Ryan from Desk to Dirtbag does!

So make sure to read this insightful article about why you should not book the Escobar tour in Medellin!

The coolest Medellin Tours you can do

This collection of super cool activities and excursions should be able to fill up your time in Medellin!

We recommend doing at least a few of these tours. During our very first backpacking trip, we were on such a small budget that we ended up doing too little of these cool excursions.

So now we realize that we just HAVE to go back to dozens of places to experience and explore them further!

That’s why you should include as many cool tours as possible into you Colombia itinerary.

Don’t forget to read our backpacking guide to Colombia, our travel guide to Medellin, and our compilation of cheap and free things to do in Medellin!

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16 exciting Medellin tours worthy of your time and money!
16 exciting Medellin tours worthy of your time and money!

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