Top tips on where to go jogging, rollerblade, cycle, hike, swim and go to the gym in Medellin
Medellin is a marvellous place to stay fit and exercise, especially early in the mornings or towards the end of the day when the weather is wonderful for getting into your groove. Medellin’s residents like to stay in shape by jogging, rollerblading, cycling, hiking or dancing and the mayor has been investing heavily in sports facilities so there are plenty of options – some public, some private – throughout the city.
All of Casacol’s luxury vacation rentals, hotels and long-stay apartments in Medellin have gym facilities at your disposal but if lifting weights or the treadmill isn’t your thing, you need a little extra motivation by exercising with a crowd, or you simply want to enjoy getting fit by exploring the city, here are some top tips on how to stick to a healthy exercise regime in Medellin.
City hall has been investing in open-air gyms for Medellin’s residents to make it easy for everyone to get a little exercise even if you don’t have a gym membership. Open-air calisthenics gyms are an integral part of the 20 urban parks (UVAs) constructed to keep the city fit. They get busy from 06:00 to 08:00 in the morning and to a lesser degree in the evening. Our favorite UVA can be found in El Tesoro and the Parque de la Bailarina. Both are found on a steep incline which offers fitness fanatics the chance to do some circuits. For hardcore weightlifters that like to work out with others, there are two iconic spots, one is by the Divine Eucharist Church in Poblado and the other by the Indeportes building in the city’s stadium complex. If you prefer your gyms with state-of-the-art equipment, the best gymnasium chains in Colombia are Bodytech and SmartFit and both offer packages for short-stay visitors.
Walking, Jogging & Hiking
The hills of Medellin make it a perfect place for a brisk walk that will keep the heart pumping. The UVAs mentioned already offer the chance to get a stomp on but if you’re looking for something more strenuous the hike up to the hill of the three crosses (Cerro de las Tres Cruces) is a popular way to stretch your legs and there’s a gym waiting for you at the top. The steep climb embarks from the Belen neighborhood on the Western side of the city. Other popular places to walk include the Parque Lineal de la Presidenta and the Parque Lineal de La Frontera. If you want to get out of the city and really stretch your legs, check out guide to getting out into nature in Medellin.
Colombians love a kick about or friendly game of football (soccer) both guys and girls. There are some great new astroturf pitches throughout the city. They are happy to invite gringos to join a game to see if you’re any good. You might need to wait for your chance to impress but there’s normally someone that doesn’t turn up and therefore a team left short at the last minute. Perhaps the biggest and therefore possibly the most difficult to get a game is the Cancha Campo de Amor close to the airport but there are other options for 8-a-side or 5-a-side game in Manila, Poblado.
Colombians have always been fanatical cyclists and famed for their ability to take it to the next level in the mountain stages of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Egan Bernal’s victory in the Tour de France in 2018 made the sport even more popular. The geography and the mountains around Medellin are perfect for keen cyclists looking to build up their uphill stamina. The climb up Avenida Las Palmas or the Loma de Escobedo is a popular pastime for paisa fitness fanatics at weekends and there’s hundreds of amateur cyclists that make the trip up to Rionegro early. The Velodromo Martin E. Cochise and the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II offer cycling speed freaks a chance to work on their time trials. Both are open to the public when not being used by professional or amateur teams. If you need a professional bike they can be rented by Colombia Cycling who organize wonderful cycling trips out-of-town at the weekends to some of the most picturesque villages in Colombia. If you’re just looking to get out onto two wheels and explore the city, Medellin’s mayor has added bike lanes to Medellin’s urban transport network. You can borrow (rent) a bike from Medellin’s public bike sharing service EnCicla, an extension of the Metro de Medellin network. A bunch of bikes can be found near most metro stations and connect to a well organized set of bike lanes running south-north through the city. Find out how to sign up to the bike sharing service here.
T. +57 314 717 6809
Web: Colombia Cycling
Colombia is a sporting superpower when it comes to rollerblading and Medellin has a host of arenas dedicated to the sport that can be accessed by the public when the city’s top clubs aren’t using them. In Laureles you can find the Patinódromo Guillermo León Botero, close to the Atanasio Girardot stadium complex and on the west of the city next to Aeroparque rollerbladers also practise at the Unidad Deportiva Maria Luisa Calle.
Teams tend to practice early in the morning and in the evening but in the middle of the day they are normally open to the public.
There are some excellent Olympic-sized swimming pools in the Medellin Aquatic Complex adjacent to the Atanasio Girardot football stadium. There’s two more Olympic-sized swimming pools available in the Unidad Deportiva Andres Escobar Saldarriaga in Belen. The swimming pools are open to the public but you need to register with Inder, the mayor’s department responsible for coordinating all sports activities in Medellin. The swimming pools are open to the public from 07:00-16:00 weekdays and 07:00-14.00 at weekends.
For all public sports facilities contact Inder:
T. +57 4 369 9000
Calle 47D #75-276, Barrio Velódromo, Laureles, Medellín