There are also other places around the city where you catch some rays and splash in some waves. They just won’t involve white sand beaches.
What’s the Deal With La Playa, Then?
If you’ve spent any time in Medellin, you might have heard people talk about “la playa.” Now, if you’re learning Spanish (or already speak it) then you know that this translates to “the beach.”
La Playa is one of the most characteristic, representative (and therefore touristy) streets of the center of Medellin. This is a cultural district that was recently renovated, where you can find iconic places for the city’s bohemians, such as:
There is also a heritage corridor that covers a route full of sculptures and busts that honor important Antioquians in history.
In addition, there are cycling routes and tons of other activities.
This place is also known as a place to experience concerts and cultural events.In December, for example, it’s one of the streets that is usually decorated with Christmas lights!
So, how did the street get its name?
Well, years ago before it was a street, this area had a river running through it. Locals used to head there to spend time at la playa, and the name stuck!
Best Beaches in Medellin Colombia
Okay, so you can’t get to the beach in downtown Medellin. But, there are other places to catch some waves.
Here are a few places where you can relax and catch some sun in the area!
Guatape is one of the most visited tourist towns in Antioquia. This is partly due to the colorful townhouses, and partly due to the reservoir and the Piedra del Peñol located a few minutes from downtown.
This town is one of the best places to enjoy walks, traditional food, cultural spaces, and (you guessed it) water activities!
As for these aquatic attractions, I can say that although it’s not an ocean, the boardwalk is a great space to enjoy water and nature.
Among the activities that can be done in the reservoir of Guatape are:
Jet ski rides
Tour in small boats driven by the person
Any of these are a great way to spend an afternoon.
Country clubs, or club campestres, are an excellent alternative to replace beach days in a city that is far from the sea.
In Medellin, there are some excellent country clubs with swimming pools and aquatic areas ideal for sunbathing as well as for a carefree swim.
There are several around the city: one located in El Poblado, one in the south of the city, and another in Llanogrande, east of Medellin. This last one is approximately 1 hour from Medellin.
In these clubs, there are multiple entertainment options and sports offers, including swimming and water skiing.
Some of the clubs also have saunas, Turkish baths, and sunbeds. Of course, you can get a much closer spa day over at the Celestino Spa in Parque Lleras.
Medellin, and Antioquia in general, has a great natural diversity as well as dozens of rivers perfect for taking a dip.
The best thing about this is that visiting the different rivers generally entails hiking activities as well as flora and fauna sightings. This is a great way to engage in the increasingly popular eco-tourism in the area.
The Salto del Angel is a waterfall located in the municipality of Envigado, in the south of the city, and is approximately 50 meters tall! You may not see many waves, but you will hear and feel high-pressure water.
A few activities you can enjoy, in any of these river areas, include:
Take your pick and plan the adventure of your choice!
Pools on the roof are a great trend that is here to stay. After all, there’s nothing like sunbathing while having a panoramic view of a beautiful city like Medellin.
Surrounded by mountains, with the spring weather of the city, you won’t even need to go to a beach!
One place where you can take a dip in a rooftop pool is Landmark Hotel. This place, besides having a beautiful view of the city, has a large swimming pool for adults and a kiddie pool for the little ones.
Another luxury hotel to check out if you’re after a rooftop pool is the Marque Hotel. Marquee’s rooftop features an area with sun beds, a small bar, and an infinity pool.
If you go to this space, I doubt that you’ll even want to go to the beach—it’s that good!
How Far Is Medellin from the Beach?
If you definitely want salt water and white sand, there is great news: Colombia is one of the few countries that borders both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans.
The closest beach to Medellin is located on the Pacific and is known as El Almejal, in Bahia Solano, Chocó.
But if you prefer to get to know the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the department of Antioquia also has a beach. In Turbo, Antioquia, you can find Playa Dulce, a small place but where you can enjoy the Atlantic.
If you travel a few more kilometers, you can find the beaches of Necocli and Arboletes in Antioquia. These are usually a little larger and more frequented by tourists.
Regardless of which beach you pick, however, you’re going to be driving for a while. They’re all several hours from the capital of Antioquia.
How to Get to the Beach from Medellin
Getting to the beach from Medellin depends on which coast you’re headed to.
If you’ve decided to go to El Almejal, the best route (and the safest way to get there) is by taking a flight from Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellín to Bahia Solano. The flight is only about 45 minutes!
If, on the other hand, the beaches of Antioquia are the most striking for you, you can arrive by rental car.
The journey by car is as follows:
7 hours to Turbo
7 hours and 40 minutes to Necocli
9 hours and 20 minutes to Arboletes
If you take a bus to get there, the tickets start at $100,000 COP (subject to change). I wouldn’t recommend it, however, as the journey is long and uncomfortable.
Finally, you could take a flight from Medellin to Monteria, and in this city, take a bus to any of the three destinations. Arboletes is the closest, and only takes 1 hour and 10 minutes of travel.
Spend the Day at a Medellin Beach (Sort of)
Medellin has different ways to relax and soak up the sun. Sure, it doesn’t have a Medellin beach you can hang out at, but there are still plenty of places to check out.
Head to one of these “beaches” for a day and enjoy the great weather here in the City of Eternal Spring!
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