Getting to San Francisco, Antioquia from Medellin

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Getting to San Francisco, Antioquia from Medellin

TLDR? One of the best ways to get to San Francisco is to share a big taxi with a local driver.

Even though Medellín’s a city full of activities, you might want to escape the big city chaos for a weekend. 

San Francisco in Antioquia is the perfect place for that: a place to relax and connect with nature or speed up your heart rate with adrenaline sports.

Here’s a quick guide on how to get there and what to expect from this beautiful town!

Where is San Francisco?

San Francisco is about 62 miles (100km) from Antioquia’s capital city, Medellín.

It’s a municipality in Antioquia’s southeast region. Close to this town, you can find San Luis, Cocorná, and the stunning Paramo Sonson, which is an eco-reserve with unique flora and fauna.

The small town is 4000 feet (1250m) above sea level and has mild and pleasant weather.

Another plus is that this place isn’t so famous or touristic yet, which makes everything cheaper and quieter. You’re more likely to find Antioquian people enjoying the rivers with their families on the weekends.

How to Get to San Francisco

There are many ways to get to San Francisco.


Taking a bus to San Francisco is the cheapest way to get there. However, it’s not the fastest one! The journey can last between three and four hours, depending on the traffic and weather.

All you have to do is go to the Terminal Norte at line 15 and ask for the Flota Granada route.

There’s a direct line to San Francisco, but you can also take a bus to San Luis and stop at La Pinuela. From there, take a taxi to San Francisco. It’ll be a 30 minutes ride. This plan B is a little more expensive but will allow you to visit another city.


If you’re thinking about renting a car, Medellin and the surroundings are full of rental agencies waiting for you. 

Compared to the USA, renting a car in Colombia is quite cheap. And the gasoline as well! However, this is still the most expensive option to get to San Francisco.

By car, you’ll be able to go around San Francisco and Cocorna, pass through Rio Negro, and maybe visit El Peñon de Guatapé.


A taxi isn’t the cheapest option, but one of the fastest.

Going by taxi to San Francisco will probably cost three or four times the bus price, but it can be cheaper if you share with other people. It’s also common to find a big taxi where you can squish inside with other travelers and pay a small price.

The travel lasts three hours, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a friendly and chatty driver who’ll explain Antioquia’s history and the name of every mountain and town you pass through. Transport with a guide at just one price!

Activities In San Francisco

Now you know how to get there, so let’s see what you can do once you’re there! San Francisco’s the perfect place for those who want to try new experiences. 

The first thing you’ll notice when you get there is the green surrounding that brightens up this place. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, fauna, flowers, and tropical plants are all around.

And because of that, the outdoor activities here are many:

  • Rappelling
  • Canyoning
  • Kayaking
  • Rafting
  • Hiking and Trekking
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Horse Riding

Whether you’re in the mood to descend from a waterfall with a rope or go quietly swimming in the river, you’ll have a good time.

Where to Stay in San Francisco

Since San Francisco’s a small town, you won’t find hotel chains or many hotels.

You can either stay at downtown’s small hotels or ride about 10 minutes up north and find the many private houses, eco hotels, and campings close to the Santo Domingo River.

There, the atmosphere’s more chill, with farms, green parks, natural water swimming pools, and trails that bring you to waterfalls.

Some places we recommended are: 

  • Balneario Pailania
  • Hotel El Tequila
  • Eco Parque Rio Santo Domingo
  • Eco Hotel Aguas de la Montaña
  • Cabañas El Piñal

You can also bring your tent and camp alongside the river under the sky!

Where to Eat

The majority of the restaurants in San Francisco offer traditional Colombian food served in huge portions.

If you want to try the typical food of Antioquia, I suggest you visit El Palacio de Los Frijoles, where you should try the original Frijoles Antioqueños. It’s a plate of beans cooked with pork, green plantain, tomatoes and onions, cilantro, and spices.

If you prefer fast food, go to San Francisco’s central park and search for Springfield Fast Food and Pizzeria. This place makes the best Salchipapa, a plate full of french fries with sausages, corn, guacamole, and a top of delicious Colombian cheese!

Get Ready For Your Next Trip to San Francisco!

Now you know everything you need to plan the perfect getaway and rejoice in San Francisco’s natural beauties. Invite your friends and family to spend quality time together and make new memories!

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