TLDR? If you need to stock up on outdoor gear for a trip to Medellín, you’ve got a couple of places to do so!
Colombia is a dream come true for many outdoors enthusiasts, from its towering Andean peaks to the endless rainforests covering the lower valleys. It combines multiple classic ecosystems and record-breaking biodiversity. It does this one affordable and easily traversable package.
If you’ve come down to Colombia intending to have some outdoor adventures, you’re in luck. This is because there’s practically an endless number of outdoor activities to partake in across the country!
But what if you forgot some essential pieces of equipment at home? Fret not, because the city has several outdoor outlets supplying much of the same equipment you might find at home. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the more convenient options.
As a very eco-friendly city in the middle of multiple outdoor adventures waiting to be enacted. Medellin makes the perfect jumping-off point for the errant backpacker, hiker, rafter, or cyclist.
Outdoor Adventure is a local chain in Colombia that has a couple of outlets in Medellin. The store functions somewhat as an outlet for Columbia outdoor gear, with this brand dominating the selection at the store. Columbia is a very well-regarded outdoors brand that sells anything related to engaging in some kind of outdoor activity.
The Outdoor Adventure outlet in Medellin is located at the El Tesoro Parque Comercial mall, way up in the far reaches of the Poblado district. There are several ways to reach this area, and it’s not too far away from the central area of Poblado if that’s where you’re staying.
I chose to walk because I was in the area, and I would only recommend doing so if you’re in the mood to get into shape for your next trek! This is because the mall is practically mid-way up the mountain range that Poblado is built upon. So, walking constitutes a very pretty but somewhat strenuous journey.
The mall that Outdoor Adventure is in is quite massive. With multiple floors and dozens of stores, try to find a directory to help you navigate to specifically where the store is located.
Another big-name outdoor brand, The North Face, carries a few outlets across Colombia. It has a store in the very same shopping center as Outdoor Adventure.
The North Face is primarily known for its high-quality outdoor gear. They make apparel that is built to withstand all types of terrains and weather conditions. So, it’s a great place to stop in if you’re looking for a jacket that’s going to be able to withstand some of the saltier weather of the high Andes.
The North Face in Medellin is small but covers most of the bases that most outdoors enthusiasts would want to see in a store.
Asides from clothing, there are also tents and sleeping bags available for purchase. There are also backpacks and other small compartmentalized packs. These are all great for moving and grooving through whatever adventure awaits you next.
Like Outdoor Adventure, The North Face is located in a mall in the upper reaches of Poblado that constitutes a very steep, long walk to arrive at.
That being said, you could just consider it practice for taking on some of Medellin’s hikes! But, if you’re not in the mood for that, consider taking a cab.
Nomadas Outdoors is another local outfit that carries a small but quality selection of outdoor gear. It has things like tents, sleeping bags, pads, and more. Nomadas is located in Envigado, one of the nearby southern suburbs of the city’s central area.
Because of this, it’s a bit of a trek to get to if you’re staying in one of the more central areas of Medellin. But it’s perhaps worth it if you’re looking to support a local small business.
When I went, I found that the clerk at Nomadas was very friendly and personable. They had a lot of worthwhile advice to give when I told them about the kinds of adventures I had planned for my time in the area.
This personal touch was quite charming and gave the store an edge. It felt like it was a place you could go to ascertain information about areas and hikes to go on.
Given that it’s a bit farther away, in Envigado, you’ll probably want to hitch a ride on some kind of car to get to the area. But taking the Metro to the Envigado stop is an option as well.
This post intends to point you in the direction of some stores in Medellin where you can augment your preparations. All to go explore some of the fabulous beauty that awaits you in the Antioquian highlands.
After all, how could you resist with places like Parque Arvi right around the corner?
That being said, at the end of the day none of these places offer the same magnitude of products and selection as say, an REI in the USA would.
Another thing to keep in mind is that since much of the stuff that these stores have is an import of some kind. So, the prices are unfortunately basically the same as they would be in a place like the US.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t come expecting to load up on a bunch of gear for significantly cheaper than at home.
Gearing Up To Explore The Tropics
So with that in mind, I would say that if you’re looking to go on some outdoor adventures in Colombia, come with most of the gear that you expect you might need.
That being said, there’s a lot to see, and the region definitely warrants multiple trips. So, it’s good that Medellin is equipped to satisfy the inevitable waves of eco-tourists coming to gorge on its splendor!
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