Colombia has been on my bucket list for quite some time now. Our first stop was the famous city of Medellin. Colombia and this town especially have gained massive popularity over the years for digital nomads. The city is massive and not often looked at as a place for great hiking. That could be further from the truth as the city is surrounded by hills of lush green vegetation. So as we arrived and settled in we wanted to do as the locals do and hike Cerro de las Tres Cruces in Medellin.
As you will soon find out, this is a great hike for most fitness levels and is an excellent workout. There are two areas with gym equipment located throughout the hike that helps makes this spot even more popular. You can really tell that the fitness community in Medellin is thriving when completing this hike. I highly recommend this hike to anyone visiting here. It is steep but not that long so you can take your time completing it.
Cerro de las Tres Cruces Hike Details
- Distance: This hike is around a 1.4-mile loop trail. This varies slightly depending on if you do the entire hike or not.
- Duration: It should take no more than 45 minutes to reach the top of the hike. The hike down is much faster and overall Cerro de Las Tres Cruces in Medellin should take 1 hour and 15 minutes. This depends on how long you stay at the top.
- Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as moderate because of the length, slight elevation gain, and potential heat. There are many areas to stop and rest. You will definitely get your sweat on.
- Incline: The elevation for this hike is around 1,100 feet or 335 meters. It is very steep at parts but nothing too crazy.
- Hiking Guide: A guide is not needed for this hike and is easily accessible by the public.
Link for more reviews and details: Cerro de las Tres Cruces Hike in Medellin
Where is Medellin?
Medellin is a bustling city in Colombia. This large city is located in the Northwest province of Antioquia. It is popular amongst backpackers and world travelers alike.
Below are directions to Medellin from a couple of other popular places in Colombia.
Salento to Medellin
When visiting Colombia, you will see many travelers talk about the tall palm trees in the south. This area is called Valle de Cocora (Cocora Valley) and is next to Salento.
- Head to the Terminal de Buses en Salento. This is where you can buy tickets to any location. Buses from Salento to Medellin will take one day. Prices on Redbus range around $70,000 COP.
- We decided to stop by the town of Jardin. This was a long day of 2 separate buses but La Cueva Del Esplendor Hike made it all worth it.
Cali to Medellin
I didn’t end up having time to make it down to Cali during my trip to Colombia. I’m going to make it a point of emphasis when I return.
- This trip is around 9 – 10 hours. A more popular route, so there are plenty of companies to choose from. I found a deal on Redbus for $68,000 COP for a night bus.
- Another viable option is to fly from Cali to Medellin. All flights domestic flights in Colombia are very reasonable prices. These normally range from $20 to $50 USD.
My Suggested Hiking Gear
Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.
- KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
- Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
- Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.
How to Get to Cerro de las Tres Cruces Trail in Medellin
Cerro de las tres cruces (hill of three crosses) is located to the west of El Poblado. This is about a 15-minute drive. The trailhead sits in the area of Medellin called Loma de Los Bernal.
The easiest way to get here is either by taxi or uber. They are roughly the same price but the metro won’t be of any help unless you are far north or far south. It is cheaper than taking the bus if you are with a friend or two.
The price we paid from our neighborhood in Rosales was $7000 COP or $2 USD. From El Poblado, it will be closer to $12,000 COP but still worth it to do it this way.
The official location of the trailhead is called Calle 8 #88A. This might be more useful for a taxi and if they don’t know that, then just mention the name of the hike you’re doing.
When taking an uber it is actually quite easy. There is a pin for the trailhead now called Hike Tres Cruces and most drivers will have no problem finding it. Below you will find the map to the trailhead of Cerro de Las Tres Cruces in Medellin.
Other Hikes in Medellin You’d like:
- Arvi Park
- Cerro El Volador
- Cerro Quitasol
- La Piedra del Peñol
- Salto del Angel
- 9 Amazing Hikes in Medellin
My Experience Hiking Cerro de Las Tres Cruces in Medellin
When you get out of your uber you will see a few street vendors by the trailhead. The dirt is of orangish color and seems like the only possible area to start your ascent. We went during the week and didn’t see too many people at first. This is a very popular hike so you will eventually start seeing people going up or down if you are unsure of where to start. Right after the first setup incline, you will get to an area that sells food and drinks. There weren’t many people there but seemed like a good spot to sit down after your hike.
The clouds really fooled us when we were hiking on this day. It was hot and we sweat a lot. It felt good though. This hike had more of an incline than I thought but we all needed the workout.
The terrain is interesting in that there really aren’t too many flat areas (besides where they made steps). It looks like massive floods have shaped the trail.
Medellin is known as the city of eternal spring. It will rain almost every day but you never know at what time. You really shouldn’t wait on a good day to go hiking because every day is a mystery. We waited one extra day but got lucky. It was a perfect day out for photos and the clouds weren’t covering too much of the skyline.
Arriving at the First Gym
There are two gyms located along the Cerro de Las Tres Cruces trail in Medellin. The first gym isn’t that great compared to the 2nd one. The gym area consists of some pullup bars and a few dip locations. If you bring your kids then there is also a mini jungle gym of sorts. We did a few pull-ups here and then moved on.
I was really eyeing some of the drinks from the stalls but we decided to push on to the top. The incline immediately starts again. If it wasn’t so humid out it wouldn’t have been as bad but that’s life in Medellin. The next areas had more steps than normal which was nice. If you wanted to go at a slower pace, this was the area to do so.
The views of Cerro de Las Tres Cruces in Medellin
Throughout this hike, I was blown away by how amazing the city looks up here. Medellin is massive and this hike gives you that perspective. There are multiple areas around the city where you can hike to get a good view but this is the most popular one, especially amongst the fitness community.
As you continue along this path it starts to get even more steep and a little bit less orange. I kinda like the orange in these photos though. We stopped a handful more times along this last stretch to get some great photos of the city. I never knew I would love a hike so much that is in a huge city but the Cerro de Las Tres Cruces hike in Medellin has made me a changed man.
Arriving at the Tres Cruces (Three Crosses)
Cerro de Las Tres Cruces stands for the hill of three crosses. This means you will know you have made it to the peak when you see three crosses. The last section is a set of well-made stairs that leads to the overview area or a mirador.
At the top of this hike, there will be the second gym (better than the first), seats, and other areas to relax. I’m a big proponent of eating lunch at the viewpoint of a hike so that’s what we did. We had ourselves a nice little picnic.
The second gym has better pullup bars and dip machines as well as other bodybuilding-type machines. There seems to be a back way that people come from. This area looks to have more places to buy some food and drinks.
More Photos of the Cerro de Las Tres Cruces area of Medellin
This city is very picturesque and I wish I had a better camera. Throughout our descent, it was nice to take some photos of daily life here in Medellin. There were schools surrounding the towns and kids were playing outside for what looked like recess. It helped me sit back and appreciate the little things in life. Not taking any moment for granted.
The descent was hard on the knees and I can only imagine how difficult it would be if you got caught in a rainstorm. Thankfully that wasn’t the case for us but as soon as we got back to our Airbnb it started raining. We actually ended up walking home which was nice. It was only a little over a 30-minute walk for us and it was cool to see other parts of the city.
Other Popular Activities to do Around Medellin
As I said before, Medellin is growing in popularity weekly. Everyone I have talked to that has been here having loved it and so far, I do as well. Some of the popular activities here include visiting Communa 13 tour and visiting Pablo Escobar’s house. Communa 13 used to be one of the most dangerous parts of any city in the world and now it is completely redone with graffiti and art. If you are down for a little bit more of an adventure, then visiting the famous El Penol Rock in Guatape is a must when coming to Colombia.
Final Thoughts on the Cerro de Las Tres Cruces Hike in Medellin
With this being the first hike I have done in Colombia since arriving here, I am truly impressed. The Cerro de Las Tres Cruces should be on everyone’s list when they visit Medellin. It is a good way to break into the lifestyle here in the city. It doesn’t take too long and gives you excellent views of the orange-colored buildings you see everywhere when visiting here.
Thank you for reading my guide about hiking Cerro de Las Tres Cruces in Medellin. I hope you found the information here useful for when you make the trip out!