Parque Arvi – Medellín, Colombia - Atlas Obscura

Parque Arvi

Located outside Medellín, this Colombian park focuses on conservation and sustainability.  


Parque Arvi is a nature preserve and archaeological site found outside of Medellín in the Aburra Valley. Covering over 16,000 hectares, Parque Arvi is known for its wildflowers, nature tours and over 54 miles of hiking trails.

Within the park rests sections of prehistoric ruins including waterworks pathways, platforms, gardens, trenches, and roads. The “pre-hispanic trail”—or the Camino Cienza de Leon—is assumed to be over 1,500 years old. Offering spectacular views of Medellín and the surrounding Aburra Valley, the high terrain running through the western part of Parque Arvi is one the most preserved trails leading to the Laguna de Guarne and Seca Lake region.

Parque Arvi also boasts an outdoor regional food market and an Ecological Hotel. Guests to the park can enjoy nature tours, cycling, outdoor adventure sports, and guided hikes such as a two-hour butterfly (and flora) tour— called the “Porton de Guabayo”—that identifies native butterflies in the park. Other tours include nightly guided-hikes showcasing the regional cultural exchange through music, and campfire discussions on Medellín history and folklore.

Know Before You Go

Within Parque Arvi, the Environmental and Cultural Center is open to visitors year-round, offering events, educational tours, a food court, and the Arvi store. The Arvi Market, or the Mercado Arví, is located at the entrance of the cable entry. The market highlights regional farmers and craftsmen whose products include handicrafts, foods, and agricultural products of the Santa Elena region. The Market has been established to revitalize the regional economy highlighting rural community tourism.

To go on park trails, you have to go on a guided tour. While the park closes at 6:00 pm, the last tour leaves at 4:30 pm.

Piedras Blancas Hotel and Ecological Park near Parque Arvi has a museum and hotel space along with boat rentals, a canopy, and even a butterfly garden. Located near the Piedras Blancas dam, and surrounded by native forests, a longer trip to Parque Arvi should include a stay in this hotel.

You can also experience Parque Arvi as a quick stop during your visit to Medellin. Just take the metro to Acevedo station, then transfer to the Metrocable gondola for a ride up and over the hills and into the park.

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