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“If you are looking for the "jungle experience"” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rio Claro Valley

Rio Claro Valley
Ranked #23 of 172 things to do in Medellin
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Medellin, Colombia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“If you are looking for the "jungle experience"”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012

We went to "Reserva Natural Canon de Rio Claro" (Rio Claro Canyon Natural Reserve) last month. It was a last minute decision but we were glad we did.

To be honest, this is only recommended for adventurous people who love nature and are looking for something off the beaten track.
It is a 3-4hr trip from Medellin's North terminal or Terminal del Norte. The bus ticket cost $22.000 COP. Before we went we were told it was a 3 hour journey but the truth is that we left 10 mins delayed and the bus stopped many times, including a snack/toilet stop the driver made half way. So it was a 4hour journey for us.
You have to tell the driver you are going to Rio Claro and they will drop you off at the main entrance.

Keep in mind that this is a natural reserve and you will have to walk 1km (about 15 to 20 mins) from the entrance to get to the main building, where the reception and activities desk and the restaurant are located.

They offer you 5 different accommodation options. We decided to stay at "Cabanas La Mulata" which are located about 5-10 mins before getting to the main building. We still have to do the check in there though (accommodation fee includes 3 meals).
This is tropical rain forest so it is pretty hot and humid during the day and cool at night and there are some seasons when it rains a lot.
Torch, towel, insect repellent, trekking shoes and water shoes (or trainers that can get wet) are a must!
They offer different activities (water rafting, canopi, jungle trekking, cave exploring).
We really enjoyed our stay even when the food wasn't great but was it was acceptable.
If you stay somewhere different to the rooms located in the main building, you will have to walk three times a day to get your meals at the restaurant located in the main building and remember it might be raining and there are no lights on the road and at night is pitch black!
Also, as it is in the middle of the jungle, it was difficult for me to fall asleep the first couple of nights because there are so many sounds in the jungle that it scared me a little bit.
But it was a unique experience.
We absolutely recommend it.

Visited October 2012
7 Thank MarceSanchez16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Oakland, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Heaven for nature and bird lovers!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2012

We decided last-minute to add a visit to Rio Claro to our Colombia itinerary and we are so glad! It is stunning.


- Cabanas El Refugio. I have never hotel room literally take my breath away, but this one did! We opened the door to our room, and when I saw the two open sides to our room and that VIEW, I gasped involuntarily -- it was so breathtaking!! What an amazing, special place! We felt like we were in a treehouse but better. To top it off, within the first 30 minutes of being there, we were treated to a clear view of three macaws jabbering at each other in a tree across the river. My husband and I are nature lovers, so it was a wonderful, romantic place to spend our last couple nights in Colombia.

- The woman that seems to be the manager of guest services at Rio Claro, Jimena I believe. She is amazing! She speaks very good English, which is helpful for us gringos, and she is unbelievably helpful, goes way above and beyond what you would ever expect. She helped us book excursions and bus trips, and gave us extremely helpful advice and information about the hotel and the area. She dramatically improved our already wonderful experience of the area.

- The caverns. Hard to describe, but amazing. Don't leave Rio Claro without doing this excursion!

- The river, of course. The river is so beautiful, especially as you get further and further up the trail away from the main road. Rafting and hiking were both very enjoyable and great ways to see more of the river area.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank daisysmama1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellin, Colombia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Just amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2012

thre hours from Medelllín. For people that loves nature, open excersice and adventur, there a walk inside a long cave. Is better go 2 days for enjoy all the place and you can go to Napoles park wich is not far.

Visited December 2011
Thank Claudiamoq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellin, Colombia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“fun place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

This place is fun but you need to stay outside of the park. The river is great but it is expensive to stay there. There is a little hotel about 5 minutes away.

Visited February 2012
3 Thank ccajoleas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
34 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 385 helpful votes
“Rio Claro is paradise...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2012

Rio Claro is paradise if you enjoy nature, outdoor activities, and friendly people. They have numerous types of habitations including camping, cottages (some of which have AC and a small refrigerator, and my favorite "El Refugio". The rooms of El Refugio are about a 10 minute walk from the main lodge but they are incredible. Built into the side of a cliff they have one side of the room completely open. Your view is the river below and the jungle on the other side of it. The only caveat is that you do have to climb steep steps to get to them and the most magnificent views are at the top. Climbing up and down 90+ stairs numerous times per day may not be for everyone. You decide. The meals are good, but not great. Outdoor activities include great swimming and fishing, whitewater rafting (Class 1+), a zip line which is not as high, fast, or long as most but which often takes you right down the river which is beautiful. Caverning- definitely do the caverning if you can. And my favorite- just floating down the river in an innertube. There is a beautiful trail that goes along the river. You can walk up as far as you like and just float down. The further up the river you go the more beautiful the scenery is. The staff will even pack you a lunch wrapped in a large leaf if you would like. Speaking of the staff, most are extremely energetic and friendly local young people. Jimena is the wife of the owner and speaks English fluently and it always happy to give advice, recommendations, or answer questions. There is no wifi but about a 20 minutes drive from the lodge toward Doradal there is a restaurant called Campo Verde which has great food at a reasonable price and wifi (just in case you temporarily want to leave paradise). Enjoy!

Visited July 2012
2 Thank TMR1004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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