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“If you love nature it is a site you must visit”
Review of Rio Claro Valley

Rio Claro Valley
Ranked #27 of 185 things to do in Medellin
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I have been twice at this natural reserve. It is about 3 - 4 hours from Medellin depending if you go there on your own car or in public transportation. There are two kinds of accommodations, the traditional one and the wild one. The traditional one is allocated right in front of the the main entrance across the road to Bogota. It is made of small cabins with A/C, restaurant and swimming pools. The wild accommodation is right into the natural reserve and includes camping, hostel and lodge. About rooms at lodge they are for really natural seekers, rooms have two beds, one double and one single (other options available), bathroom and room door, I remark this because there are no windows as rooms are wide open to the rio claro canyon (check the pictures). I have enjoyed both kind of accommodations the traditional (when being with family) and the wild (when being with pals). If using the latter you must carry torch in the nights, water shoes and trekking shoes, comfortable clothes and insect repellent and the most important you must carry your adventurer spirt to trek on the trails, swim on the river, raft on it and have fun.

I recommend visit this attraction on the dry seasons, on winter river floods some trails and water gets darker (my pictures were taken during rainy season), on summers water is clear and river is safer for swimming.

Park admission is free but there are fees for activities such guided tours, rafting, rappelling or zip riding.

2  Thank Malexrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 29, 2012

The Rio Claro preserve is about 3 1/2 hours east of Medellin, and just off the road to Bogota (Hwy 25). El Rio Claro has cut a deep, steep valley in the mountains, and has left a gorge that reminded me of my visits to Watkins Glen, NY when I was a kid. The only difference, Rio Claro Valley is a tropical environment that is hot and sticky... the flora and fauna is typically tropical. There are cabanas available just off the highway along with a restaurant. Rates are available for lodging and meals. The private preserve is on the other side of the highway, and admission to the park was gratis. Once inside the preserve there is a campground, and rustic cabins available. Adventure activities are available for a fee, and include, rafting, kayaking, spelunking, zip-lining and repelling. There are fees for these activities. A 10 meter bluff on a bend in the Rio Claro is used by the younger, more adventuresome guests for high diving into the swift, green water below.

Bring light, comfortable clothes and bug repellant. It gets hot and sticky in the valley. Rio Claro is a favorite destination with Colombian families, but is also enjoyed by Colombians and foreigners alike who enjoy nature and adventure. A hiking trail follows the north bank of the Rio Claro. There are many spots to stop and take a dip, or enjoy one of the natural caves carved into the wall of the gorge. A long zip line runs down the middle about 100 feet above the surface of the water.

I would recommend RIo Claro for families with older children, adventuresome friends and couples. The area is relatively safe, and elements of the regular Army are assigned to protect travelers along Hwy 25 and visitors to the preserve.

2  Thank Eulenspeegel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

8  Thank MarceSanchez16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Highlights:

- 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.

2  Thank daisysmama1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Thank Claudiamoq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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