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“Amazing place!”
Review of Rio Claro Valley

Rio Claro Valley
Ranked #26 of 181 things to do in Medellin
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Amazing place!”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

This is a stunning natural reservation and a must see if you are in town and of course if you are looking to spend some time in the middle of nature and out of the city and its normal rhythm. The facilities are simple but very well kept, the river is absolutely beautiful but gotta be careful since its really strong. This is Colombia so everything is under your risk.. there are no life guards or anything, if you drown you drown..so don't be stupid! We went to the cave and it is absolutely amazing!! just make sure you are in shape to hike through the forest for 1 hr, cross the river fully dressed (shoes and pants strongly recommended) and then walk though the cave for 40 min.. the cave has a stream of water that goes back to the river.. you gotta swim and jump into wells.. slide through the rocks etc... they don't speak English and don't do a good job describing the adventure with all it takes.. so make sure you are in shape and are willing to go for it, once you cross the river there's no going back!
If you prefer to be with small groups definitely avoid weekends!

Visited November 2013
7 Thank Maharani-ha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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244 reviews from our community

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English first
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Adventure park with accommodation in the rainforest”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Fabulous accommodation set high up in the canopy of the rainforest with open walls so that bug blue butterflies literally fly through the room in the morning and colourful birds perch nearby. The accommodation is basic, but the sounds and sights of the rainforest make up for this. The food is good, not much choice but filling and healthy. The activities are excellent; we did the canopy zip wires, canyon rafting and the walk, wade, swim, squeeze, climb through the dark caves.

Visited September 2013
3 Thank Avril F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful but wouldn't stay again”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

The river itself and cave tour were really enjoyable, the guide although he didn't speak English was very nice and luckily we had someone in our group to translate. I would highly recommend the activities they were the perfect amount of adventure without being too terrifying and the staff were very helpful.
The food was simple rice and chicken but pretty tasty and the drinks not too expensive.

The problem came when we went to sleep in our beautiful open room overlooking the river. Initially we were really happy with it, despite a reasonable walk from the main restaurant to where it was. It was a stunning setting, seemed clean and you could hear the river etc. However it soon became clear the place was infested with rats, I saw several in the room and the eating area and could see droppings everywhere. This may have been due to approaching rain but as I am petrified of them was a complete nightmare. To be fair the hotel said I could change to a closed room, although they seemed unsurprised when I mentioned the vermin. A change however would have required a 15 minute walk in the pitch darkness with our heavy bags in the rain, which after a long day was not ideal. We moved instead to one downstairs from the original without the roof gables where I could see them in our first room, but I didn't rest easy, particularly as a large group of students could be heard screaming every 10 minutes or so, i suspect having seen the same visitors as us.

For the price we paid, 240,000 and no discount after the rats emerged, I thought it was pretty unacceptable. In open air rooms you expect insects even bats, but not rats.

Also as littlebella2013 says, note that the bus to Bogota from here is 8hrs not 5.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank Smn1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We stayed here mid week to go caving. I thought it was absolutely stunning. We did have a problem getting there though. The bus we got from Bogota took 8 hours instead of 5 and we got to El Refugio at 8pm. It gets dark in Colombia at 6.30 which should be noted when going to El Refugio because you have to walk along an unlit road for about 15 minutes to get the accommodation. It is gated with a security guard so it is totally safe but the different sounds were pretty unnerving so I would definitely recommend making sure you get there during daylight.
Its a 10 minute walk up to the cabins (with your bags) but please stay in the cabins! They are amazing and we woke up to a stunning view. We had one quite high up which I think gave better views but lots of steps!
The staff have no English and weren't particularly helpful but there were always other travelers around to translate for us. We found the food really nice and it was better than the food we got off hotels on our trip (drinks aren't included but they weren't expensive)
The area is beautiful and we loved the caving trip. I am not the adventurous type and I was really worried about. It is about an hour hike to the cave. The guide knew I was nervous so asked me to walk with him which was really nice but I had no need to be scared. The cave is big and we never felt claustrophobic. The darkness is ok also because of the torches and the marble was cool. it was just really good fun. The birds make a really really eerie sound so prepare yourself for the sound of a woman wailing and you'll be ok! They are only at the beginning and the end of the cave. Prepare to get wet from head to toe as you jump into rockpools along the way. They sell waterproof torches there. I don't think this area would be suitable for people with major mobility issues as there are steps and uneven ground everywhere.
I didn't feel it was particularly overpriced compared to what we spent in other places.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank littlebella2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

The location itself is very beautiful, however it is not worth the money you pay. You can get similar experiences elsewhere for less money. The food is very basic and the accommodation had no electricity when we stayed. the staff are not overly helpful and even rude at times, like talking amongst themselves when they knew you were waiting. If you dont speak Spanish take a dictionary as there are no English translations for anything and none of the guides or workers speak English. However, the rafting was excellent and the guide was very good. This slightly made up for what otherwise was a very expensive couple of days which we wouldn't recommend on the basis that El Refugio is far too expensive for what you get.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Nathryn_22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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