Despite it´s growing urban expansion, Medellín has managed to preserve or in some cases even restore large green areas, where biodiversity is protected and people are offered safe spaces for recreation and the practice of outdoor sports at no cost.

For this reason, the places that I am going to show you below are perfect to escape for a moment from the hectic pace that life in the city imposes. And one of the plans that you can do there with your family, friends or partner is to organize a delicious picnic.

The convention for this type of outings is to prepare or bring yourself the food to be consumed in the place. Although, if you are not in the mood for cooking, within our top there are some options that include food and decoration with prior reservation.

There are also well-known restaurants that reproduce the experience of a picnic, such as Le Piqniq (at Av. 33), San Felipe Parrilla (in Laureles) or Alamanga (in Las Palmas). These are good options if you want to hang out in a safe indoors enviroment.

However, here we are only talking about the places that allow you to take a real break to connect with nature and your loved ones.

Jardín Botánico 

Called by some the Central Park of the paisa capital, the Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden is an oasis located in the north of the city. Its extension exceeds 13 hectares and is home to extraordinary species of flora and fauna.

The forest has different spaces, mainly in its central part, where you can prepare your snack after enjoying a long ecological walk. This is one of the sites that offers a picnic service with prior reservation through its official website.

Although you can also bring food without problems. The entrance to the Botanical Garden is free, as long as there is no private event in its facilities. If you want to know more about this destination, visit our post.

Address: calle 73 No. 51D – 14 (next to the Metro station called Universidad).

Parques del Río

Your second option is the most modern linear park in Colombia, built with the aim of bringing the city and the river that runs through it from south to north closer. Parques del Río is a winning combination between nature, sports, leisure and gastronomy.

It is located between the Conquistadores and Industriales sectors, next to the highway, near the EPM Intelligent Building, the Metropolitan Theater, Plaza Mayor and the Cerro Nutibara (where you can also find the Pueblito Paisa).

The park is completely open to the public and, unlike the Botanical Garden, it is pet friendly, so you can bring in your furry friend. In addition, you can finish off the meal with some of the local products that are sold there, such as the famous micheladas (some local beer preparations).

Continue reading about Parques del Río here.

Ciudad del Río

We continue the list with one of the most outstanding examples of urban remodeling in the entire city. Ciudad del Río used to be a purely industrial sector, but starting from 2006 it was rethought as a linear park full of residential units, shops, restaurants and even a museum.

It is located by the south, in El Poblado, between the Industriales and Poblado stations of the Metro system, 10 minutes by car from our famous district of pubs, restaurants and night clubs, so it is a very strategic destination for visitors .

The advantage of this place is that, in addition to having green areas that are very suitable for spending the afternoon, it offers you another great diversity of activities with which you can complement your picnic. Find out what other things you can do in Ciudad del Río.

Arví Park  

The next place is a little further than the rest, but it is definitely the best alternative if you want to unplug from the city, because even the weather is different there. Arví Park is a 6.3 square kilometer nature reserve located to the east of Medellín, in the township of Santa Elena.

Usually people go for a diverse number of activities such as buying products from local peasants, doing camping, outdoor sports, hiking, bird watching and what today calls us: spreading the tablecloth for a picnic.

The entrance has no cost. However, the park offers several services with advance reservation at a favorable price. It is good that you check its official page if this is your first time, since it includes a guide during the walk.

If you prefer to go on your own, discover here everything you need to know about your visit to Arví Park.

Tutelary hills (Cerro El Volador) 

Tutelary hills refer to a network of mountains distributed throughout the city, each with an important historical, religious or tourist connotation. Medellín has 7 of these places, which have been consolidated as ecological reserves.

Among all of them, the Cerro El Volador takes the title of largest natural park within the metropolitan area. And it has been declared Historical and Cultural Patrimony of the Nation due to the presence of archaeological remains of the Aburráes indigenous people.

El Volador is located in commune 7, close to the University of Antioquia and the National University. In addition to picnics, people go up to play sports, fly kites, and take their pets out. The ideal time for any of these activities is morning and afternoon. Keep in mind that the ascent on foot takes between 15 and 20 minutes.

Find out more about this beautiful place in our latest post.

Gabriel García Marquez Channel Park 

Our penultimate site is a little-known gem in the city. Before becoming a park, it was the municipal nursery. In 2014, after its destination for the new headquarters of the Telemedellín channel, the 28,000 m2 land was converted into an environmental park for citizen use.

It is located in the town, between Ciudad del Río and Castropol. Admission is free, pets are allowed and there is an area specially designed for picnics called Plaza Santiago Nasar, because as you may have imagined all the names within the complex are inspired by Gabo’s work.

Personally, I prefer Ciudad del Río, but if you want to discover something new without having to travel to another sector of Medellín, this is a rather striking alternative.

Address: carrera 43F No. 18 – 60.

El Castillo Museum

We end the list with El Castillo, whose architecture, similar to that of the palaces of the Loire Valley in France, makes it stand out for its rarity as a tourist site within the city. Precisely, one of the main attractions of the landscape are its gardens.

Before continuing, I must emphasize that unlike the others, this destination has a variable entrance fee, depending on whether you only enter the gardens or also enter the museum house.

You can find out more about it in our post. Outside food is allowed. But there are restrictions for this option, since it is not possible to bring decorations or groups with more than 10 people.

If that is the case, you should reserve one of the country plans offered by El Castillo, with very delicious picnics for 2 or 4 people, whose prices range between $38,000 (7.60 usd) per person and $190,000 (37.99 usd) for 4 people.

Tips

Now, no matter which of the above destinations you choose, keep the following tips in mind when planning your picnic:

  • The weather in the city of Medellín is quite unpredictable in the sense that it can rain and clear several times in the same day. Try to check the weather reports to find out when the right time to go out is.
  • Take care of your skin using sunscreen.
  • Finally, do not leave trash on the site after the picnic. Most places have waste bins, but just in case, bring a bag in which you can collect your waste.