Rio Claro – A Day At The River

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Rio Claro in Puerto Triunfo

How to get there?

Rio Claro is located in Puerto Trinufo a small local community in Antioquia and is about 3 – 3.5 hours from Medellin the capital of Antioquia. From the capital of Colombia, Bogota it will take around 5 hours to get to the beautiful scenery of Rio Claro. From Medellin a one way bus trip cost 19,000 Pesos. One of the bus companies that go frequently to Rio Claro is Coonorte. In Medellin the busses leave from the Terminal Norte. Make sure to tell the bus driver to advise you once you reach the Refugio which is the natural reserve at Rio Claro and where you basically want to enjoy the river and the nature around. 
Rio Claro
Rio Claro

Accommodation

I heard plenty of good things about Rio Claro from friends and colleagues and hence I thought it was about time to make my own opinion on how beautiful this place really is. A few days before the trip I booked a small Cabaña with a panoramic view in El Refugio a natural reserve at Rio Claro. One night at the Cabaña Panoramico cost 130.000 COP. The price includes 3 dishes per day. Obviously there are different options for accommodation available. The cheapest room is a dormitory and start at 75,000 COP in Low season and can accommodate 4-6 persons. Rooms get more expensive according to location and features. There is also the possibility for camping right at the entrance for the park but there are no prices stated on the Refugio website.

The reservation of the rooms in El Refugio is unfortunately not possible online you can only make some sort of pre-reservation or call the camp and transfer the funds via bank transfer which is a little complicated in case you have no Colombian bank account. But you can also just drop by at the reserve and book it there. This shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t go during Semana Santa the Colombian Easter holidays or other important Colombian holidays. I never had trouble booking on-site. In case you make the reservation online or via telephone the staff will send you some information that should be considered. The most important is definitely to bring a flashlight. If you need more information about El Refugio at Rio Claro just follow the link  http://www.rioclaroelrefugio.com/

Cabana El Refugio
Cabana El Refugio
El Refugio
El Refugio

When I finally arrived at Rio Claro after 3,5 hours noticed instantly that the clima is way hotter and more humid than in Medellin. This does not come as a surprise when you know that it is located only 150 meters above sea level. After I had to walk another kilometer from the main entrance in the tropical heat I arrived sweaty but happy at the reception of El Refugio. After check-in, the friendly receptionist told me that we still had to plan my activities for the next day. Equally friendly I replied to the nice lady that there wouldn’t be any activities for me as I was only here to relax.

But in case you don’t want to be just hanging around there will be plenty of activities like zip lining, rafting and canyoning waiting for you.

El Rio
El Rio

From the reception another few meters further along the river I arrived at my lodging which would have knocked my socks off if I had worn some in my flip flops. My Cabaña was the highest one in the entire reserve, completely open without a window and overlooking the valley of Rio Claro. It was just an amazing view that I was offered. And this is where paradise started. After I was able to move again as I was incredibly stunned I went for a round of Sunbathing and swimming at the Playa de Marmol.

I was very lucky that I was there at the beginning of the football World Cup and therefore I was basically the only person in the nature park. Only a Colombian couple also decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the World Cup.

After a very relaxed afternoon at the beach and a short walk along the river through the park in order to explore the Flora and Fauna of the area I returned to my routine task and that was doing nothing but chill. As I believe this is the best you can do there

After all I have to say that this short trip exceeded my expectations by far and this is how it happened that I returned only a few months later

Who would like to make another quick stop on way there or back can also visit the Hacienda Napoles that is only 20 minutes away from Rio Claro. The former property of Pablo Escobar now is a theme park and a popular destination for tourists and Colombian families.

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