If you have an adventurous spirit and a thirst for natural beauty then you're going to love this brisk four-day itinerary. You'll experience Medellín like few others, traveling outside the city for an overnight rafting expedition on the Río Verde. This vivid emerald waterway cuts through untouched Colombian rainforest and carves its way through jungle canyons, featuring miles and miles of nail-biting whitewater and class IV rapids. After your rafting adventure, return the city and enjoy a gourmet dinner and smart cocktail in one of the city's upscale restaurants and cocktail lounges.


  • Enjoy the dining, nightlife and culture of the "city of the eternal spring," Medellín
  • Brave the rapids of Colombia's last free-flowing river
  • Take in stunning scenery, from jungle canyons to waterfalls and lush mountains

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Medellín Medellín
Day 2 Río Verde Rio Verde Campsite
Day 3 Río Verde - Day 2 -> Transfer to Medellín Medellín
Day 4 Depart Medellín  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Medellín

Medellín at dusk
Medellín at dusk

Welcome to Colombia and the "city of the eternal spring"! Despite its turbulent past, Medellín today is quite charming with its beautiful mountain setting, friendly locals, and vibrant culture. A car will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to a nearby hotel. You're now free to spend the remainder of the day exploring.

Start by visiting Parque Lleras, in the heart of the trendy El Poblado district, where most of the city's tourism is centered. This is where some of the best dining, nightlife, and hotels are located. Perhaps take a ride on the city's gondola (Metrocable) system to see the views, or walk around the various parks, plazas, and museums near the downtown area. Either way, enjoy the weather—due to its elevation, the Medellín has year-round spring temperatures.

Depending on the time of your flight, you can sightsee with an English-speaking guide and learn more about this thriving, modern city from a local perspective.

Day 2: Río Verde

Whitewater rafting on the Río Verde
Whitewater rafting on the Río Verde

The Río Verde is a vivid green waterway that meanders through undeveloped Colombian rainforest. Accessed from a steep jungle canyon, the area combines excellent trekking and whitewater rafting. After breakfast, you'll travel to this canyon for some hiking. Don't worry about a heavy load—there will be mules carrying your gear.

Once you've reached the river, cool off with a swim and then participate in a safety discussion. You'll be rafting with a team of experienced guides and safety kayakers who know their way around these intermediate rapids. Along the way, you'll stop at lagoons, secluded beaches, and waterfalls. One of the defining characteristics of Río Verde is the marine life; keep an eye out for a variety of fish swimming in the translucent water.

At basecamp, you'll stay in sheltered hammocks and enjoy a French-Colombian dinner cooked over a campfire. If that's not enough, the location is right next to the river. Let the softly running waters lull you to sleep.

Plan your trip to Colombia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 3: Río Verde - Day 2 -> Transfer to Medellín

You might spot a green macaw on the riverbanks
You might spot a green macaw on the riverbanks

You'll start the day bright and early with an optional birding tour. Colombia is home to some 2,000 birds and many of them exist in this region. Be on the lookout for tanagers, various species of hummingbirds, green macaws, and the bright green/yellow Antioquia bristle tyrant. 

After breakfast at the camp, you'll continue rafting the Río Verde. The intermediate whitewater here is exciting yet manageable, as the major rapids flow into inviting, natural pools that make for refreshing dips. At the end of the second day, arrive at Puente Samana, which has the only road access over the river. 

From here, you'll transfer back to Medellín where you'll have the rest of the evening to enjoy the city's dining and nightlife scene.

Day 4: Depart Medellín

The Metrocable, Medellín
The Metrocable, Medellín

It's time to say farewell to Colombia! Enjoy your last moments in the beautiful city of Medellín with a leisurely breakfast, city stroll, and/or souvenir shopping.  A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home.

Written by Emily Strauss, updated Feb 18, 2021