If you decide to visit Guatape and San Rafael, you may also want to consider adding San Carlos, in the Antioquia department, to your itinerary in Colombia. The city has nothing special to offer, although the main square is a nice place to have a beer or coffee and rest in the shade of giant trees.

However, the surrounding area offers many outdoor activities. As in San Rafael, there are incredible rivers and waterfalls accessible without a guide such as La Viejita and Los patios.

There are also playful and varied canyoning routes and pleasant hikes such as the Piedra Del tabor, the most famous one in the area.


Getting to San Carlos?

From Medellin to San Carlos:

  • A few direct buses per day. Schedule. You have to leave from the North Terminal.  | Transoriente & Coornote |4 – 5 hours

From San Rafael to San Carlos:

  • There are only 2 buses per day.
    • Bus company Transoriente from the main square | 7h15 am | 1 h
    • Bus Company Sotra San Vincente from the main square |9h30 am | 1h
  • Schedules may vary. Double-check with your hotel.

Where's the terminal?

The de San Carlos terminal is a 5min walk from the main square.

Table of Contents

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Where to stay in San Carlos

Like in San Rafael, there are not many accommodation options in San Carlos. The center is loud so I recommend picking a hotel in the outskirt of town.

  • Jireh

    Hotel - $


    Basic and recent hotel. Excellent value for money. 10 min from the center. Quiet.
    Get the best price
  • La Cascada

    Guesthouse - $$$

    La Cascada

    Old house with character. Beautiful surroundings. Near the river and waterfall. Peaceful.
    Get the best price

Things to do in San Carlos

San Carlos is surrounded by beautiful crystal-clear rivers accessible by foot or tuk-tuk. It's also an excellent spot for canyoning and tubing!

  • La viejita

    2 hours | Free

    La viejita

    There is an easy trail of 900 m that starts from Jireh hotel. 2 beautiful waterfalls. Lovely path.
    Learn more
  • Canyoning

    4 - 10 hours | $$


    Eco Guias offers different canyoning routes: La Chorrera, Chispero, La Cascada.
    Learn more
  • Tubing

    3 - 4 hours | $


    Go down the river on an inner tube. Depending on the route you pick, it can be raucous. Fun!
    Learn more
  • Spanish Ad.

    1 week +

    Spanish Ad.

    Spanish Adventure offers activities, accommodation, and Spanish lessons. It's a 100% immersion experience.
    Learn more
  • San Rafael

    Day trip

    San Rafael

    San Rafael is another town surrounded by beautiful rivers and waterfalls. 1h bus ride from San Carlos. Read our travel guide!
  • P. del Tabor

    6 - 8 hours | $

    P. del Tabor

    It's a 2-h hike (1 way) with a stunning view at the top. The guide is not mandatory, but it's not easy to find.
    Learn more

Our articles about San Carlos

We spent 4 days in San Carlos and we wrote about our travel experiences.

Where to eat & drink?

For us, good restaurants and exciting nightlife are important when traveling. We gathered our favorite picks on an interactive Map. Download the APP "Mapstr" and look for "Colombia Insider"!

More places in Antioquia

More Travel Guides

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Where to sleep? What to do? Where to eat? How do you get from one place to another?

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