San Rafael

On my first three trips to Guatape, I never went to San Rafael. What a mistake!

Apart from its main square, I must admit that the village is not very beautiful. However, the atmosphere is 100% authentic. There are people in the streets, noise, music, cheap restaurants, and drunk “cowboys” on Sundays. The Antioqueño hinterland in its purest form. There is a Spanish school there. It is the perfect place to learn a new language. 😉

The rivers are splendid and represent one of the major assets of San Rafael. The water is crystal clear, and some natural pools like Las Tangas or Trocadero are easily accessible!

If you want to add some adrenaline to your Colombian itinerary, Eco Guias organizes tubing and canyoning excursions. We loved it!

San Rafael is 45 minutes by bus from Guatape.

 

How to get to San Rafael?  (+)

From San Carlos to San Rafael

  • Bus company Transoriente | 1h30 pm | 1 h
  • Bus Company Sotra San Vincente |2h30 pm | 1h

Schedules may vary. Double-check with your hotel.

 

From Medellin to San Rafael

  • Buses leaving frequently from the North Terminal. Last bus leaves around 5 pm. | Sotra San Vicente & Guatape del Penol | 3 hours

Table of Contents

Click on the orange links below ⬇️ and scroll down ⬇️ to read the chosen section.

Where to stay in San Rafael

There are only a few accommodation options in San Rafael. You can pick a basic hotel near the main square, but it will be a bit loud at night. We recommend staying in the Spanish School instead. The streets are up and down, but you can ask for a tuk-tuk. There is also a peaceful and beautiful ecolodge outside of San Rafael.

  • Eco Language

    Hostel

    Eco Language

    Spanish School with basic rooms. Quiet place and lovely atmosphere. The staff is super friendly.
    Get the best price
  • C. de Morgan

    hotel

    C. de Morgan

    15-20 min walk. Lovely guesthouse surrounded by natural pools. Delicious food. Staff.
    Get the best price
  • Ritmo del Rio

    EcoLodge

    Ritmo del Rio

    25 min Tuktuk drive. There is all you need on the spot. Lovely cabins. Rivers & birds. Great staff.
    Get the best price

Things to do in San Rafael

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

  • Natural pools

    Rivers

    Natural pools

    Las Tangas and Trocadero are two natural pools near San Rafael. Crowded during the weekend.
    Learn more
  • Canyoning

    Extreme sport

    Canyoning

    Eco Guias offers 2 different routes according to your level. High and beautiful waterfalls. Adrenaline.
    Learn more
  • Tubing

    Water Activity

    Tubing

    Go down the river on an inner tube. Depending on the route you pick, it can be raucous. Loads of fun.
    Learn more
  • Eco Language

    Spanish School

    Eco Language

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

    Day trip

    San Carlos

    San Carlos is another town surrounded by beautiful rivers and waterfalls. 1h bus ride from San Rafael.
    Learn more

Our articles about San Rafael

We spent 4 days in San Rafael, 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

(Click on the Map)

Click to get back to the table of contents

Specific information by location

Our travel guides per city

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

How to decide among all these stunning places?

 FREE Ebook based on our 5 years of travel in Colombia. 150 pages of information pure, no bullshit.

Just one last step and you will be able to start reading our guidebook! You should receive an email soon to confirm your inscription. Please, check your email box (Don't forget the Promotion and junk boxes)

Travel stress-free in Colombia

Colombia is a country with tons of exciting experiences and hidden places. Stop working hours on your itinerary while wondering if you've made the right choices. Tell us what you like, and we take care of the rest. Thanks to our service, you save time, money, and experience Colombia differently.