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.
Getting to San Rafael?
From San Carlos to San Rafael
- Bus company Transoriente from the terminal | 1h30 pm | 1 h
- Bus Company Sotra San Vincente from the terminal |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
Where's the terminal?
There’s no actual terminal in San Rafael. Buses arrive and depart from the main square of the village.