Cerro de las Tres Cruces: A Short, Popular, and Fun Medellin Hike

Medellin's Top Outdoor Fitness Spot (Literally)

This post is part of Everything to Know Before Visiting Medellin, a collection of no-B.S., unique guides to an unforgettable stay in Colombia.

You can see Cerro de las Tres Cruces, Three Crosses Hill in English, from just about anywhere in Medellin. Not only that, you can see the trail that goes straight up it!

And if you pull out some binoculars, you'll probably see a stream of Paias sweating their way up and down it too.

With easy access to the city, great views, convenient amenities, and an outdoor gym up top, Cerro de las Tres Cruces is literally Medellin's top outdoor fitness destination.

Here's all the information you need to check it out yourself.

Quick Facts

  • Duration: 20-40 minutes up
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Hikers of all levels will be able to manage.
  • Distance: 1.2 kilometers each way
  • Elevation Gain: 320 meters / 1000 feet
  • What to Bring: Protection from the sun if you're going midday and either your own water or money to buy hydration on the hill.


You can save these waypoints to Google Maps on your phone by following our simple instructions for using Google Maps offline.

Getting to the Trailhead

The base of the Cerro de las Tres Cruces hike is in southwestern Medellin, in Belén's La Loma de Los Bernal neighborhood. It's an upper-middle class area that was once considered to be "el nuevo Poblado."

It never became the "new Poblado" in part because of lack of public transport. There are busses that pass by the base of Cerro de las Tres Cruces, but unless you live in Belén, they're not convenient.

You're better off taking a taxi or an Uber. Coming from Poblado metro station, it was only 12,000 COP for us. That's just as cheap as taking the bus anyways if you split it with a friend or two.

group trailhead shot at cerro las tres cruces belen medellin colombia
The gang ready to go at the base of the Cerro de las Tres Cruces hike!

The Hike

Unlike our other hike guides, we won't bother giving you detailed instructions for hiking Cerro de las Tres Cruces. The path is so obvious you can literally see it from miles away.

Really! Here's a photo of it we took from our apartment in El Poblado:

cerro las tres cruces view from poblado medellin
We can almost see the people climbing Cerro de las Tres Cruces from our apartment in Poblado every morning.

It's also impossible to get lost because, at any given moment, there are dozens of other people on the trail you can follow.

People watching is actually part of the fun. It's also a great way to take your mind off your exhaustion.

From surgically-enhanced women in neon-color-coordinated outfits, to lean old-timers doing the hike for the thousandth time, to hard-core fitness freaks wearing weighted vests, ankle weights, and Bane-like oxygen-restricting masks, to regular Joes (er… Josés), all walks of Medellin society hike up Cerro de las Tres Cruces. Even, as seen in this video, a one-legged man:

The entire path is hard-packed dirt and rock. Steps have been carved out to make the ascent and descent easier, but with so many people on the trail you'll often have to cede the stairs to others and hike along the side.

At the base, midpoint, and top of the hike you'll find concession stands selling fresh-pressed juice, fruit, and whatever else you might need for an energy boost. Or if you decided to do this hike on a 3-day-fast, they sell water too.

cerro las tres cruces fruit juice stand stop medellin colombia
You can look forward to freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice on your way up or down.

Depending on your pace and fitness level, the 1.2 kilometer long, 320 meter elevation gain hike might take you anything from 20 minutes to an hour to complete .

If you're a fitness junky and thinking, "1.2 kilometers and 320 meters elevation, that's it?" think again. There's more sweating to do up top!

kim looking tired hiking up cerro las tres cruces medellin colombia
The air pollution and altitude might get the best of you like it did to Kim.
kim making her way up cerro tres cruces in medellin colombia
Slow and steady wins the race.

Get Your Heart Pumping, then Pump Your Muscles!

For us, the highlight of the top of Cerro de las Tres Cruces wasn't the view. It's nice, but no better than what you can see on every other Medellin hike.

For us the true highlight is the mountaintop outdoor gym.

ankle weight lady and kim doing a hanstand at the top of cerro las tres cruces medellin
Left: This lady is taking it up a notch with ankle weights. Right: Practicing my handstand skills.
cerro las tres cruces outdoor gym
Just when you thought your workout was over, you reach this at the top and the real workout begins.
chris and juliana hanging on the bars at the outdoor gym at the top of cerro las tres cruces
Chris and Juliana saved some energy to bust some moves on the bars up top.

With cement weights, chin-up apparatus of all varieties, and big tires to flip and carry around, Cerro de las Tres Cruces' mountaintop gym has an endless amount of toys (or torture devices) to work with. We were pleasantly surprised.

We were also surprised the workout area was busier than the hike itself. Men, women, and workout groups were all over the place getting pumped. Ok, mostly they were standing around flexing while checking each other out, but still.

If we lived in the "new Poblado" instead of the old one, we'd definitely be regulars. It's a cool spot.

Go Up When the Sun Goes Down?

Our friend Luca regularly hikes Cerro de las Tres Cruces and has a somewhat unconventional recommendation: Instead of doing the hike in the early morning like most, go at night!

The weather's cooler, there's obviously no sun to burn your skin, the city lights are dazzling, and the trail's blissfully empty.

…Maybe too empty?

When Kim mentioned hiking Cerro de las Tres Cruces at night to her taxi driver, he told her that's a bad idea. A friend had been robbed doing so. When I relayed this to Luca he said that's nothing more than typical Paisa over-dramatization.

But then another friend of ours corroborated the taxista's story. He too was robbed of his phone when he went in the evening.

Based on this input, we're holding off on hiking Cerro de las Tres Cruces at night until Luca can join us for protection. And we won't take any valuables with us.

Cerro de las Tres Cruces at night.
Hiking Cerro de las Tres Cruces at night may be worth the risk.

Discover More Medellin Hikes

If you're looking less of a workout and more of a hike, and less people and more nature, check out our list of the best hikes near Medellin. From waterfalls to caves to ancient trails to pyramids, there's no shortage of adventure to be had in Antioquia's hills.

How to Make Medellin Magnificent

For all the ingredients you need to put together a magnificent Medellin trip—where to stay, what to do, what to eat, where else to visit in Colombia—see our Medellin Travel Manual.

And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions to share with other readers, please share them in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Cerro de las Tres Cruces: A Short, Popular, and Fun Medellin Hike”

  1. Did this in middle of December 2019. Trails were super empty. At the top we found that all the equipment has been removed. However the first base is still existent!

    • Really?! They took down all the workout equipment on Tres Cruces? Google reviews and Instagram from as little as a week ago indicate using the outdoor workout equipment up top. But I also read there was a fire in Sep, so maybe it burned down then. It looks like the city purchased the land and is converting it to a park (apparently it used to be private). Hopefully they reinstall the workout equipment.

  2. I did the hike this week (August 2022) and there is a small outdoor gym at the halfway point and a big one at the top! Also, a local friend told me they are planning to (or in the process of – I'm not totally sure) put up lights at the top, so that people can go in the morning and at night with illumination. Hopefully that makes it safer as well.


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