Girardota, Antioquia
45 min from Medellin
25.4 km( 15 miles)


Average 24c (78f)

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Girardota a Scenic, Cultural Haven

Girardota is a small town in the heart of the Aburrá Valley within the Antioquia department of Colombia. This municipality has a rich history and a unique character that has endeared it to both locals and visitors. Girardota is bordered by the following neighboring municipalities: San Pedro de los Milagros and Donmatías to the north, Barbosa and San Vicente to the east, Barbosa and Guarne to the south, and Copacabana to the west. It’s located around an hour to the north of Medellin.
The town’s name is a tribute to the revered patriot Atanasio Girardot. Although it might have seemed natural to name it Girardot, the decision was influenced by the existence of another municipality with the same name in the Cundinamarca department. To avoid confusion, it was renamed Girardota. At one point, the town was briefly referred to as Hato Grande in the hope of fostering a city.

History of Girardota

Girardota’s history is intertwined with the indigenous communities of Nutabes and Yamesíes, who primarily engaged in agriculture. In 1620, a group of settlers from Medellin established a settlement in the San Diego area. This settlement initially fell under the jurisdiction of the city of Santa Fe de Antioquia, which was the capital of the department at the time. However, in 1675, it became associated with the village of Medellín.
On December 31, 1757, Governor José Barón de Chaves created the Hatogrande district, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Medellín City Council. On September 21, 1833, Governor Juan de Dios Aranzazu established the parish. The main part of the decree reads: “A new parish is established in the Hatogrande district, where the Chapel of the Fallen Christ is located, with the name Girardota, to preserve the memory of the valiant Colonel and distinguished Atanasio Girardot.”
The central government provided its approval shortly afterward. The population was established with 1,824 inhabitants, marking the beginning of the civic life of the new Municipality of Girardota. It was a time when the creation of a parish also meant the establishment of a district. In 1912 a change to the name was made, from now on the town would be Girardot. However, on the 18th of April of the following year, 1913 the name was changed back to Girardota.

Things to Do in Girardota

Girardota is a town with a lot of history and natural beauty. This small town located just north of Medellin offers a variety of activities and attractions that you can enjoy. Here are some of the things you can do in this Colombian municipality:

Microcuencas, Quebradas, and Balnearios

Girardota is a place with a lot of beautiful nature, including small watersheds and streams, providing crystal-clear waters. These natural spots are easily accessible by private or public transportation, making them ideal for nature lovers. You can enjoy relaxing moments by the water or even go for a refreshing swim.


Explore the ancient symbols, writings, and carvings left by the indigenous people who once inhabited this land. These petroglyphs offer a fascinating glimpse into the imaginations and lives of the indigenous communities of the past.

Parque Vivo El Sainete

This is a tourist route that celebrates the cultural expression, agricultural wealth, and heritage of the San Andrés village. Here, you can enjoy a journey that includes witnessing typical regional dances, sainete performances, sugarcane milling, petroglyphs, eco-walks, and other attractions.

Parque Educativo Innova

Innova is a space dedicated to innovation, creativity, learning, culture, education, and recreation. It even offers an outdoor gym for visitors to enjoy.

Sugarcane Mills

Girardota boasts around 27 sugarcane mills scattered across different villages. These mills produce panela, a popular Colombian sweetener, in various forms such as blanqueado, conejo, and subido. You can witness the traditional process of panela production in these mills.

Cueva del Cura (Cave of the Priest)

If you’re seeking an adventurous experience, explore the underground world of caves at the Cueva del Cura. This thrilling attraction offers extreme adventures and cave exploration. It’s located in the San Andrés village.

Granja Experimental

If you’re interested in the agricultural traditions of Girardota, the Granja Experimental is the perfect place to explore. This educational site allows visitors to witness the cultivation process and interact with the countryside. Located in the El Palmar village, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn more about local agriculture.

Catedral Nuestra Señora del Rosario

The construction of the Catedral Nuestra Señora del Rosario began in 1890 and was completed in 1922. The church’s plans were entrusted to the French engineer Carlos Carré. This magnificent cathedral not only serves as a place of worship but also houses valuable religious images, including the Señor Caído, the patroness Virgen del Rosario, and the Virgen del Carmen, among others. The cathedral is located in the main square, making it a central landmark in Girardota.

Señor Caído (The Fallen Christ)

Girardota is home to the Señor Caído, an image of Christ bound to a column and exhausted after enduring the severe blows of the flagellation. This image was brought to Girardota from Quito, Ecuador, by the presbyter Manuel Londoño y Molina. The town commemorates this important figure by holding monthly Eucharistic celebrations in his honor on the first Saturday of each month. You can visit the Señor Caído at the Catedral Nuestra Señora del Rosario in the main square.

Parque Principal

The main square of Girardota is a place for cultural, religious, and social interactions. It’s a space where the community comes together, making it a great spot for people-watching and enjoying the town’s lively atmosphere.

Casa de la Cultura Pedrito Ruiz

This cultural space is dedicated to art, education, and fun. It showcases artistic exhibitions that represent and identify the town.

Mercado Agroverde

If you’re a fan of fresh, local produce, don’t miss the Agroverde Market. It’s a platform for promoting and selling rural products and takes place on the first Saturdays and third Fridays of each month. The market is held in the Main Square.

Cascada de San Antonio

Don’t hesitate to plan a visit to the San Antonio Waterfall. It’s a place where you can connect with nature, go for a hike, and enjoy the nearby swimming spots. The waterfall is located in the El Cano village.

Charcuzzi Expedition

For an eco-adventure, consider embarking on the Charcuzzi Expedition. This tourist route offers a unique experience that includes a chiva ride, mountain hiking, enjoying swimming spots, and even engaging in extreme sports like rappelling down waterfalls.

Getting to Girardota from Medellín

Girardota is a wonderful destination for if you are seeking a quieter and more rural Colombian experience. While it may not be as well-known as tourist hotspots like Guatape or Jardin, it offers a unique charm that’s worth exploring. Here’s how to get to Girardota:
Metro: Getting to Girardota via the Metro System is a simple, convenient, and budget-friendly option. You can start your journey from any Metro Line, whether it’s the Metro Cable, tram, or Metroplus. Your goal is to reach Line A by taking the train heading north to Niquia, which is the last Metro station in that direction.
Once you arrive at Niquia you can take a bus from the integrated system that will take you directly to Girardota. This method is straightforward, affordable, and generally quite fast.
Private Car: If you are looking for optimal comfort, flexibility, and the ability to make stops along the way, renting a car in Medellin is a great choice. You’ll be able to explore at your own pace and even enjoy some sightseeing on the journey to Girardota.
Keep in mind that you’ll encounter a toll booth along the way. Fortunately, the toll is relatively inexpensive, around $4,000 COP or approximately $1 USD. If you prefer to avoid the toll booth, there is an alternate route, though it will add about ten extra minutes to your travel time. Additionally, it’s wise to avoid rush hour, especially around the Bello area, as traffic congestion can be a bit challenging.
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