Just a stone’s throw from Medellín (well, maybe a little further), is the quaint town of Concepción, which is nestled among beautiful green hills. Far less touristy and much closer than other more popular Antioquian towns, Concepción is a good alternative for those wanting to visit an authentic Paisa village on a day trip from Medellín yet running short on time.
Concepción is small and easy to see quickly. It’s also impossible to get lost in. The town’s gorgeous main plaza and a few roads around it are all that’s there. Three hours is perfect to see everything while relaxing and taking in the scenery.
The plaza is lined with colorful colonial buildings. At the center is a small gated garden with a statue and benches.
The town’s church sits at the higher end of the plaza. The exterior is made of a beautiful brick but the interior is plain and unimpressive. To the left is the town hall and to the right is the tourism office.
Fiestas de la Guayaba
We visited Concepción during its annual Fiestas de la Guayaba (Guava Festivals) and got to see the town dressed up and livelier than usual. Several booths were set up around town selling all kinds of products, including many made of guava, and plenty of street food. The festival also has live entertainment. It usually takes place around the last weekend of June.
Buses to Concepción leave from Medellín’s Terminal del Norte with Sotrasanvicente. There seemed to be departures just about every hour costing COP$13,000 per person.
Some advice about the trip:
- Whatever you do, make sure you are on the route that passes through Barbosa. That takes just over 90 minutes. The other route, through San Vicente, is absolutely miserable and can take over 2 ½ hours down a terrible dusty gravel road. Avoid San Vicente at all costs.
- No matter which route you take, try to leave Medellín by 10am, otherwise you might feel rushed.
- Make sure you buy a return ticket from the office in the plaza upon arrival in Concepción. The last bus out was at 5pm via Barbosa, but we got stuck on the 4pm bus via San Vicente because the 5pm was already sold out.