This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Caldas. To help you make friends with Caldas before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Caldas is a very small town in the Antioquia department in the central region of Colombia’s Aburra Valley. It is considered part of the Medellin metropolitan region. As a result, there are plenty of hostels in this area. You can find traditional backpacker hostels as well as hostels that are similar to pensions and guesthouses.
The Antioquia department had its own sovereign government for much of Colombia’s turbulent history. Caldas lies in the mountainous region, near the south of the province. This area was inhabited by the Quimbaya tribe, one of the three main native tribes on Colombia. When the Spanish arrived, they quelled any uprisings by these tribes, who then fled to neighbouring provinces, and as result, there are very few native descendants left in the Antioquia department.
Caldas is a great place to stay to explore not just Medellin, 22 kilometres away, but also the Aburra Valley. Caldas is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colombia, and you’ll find plenty of religious institutions here. Caldas’s town centre has a beautiful cathedral that’s worth visiting, and there is also a small town square and park with several old buildings. The Aburra Valley was the first metropolitan area created in Colombia. It’s a very industrial area, with over four million inhabitants, most in the north. Caldas, in the south, is where the Medellin River begins (in the Alto de San Miguel). The mountains around Caldas are great for day hiking trips. Your hostel staff can give you maps with walking trails.
It’s also possible to hire a driver to visit all of the other towns in the Aburra Valley. Many of these have a rich history, like Caldas, from the Muisca and Quimbaya tribes that lived here. Don’t miss the local museums with their heritage stories and old photos that show what the region used to look like! If you are here in October, make sure you attend the Fiesta de Aguacero, where artificial rain falls on the town and festival-goers.
Written by local enthusiast for Caldas hostelsJakob Lombardi