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Urrao, a hidden paradise

The beauty of Urrao’s landscapes, adorned with the color of the orchids, makes this municipality a special place. Each of the corners tells the story of the aboriginal ancestors belonging to the tribe of the Catios, recognized for their strength and struggle during the Spanish colonial era.

Former settlers such as Rita Martínez, José María and Pedro de Rublas, Gerardo Urán, among others, founded it in 1781.

Urrao is located southwest of the department of Antioquia, and is surrounded by large mountains such as the Páramo del Sol and the Páramo de Urrao, which stand out among its landscapes, revealing a hidden paradise that opens in the middle of the Penderisco Valley, and gives way to the Penderisco River.

How can I arrive?

Land route: 158.3 km from Medellín and a duration of approximately 4 hours on a road that takes you to tour municipalities such as Betulia, between paved and unpaved roads, which border the most beautiful mountains of our department.

By Air: The flight lasts approximately 30 minutes, which takes you through the clouds and lands at the Ali Piedrahita Airport, located in the Encarnación region; the main region of Urrao.

In its 2,556 km², it is the entrance to the Las Orquídeas National Natural Park, which at 3,080 meters above sea level preserves more than 300 different species of orchids and animals in danger of extinction.

To explore the landscapes that identify this place, it is necessary to highlight the diversity of its flora, emphasizing the characteristic flower of the area: the orchid.

Cattleya

Picture took from internet

Its purple petals are the main characteristic beauty of the Las Orquídeas National Natural Park, a place where a great diversity of flowering orchids are protected among the trees. This park is located between the municipalities of Frontino, Abriaquí and Urrao.

The Chaquenondá, Jengamecodá, Quiparadó and Urrao rivers are part of the water sources of this place, that together with its great diversity of fauna and flora make this a unique space where tranquility is in every corner.

The spectacled bear, the squeak of the carriquí and the sound of the marmoset welcome you to this amazing park that after giving life to a large number of orchid species is the home of many animals that are in danger of extinction in the country.

Erycina crista-galli

Picture took from internet

The Erycina Crista-galli orchid has uneven yellow petals, and grows in the trees of this territory, which provide the necessary conditions for it to flourish with greatness and beauty.

The pleasant smell of the granadilla and the sound it makes when it is uncovered are part of the creation of a territory like Urrao, which bases its economy on the cultivation of fruits such as passion fruit, avocado, coffee, potatoes, and sugarcane. Grains like beans and corn are also cultivated regularly as farmers use the long stretches of territory to grow organic and natural foods that feed their families and allow them to work.

The avocado fruit trees rise from its mountains of the region. It is a food that has made a massive impact in Colombian homes and markets due to its texture and nutritional contribution. The avocado has been turned it into a highly productive fruit that generates great profits for farmers.

There are roughly 60 hectares cultivated as part of the production of the fruit in the area. This industry employs approximately 40 people who work with passion and dedication.

One of the pillars of the region’s economy is also from its pastures and livestock. The main production is in the dairy sector. One of the main sweets of the municipality, known as Uraeño cheese, is also popular here. It is a food that retains a sweet flavor.

As in many municipalities of the department of Antioquia, the gastronomy of Urrao is marked by its economy. In the case of Urrao, one of the typical dishes is the Bandeja Paisa. It is composed of a soup made from grains such as beans, rice, and is accompanied by ripe banana, pork rinds, avocado and chorizo.

Fernandezia Lanceolata

Picture took from the internet

The Fernandezia Lanceolata orchid is characterized by its small orange-colored petals. It grows in the National Natural Park of the Orchids together with the other species of color and life.

The culture of the region celebrates its indigenous origins with one of the most popular celebrations of the municipality, the party of Cacique Toné, which is known in the town for having led battles against the Spaniards during colonial times. His spirit of liberation and rebellion inspired the party, which takes place at the end of June.

For this holiday, the balconies of the houses are dressed with flowers, banners and bouquets of the traditional granadilla.

This is one of the most anticipated festivities for the Urraeños, who go out riding through the streets of the town on their best horses, enjoy music concerts in the traditional popular tablados and prepare their bicycles to practice one of the most characteristic sports in the area: the bicycle circuit.

Witch each time the urraeños pedal their bikes, they are driven to a town that preserves an architecture characterized by its large colored balconies, and windows and doors that melt into the landscapes, giving the town a colonial style influenced by Antioquia.

These houses are marked by a traditional style and vary in size as some have two floors. This new style has been a part of the urbanization of the municipality.

Urrao is a place marked by a culture, which is attached to its past and traditional customs, especially practices the Catholic religion with devotion and dedication to God. During Holy Week in 2019 there were about 12,000 people participating in the activities of the event.

Here, we will recommend the places that you should not miss and that will make your stay in Urrao unforgettable.

Las Orquídeas National Park: This park is located in the western area of the department of Antioquia, between the municipalities of Frontino, Abriaquí and Urrao. The temperature of the park ranges between 4 and 24 degrees Celsius. The Andean forest, the sub-Andean forest, the tropical humid forest and moor in Morro Pelao integrate its ecosystem.

Picture took from internet

El valle del Penderisco: In the municipality of Urrao you will find the Penderisco Valley; an extension of land that with different colors and reliefs opens in the middle to give way to one of the main rivers of Urrao: The Penderisco River. This valley is the one that welcomes visitors who seek to record this landscape forever in their memory with their cameras.

Hacienda El Espinal: This house was built by Don Manuel Dimas del Corral, son of Juan del Corral, in approximately 1825. The colonial architecture of the hacienda makes it an architectural jewel in the municipality.

Picture took from internet

Where should I eat?

Café Chiroso: A gourmet café that is set in the ancestral roots of the municipality. This is a space where culture, flavor and tradition combine, generating a pleasant atmosphere for its visitors.

Picture took from internet

Café del Paraíso: located in the main park of the municipality of Urrao is the Café del Paraíso, a special coffee shop that allows the inhabitants to enjoy the best grain of the region.

Restaurante del hotel Flores del Paraíso: located in the hotel Flores del Paraíso and has a pleasant atmosphere with a landscape that harmonize the place. They offer different menu.

Where to sleep?

Hotel Flores del Paraíso: This hotel has 25 bedrooms. It has a Turkish bath, restaurant, and auditorium inside.

La Finca Hotel Riomanso: Located in the Pringamosal path, this place has 10 rooms with a capacity for 50 people. It also offers its guests the opportunity to take ecological walks.

Finca hotel las Araucarias: A country hotel that has 26 rooms equipped with: bar service, swimming pool, Turkish bath and an authentic Colombian restaurant.

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