El Salado Eco-park

In the mountains east of Envigado there is a really nice park called El Salado. It is a green space designed for urban dwellers who want to get out of the city for a day trip. The setting is a peaceful rural valley with a clear running stream, landscaped and semi-natural vegetation.

My wife and one of her pals went up to the park to get away from the city yesterday. When Nubia got home she mentioned the sancocho picnic service they offer. Sancocho is a delicious stew and is one of the core dishes in the cuisine of Antioquia. By way of background, a traditional family outing often includes making sancocho picnic style. A large kettle and all the fixings are packed up along with the family and everyone heads out to a favorite country location for the day. Firewood is gathered and a cooking fire started. The stew is prepared while the kids play and the adults chat and perhaps have a beer or two. Everyone eats large bowls full when its done and the conversations, hikes, games and other activities continue until it is time to go home.

The park offers a package deal including a kettle, the fixings and a place to make the sancocho for a very reasonable price. For 48,000 pesos ( around 24 dollars) you get a package feeding 10. The 5 person version costs 25,000 pesos or about $US12.50. The fixings include the meat, potatoes, yuca and other vegetables.

There are 17 very nice kiosks available for day use. These provide a roof in case of rain, benches and fixtures to hang hammocks in addition to the cooking area. They are quite comfortable and most have a good view of the stream. These are provided without an extra charge but it is a good idea to arrive early to get one.

Of course you don´t have to make sancocho to enjoy the park. There are small restaurant facilities available, snack shops and of course you can bring your own picnic if you wish. If you don´t get a kiosk there are benches and other spots to just sit and relax. There also is a store and restaurant just outside the entry.

Getting there is easy from the Metro. Just ask for an “integrado” ticket for el Salado. Go to the Envigado station and take one of the buses which says El Salado. The entrance fee is COP$ 4,000 or about US$ 2.00.

I highly recommend a day trip out there when you are looking for a place just to relax. This is very much a family destination and to my knowledge is as safe as as similar facilities you would find in the States or in Europe.

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