La Blanquita (Frontino)-Quiparadó-Vásquez-El Puente-El Sireno (Urrao)


Trail photos

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Trail stats

56.07 mi
Elevation gain
7,713 ft
Technical difficulty
Elevation loss
5,889 ft
Max elevation
4,514 ft
99 5
Min elevation
690 ft
Trail type
One Way
3 days 6 hours 33 minutes
October 3, 2016
July 2016
  • Rating

  •   5 3 Reviews
4,514 ft
690 ft
56.07 mi

near Murrí, Departamento de Antioquia (Republic of Colombia)

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Trail photos

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Itinerary description

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Horseback Riding La Blanquita (Frontino) - El Sireno (Urrao)
July 19, 20, 21 and 22, 2016

The idea of this fascinating 90 km journey on horseback through the biogeographical Chocó; was born from a circuit that had made me in that area

Since I arrived in the Murri Valley I fell in love with this hidden place and that's why I decided to go back to cross it. Before reviewing this adventure, I share some data of this exotic inhabited area for 8 millennia.

Six hours away from the municipality of Frontino, there is Murrí. A corregimiento immersed in the National Natural Park Las Orquídeas or Caráuta Forest Reserve. Of this Park Frontino has 65%, Urrao 35% and Abriquí 10%.

Its water richness is incalculable. Its waters, crystalline and abundant, sprout from the basins of the Carauta Rivers; Deer, Streets, Chaquenodá ,, Jengamecodá, Penderisco, Murrí and many more

Gold abounds in all its streams. The La Ñame Mine, one of the most famous, has been worked since colonial times. In the bowels of this region there are also some rich deposits of copper. There is also the so-called "sharpening stone" or "tibe stone", which is only available in Brazil and the Ural Mountains.

37 indigenous communities and more than 11,700 Emberá Katios inhabit the paths of Amparradó, Pegadó, Pantanos, Jenaturado, Atausí, Jengamecodá and Curbatá, among others.

All this aquifer, mining and woodland wealth of the beautiful Murri Valley, is shared by the municipalities of Urrao, Vigía del Fuerte, Murindó, Dabeiba and Frontino

Geographically speaking, this is a branch of the Andes mountain range that descends from the Frontino wilderness (4,080 masl) to the plains of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, through steep slopes and more or less steep valleys like those of the Murrí River and the Río Sucio, both tributaries of the Atrato, backbone of the biogeographical Chocó.

This is undoubtedly a magical land but, unfortunately, the prolonged geographical marginality of this region has contributed enormously to its valuation as a wild, insane, uneducated, backward and insecure territory. Having traveled it, I found the opposite and gave me the opportunity to live one of the most wonderful walks of my life

1st Day La Blanquita-Quiparadó. 18km
The crossing began in one of the three valleys that form the extensive Murri Valley: La Blanquita. The other two valleys are Chontaduro and San Mateo.

On a previous trip I had the good fortune to meet Aroldo Benítez, one of the two arrieros from La Blanquita. In that opportunity he told me about the various options of crossings that there are in the region and he recommended the one that goes to Urrao. He also told me that to go to the Municipality of Cacique Toné, there are 3 trails: one for Carauta-Venados, another for Jengamecodá and one more for Vásquez.

I went back, in the company of Luis Alberto, to do some of them. Aroldo would, of course, be our guide and muleteer. The mere fact of performing a job that for years is in danger of extinction and that is only seen in remote parts of the world, makes this man a special being.

His physical strength, combined with the wisdom to handle the mules and the skill to overcome obstacles and dangerous trails; They evoke those men from before who are no longer seen. Without a doubt, with Aroldo, we were in the best hands to undertake this journey.

Very early we went through the extensive valley of La Blanquita, village of Frontino. We take an unfinished road that goes to the Cuevas River. We cross several water flows that require good "beasts" to pass them. We raffled all kinds of land and, further on, we entered a lush jungle area.

Along a path that sometimes narrowed, we went up and down the foothills of the mountain, always accompanied by rivers and streams. We crossed the slope of the Devil, which, as the name suggests, is terrifying. We passed through cliffs that aroused the adrenaline and we continued in search of lower lands.

During the trip we saw several indigenous women dressed in their parumas (skirts) of colors and psychedelic shirts finely embroidered, carrying on their back baskets woven palm full of provisions. Large tobo sheets, like an umbrella, covered their heads to protect themselves from the rain.

We went down to San Mateo an old town founded in 1725, located at the foot of the river that bears his name. There, gold is the engine of the economy. At this point is one of the limits of the Parque de las Orquídeas, which goes along the foothills to Chaquenodá.

After greeting the locals, we continue. We crossed the Qda El Purgatorio and arrived at an indigenous place called Quiparadó. Since it had rained, the rivers were swollen and later we had to pass two of them; Aroldo suggested finishing this first day there.

Benítez contacted the Professor of the village who very kindly allowed us to stay at the School. Prof. Agustín Banaerubi not only let us sleep, but also lent us his stove and helped us prepare the food. In his house, accompanied by his two women, both pregnant, and with 9 children already begotten, this native, a native of Dabeiba, delighted us with their stories. After listening to it, we set out to rest after this first day of 18km

2nd Day Quiparadó-Vásquez. 30km
To have slept in an indigenous community that still does not speak Spanish and maintains ancestral customs. To have shared with him Profe and his family, walked his simple and practical palíficas dwellings, amazed with the simplicity in which they live and marveled with the collage of colors of their suits; It was a difficult experience to repeat.

Quiparadó indigenous community, guarded by the thick jungle and settled at the foot of the river that bears the same name; We left early in view of the long day ahead.

We did it by the base of the Parque de las Orquídeas, a 32,000-hectare park located on the western flank of the western cordillera, a peaceful Colombian region where water and rainfall abound.

The Rivers Chaquenodá, Jengamecodá, Quiparadó Carauta, Río Calles and Río Venados are part of its water wealth. In this park 3,493 species of endemic plants of the place have been reported. In the area there are peasant communities of Paisa origin and indigenous communities: Embera - Katíos and Chaquenodá.

We continue towards the Qda Island and Qda Barro hoping that this last one was not repressed by the heavy rains that had fallen the previous night. We crossed the Qdas Sardina, Sanguijuela and Pavarandó to reach the Jencamecodá River. This was one of the two most jungle routes of the crossing

We arrived at the Jengamecodá farmhouse. Further on we came across the river that gives its name to the village. Here began one of the two odysseys of this day: crossing the river that was still grown.

A tree trunk cut in half makes a raft for the villagers to pass to the other side. In view of the fact that this rudimentary raft lacks technical design, it is difficult to handle so Aroldo did not dare to manipulate it.

As we could not stay there, our muleteer and guide decided to try his luck with his mules specially chosen to cross the rivers of the region. In an impeccable maneuver passed the backpacks, it happened to us and spent the rest of equines.

After this activity, which took more than an hour and a lot of adrenaline; we mount the mules again to continue skirting the Jengacomedá until its mouth in the Penderisco River

At only 15 minutes we find the Penderisco, which at this point of the route is large and flowing towards its mouth in the Chaquenodá River where it changes its name to that of Río Murrí. Appeal that identifies the entire area.

Luckily in this river we found a young man with his raft that helped us to pass to the other side while the beasts did it swimming. Once we crossed the Penderisco we entered again in the second exuberant route of the walk that would take us to Alto Murrí

The jungle appeared again with deep mudholes and swamps in which the mules got stuck several times and we were still in summer.

At one point along the route, we began to see more "civilized" villages in territories occupied by Afro-descendant communities that live in places such as Paracuchichí and Murrí Medio. The change was immediate, the architecture of the houses became different and pastures and crops spread throughout the area.

The story tells that at the beginning of the XVII century, the Chocó Indians native of Quibdó, Lloró and Bebará, fleeing from the pressure of the encomenderos of mines; They ascended the Murri River and settled on its banks. The same was done by several indigenous leaders of Citará, giving rise to the diaspora that years later was recorded in the "maroons" established in the middle and upper basin of the Murrí River.

For these lands, inhabited several centuries ago and with a lot of history, we continue riding in favor of the Penderisco. Several kilometers further on we came across the mouth of the Mandé River. We turn to the right and begin to climb this Rio, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful in the region.

Falling the afternoon we passed through Vásquez Viejo, the original farmhouse that perished because of a flood; and a couple of kilometers away we reached Vásquez Nuevo.
As it was already night Aroldo contacted the inhabitants of the first house we found to ask for an inn, request permission to prepare food and release the mules in the meadow.

Without hesitation Diomedes opened the doors of his house and gave us all the comforts without asking for anything in return. This gesture amazed us and showed us that there are still people and communities in which humanity is above all.

Exhausted, after 30 km on top of the mules, we prepare food and sleep in the spacious Diomedes room.

3rd Day Vásquez-El Puente. 24km
We left Diomedes house. We cross this picturesque town full of colorful houses, built at the foot of the Mandé River and we begin to climb this serene and crystalline flow of water.

For more than two hours we toured the Mandé beaches. At one point we left the river, we took the left and started a steep ascent by a gutter that took us to more temperate climates. I sensed that the time had come to say goodbye to the exuberant jungle to enter into more intervened lands.

At some points of the ascent we stopped to contemplate the beautiful little valley that below forms the Rio Mandé and the chain of jungle mountains that guard it. Magical landscape

Above we begin to see a mixture of jungle with intervened lands and typical houses of Paisa culture. Beyond we were surprised with hundreds of palms similar to those of

Wax that gave a special touch to the landscape.
That which began to change account of the entrance of civilization: more houses, deforestation, roads, paddocks, barbed wire, electricity and an unfinished road in terrible condition. Riding through the mudflats that form in this way requires nerves of steel and mules with vigor.

Although in Vásquez we had been told that on that day we would arrive at La Quiebra or La Clara, we, with a slow pace, reached only to a place known as El Puente. We crossed this construction made on the Nendó River, climbed a little and arrived at a house.

In view of the fall of the afternoon and the heavy rain, we opted to ask for an inn. Once again, the kindness did not wait and without hesitation they welcomed us. There in the heat of the stove and the stories of this family hit by the adversities of life, we prepared to prepare dinner.

I took from the backpack a bag of "Gourmet Pink Lentils" to put in the atomic pot. Since I did not know that this type of lentils are soft and do not need to put them to soak, or put them in the pressure cooker, they are undone. Even so, we ate them. This episode served to laugh the rest of the night and for that reason this chronicle takes the name of "Gourmet Pink Lentils".

4th day El Puente- El Sireno. 18km
With tremendous breakfast we were dispatched from the house of the Bridge where we left a fierce and brave woman of 40 who, with her 5 children, tries to rebuild their lives.

We undertook the 4th and last day of the voyage. We take again the unfinished road that made the journey very technical because of the presence of rock. We ride for a while by a kind of channels filled with water. And then we entered a palisaded path. Undoubtedly, this was the worst section of the whole trip.

Beyond, we draw again with the unfinished road that increasingly brought us closer to civilization. We arrived at a point called La Sierra where the road became much more evident. In this way, covered with slippery sand, we set up the rest of the morning.

Below, on the left, the Penderisco River was our reference point. This is an imposing flow of water that forms an extensive basin in which the valleys of the rivers Pabón, Urrao and Encarnación are located, among others.

In front, the Paisas mountains, were our landscape, while up in the sky, the EPM helicopters transported the light poles that would bring electricity to this secluded corner of Antioquia.

At 2pm we arrived at El Sireno-Urrao after having lived a unique experience of 90km on the backs of mules that for 4 days took us through remote places of our geography.

There we hired two bikes that ended up bringing us to Urrao, a beautiful municipality in Southwest Antioquia; known as Hidden Paradise, the Pearl of Penderisco and the Antioquia Switzerland; where we take bus back to Medellin.


PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,339 ft


19-JUL-16 12:10:30PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 873 ft
Photo ofAlto Murrí Photo ofAlto Murrí Photo ofAlto Murrí

Alto Murrí

20-JUL-16 3:04:02PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,830 ft


21-JUL-16 3:20:50PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,983 ft


19-JUL-16 10:13:57AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 823 ft


20-JUL-16 2:16:51PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,524 ft
Photo ofChontaduro Photo ofChontaduro


19-JUL-16 8:37:03AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,959 ft
Photo ofChontaduro bajo Photo ofChontaduro bajo Photo ofChontaduro bajo

Chontaduro bajo

19-JUL-16 10:37:25AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 843 ft


20-JUL-16 4:13:31PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,053 ft
Photo ofEl Barro

El Barro

20-JUL-16 9:21:46AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 892 ft

El Diablo

20-JUL-16 2:44:54PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,125 ft

El Mico

21-JUL-16 11:12:01AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,463 ft

El Salado

19-JUL-16 11:27:45AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 3,862 ft

El Sireno

22-JUL-16 1:43:53PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,320 ft

Esc Mandecito

21-JUL-16 12:32:19PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 932 ft


21-JUL-16 10:12:58AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 715 ft


20-JUL-16 5:31:50PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,110 ft

Finca Alto

21-JUL-16 11:58:09AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,172 ft

Fla Prabera

19-JUL-16 9:31:41AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 965 ft
Photo ofJengamecodá Photo ofJengamecodá Photo ofJengamecodá


20-JUL-16 10:25:32AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,871 ft

La Blanquita

22-JUN-16 2:13:00PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,946 ft

La Caseta

21-JUL-16 2:44:26PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 3,363 ft
Photo ofLa Clara Photo ofLa Clara

La Clara

22-JUL-16 11:24:05AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 3,501 ft
Photo ofLa Quiebra Photo ofLa Quiebra Photo ofLa Quiebra

La Quiebra

22-JUL-16 10:31:53AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 4,144 ft
Photo ofLa Sierra Photo ofLa Sierra

La Sierra

22-JUL-16 12:16:21PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 823 ft

Las Playas

21-JUL-16 9:41:09AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 696 ft
Photo ofMandé


20-JUL-16 6:02:00PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 879 ft


21-JUL-16 9:54:52AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,759 ft
Photo ofNendó Photo ofNendó


21-JUL-16 5:36:45PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 898 ft
Photo ofPenderisco


20-JUL-16 12:15:00PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofQuiparadó Photo ofQuiparadó Photo ofQuiparadó


19-JUL-16 2:07:56PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,589 ft

Rio Cuevas

22-JUN-16 3:24:14PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,405 ft

San Mateo

19-JUL-16 11:55:33AM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 2,933 ft
Photo ofSn Antonio Photo ofSn Antonio Photo ofSn Antonio

Sn Antonio

21-JUL-16 3:55:45PM

PictographWaypoint Altitude 735 ft
Photo ofVásquez Photo ofVásquez Photo ofVásquez


20-JUL-16 6:52:24PM

Comments  (17)

  • Photo of blonki
    blonki Oct 5, 2016

    genial, felicidades!

  • Photo of Leandro Escobar
    Leandro Escobar Feb 22, 2017

    Gracias Vicky por tu impecable descripción, que nos permite disfrutar de tu viaje como si fuera nuestro. Y porque nos permites conocer un poco de estos lugares mágicos.

  • Photo of UNSUB_2910787
  • Photo of Oscar Upegui
    Oscar Upegui Sep 30, 2017

    Esta ruta al Igual que las anteriores también merecen una buena calificación.
    Saludos Vicky Tru.

  • Photo of liliwhale®
    liliwhale® Dec 1, 2017

    Gracias Monja Voladora por compartir esta super aventura, que como otras, lo dejan a uno con la motivación para recorrer rincones maravillosos y olvidados de nuestro país. Ruta magnífica para un espíritu aventurero como el tuyo !!!.
    Abrazo, Lili

  • Photo of Vicky Trujillo
    Vicky Trujillo Dec 10, 2017

    Hola Fabiana
    Gusto verte por acá jejeje
    Es un verdadero privilegio que aún hayan paraísos como estos en el planeta.
    Recorrerlos y documentarlos se ha convertido en una gran pasión.
    Espero seguir en la búsqueda de esos rincones olvidados de nuestra geografía
    Ojalá te animes a recorrer este pedazo de tierra, aún virgen y exótica, antes de que la "civilización" le robe su encanto

  • Photo of matadorvicentebarrera
    matadorvicentebarrera Nov 13, 2018

    Impresionante viaje con unas fotos espectaculares, pero lo que si tengo claro es que esta ruta y viendo las fotos no se puede calificar de dificil si no que habría que encuadrarla en la categoría que Wikiloc da como máxima dificultad, que es la de ¨solo para profesionales¨

  • Photo of Vicky Trujillo
    Vicky Trujillo Nov 21, 2018

    Hola matadorvicentebarrera
    De pronto sí tienes razón en poner ésta ruta en categoría máxima dificultad.
    Paseos como estos....pocos

  • Photo of Luis Quiceno
    Luis Quiceno Jan 10, 2021

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Maravillosa ruta, pero en verano

  • Photo of Vicky Trujillo
    Vicky Trujillo Jan 10, 2021

    Hola Luis Quiceno
    Éste fue, sin duda, uno de esos paseos inolvidable, raro, exclusivo, loco, único
    Gracias por "pararme" bolas y acompañarme en ésta hermosa aventura

  • Daniela de Jesús Garcés Mar 15, 2021

    Hola Vicky, podrías darme información sobre guías o personas que pudieran ayudarme a planear este recorrido por favor!?

  • Photo of Vicky Trujillo
    Vicky Trujillo Mar 16, 2021

    Hola Daniela de Jesús Garcés
    Me resetiaron el celular y perdí muchos contactos, entre ellos, los de allá
    De otra lado considero que no sería prudente ir en éstos momentos por allá, ya que , desafortunadamente, en nuestro país se ha vuelto a disparar los problemas de orden público y ésa es un a de las zonas más afectadas
    Debes tener en cuenta también que , para nada, es una ruta turística o convencional. Ésa fue, sin duda, una verdadera aventura
    Si de pronto te queda fácil podrías contactar los conductores de los buses que van a Frontino para que ellos traten de darte el contacto del conductor que baja a La Blanquita y ya con él seguir averiguando si Aroldo, el arriero, aún está por allí y si es factible volver a hacer ésa hermosa travesía
    Me cuentas

  • Hugocatamaran Aug 2, 2021

    Buenas noches. Muchas gracias por su explicación. Necesito llegar al centro poblado de MANDE, para actividades laborales. Por ahora la ruta que nos han ofrecido es 6 horas en mula desde Urrao. QUe otra ruta podria tomar? gracias.

  • Photo of Vicky Trujillo
    Vicky Trujillo Aug 3, 2021

    Hola Hugocatamaran
    No te sabría decir qué otra ruta podrás tomar pues sólo conozco la que entra por La Blanquita y la que sale por Urrao como la hicimos nosotros.
    Le podrías preguntar a quienes te contrataron si existe otra alternativa
    Ya te tocaría evaluar por dónde te quieres ir
    Creería yo que, si estás en Medellín, es más rápido por Urrao pues, entrando por La Blanquita- Frontino, nosotros tardamos dos días para llegar Mandé

  • Photo of Lizandro Gomez
    Lizandro Gomez Feb 28, 2022

    Hola, me puedes dar información de un guía que me lleve ?

  • Photo of Vicky Trujillo
    Vicky Trujillo Mar 2, 2022

    Hola Lizandro Gomez
    Desafortundamente Aroldo, El Arriero que nos llevó, ya no vive en La Blanquita
    Perdí todos los contactos de la región
    Te tocaría ir hasta Frontino y tratar de averiguar con los conductores que bajan a La Blanquita
    Lástima no poderte colaborar

  • Photo of Yudys
    Yudys Sep 9, 2022

    Ruta Sireno Blanquita

You can or this trail