Guatapé was not originally on my plan until another traveller recommended it to me. I am happy I went there and would recommend making a two day trip instead of just one. It is such a beautiful place that deserves to be explored. Two days will give you enough time to discover its beauty.
The Colourful Town Of Guatapé
Guatapé is really easy to get to from Medellín. All you need to do is go to Terminal Norte where you can purchase a ticket for $12,500COP. Just look for the ticket booths that say Guatapé in huge letters, can’t miss it. After 1 hour 30 minutes you will arrive in Guatapé. You can go straight to the town or you can get off at the giant rock of El Peñon just 5 minutes before town. Since my hostel was close to the rock I got off there, settled in and took a bus for 1,000COP into town.
When I got into town I was so delighted with how colourful it was. It instantly made me feel happy on what was a rainy day. Each building has a unique pattern and looks so freshly painted. I walked around for hours just taking photos, eating food, and browsing the local shops. It is the perfect town to go for a stroll in.
A Giant Rock With A Giant View
Let’s talk about the giant rock of Guatapé, Colombia. Also referred to as Piedra or El Peñon, this rock is an intriguing sight. When I first looked at it’s odd shape, to me it looked kind of like a cartoon. It is 2,135 metres above sea level and well known amongst locals but has remained almost unheard of to travellers. I have to admit I had never heard of it before I arrived in Colombia. It’s most unusual feature is the giant staircase containing 650 steps running up the side of the rock. This is the only way to get to the top and it is actually a pretty good workout.
I arrived to the gate at 8:00am, paid the entrance fee and began my walk up. It took about 15 minutes with the views getting better and better the higher I got. Once you get to the top you will realize you are not actually at the top and there is another staircase that will take you to a total of 700 steps. Once you get there the view will make you forget the workout. The 360 degree view overlooks the lakes and all the tiny islands of Guatapé as far as the eyes can see. There is a sign when you first arrive at the gate of El Peñon advertising it as “the best view in the world”. It isn’t, but it’s still pretty spectacular.
Kayaking On The Lake
If you visit Guatapé I highly recommend to go kayaking on the lake. You can rent a kayak for fairly cheap, mine was 35,000COP for 4 hours and I split with a friend. There are amazing views of the rock from the lake and it is such a peaceful experience.