Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Play-by-plays, South America | 2 comments

We spent two days exploring Medellin, the highlight of which for me were definitely the Christmas lights (Los Alumbrados). But after all the city noise and pollution, we wanted to get some greenery and fresh air so we took a bus to explore Guatape for a day. It is such a cute town only about 1-2 hours away from Medellin. The government created a reservoir and built a hydroelectric dam to supply the region’s power (aaaand flooded the town). But on the plus side, reservoir flooding plus surrounding hills actually (inadvertently) combine to create a lush backdrop for the charming town.

We got the bus from Medellin (12k cop) to drop us off right across from our hostel – Mi Casa Guatape (ask to be dropped off at Restaurant La Mona). It’s lovely and located close to La Piedra to which we walked 10minutes to climb. This place is owned by a sweet couple who really make you feel like home and they’re expanding the hostel to be able to house more guests and have direct water access!

First order of business was to climb the big rock that put the town on the map. The 360 degree views from the top are incredible and the 659 steps to the top are great exercise. There are drinks and snacks vendors at the top, but prepare to pay double the usual price (4k for a beer versus 2.5k… Sooooo just over $2 versus under $2).

Fun fact: the “GI” painted on the surface of the rock was meant to spell the entire word “Guatape” but historically the rock has always been called Piedra del Penon (neighboring town) and to placate the complaints of the neighbors, the painting of the letters was stopped. The fact that the whole name would have never fit the side of the mountain pretty much sums up Colombian planning and foresight.

After the mini-climb, we explored the colorful streets of the town of Guatape and enjoyed some al fresco lunch.

There are a buch of activities you can do if you choose to stay longer –a zip line for 10k, hiking to a waterfall, boat rides on the water, etc. This is a great spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of Medellin!



  1. Absolutely beautiful!!

  2. hahah love the “GI” anecdote


  1. Colombia « everyday we're crushin' it - [...] hike Valle de Cocora Medellin–stay in El Poblado, take a day and you can see all the sights Guatape–charming…

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