Guatape & La Piedra: Living up to the (3000m) Hype

Okay so you’re obviously having the best weekend ever in Medellin, but peel your tired butt out of bed (if you ever made it there) and hop on a bus for a day trip out to Guatape. This little lakeside town is 100% “It’s a Small World” IRL (all the cute & none of the creepy).

phyllthis Guatape streets in Colombia

phyllthis Guatape lake

Actually, if you have the extra day, or are just better at planning, try to stay here a bit longer. I regret not sticking around for an overnight trip. Everything moves at a slower pace in this little village is so so relaxing.

phyllthis Guatape colonial building

Buses leave every hour from the North Terminal in Medellin and cost about 10-15k COP. You can have them drop you off at the base of the rock, or take it in further into the town center of Guatape.

phyllthis streets of Guatape, Colombia

Wander the cobblestone streets and through the colonial courtyard. Admire the charming zocalos and colorful tile decor.

phyllthis Guatape streets

Once you’re ready for the hike, grab a little Tuk Tuk moto-taxi that will take you to La Piedra. Definitely negotiate with these guys… you shouldn’t pay more than 4-5k COP for that ride. And don’t make the silly mistake we did… have him drive you all the way up to the base of the mountain – that extra 2k COP will be worth it – save your breath for the actual steps coming up.

phyllthis Guatape tuktuk pedicab

phyllthis view from top of Piedra Penon Guatape

There are your standard pricey restaurants & trinket stands at the base of the rock but just head on up once you purchase a 10k COP ticket. Once you’ve hiked up the 740 steps up this massive monolith, sit back, rehydrate and enjoy the little vices you brought up with you.

phyllthis view from top of Piedra Penon Guatape

I had seen countless Google photos and had pretty high expectations for the view once we reached top but was still completely impressed; the entire 360 view is pretty incredible. Guatape is a series of manmade lakes connected throughout the countryside.

phyllthis view from top of Piedra Penon Guatape

phyllthis view from top of La Piedra Penol Guatape Colombia

I present to you… two halves of a 360 view. because shooting a panoramic didn’t cross my mind at the time. let’s blame the thin air.

If it’s a clear day you can tour the lakes on a boat, jet ski, zip line (& a plethora of other water activities). One of Pablo Escobar’s (many) abandoned fincas, “La Manuela”, is located out here – and apparently every Saturday night  you can catch a party (of non-Escobar proportions I’m sure..) going down here.

phyllthis climbing La Piedra Penol Guatape

Tip: book your return bus ride before you even climb up the rock. The latest bus back to Medellin is at 6:30pm and return trips fill up pretty quickly, especially on the weekends.


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