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Colourful Guatapé. Why should it be on your travel bucket list?

Updated: Apr 23

Colombia, Guatapé La Piedra del Peñol

Nestled in the heart of the Antioquia region of Colombia, Guatapé is a charming town that boasts of stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. It is a hidden gem that has recently gained popularity among travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience. In this blog, we will explore the highlights of Guatape and why it should be on your travel bucket list.

Guatapé is located approximately 80 kilometers from Medellín, the second-largest city in Colombia. as it's only 2 hours by bus it's the perfect excursion. Allthough I would recommend to spend the night there.

TIP! Buy your tickets to go back to Medellín well in advance as there can be a long waiting line.

What to do in Guatapé?

Colombia, Guatapé

As Guatapé is quite small you will be able to visit everything to see and do here in 2 days (some people go for one day only but then you will not be able to visit at your own pace). Walking around, enjoying the amazing Colombian cuisine and climbing La Piedra del Peñol are the things you cannot miss here.

Ramble around de colourful streets.

The town is best known for its colorful buildings adorned with vibrant, intricately designed zocalos (ornate bas-relief sculptures). These decorative tiles depict various scenes from everyday life, religion, and folklore. Walking through the town's streets is a visual treat, as each building tells a unique story through its zocalos. Visit the main square and walk to la Plazoleta, this small little square is probably the most colourful you have ever seen!

Taste the local cuisine!

Guatape is also known for its delicious cuisine, which reflects the region's agricultural heritage. Some of the must-try dishes include bandeja paisa (a traditional Colombian platter consisting of beans, rice, avocado, and grilled meat), arepas (a flatbread made of cornmeal), and tamales (a savory pastry filled with meat or vegetables).

Climb up the Piedra del Peñol

The town's main attraction is the iconic El Piedra del Peñol de Guatapé, a 220-meter-high granite rock that towers over the landscape. Climbing the 700+ stairs to the top of the rock is a challenging but rewarding experience. The panoramic view from the summit is nothing short of spectacular. You can see the sprawling green hills, the emerald blue water of the nearby lakes, and the red-tiled roofs of the town below.

Go for a boatride on the lake!

Lake Guatape, also known as the Embalse Peñol-Guatapé, is another must-see destination in the area. This artificial lake was created in the 1970s by the Colombian government to generate hydroelectricity. Today, it is a popular spot for water sports and leisure activities, such as boating, kayaking, and swimming. You can also take a boat tour around the lake to explore its many islands and enjoy the picturesque scenery. We saw the spot were the original church still lies beneath the water and the old villa of Pablo Escobar near the lake.

Stay in the amazing glamping resort of Bosko

If you like to visit places at your own pace, I would highly recommend to spend a night in Guatapé. One of the best places to do so is at Bosko . This beautiful glamping resort is close to the lake and you have a view on El Piedro del Peñol as well. Especially at night when the lights are on the view is spectacular! Bosko offers speedboat rides over the lake and you can use a kayak or sup to enjoy some wateractivities. They also offer a free service with a tuktuk to the city center of Guatapé.

In conclusion, Guatape is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie, this charming town has something to offer for everyone. So, if you are planning a trip to Colombia, don't forget to include Guatape in your itinerary. It's a destination that you won't regret visiting!

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