Guatape – The Penol: A giant rockGuatape, known in Colombia as the Village of the Zocalos, is a beautiful and colourful Colombian municipality located 90 kilometers from the city of Medellin – Colombia (read more about Medellin here). When I tell you that it is colourful it’s because the colours that adorn the facades of each and every house will take your breath away!
This fantastic idea to give colour to the town dates back to about halfway through the past century, when a local inhabitant (José María Parra) took the initiative to decorate his home’s facade, which captured the attention of his friends and neighbours. This is how this burgeoning tradition began, little by little, to difuse through all of Guatape, making it a touristic location to visit if you come to Medellin – Colombia.
Climate in Guatape
In Guatape you can enjoy a climate neither cold nor hot. The typical temperature is around 19° centigrade, so it isn’t necessary that you bring clothing for cold weather, although I do suggest you bring pants to cover your legs at least since it’s not quite warm enough to wear shorts. Also, bring comforable shoes so that you can explor each corner of this beautiful and welcoming little town.
How do you get there?
To get to Guatape from Medellin you can go to the north terminal from which various transport companies can sell you passage for around 4.50 USD. Alternatively you can go to the Poblado Park or the Stadium Metro Station, from which tours will definitely offer you tours, from 7 a.m. onwards, which cost approximately 30 USD. The travel costs, snacks, lunch and entry to other touristic sites are included in the price.
And do you know what you can do in Guatape?
When you decide to go to Guatape you should know that you’re not visiting a town that is just beautiful and colourful, but is also home to several touristic sites to enjoy, to contemplate, to meditate on and to relax in.
I want to tell you about the most tourist-friendly places, and you can also visit the following page of the town hall of the municipality, where you can find out about festivals, celebrations, and some recomendations that they can give you.
The Penol Rock
Approximately 4 kilometers before arriving in the town of Guatape you will see the impressive stone, which measures 220 meters in height, the peak of which can be accessed by 740 stairs. The sight of the wonderful landscape at the base of this gigantic stone will inspire you to climb all those steps to get an even better view. Going up these steps is quite an adventure. The best way, we think, is to not count the steps – rather, climb those stairs like a mountain goat, because one can only ascend the Rock on one side and decsend on another side. You’ll see that this effort is worth it for the spectacular view you get from the Rock of the Penol. It costs about 6 USD to go up.
The Penol Lake – Guatape
Near the end of the 1970’s, the Empresas Públicas de Medellín (Public Companies of Medellin) first demolished the urban center and a part of Guatape and then flooded the area, resulting in the beautiful dam that thousands of tourists admire from the top of the Penol Rock. In this dammed body of water, you can enjoy various activities like fishing, riding jet skis, boating and zip lining.
La Culebra Recreational Park
This park is located by the road leading to Guatape, 2 kilolmeters before arriving in the town.
In this park you can enjoy a 360° view of the beautiful landscapes, breathe refreshing and pure air and hike the ecological trails, have a picnic and enjoy the aquatic attractions of this beautiful park, all for only 4 USD.
Main Guatape Park
The main park of Guatape is extensive, elegant and quiet. In the center there is a water-fountain, and the way that the vivacious colours of the park play on the water renders this site even more beautiful.
There is so much colour here that one can notice it even in the amusing and original ‘motochivas’ (cute, gorgeous transportation vehicles) that await you in the park to take you on a fun tour of the town.
I have no doubt that, in Colombia, there are beautiful towns, and although I don’t know all of them, to me Guatape is the most gorgeous of all the towns I have visited.
What about you? Are you excited to visit Guatape?