Guatape in Colombia: what to do in this colorful village?

Guatape in Colombia is a colorful village that is worth the trip. Less than two hours by road from Medellín, it is the ideal getaway for those wishing to get off the beaten track. With its green setting, its sumptuous lagoons and its friendly inhabitants, it represents a relaxing stopover. This quiet little town is a happy rainbow. From the steps to the small houses, passing by the fountains and the lampposts, everything is colorful. Yellow, blue, green, pink… Guatape in Colombia is a magnificent masterpiece, ideal for discovering Colombia in a different way.

Guatape in Colombia: What to do, what to see?

This municipality is known worldwide for the Piedra del Peñol or Peñón de Guatapé, however it has many attractions or things to do that you will love. Here we share the 7 attractions of this beautiful tourist destination:

1. Crafts and Trade Street

Guatapé is not far behind with its handicrafts, and these are as colorful as its streets.

Calle del Comercio is one of the many streets where you will find typical craft shops. 

Allocate good time during your visit to go shopping and take back some unique souvenir that you will only find in this Colombian town.

2. Memory Street

One of the most beautiful and colorful streets of the town, with 25 houses, 22 plinths and 14 different colors on it, and it is an attempt by the inhabitants to preserve the “memories” of Guatapé, before the construction of the reservoir.

You cannot leave without meeting her, taking some photos and admiring her beauty.

3. Chiva Motorcycle Tour Through Guatape

This is one of the best plans you can do in this place, since it is a tour of the entire town in a “Moto Chiva” which is a popular transport in some municipalities of Colombia and is a kind of covered tricycle for two passengers. and the driver.

On the tour, the guide explains the meaning of the baseboards of some houses, which are the colorful representations that are on the facade. He also tells you a little about the history of the town and the Stone.

This tour lasts approximately 30 minutes , depending on traffic and the guide. It has a value of $15,000 COP ($4.50 USD).

4. Square of the Zócalos

This is a space that honors the plinths that the houses in the town have, and is an identity for all the inhabitants.

In this place you can buy handicrafts, eat a refreshing ice cream or have a coffee sharing with the locals.

It connects with Calle Del Recuerdo, Parque Principal and El Malecón.

5. The Malecon

The perfect place to spend the afternoon, try the local gastronomy “paisa”, have a coffee or a soft drink and enjoy with the family.

This boardwalk was recently remodeled and believe us, it was beautiful.

From here the planchas and boats set sail for the next attraction…

6. Tour of the Guatapé Reservoir and Water Activities

One of the main activities of this spectacular tourist destination is to take a tour of the dam, you can take it at:

  • Planchon (like a ferry)
  • small boat
  • jetsky
You can also find water activities such as:
  • kayaking
  • flyboarding
  • wakeboarding

7. The Stone of Penol or Rock of Guatape

This is a rock approximately 220 meters high (721 Feet) which you can climb thanks to the 705 steps that were built to the top.

This “stone”, the locals tell us, is an amazing 7 km deep (4.3 miles) and that is why it is positioned among the 3 largest rocks or monoliths in the world.

To get there you can hire a chiva motorcycle from the town of Guatapé, for an approximate value of $10,000 COP ($3 USD) . We do not recommend walking.

The cost of the entrance to the Stone is $20,000 COP per person ($6 USD approximately)

7.Climb the Piedra del Peñol

When you are in Guatape, Colombia, you absolutely must climb the Piedra del Penol This monolithic rock 220 meters high and classified as a national monument by Colombia deserves to be climbed, if only to enjoy a breathtaking view.

But before reaching the top, you have to climb the 700 steps of the rock: in other words, you have to bring comfortable shoes and a good bottle of water! However, the game is worth the effort, because once you get to the top, the view is splendid.

A wonderful way to gain height and see the voluntary flooding of the village and all these small islands formed in the middle of the artificial lake, like an archipelago.

8.Stroll around the village square

The village of Guatapé is not very big. Ideal for strolling the streets at your own pace, soaking up the serenity of the place and strolling by the lake. Everything is colorful: from the stairs, to the buildings, to the houses, to the lampposts, to the fountain, to the tuk tuks, to the buses and to the bicycles… All the drawings and the colored friezes in bas-relief on the walls (the zocalos ) of each house refer to the customs and legends of the region.

We even find at times drawings representing the town squares and the means of transport. Its colorful walls are listed as part of the city’s natural and environmental heritage. The alleys are cobbled, the colorful balconies and lampposts complete the charm of this city.

There is a feeling of tranquility in the village square, so we take the time to chat quietly with the locals, to learn more about the history of Colombia and we observe the village elders, hats screwed on their heads, sitting at the bar while sipping beers. A marvelous colorful postcard that testifies to the authenticity of Guatapé.

9.Visit Nuestra Senora del Carmen

The Nuestra Señora del Carmen church contrasts with the colorful buildings of the city. Its white and red infrastructure gives it this immaculate and neutral appearance, while bathing the church in light.

Visitors are encouraged to observe and take part in the local religious traditions of the church. Many offices are celebrated, and the faithful are numerous. Its chime is special: expect it to wake you up every morning at 5:45 a.m.!

Another peculiarity: the church is located in a row of small colorful shops where you can have a snack or buy a souvenir of the historic city.

10.Ride in motorcars

The motorcar parade is common in Guatape. This Colombian version of the Thai tuk tuk is a real attraction in itself.

It is not uncommon to see the inhabitants using it to move around the small alleys, so to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the village, we board a motocarros. They come in all colors with flashy neon lights in the middle of the night: folkloric, did you say?

11.Practice water sports

Since the voluntary flooding, nautical activity has developed in Guatape. Although it is not a seaside resort, you can still practice maritime activities there. Moreover, Colombians come to spend the day, a weekend or a few days there.

In addition, boat trips are organized to visit the surroundings and you can even try to see, in the distance, Pablo Escobar’s vacation home (in ruins).

12.Guatape in Colombia: Enjoy a trout dish

When you go to Colombia, you absolutely have to taste its local flavors. Many restaurants have settled in front of the water reserve. They obviously serve freshly caught trout served with patacon (crushed and fried plantain) in the form of a pancake or various starchy foods.

Specialty of the region, the trout is cheap and succulent. It is to be accompanied by a very cold lemonade or a local beer.

13.Guatape in Colombia: when to go?

Guatape has a warm oceanic climate with no dry season. Its rainfall is high even during the driest months. Rainfall is therefore to be expected at any time of the day.

Nevertheless, the best months to visit Guatapé are December, January, February and March and the temperatures fluctuate between 19 and 25 degrees Celsius. And if you are more beach than city, you can also discover Santa Marta in Colombia.

Guatape in Colombia: Where to sleep?

Where to sleep when you go to Guatape in Colombia? Several hotels exist, here are our favorites:

Hotel Santa Maria de las Aguas Penol

In Guatape, stay at the Santa Maria de las Aguas Peñol hotel. This intimate boutique hotel will seduce you with its cozy atmosphere and incredible charm. Its great added value? its infinity pool which offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding nature. Do not forget to stop in the many restaurants of the hotel to taste the local cuisine.
> Address: Vereda Bonilla, Kilometro 7 Via PenolGuatapeEl Peñol, Antioquia, Colombia

El Trebol

For those looking for nature and tranquillity, the El Trebol hotel is ideal. Its rooms are spacious and comfortable, and above all offer an unobstructed view of the green hills. Perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of Medellin!
> Address: Vereda La Piedra Finca El Trebol, Guatape 053847 Colombia

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