A Day Trip To Guatape From Medellin

Guatape is a town located approximately 80 km away from Medellin. It is one of those places in Colombia that you should put on your must visit list. It is a colorful Colombian town that carries an authentic atmosphere and has more than one great attraction. There are a few ways to visit Guatape. You can do it on your own, but the most popular way is to do an organized day trip to Guatape from Medellin. Here is my review of the Guatape day trip that we took during our two months in Medellin.

We booked our day tour through AirBnB and paid $25 per person.

The group gathered in the Poblado neighborhood at 9 AM. After checking in with the guide we were able to board the tour bus and choose some seats. After a short introduction about the day we were on our way to Guatape. 

Our bus was quite comfortable with enough leg room. The one thing that I didn’t like is that the charging ports didn’t work. So if you are planning on taking pictures mostly on the phone bring a power bank with you. 

The ride from Medellin to Guatape took about 2 hours. During this time our guide told us some facts about Guatape and places that we saw on the way. We also made our choice of dishes for lunch (lunch is included). 

El Peñol de Guatapé

El Peñol de Guatapé

The first stop that we had was El Peñol de Guatapé. A famous monolithic granite rock with 659 stairs that you can climb up. El Peñol de Guatapé is located just 5 minutes drive from the town of Guatape and is the main reason why most people come here. 

A Day Trip To Guatape From Medellin: El Peñol de Guatapé

The Guatape rock is about 200 meters high and it is the second biggest monolithic rock in South America after Sugarloaf in Brazil. To climb up El Penol you will need to buy a ticket – 20,000 COP per person (pay in cash).

A day trip to Guatape from Medellin

Depending on how fit you are, to climb up Guatape rock can take between 20 to 30 minutes. In the middle of your way up, there is a small terrace where you can rest and enjoy an already great view. 

El Penol de Guatape

At the top of El Penol rock you will have a 360° view, which makes it worth your struggle. You also will find a cafe at the top of the rock where they serve a delicious michelada for 9,000 COP. To look around, have a rest and enjoy your cold drink you won’t need more than 30 minutes. 

Michelada with mango at the top of El Penol de Guatape
Michelada with mango

Getting back down takes just 10 to 15 minutes. When we were getting down there was a bit of traffic, otherwise it would have taken even less. 

Lunch In Guatape 

As I already mentioned, on the bus everyone decides what they want to eat. We were offered a few choices: trout, chicken, pork, or vegetarian. 

A Day Trip To Guatape From Medellin: Pork dish for lunch in Guatape town

I highly recommend trying trout, since it is what Guatape is known for. The trout is fished out of Guatape lake and it is always very fresh. 

All the dishes are served with a bunch of sides like french fries, patacones, salad, or rice. 

Trout for lunch in Guatape town

The restaurant where we had lunch was located right across from the lake and had a beautiful view. The food and drinks (juices) were served fast and we enjoyed our lunch very much.

Boat Ride

You can imagine that after our filling lunch and climbing El Penol rock we were a bit tired. That is why the next activity we had was quite perfect – a boat ride on the Guatape lake. 

Boat ride

Guatape lake is actually a man-made reservoir. The system of freshwater lakes was created for the Guatape hydroelectric complex. Nowadays it is a popular place for watersports and boat rides. 

A Day Trip To Guatape From Medellin: View from the lake of el Penol de Guatape

Across the street from the restaurant we got on a boat that took us around the lake. It is an hour-long ride that allows you to relax and at the same time enjoy the beautiful view. 

On the boat there was a small bar where you could buy beer, or soft drinks if you wanted to. 

Exploring Guatape Town

Visiting Guatape in Colombia

Guatape town is a small, charming town that carries an amazing atmosphere. It is famous for its colorful zocalos (wall panels). All zocalos have different meanings. Some tell you about the history of local people, their day-to-day life. And others will tell you simply what this building is: a bakery, a flower shop, or something else. 

Exploring Guatape Town

Our tour guide took us around the colorful streets for about 30 – 40 minutes, during which she told us the history of the town and its people. After that we had an hour or so of free time to walk around, take all the pictures we wanted, buy some souvenirs, or have a coffee at one of the cafes. We were actually able to do all of that, since the town is quite small and you don’t need a lot of time to explore.

A Day Trip To Guatape From Medellin: Exploring Guatape Town

The Way Home 

After 4 PM we got on our bus to go back to Medellin. The way back took us a bit longer than 2 hours. Due to the rain storm that started as soon as we left Guatape, our driver had to slow down and drive more carefully on the slippery mountain roads. 

Our day trip to Guatape finished around 7 PM when we arrived to the Poblado neighborhood in Medellin, which wasn’t that late. 

Key Information:

Where To Book Your Day Trip To Guatape: book here

How Much Does It Cost:$25

How Long The Tour Lasts: 9 to 10 hours

Food: lunch is included

Additional cost: 20,000 COP to climb up the Guatape rock; any additional food or drinks besides lunch

Equipment needed: comfortable shoes (sneakers are best); comfortable clothes from light fabric (sometimes it gets very hot); raincoat (the weather can change very fast, so it is smart to carry a raincoat or poncho as well); water (remember that you are going to climb 659 steps in a hot weather, so you absolutely need to carry a water bottle with you); backpack (it is not really necessary, but it is more comfortable to carry your raincoat and water bottle in a backpack and have your hands free in case you would trip over).

A Day Trip To Guatape From Medellin

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