Guatape

 Take the time to do an overnight trip from Medellin and you will be rewarded with this colourful, great little town.

Guatapé is one of the most colourful towns we visited. It’s small but is an easy and enjoyable day trip or overnight excursion from Medellin City. Guatapé is beautifully set amongst a winding man made reservoir and beautiful green country side but its the colourful town that will really capture you. 

El Peñón de Guatapé towers over the surrounding scenery and is the town’s main attraction. Despite sticking out in a rather peculiar fashion, one cannot be unimpressed by its shear size. Over 650 stairs wind their way up the side of El Peñón de Guatapé before opening up to beautiful 360 degree views of the town, reservoir and hills below. Entry to climb the rock is COP12,000 and is reachable by tuk tuk: COP8-10,000. Return tuk tusk should cost less (COP5,000). Alternatively, enjoy the scenery even more by taking an easy 45 minute walk to El Peñón.

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Guatapé has a range of activities, including kayaking, hiking and a boat tour that explores the surrounding reservoir including a lake-side mansion previously owned by Pablo Escobar. If you’re just here for a day or overnight, a walk around the town is just as enjoyable before relaxing with a book on the lakefront.

Guatapé’s many lakeside restaurants offer delicious and reasonably affordable with a trout dish costing around COP14,500. At the right time of year you will likely get a good view of thunderstorms rolling in over the reservoir at night – a great show!

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Accommodation: 

Hotel Lagos de Guatapé – COP30,000 private room split between two people. No kitchen. This price reflects a stay on a weekday during the low season. Hostels start at COP18,000 during other times.

Getting there and away:

• In Medellin take the subway to Caribe stop. Walk across the over bridge to get to Terminal de Norte.

• Booths 9 & 14 service Guatapé with buses leaving every half an hour (COP12,500, 2 hours).

• Buses arrive in Guatapé just before the town centre. The town is small enough to walk everywhere.

• Return buses to Medellin leave from where they dropped you and run hourly on the half hour from 4.30am – 6.30pm.

Tips:

• Visit Guatape during the week or low seasons to afford nice accommodation at a reasonable price. We managed to get a private room in a nice hotel for COP30,000 between two people.

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