A day trip getaway to Guatape
If you are in Medellin for a while, you might want to escape the city for a week-end. Why not take a trip to Guatape ? Guatape is located 2 hours drive in the north east of Medellin. The village is easily accessible since buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes.
The village is really small, but so cute ! All the houses are colorful, the ambiance is so warmful. We can feel that living here is calm compared to the crazyness of the city of Medellin. One day is enough to visit Guatape but you can stay the night over in order to fully enjoy the experience.
How to go to Guatape ?
From Medellin, you need to go to Terminal Norte which is located at Caribe Station (metro line A). Once at the Terminal, get to the counters 9 to 14 to buy you bus ticket to Guatape. A one way ride costs 15 000 COP (price May 2019). You will get an assigned seat. You can also ask to be seated in the front or even next to the driver !
Why going to Guatape ?
All streets of the village are good for you camera ! All the bright colorful houses are photogenic ! But we mainly go to Guatape to climb the Piedra del Peñol ! This is a 200 meters high big monolithe rock, with more than 700 steps to the top, standing there in the middle of nowhere. It is pretty impressive and gives a spectacular view.
To get to the Piedra del Peñol from Guatape, there is 2 options. The first is you can take the bus … anyone ! Just do a sign to the driver so he can stop then ask to be dropped at the Pierdra. The ride takes 10 minutes for 4000 COP. When the driver drops you at the bottom you still need to get to the entrance. You will find the stairs walking path, which is free by the way, behind the gas station and takes you 15 minutes. Or you can ask one of the many tuk-tuk waiting for you to take you up.
The second option is to directly take a tuk-tuk which is more expansive. Do not hesitate to negociate the price as a « gringo », they will try to overcharge you ! I tried this transportation for the way back and asking to make a photo stop of the Piedra. I negotiated it for 10 000 COP (instead of 12 000).
To climb the Piedra’s 700 steps, you need to pay the entrance fee of 18 000 COP ! Then take 20 to 40 minutes to get to the top ! Up there, you will find some foods and snacks to restaure yourself, some souvenirs shops … obviously overprice !
The view up there is beautiful. It is even said that this is the best view in the world. But honestly, I have seen more spectacular ones ! The mix between those tiny islands and lakes gives this view so much charm and a little bit enigmatic though to me.
Where to eat in Guatape ?
You will find all sort of restaurants and cafes, mainly in the center of the village near the place. The prices are a little bit high for such small village.
I spent 1 night there, which was more than enough ! The best is to make an entire day-trip there. Make a stop first at the Piedra del Peñol, then head to Guatape.
Guatape is such a cute little town that I can recommend if you have a little more time to spare while in Medellin ! This is a great day-trip where you can have an other face of what Colombia can offer.