Without a doubt, Guatapé has become one of the most visited towns in Colombia. Its colorful baseboards adorn the streets full of stories, complementing the charm of this area full of natural wonders and a population reborn after seeing their land disappear in the water.
Accordingly, these particularities endow Guatapé with an infinity of things to do that flood social networks with the uniqueness of this land, becoming a must for those who are visiting Medellin.
Thus, if you don’t want to miss out on any of the unique activities Guatapé offers, here we bring you the best things to do in this colorful town.
1. Climb the Peñol Boulder (La Piedra del Peñol)
The Peñol Boulder (Peñón de Guatapé) is maybe one of the most important landmarks of Antioquia. Also, this 220-meter-high batholith is the second largest of its kind in Latin America, only surpassed by the Pão de Açúcar in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). On the other hand, it is estimated that the depth of the stone is 2,500 meters, with less than 10% of it being visible.
Additionally, thanks to more than 700 steps you can climb to the top of this wonder of nature. There you can get a 360º panoramic view of the reservoir of more than 2,200 hectares.
Given its peculiarity, the Peñon de Guatapé has generated many myths around it, such as some stories that refer to it as a center of worship by the indigenous people who inhabited the region. Differing from others that say the devil tried to steal it generating the cracks where the steps are today.
2. Take a boat ride on the Guatapé reservoir
In the 1970s, Public Enterprises of Medellín (Today EPM) began the construction of the hydroelectric complex, requiring the demolition and flooding of the old urban center of El Peñol and the controversial relocation of its inhabitants, most of whom lived from the agriculture.
Where the old town was located, today there is an iron cross made with recycled materials from what was its Church, some uninformed guides erroneously mention that it corresponds to the real dome of the church that due to its height was not submerged at all.
Today, you can sail over the reservoir, having access to the exclusive recreational houses of the national elite, and witness the vestiges of what El Peñol once was.
3. Walk Calle del Recuerdo (The Memories’ Street)
Calle del Recuerdo is a cobblestone street surrounded by colorful traditional houses adorned with the Zócalos (baseboards), drawings, and paintings in high relief that tell the story of the colonization of Antioquia. This street is a replica of one of the streets of old Peñol.
This mythical street is close to other attractions in Guatapé such as the Malecón, the Plaza de Los Zócalos, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Carmen.
4. Try a snack or coffee in the Plazoleta del Zócalo.
This vibrant square was built to commemorate the bicentennial of the founding of Guatapé. As well, the access road to this square is covered with brightly colored umbrellas. Then you are going to find colorful steps built with the same techniques as the baseboards, and the three-meter statue of a fish made in stainless steel.
This square is surrounded by small craft and gastronomic shops. As a result, you can try the traditional cinnamon rolls of the town with a cup of coffee.
5. Tour the renovated Guatapé’s Malecón
The Malecón is the main point of departure and arrival of the boats that make the tours through the reservoir. As well, it houses a floating bar and some providers of water sports such as boats, water bikes, and jet skis, among others.
This boardwalk almost a kilometer long has several sculptures that rescue local traditions. It also has several viewpoints that allow you to appreciate the beautiful landscape that the reservoir provides.
6. Take a trip to the past visiting the Replica of Old Peñol
On the outskirts of Guatapé, at the top of a hill, there is the Replica of Old Peñol, a reconstruction of what was once the main square of the town. Here there is not only the main church replicated but also the mayor’s office and the most important houses.
Furthermore, in this replica you can access all the buildings, many of them being local craft shops.
7. Get the story first-hand at the Guatapé’s Community Historical House Museum
The historical information center is on the second floor of the Mayor’s Office of Guatapé. At this Museum you can find local guides.
If you are a history lover, then you will love this place. It is open to the public on Sundays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Here, you will find samples of renowned artists and historians made to learn a little about the history of Guatapé and Peñol through time.
8. Let Guatapé surprise you
In summary, Guatapé has an infinity of things to do, generating plans for different types of visitors, including lovers of history and traditional towns, lovers of water sports, nature enthusiasts, or those looking for content for your social networks.
With our private tour: The Colorful Guatapé and the Piedra del Peñol from Medellín discover Guatapé with a wide variety of activities included.