Just a 2-hour drive from Medellin is the charming village of Guatapé. Guatapé is one of the most colorful villages in Colombia and is not for nothing such a popular destination. All houses are painted in the most cheerful colors and the atmosphere is super relaxed. I’ll tell you exactly how to travel from Medellin to Guatapé and what there is to do in this cute village and its surroundings!

What to do in Guatapé

Guatapé is located in the Colombian department of Antioquia. There is enough to do in the village to keep you entertained for a day. I personally wouldn’t stay there for days, but in 1 day there is plenty to do!

Climb La Piedra del Peñol

Climbing La Piedra del Peñol is definitely the highlight of your visit to Guatapé. It’s an extraordinary and impressive sight to see this rock standing in the hilly landscape. From the top of La Piedra del Peñol you can enjoy a magnificent view of the lake.

The highest point of La Piedra del Peñol is located at a height of 2,135 meters. You can imagine that from Guatapé (which is at 1,890 meters altitude) that it is quite a few steps! More than 600 steps to be precise. But I can tell you, and the pictures speak for themselves, that it’s well worth the climb!

On top of the rock there are toilets and a little café where you can get something to drink.

Guatape el penol

Take a boat trip on the lake

From the top of La Piedra del Peñol, you get a good view of the wetlands that surround the rock. Did you know that these are not natural lakes, but an artificial one? In the 1970s, the government decided to flood a large part of the land to develop a hydroelectric dam. This dam supplies more than a third of Colombia’s electrical power.

In addition, several companies offer boat trips to discover the area and it’s a great opportunity to spot the various expensive villas that are located there.

Stroll through colorful streets

Guatapé is a very photogenic town thanks to the brightly colored houses and cozy streets. It’s great to walk around or sit on a bench and get a picture of daily life. Don’t forget to have a fresh smoothie or traditional coffee at one of the cafes.

streets guatape

How to travel from Medellin to Guatapé?

Guatapé is just a 2 hour drive from Medellin. The cheapest way is to take the bus from bus station Terminal de Transporte Norte. A ticket costs around 15,000 COP.

You can buy a ticket to Pierda where you can directly climb the rock and later take a tuktuk to Guatapé (about 15 minutes away). But you can also choose to travel to Guatapé first to explore the village and later climb the rock. There are also plenty of restaurants and stores at La Piedra del Peñol where you can buy something to eat and drink.