Only 2 hours drive north of Medellin, Guatape is a small colourful town famous for the huge rock Piedra del Penol which towers above the thousands of islands and waters surrounding the town Guatapé and neighbouring El Peñol. It’s a beautiful, chilled place and was one of my favourite places that we visited in Colombia.
There are plenty day trips that go from Medellín but we decided to go and stay there for 2 nights as we had some time and we were so glad we did!
Our hostel Galeria Hostel – Guatapé was about 5km out of town but was the best possible place we could have chosen to stay because of its beautiful location perched on the edge of the water with ridiculous views of the big rock above us and the surrounding lakes. Pablo, the guy who ran it was chilled and it had a relaxed atmosphere making it a popular choice for backpackers. He even had a kayak you could rent and take out to explore all the waterways and surrounding islands.
When we arrived we decided to climb the 720 odd steps to the top of the rock. It was worth it for the amazing views.
The town is also lovely to walk around as its so colourful and pretty and worth exploring but there isn’t too much going on.
The highlight was definitely taking Pablo’s kayak out on the water for a few hours with some beer and crisps and finding some little remote islands for us to sit on for a bit whilst we watched the sun set. Unfortunately, we don’t have any photos from that adventure as the waterproof camera battery was dead but it was really good!
We ate nearly every meal at Restaurante La Mona, which was right by our hostel and great value.
I wish we could have stayed and chilled in Guatapé a little longer as it’s easily a place where you could spend a week just sunbathing on the jetty by the lake, going swimming and kayaking but unfortunately we had to move on as we had booked Spanish lessons in Salento to start the following week.