Venture out of the big city of Medellín and into the vibrant and picturesque pueblo of Guatapé to climb the giant rock La Piedra del Peñol for the panoramic views or set out to Lake Guatapé to experience Guatapé from a closer angle. Known as one of the most beautiful and colorful towns in the country, enjoy the scenic route to the most charming pueblo that embodies the love and spirit of Colombia.
While most people visit for the day to tour La Piedra del Peñol, it is worth it to extend your time here. To explore Lake Guatapé up close, Parque Comfama, Malecon de Guatapé, delicious Colombian street food, and adrenaline rushing sports that give you a different perspective of this city. Continue reading to learn more about the top 7 activities that you will not want to miss while on your vacation in Colombia.
Top Activities in Guatapé
1. Climb A Giant Rock: La Piedra del Peñol
The main reason why people venture to Guatapé is to climb the winding stairs along the side of a giant rock to the breath-taking views of the surrounding islands and lakes. Brace yourself for the leg burn and the constant huddles of tourists catching their breath climbing along this single granite rock protruding from the middle of the Earth.
After climbing 740 steps to the top of La Piedra del Peñol, you can take in all the views while enjoying a Michelada, helado (ice cream), salpicón de frutas (a combination of orange juice and a fruit salad), or the distant Colombian music. Once you have given yourself some time to enjoy the views and relax, pull out your camera, because the best views in town are from the top of La Piedra del Peñol where you can see it all for miles.
Before making your way down, don’t forget to take in every bit of it, as you probably won’t climb stairs on the side of a rock ever again.
2. Lake Guatapé
Due to the consequences of a massive flooding of a huge hydroelectric dam, the lake you see today was created and has had a large impact on tourism in the region. While it submerged fields and relocated homes, the beauty of Lake Guatapé and views were created as a result to be enjoyed by locals and travelers. With miles of turquoise water and lagoons spanning over the reservoir, one could make a full day of navigating their way through.
If you are a fan of water sports, you must spend an extra day here to dip in the water or explore the islands that border Lake Guatapé. Relax by paddle boarding, sailing, canoes and kayaking in the calm waters. If you prefer to get your adrenaline pumping you can zip line above the waters, enjoy a boat ride, or even a thrilling jet ski ride.
But, after a long day of adventure, the perfect way to end your time in Guatapé is with a dinner cruise through the calm turquoise waters at sunset appreciating local cuisine and listening to local music.
3. Walk Amongst The “Zocalos”
Stroll through Calle del Recuerdo, Plaza de Zocalos, or any other calle (street) to admire the eye catching Zocalos. As a symbol of Guatapé, these “Zocalos” have embodied the spirit of these these cobblestone streets since the twentieth century.
Painting the beautiful image of Guatapé, the vibrant colors of these Zocalos are actually the painted panels of the locals homes and businesses. While the designs and colors vary, the animals, flowers, and unique designs will captivate your eyes and portray the town’s trade and history.
Take some time to stroll through the streets to take in all the colors and snap away pictures as you embrace the energy of this lively and bright town.
4. Street Food in Guatapé
After climbing La Piedra del Peñol, it is time to grab a bite to eat. Although there are beautiful restaurants on the lake front, the magical traditional Colombian food is best experienced and savored on the colorful cobblestone streets of Guatapé.
On every corner you will find Colombia’s best street food, while the options are endless anything you taste here will leave you wanting more. As you wait you will be able to enjoy the local atmosphere before the blast of local Colombian flavors that will explode in your mouth.
Of course, as the most popular item in Colombian cuisine, arepas in all varieties can be found on any street corner. But it is not just about the arepas here. It is also about the meat filled tamales that melt in your mouth, the fall off the stick Chuzos de res (beef skewers) or Chuzos de Pollo (chicken skewers), and savory buñuelos (deep-fried cheese balls) that remind you how much love Colombians have for their street food.
5. Adventure Sports
If you have extra time here and are a thrill seeker you can choose to rent an ATV, a mountain bike, or gear for rock climbing. To climb La Piedra del Peñol you will need to have prior experience. However, you won’t need experience to take the dirt trails through the Andes Mountains on an ATV or mountain bike. To get to the spectacular lookouts, you will venture out of the pueblo to glide through the lush jungle of the mountainside crossing over the valley and around the water.
6. Explore Parque Comfama
Parque Comfama Guatapé is known for its water park, however it also consists of 7.6 hectares (about 18 miles) of land and water that allows you to get close and personal with local flora and fauna. If you choose you can take a quick or extensive hike before hitting the water, or just hit the water jungle gym immediately.
But, if you want to feel like a kid again, the thrill of Parque Comfama will take you back. The water park’s inflatable playground is basically an aquatic jungle gym with slides, inflatable walls to climb, and a trampoline to bounce on before falling or diving into the cool waters. If you prefer to relax at Parque Comfama, across the complex you will find kayaks, water tricycles, rowboats, paddleboats, and jet skis.
7. Malecón de Guatapé
Follow the concrete boardwalk that is perched alongside Lake Guatapé and gives you closer views after seeing them from above. Rent a bike or simply take a stroll around the Malecón, which has become a local hang out and tourist attraction. The area is packed with local vendors, the scenic waterfront, and green spaces filled with fountains, plants, flowers, sculptures, and even little playgrounds. Not to mention, some of Guatapé’s most colorful town squares, shops, and authentic experiences.
Visiting Guatapé with Kuoda
In the diverse country of Colombia, thousands of tourists travel to the main attractions, but sometimes miss the best hidden gems that the country has to offer. But Guatapé is not just a small pueblo to skip over. At Kuoda, we specialize in tailor-made trips that include memorable experiences in and outside the big cities that will open your eyes to the authentic Colombian journey.
Regardless of the amount of time you have, your time in Guatapé will be filled with vibrantly painted homes lined on cobblestone streets and astonishing views of islands surrounded by beautiful turquoise blue waters from La Piedra del Peñol or Lake Guatapé. Contact us today to discuss a curated itinerary for not just Guatapé, but all of Colombia.
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