Piedra del Peñol is one of the essential stops for any traveler visiting Colombia. If you see the imposing view of this rock you understand why hundreds of tourists travel to this place and take on the challenge of climbing to its summit.
Thus, from the top you can see the dam that forms small islands and create a unique landscape. And not only that, you also have Guatape right next door, a town full of color and tradition and with open doors to know the best of the region.
In this post we want to help you prepare your trip to Piedra del Peñol in Guatape with everything you should know before coming. So read carefully and start planning an experience you won’t forget.
Where is the Piedra del Peñol?
The Piedra del Peñol is a 220 meters high rock that is between the municipalities of Guatape and El Peñol, in the department of Antioquia. It is located about 75 km from Medellin, so it is very easy to reach. It has another name: the Peñon de Guatape.
Why is Piedra del Peñol such a tourist attraction?
The huge stone is the insignia of both the towns of El Peñol and Guatape and allows views of the Guatape dam. To build the dam it was necessary to flood the old town of El Peñol and rebuild it in another place.
Today it is very curious to know that under that landscape of “islands” is the old town. And that, in addition, its inhabitants managed to start over and create a new home.
But not only that, around the Piedra del Peñol there is also Guatape. A town that tells its customs and traditions with its colorful facades and plinths. Over time, the inhabitants filled the streets with art, color and charm. For this reason, it is an experience to walk through its corners and get to know the whole place.
How to get to Guatape and Piedra del Peñol?
If you are in Medellín and you are on your own, you can take a bus from the Terminal del Norte. The trip takes about 2 hours and each way usually costs less than 5 USD (16,000 COP). Once at the Guatape’s terminal, you will find other means of transportation or you can walk around the town.
You can also hire a private transportation service from any point in Medellín to the town. Another option is to take a day tour that includes transportation and visits to the most important places.
Now, to get to the stone you can take a tuk-tuk. In these small motorized vehicles you arrive in 15 minutes at the entrance of the place. If you take the bus from Medellín, you can also ask the driver to show you the path to the stone and walk from there.
How much does the entrance fee cost and when is it open?
The entrance fee to the Piedra del Peñol is 20,000 COP, approximately 5 USD. And it is open every day, Sunday to Sunday, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
How to climb to the top of the Piedra del Peñol?
This is the most interesting part. To get to the top of the huge rock there are no elevators, no cables, only stairs. Just as you read! Almost 700 steps that you must climb to be able to see the dam in all its splendor. But you don’t have to worry, because you can do this at your own pace, with as many breaks as you need.
Although it is a challenge, actually getting to the top makes it all worth it. And although climbing 700 steps sounds far-fetched, it’s less complex than you might think. You just need to be up for the adventure.
What to see in Guatape?
Have you already taken pictures of the dam from the top of the Piedra del Peñol? It’s time to go down the steps again and walk around the town of Guatape.
As we have told you before, in its streets you will find colorful skirting boards and facades with images. These tell the traditions of the region, typical elements of the country such as instruments, animals, plants, and much more. There is a lot of traditional commerce where you can buy handicrafts and souvenirs.
And there are also alleys and streets with many decorations, as well as small squares where you can have some typical drinks and snacks. The Calle del Recuerdo and the Plazoleta del Zocalo are some examples. The streets of Guatape are to walk through them with your eyes wide open and let yourself be enchanted by their beauty.
What other plans are there in Guatape?
And of course, visiting the Piedra del Peñol and the town of Guatape are not the only activities you can do. If you are already there, take the opportunity to take a boat tour of the dam and learn more about its history.
You can also walk along Guatape’s boardwalk, which has restaurants with views of the reservoir. In Guatape it is also common to do water sports, so if you are interested, you can have a little adventure.
Finally, don’t forget that the best plan is to interact a little with the community and support their commerce. Buy their typical crafts and food. Let them tell you about their people and traditions. This way, you will not only visit a place, but you will be part of it and learn about it.