The easiest way to get there is by taking the Medellin – Bogotá highway out of Medellin passing by Guarne on the left and then on to Marinilla. Neither town is really worth stopping at, however, I recently trekked from San Vicente to Guarne, and found the scenery in the area to be very beautiful. Go through Marinilla and follow the signs to El Peñol and from there on to Guatape. The journey will take about two and a half hours or so depending on the traffic.
There is a red and white painted church in the main square, and if you walk the few blocks down to the promenade you can stroll along the shore of the reservoir where you will find many restaurants offering traditional Antioquenian food. There are also boats offering trips around the reservoir, and water skiing for the more adventurous and athletic visitor. Even though the town is many miles from either of the Colombian coastlines, it does have a distinct seaside feel to it.
On one side of the stone it is possible to make out the letter G and part of the letter U painted very large in white paint. This is because the people of El Peñol and Guatape disagreed in the past on the ownership of the rock. The townsfolk of Guatape decided to paint the name of their town on the side. However, the people from El Peñol soon became aware of what was happening, and sent a mob to stop them. Only the letter G and part of the letter U were completed.
The rock has stairs that you can climb to the top, where on arrival, provide spectacular views across the region. There are some stalls selling local craft-work at the top and I believe there is also a restaurant, though as I haven’t been to the top for many years I can’t guarantee that it is still there or to the quality of the food if it is.
There is also a park on one side of the reservoir, which you have to pay to enter, called La Culebra, The Snake. There they have zip-lines, places for having barbecues, ecological walks and a children's playground.
The best way to give you an idea of the area is through photographs, so here are some more.
If you visit Medellin, and have time, don't miss the opportunity to visit Guatape.
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