Guatape is only a couple of hours by bus from Medellin and since we were in the area we just had to climb La Piedra.
Most people visit for the day from Medellin but it was nice to visit for a few days because the town is quite pretty. It has really cool reliefs on all of the buildings which we heard is unique for this area.
We don’t normally stay in hostels because the shared dorm and shared bathroom situation is not for me, but this hostel had private rooms with a private bathroom so we decided to give it a try – mistake! It was not an atmosphere for anyone out of high school and the behaviour of these kids actually made us worry for them. We had stayed in a hostel (private room/bath) in Singapore and it was absolutely fantastic, this was not that.
The weather was great the next morning so we had breakfast and took a Collectivo out to La Piedra. We were ready for the 740 stairs and anxious to see the view. It actually didn’t take us long to get to the top, maybe 40 minutes, and we even took our time. It was not as hard as we had thought.
The views at the top were definitely worth the climb. As far as you could see, the lake was dotted with little islands and secluded bays.
We even enjoyed a ‘Michelada’ at the top! We normally don’t drink at 10:00 am but what the hell, we just climbed 740 steps. Plus a Michelada is more like a spritzer, a healthy one because it had a slice of mango in it!
After enjoying the views, we made our way down. If you can, go early because it gets super busy by mid-day.
The next day we opted for a cruise on the lake. The scenery was beautiful and we had great views of ‘The Rock’. As we were making our way back it turned quite stormy but luckily we got off the boat before the downpour.
The rest of the time in Guatape was spent browsing in the little shops and enjoying some really great cappuccinos.
I think we were quite lucky with the weather and visiting during the rainy season wasn’t so bad. We did see a number of dogs dressed as if it were winter though!
One thing to note, if you are flying out after visiting Guatape, it’s not necessary to go all the way back to Medellin. The airport (MED) is in Rio Negro which is about half way between Guatape and Medellin. We had originally booked a taxi to take us directly from Guatape to the airport but our driver got caught in a bad flood and couldn’t come and get us. So we raced to the bus station and got on the bus headed for Medellin. The bus driver let us out at an overpass not too far from the airport and there were about 3 taxis waiting there. We then got in a taxi and arrived at the airport safe and sound. It sounds harder to do then it actually is and I think it is done this way all the time.
Where we stayed: Lakeview Hostel 👎