Colombia Photography travel

El Peñol and Guatape

On our last day in Medellín we did a day trip out to the local tourist attraction, El Peñol. Sometimes signing up with a tour group is simply the most effective way of seeing some sights, this was one of those times.

New Friends
The two hour drive out to El Peñol was broken up with a short stop and walk around the village of Marinilla. Karen met some new friends in the town centre. Friendly fellows who were happy to have their photo taken.
El Peñol
As you near Guatape and El Peñol comes into view it is quite an impressive sight. Apparently the rock is on private property and they certainly haven’t missed any opportunity to monetize the property. It’s 18,000 pesos ($7CDN) to climb the rock. A very good deal.
El Peñol
Lots of restaurants and souvenir shops at the bottom of the rock. However the rock and unique stairs going up the middle certainly dominate everything else.

Due to a hydro electric project down stream from Guatape the entire region is a water enthusiasts dream. Almost endless shoreline for properties and a boundless opportunity to enjoy the water.

View from El Peñol
Once you have ascended the more than 720 steps you are rewarded with a phenomenal view.
Cerveza Michelada con Mango
At the top we tried the local favourite refreshment. Cerveza Michelada con Mango, beer with mango and a salted rim. Tried it, won’t need to try it again.
El Peñol Stairway
On the trip up and down you cannot help but admire the ingenuity that went into the construction of the staircases. The way they fit them into the natural opening in the rock with a minimum of impact is amazing.

Once we were finished with El Peñol we headed into Guatape for a couple of hours. Without a doubt this is a town that has taken the changes that came with the hydro electric project and the presence of the rock to create a tourist mecca.

Memory Street
The majority of the homes and businesses in town have colourful paintings on the exterior walls, many telling the story of the family or the business. Keep an eye on my instagram page for more images from the town. @peterpecksen

For 79,000 Colombian Pesos ($30CDN) this is a trip/tour well worth taking. The included breakfast and lunch allowed you to try some local flavour and support some of the local businesses. If you are ever in Medellín make sure you take it in. Thank you to Marc and Johanna for the recommendation.


Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

1 comment on “El Peñol and Guatape

  1. Liz Tompkins

    Looks beautiful and is now on our list of places to visit! Loving the short blog posts with awesome photos!

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