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Things to do in Guatapé in 1 day

Main park of Guatapé 

A Greco-Roman style temple that took more than 70 years to build.

Although it may seem that there is little to do in Guatapé, the truth is that there is a lot to know. Get to know it all:

We could say that this is the heart of Guatapé and the center of everything that happens in the municipality. Here you can find the Tourist Office, located in one of the most beautiful houses which is also the Mayor’s Office, where you can find information about the municipality and its surroundings.

Guatapé Colombia @sbetarocketPin
Guatapé Colombia – Photo Credit @sbetarocket

Nuestra Señora del Carmen Church

Here you can also find the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, another of the main protagonists of the square and many of the bars with some of the best terraces where you can stop for a drink if you want to be in one of the liveliest areas of the municipality.

This is also the main stop for the tuk tuk with which you can visit the Piedra del Peñol or take a 20 minute tuk tour of the village, during which the driver will act as a guide, explaining the history of the village and stopping at the most emblematic points.  This tour costs about 15000COP.

church of guatape colombia @johndedenghyPin
church of guatape colombia – Photo Credit @johndedenghy

Calle del Recuerdo

Memory Street is considered an urban and architectural heritage of the municipality of Guatapé, as it represents one of the old typical streets that were flooded when the creation of the hydroelectric complex took place.

So walking down this street means going a little into the history of Guatapé, because you must remember that the place where the town is now located is the result of the relocation it suffered in the 70s.

To get to the Calle del Recuerdo you must walk 2 blocks from the main square of Guatapé. You will easily recognize it by its water fountain and its colorful houses adorned with some of the most representative skirting boards of the town.

There you will find the Historical and Community Museum of Guatapé, inside which you will find rooms dedicated to archeology and history, and another completely itinerant one. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Calle Del Recuerdo Guatapé Colombia @stantoniusrexPin
Calle Del Recuerdo Guatapé Colombia @stantoniusrex

¿Sabías que?

However, the most curious and important thing is that the baseboards that can be seen in all the houses are the original ones that were in the houses that were left under water and that some neighbors recovered to place them in this street, where they can be seen today.

At the beginning of the street you can see a fountain in memory of the muleteers, the people who were dedicated to the transport of goods with animals and that in the past, was the profession of many of the inhabitants of Guatapé.

In this street there are 3 points that we believe are the most photogenic: the area of the fountain, the intermediate point of the street, which is uphill, and the final point, from which you have the best perspective of the Calle del Recuerdo.

Guatapé Colombia @valiseadeuxPinPin
Guatapé Colombia @valiseadeux

Community History Museum

In the Calle del Recuerdo is the small Community History Museum, located in a house, where there is a small sample of objects from the daily life of Guatapé.

The Historical Museum is a must to learn more about the roots of our beautiful town.

Although it is not essential, if you have some time, being a place that can be visited in a short time and also being free. You can leave the will at the exit, this can be another of the things to do in Guatapé.

Plazoleta del Zócalo

The Plazoleta del Zócalo is located one block from the main park of Guatapé, and there you can find colorful houses and buildings, some cafes and several craft shops.

In the center there are some concrete bleachers that make up the square, adorned by the traditional plinths that portray the beautiful tradition of Guatapé.

A space dedicated to art and culture, where small open-air concerts are often held.

plaza de los zocalos guatapé colombiaPin
plaza de los zocalos guatapé colombia @santiago___marquez

Carrera 29 or Calle de los umbrellas

This narrow pedestrian street, which houses many of the municipality’s craft shops and many of the most famous zocalos, is another place to see in Guatapé.

Although it is a fairly small street, it has always been one of the most photogenic places and therefore one of the most visited and more so since they have put the typical umbrellas on the facades of the houses.

That’s why if you want to take pictures without many people we advise you to come early in the morning or late in the afternoon when there are practically no tourists left.

Guatapé Colombia @santiago marquezPin
Ombrella Street Guatapé Colombia @santiago___marquez

Malecón de Guatapé

Walking along the Malecón is another of the most recommended things to do in Guatapé. Although in the afternoon it tends to be quite frequented by tourists and locals, especially when the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop, this walk is one of the most recommended.

Throughout the tour you will find different stands selling drinks, sweets and crafts, where you can do some shopping while enjoying the views of the reservoir.

This also where agencies or operators offer nautical activities such as kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Board, a variant of surfing that does not require waves.

Guatapé Colombia @tripshootingPin
Guatapé Colombia @tripshooting

Get Lost in the city

Walking, another of the best things to do in Guatapé

Without a doubt, this is one of the best things to do in Guatapé since it is the way to get to know the town without distractions when following a map. We recommend that, after taking the route we have proposed through the most famous places, you spend a couple of hours walking around the streets farthest from the most touristic areas and also get to know that other Guatapé where you can also see baseboards and color.

Guatapé Colombia @valiseadeuxPinPin
Guatapé Colombia @valiseadeux

Paddling & Kayaking

Paddling in the calm waters of the Guatapé Reservoir is a good option to spend the afternoon, from this place you can have a new perspective of the lake. At Lake View Hostel and Galería Hostel you can rent kayaks by the hour.

Things to do in Guatapé Reservoir and El Peñol

Climb the Piedra del Peñol

The Piedra del Peñol is a huge monolith of 220 meters high, 60,000 tons, and a diameter of 100 meters, which houses more than 650 steps that culminate in one of the most incredible viewpoints in Colombia.

To get to the Piedra del Peñol you have several options, if you take a suitcase by bus from Medellin to Guatapé you can ask the bus to drop you off at the beginning of the path to the stone, where you can walk a small inclined road or hire a Moto-Chiva from $5,000 COP.

On the other hand, if you plan to stop first in Guatapé, take into account that in the town you can rent bicycles or take a Moto-Chiva, which in less than 15 minutes will drop you off at the entrance of the Piedra del Peñol.

Piedra del Peñol Guatapé Colombia @aquaventurerosPin
Piedra del Peñol Guatapé Colombia @aquaventureros
  • Precio : 20.000 Cop
  • Opening Hours : everyday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m
  • Difficulty Level : Moderado

Finally, when you reach the top of the rock you will find the viewpoint that allows you to have an incredible panoramic view of the Guatapé reservoir and some stores that sell coffee, beer, juices, water and ice cream, but be sure to bring water.

Viewpoints of Guatapé at Piedra del Peñol

This walk can also take you to several viewpoints in Guatapé from which you will have unique views of the Piedra del Peñol.

The first of these is on the outskirts of the village, on the road that takes you to the Piedra de Guatapé and here you can stop with the tuk tuk on your way to or from the Piedra del Peñol.

The second is the Mirador de la Virgen and is in the upper part of Guatapé

peñon de guatapé colombiaPin
View from el Peñon de guatapé colombia @tristan29photgraphy

Embalse Peñol – Guatapé

Tours of the reservoir will take you to its most representative islands, the Old Peñol Museum, where there is a replica of the old town, and La Cruz, a symbol of resistance and hope in the face of what was once called the “Hiroshima paisa”.

Boat Trip

Enjoy a boat tour on the dam and enjoy its beautiful scenery.

It is also from here that the boats depart for a tour of the reservoir for about 15000COP per person. These boats pass through La Cruz, a monument to the town flooded by the hydroelectric plant and the Isla de las Fantasias.

Guatapé Colombia @dialfraPin
Guatapé Colombia @dialfra

Another option is to rent a small boat to do this tour privately for about 100.000COP.

It’s more interesting to take a tour on a smaller boat. The standard tours swing

past La Cruz (a monument to the flooded town of old Peñol mistakenly believed

by many to be part of the old church) and Isla de las Fantasias. Both options

cost around COP$15,000 per person.

On the lake, boat or catamaran trips are offered on the malecón. They usually last 1 to 2 hours. The catamaran excursions are noisy and festive, with bar and music on board. The boat tours allow you to visit natural sites, such as Isla de la Fantasia and Isla del sol, in a quiet environment. 

Piedra Del Peñol Guatapé ColombiaPin
Piedra Del Peñol Guatapé Colombia

We can also take you to the former property of Pablo Escobar, La Manuela, with its discotheque and secret tunnels, where the old village of Peñol used to be, which was swallowed by the lake. Count $15,000 per person, if you are in a group it can be interesting to rent a small boat for 8 people (around $100,000 for 2 hours). Since the accidental sinking of “El Almirante” in 2017 (which claimed several lives), only a few boats are allowed to take tourists, don’t go with just anyone.

Ecological Walks

In Guatapé there is also a place for hiking and trekking. On the outskirts of the town there are ecological trails that cross forest reserves, rivers, waterfalls and mountain passages that will take you to the Benedictine Monastery and the trenches of General José María Córdoba.

Canopy Ride

A canopy ride (per ride COP$15,000; h1-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm Sat & Sun) runs along the lakeshore from a large hill near the entrance to town. A hydraulic system pulls clients up the hill from the malecón (promenade) – there’s no need to walk up.

Rock climbing on the southern side of the Piedra del Peñol is another popular activity. Most hostels and hotels can hook you up with local guides.

Helicopter Tour

Guatapé Colombia @camineyvamonosPin
Guatapé Colombia @camineyvamonos

Things to do in Guatapé in 2 or more days

The banks of the lake are very lively on weekends. Around the village, there are many activities to do:

  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Climbing
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking

Need more inspiration ? check these sites :

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