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Guatapé, Antioquia
2 Hours from Medellin
81.1 km (50 miles)


Average 21c (71f)

Official Website


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Guatape is the most Visited Tourist Destination of Colombia

Guatape is a picturesque town located in the eastern region of Antioquia. Known for its vibrant colors, stunning views, and rich cultural heritage, Guatape is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. The town is situated near the Peñol-Guatape reservoir, a man-made lake that was created in the 1970s.
The town itself is also a treasure trove of history and culture, with a rich colonial heritage and a vibrant arts scene. Visitors can explore the historic town center, which is filled with colorful buildings, narrow streets, and bustling markets.
For those looking to explore the outdoors, Guatape offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, boat tours, and other outdoor activities. The Peñol-Guatape reservoir is a popular spot for fishing and boating, while the surrounding hills are perfect for hiking and birdwatching.
All in all, Guatape is a beautiful and unique town that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, or just a relaxing vacation, Guatape is a must-visit destination in Colombia. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and typical local cuisine Guatape is truly a gem of South America.

History of Guatape Town

The town of Guatape has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the pre-Columbian era. The region was originally inhabited by the Tahamies, an indigenous people who lived in the area for thousands of years. In the 16th century, the Spanish arrived in the region and established a number of settlements, including Guatape. The town was officially founded in 1811 and quickly became an important commercial center for the surrounding region, thanks to its strategic location close to a river.
Over the years, Guatape developed a unique culture and identity, blending both Spanish and indigenous influences. In the 20th century, Guatape became an important center for hydroelectric power, thanks to the construction of the Peñol-Guatape reservoir. The construction of the dam flooded much of the surrounding area, forcing many of the town’s residents to relocate to higher ground. However, the town itself was spared, and today it remains a vibrant cultural center and popular tourist destination.
Guatape is a town with a long and fascinating history that reflects the cultural and economic changes that have taken place in Colombia over the centuries. Today, the town is a popular destination for tourists who come to explore its unique architecture, stunning natural surroundings, and rich cultural heritage.

Things To Do in Guatape

There are many different things to see and do in Guatape, Colombia, making it a great destination for travelers looking for a diverse range of experiences. Here are some of the top activities to consider:

Exploring the Town Center

Guatape’s historic town center is filled with colorful buildings, narrow streets, and bustling markets, and it’s a great place to get a sense of the local culture and history. Visitors can explore the town’s many museums and galleries, which offer a glimpse into the region’s past and present, with exhibits that showcase the town’s indigenous roots, colonial history, and modern art scene.

Taking a Boat Tour on the Peñol-Guatape

The reservoir is a man-made lake that was created in the 1970s. Today, it’s a popular spot for fishing, boating, and other water activities, with stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests. Visitors can also explore the many small islands and peninsulas that dot the lake’s shoreline, each with its own unique charm and character. You can find the boat tours just a few blocks away from the main square.

Go Hiking or Biking

The surrounding hills and forests are a great place to go hiking or mountain biking, with miles of scenic trails that wind through the lush landscape. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging adventure, there’s something for everyone in the hills around Guatape.

Helicopter Tours

One of the best ways to experience the region’s breathtaking scenery is by taking a helicopter tour.Helicopter tours in Guatapé typically last around 20 to 30 minutes and offer a bird’s-eye view of the area’s natural and man-made wonders. One of the most popular routes takes you over the majestic rock formation of El Peñól de Guatapé, which towers over the town at over 200 meters high.
As you soar above the rock you’ll be able to take in the incredible views of the surrounding countryside, including lush green hills, sparkling lakes, and winding rivers. On clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of the distant Andes Mountains. Another highlight of the helicopter tour is flying over the town of Guatapé itself. The brightly painted buildings, cobblestone streets, and tranquil waterfront make for a stunning sight from above.

Climb El Peñol

El Peñol is a massive granite rock that rises 740 feet (226 meters) above the surrounding landscape, and climbing to the top is one of the top attractions in Guatape. Visitors can climb the 740 steps to the top of the rock, which offers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding hills and lakes. The climb can be challenging, but the view from the top is well worth the effort.

Restaurants & Drinks

Guatape has a lot to offer when it comes to food and drinks. Visitors will find a wide range of dining options, from traditional Colombian street food to more upscale restaurants with international cuisine. Here are some of the top places to get food and drinks in Guatape:
Guatape has something to offer for every taste and budget, with a variety of food and drink options that showcase the town’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re looking for street food, fine dining, or a night out on the town, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from in this charming Colombian pueblo.

Town Square

Guatape’s town square is a hub of activity, with plenty of outdoor cafes and restaurants where visitors can grab a bite to eat or a drink while soaking up the local atmosphere. This is a great place to enjoy some traditional Colombian street food, such as empanadas, arepas, and churros, which are often sold from food trucks and stalls around the square.

Streets and markets

Visitors can find a variety of food vendors selling fresh produce, meats, and other local specialties in the streets and markets around Guatape. These markets are a great place to try some of the town’s most famous dishes, such as bandeja paisa, a platter of rice, beans, meat, and plantains, or sancocho, a soup made with chicken, beef, or fish.

Restaurants and Cafes

For those looking for a more formal dining experience, Guatape has a variety of restaurants and cafes that offer everything from traditional Colombian cuisine to international dishes. Visitors can choose from cozy cafes that specialize in coffee and pastries, seafood restaurants with views of the lake, or fine dining establishments that offer gourmet dishes made with ingredients that are often locally sourced.

Bakeries and Sweet Shops

Guatape is also home to a number of bakeries and sweet shops that are perfect for indulging in a sweet treat or two. Visitors can sample everything from freshly baked bread and pastries to artisanal chocolates and ice cream.

Bars and Nightlife

When the sun goes down, Guatape comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Visitors can enjoy a cocktail or a cold beer at one of the many bars and pubs around town, many of which offer live music and entertainment. For those looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, there are also plenty of cozy cafes and wine bars that are perfect for enjoying a relaxing evening with friends.

Where to Stay / Accomodations

Guatape is a beautiful town located in the mountainside outside of Medellin. It’s a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, and as such, there are plenty of options for accommodation in the area. Here are some of the different types of accommodation available in Guatape:


There are a variety of hotels in Guatape, ranging from budget-friendly options to more luxurious ones. Many hotels are located near the town center and offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and lake. Some hotels also feature on-site restaurants, bars, and spas, making them a convenient choice for travelers who want to relax and unwind.


For budget-conscious travelers, hostels are a great option. Guatape has several hostels that offer affordable dormitory-style accommodations, as well as private rooms for couples or small groups. Hostels are a great way to meet other travelers and get insider tips on the best things to see and do in the area.

Vacation Rentals

Another popular accommodation option in Guatape is vacation rentals. These can range from cozy apartments to spacious villas with private pools and stunning views. Vacation rentals are a great choice for families or groups who want more space and privacy than a hotel or hostel can offer.


Guatape is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and as such, there are several finca rentals available in the area. Fincas are a great option for travelers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the town and enjoy a more secluded, peaceful setting. Many of these traditional Colombian cabins are located near hiking trails or the lake, making them an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts.


For adventurous travelers, camping is a great way to experience Guatape’s natural beauty up close. There are several campgrounds in the area that offer tent sites, RV hookups, and other amenities like fire pits and picnic tables. Camping is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy a more rustic, back-to-basics vacation.

How To Get There

If you’re traveling from Medellin, getting to Guatape is relatively easy. Let’s take a look at some of the different transportation options available and give you some tips to help you plan your trip.
Bus: One of the most affordable ways to get to Guatape from Medellin is by bus. You can catch a bus from the Terminal del Norte bus station in Medellin. Buses run regularly throughout the day, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long for a bus to Guatape. The journey takes around two hours, and the buses are generally quite comfortable. You’ll also get to enjoy some stunning views of the Colombian countryside along the way.
Private Car or Taxi: If you prefer a more comfortable and flexible option, you can also hire a private car or taxi to take you from Medellin to Guatape. This is a good option if you’re traveling with a group or if you have a lot of luggage. The journey takes around two hours, and the cost will depend on your negotiating skills and the type of car or taxi you choose. If you’re not confident about negotiating a price, you can also arrange a private car or taxi through your hotel or a travel agency.
Shared Shuttle: If you are traveling on a budget and don’t want to take the bus, you can opt for a shared taxi. These taxis depart from the North Bus Terminal and are considerably cheaper than a private car. You will, of course, have to share the taxi with other travelers.
Arranding a Tour: If you prefer to have a guided tour and learn more about the history and culture of the region, you can book a tour from Medellin. Most tours include transportation, a visit to El Peñol, and a boat ride on the Guatapé reservoir. Prices vary depending on the type of tour, but you can expect to pay around $50 USD per person.
Once you arrive in Guatapé, you can explore the town on foot or rent a bike to explore the surrounding areas. All in all, getting to Guatapé from Medellin is relatively easy and affordable. You can choose between different transportation options, depending on your budget and preferences. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this charming town and discover its unique charm and beauty. Given the town’s proximity you can definitely turn your trip to Guatape into a day trip.