When we were in Medellín, we took a quick daytrip to the nearby (about 1 hour busride) town of Guatapé. Guatapé is known for the big rock El Peñol (also known as El Peñon de Guatapé or La Piedra), lakeside summer houses for the wealthy, and the bombed out summer house of Pablo Escobar, the Medellín druglord.
We started by climbing El Peñol, which is about 720 steps along the side of the rock. At the top there was a spectacular view of the area, which really is beautiful and worth the admission fee of 10,000 COP.
We also took a guided boat-trip on the lake, which we managed to haggle down from 80,000 to 60,000 COP (it was pretty easy and we still probably paid to much). The lake is actually artificial, and they submerged a whole town when it was created, leaving only the cross on the church visible above water.
On the boat-trip we got to see a lot of beautiful vacation houses, owned by various drug traffickers, mafia and government officials, and also the disco and bombed vacation house of Pablo Escobar. We also got to listen to a lot of 80’s music that we suspect was salvaged from Pablo’s old disco.
The town of Guatapé is itself very beautiful with its brightly colored buildings all over, and we could have stayed the night if we have had more time.
More photos from Guatapé and the rest of our travels in Colombia can be found here.