Climbing La Piedra del Peñol, Guatapé, Medellín, Antioquía, Colombia
I had been told by many different people that I simply “had to visit” Guatapé before leaving Medellín. Actually, the colonial town didn’t hold too much interest for me, but climbing La Piedra del Peñol did.
For some reason I thought I would be able to boulder on La Piedra del Peñol. I think you can definitely go rock-climbing on it (with a tour group), and maybe just boulder also. Unfortunately, by the time I had climbed up and down it the conventional way (via approximately 750 stairs) I totally forgot about bouldering so didn’t even check to see if I could.
Cost(s): 18,000COP entry fee to La Peidra del Peñol.
Address: Guatapé, Antioquia.
Climbing La Piedra del Peñol
The bus from Medellin dropped me off at the base of the hill that La Piedre del Peñol is on. From there it was about 15 minute walk to the base of the rock. You could also get a lift up, which costs about 5,000COP (depending on your bargaining skills).
Even just the walk up to the base gives you some pretty good views of the landscape.
This is the best shot I got of the actual rock. You get better views from the bus on the way in.
When I first saw all the stairs I actually had second thoughts about whether I wanted to climb it, but it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated. The average person should be able to get up it within 30 minutes.
Up the top there are a few shops for food and souvenirs. You can climb some more to the mirador which gives you a spectacular 360 degree view.
A ridiculously good view with a pretty nice day. I wish I had an actual camera as opposed to just my 8mp phone.
After climbing La Piedra del Peñol I caught the bus to Guatapé for lunch and a walk around. It is a very pretty little town.
Along the waterfront you can take a boat tour. Apparently you see about 8 things, including one of Pablo Escobar’s old mansions. I overheard some tourists talking about it and they seemed pretty disappointed as it only went for 1 hour and cost about 10usd per person (pretty expensive for Colombia). I wouldn’t have done it anyway since I dislike boat rides.
A couple of streets away from the town center and the waterfront you can see the “non-tourist” part of Guatapé, which is actually still pretty nice. I even managed to find another lake.
Getting to La Piedra del Peñol and Guatapé
Medellín is the closest big city and is where most people leave from when visiting Guatapé, although there are buses to/from Bogota and other places also.
From Medellín, catch the metro to Caribe station and then walk over the pedestrian bridge/walkway to the Northern Bus Terminal. There are a couple of ticket booths selling tickets to Guatapé. They are well signed.
My ticket cost 13,500cop (and it was the same on the way back).
The bus ride took about 2 hours to La Piedra del Peñol. You can go all the way to Guatapé but if you want to climb the rock then you may as well do it first on the way.
From La Piedra del Peñol to Guatapé you can take a little jeep (I was offered 8,000cop) or just take the local bus (2,000cop).
To get back to Medellín just go to the same place the bus drops you off (which is across the road from the water front) and buy a ticket. The buses fill up so if you think you are going to stay until the last bus, buy your ticket in advance.
Have you ever been climbing La Piedra del Peñol in Guatapé before? Share your thoughts in the comments 😀 .