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Discover the best things to do in Guatape and tips to make the most of this beautiful resort town.
Colombia has many cities to visit but Medellin is the most famous of them all. All the tourists simply visit Medellin and are mostly done with Colombia. But you must spend a day visiting the marvelous city of Guatape. This city is rich in colors, culture and luxury. Its cobblestoned center is lined up with colorful colonial buildings and picturesque spots. Everything that Medellin lacks due to a common cultural attraction hub for tourists is fulfilled by the gorgeous Guatape. The community at Guatape is filled with creative people who welcome guests with utmost warmth and love.
Here are some of the most fun things to do in Guatape to have the best of the Colombian experience. You will also find a few tips to help you plan your trip there.
Things To Do In Guatape, Colombia
1. Have A Taste Of Colombian Coffee
Colombian coffee is known for its exclusivity. It is medium-boiled with rich taste and citrus-like acidity. As you explore the city, you will find a lot of cafes to choose from. So, you can have your coffee at any corner and with any view, you want.
Some of the best coffee farms are situated around this city. The fresh beans from the farms get transported directly to the cafes around the city. So, if you smell the coffee beans around, don’t be astonished. It might be the bean that would be crushing to give you the best caffeine experience of your life.
You can also be a part of one of the most incredible and unique coffee tasting experiences. This is one of the coolest things to do in Guatape. Visit a private organic coffee villa perched upon the Andes mountain. Enjoy the coffee making process and the delicious coffee while admiring the beauty of nature. The villa is surrounded by exotic flowers and also boasts breathtaking panoramic views of the town of Guatape. Click here to see more details.
2. Get Grooving On The Tunes Of Live Music Sessions At Plazoleta de Los Zocalos
Art is what brings a community together. It makes the most mundane and plain evenings in the most joyous and melancholic ones. And you can have such an evening at Guatape during the live sessions at Plazoleta de Los Zocalos. It is the local community that decided to paint the houses in bright, vibrant colors making it one of the liveliest places in the city.
And these lively surroundings inspire the musical bands to stay there and entertain whoever’s feet get stuck by the melodious sounds and the romantic vibes of the evening in the surroundings. There are a few eateries in the neighborhood as well where you can have your favorite snacks and chunk on them while you spend your time there. Stop by Café La Viña for tasting possibly the best coffee in Colombia
3. Climb The La Piedra del Penol (The Big Guatape Rock)
La Piedra rock is huge and is located on the outskirts of Guatape and El Penol. But there are stairs that lead you to the top of the rock. It is a beautiful site from the top. There are 742 stairs that lead you to the top. And, though the number seems like a lot. It only takes around 10 to 15 minute to climb the rock.
The stairs are small and convenient. So, you can challenge yourself to race to the top. In addition to that, there is a view point at the top. And there is a rare plant which is only found on top of the rock.
The most fun way to visit the historic rock at Piedra del Penol is to join this full day Guatape tour from Medellin. This day tour will take you through the most beautiful spots in Guatape – the charming historic center, Piedra del Penol and the idyllic boardwalk with a scenic lunch stop. On this tour you can explore the town at your own pace and then board a boat for a cruise on the Guatape Reservoir. It’s a win-win!
Climbing the La Piedra rock is one of the most memorable things to do in Guatape.
4. Float On The Colombian Waters
Kayaking and Paddle boating are the sports that are generally preferred on the beaches with high tides. However, you can enjoy these sports in Guatape. You can rent a kayak or a boat on an hourly basis or for an entire day. Take the boat, go on an unknown adventure to different places. Search a different island, a different route, or find your mental peace around Guatape. This would be a ride to remember forever.
Apart from the tours in the wild that are offered by many commercial companies in the city, these adventurous tours give you the opportunity to know the city from the waters and the lakes.
5. Walk Down The Cobbled Calla del Rucuerdo Neighborhood
One of the unmissable things to do in Guatape is to explore its vibrant Calla del Rucuerdo neighbourhood. It has cobbled streets and colorful walls on all the houses. The color combination and patterns on the walls are all a sight to behold. The architecture of the street is more like a slope of the mountain. A walk here during discreet hours when the crowd is less not only offers you a time of inner peace and vibrant sights but also leaves you with some of the Insta-worthy memories.
6. Soak In Views From A Helicopter Flight
Amongst the most enthralling things to do in Guatape is taking a helicopter tour over this scenic town. The way Guatape is located, it feels like nature has filled the city with all the beauty possible. There are patches of green here and there with water from the lake and then there stands tall the rock that divides the beautiful land.
All of this and more can be watched from a helicopter as you book a ride to watch one of the picturesque cities in the vicinity. The chopper flying towards the horizon with the city at the bottom is one hell of an experience.
As this is a popular activity, make sure you book your helicopter tour in advance, by clicking here.
7. Take the Pablo Escobar Boat Tour
Pablo Escobar had his home on the outskirts of the city of Guatape. From this centre, he used to carry most of his drug-business and other major operations. Apart from the Netflix documentary that shows almost all the aspects of his life. There are certain places where Pablo Escobar is known as a Robinhood instead of a drug lord. And through the boat tour, these are the places that you can explore.
The boat tour offers all the native stories that Guatape is filled with and is known for. The tour is mostly famous in the name of Pablo because during the tour you will pass his mansion. However, you cannot enter the mansion as the local government has restricted the areas. But the local legends and nearby villages will fill up with the information that you were missing on. For more details on this tour, click here.
8. Go for Antique Shopping
Buying a souvenir is something that every traveller loves. Tourists have collections from every place, ever visited. Guatape has history and its traditions and the culture that it has practiced all these years gets reflected in living every day. And if you want to have a little Colombian culture all to yourself, then Antique shopping is a must.
There are some traditional shops on the streets of Guatape. You will find some amazing, well-crafted and jaw-dropping things there. The intricate details in the handicrafts are beyond amazing. The color and detailed crafts by Colombian artists can be easily seen in some of the traditional tapestries, wood work, ceramic things, and other objects which would leave you spellbound.
9. Take a dive at La Cazuela Waterfall
Want to go to an offbeat place near Guatape? La Cazuela waterfall is at a distance from Guatape but it is a freshwater waterfall and you would love the refreshing energies that flow in the natural surroundings. You can have a motorbike tour to the waterfall or you can simply book a guided tour to La Cazuela. You would be amazed by the green surroundings and how beautifully the waterfall is built in nature’s lap. Affected by the high temperatures of Guatape, you would crave for a dive and swim into the waters. So, make sure you carry some extra clothes with you.
10. Go for wild ATV Tour
There are multiple adventure tours available at Guatape. In these tours, they take you to explore the best of greens that this picturesque place offers. But a certain part of this tour consists of ATV bikes. The best of adrenaline rush filled with excitement and zeal.
Treading through the rough roads via these monster bikes are a great way to spend your vacation. These tours are also bundled up with paragliding and other adventure sports. So, be ready to get your mind blown through these. You can check out more information on an ATV tour in Guatape here.
11. Have Your Dinner At The lake
Yes, you can enjoy a luxurious dinner at the lake near Guatape. The dinner and the lake are not the only best part, the dinner on the cruise through the lake is the cherry on the cake. Yate Majestic is one of these luxury cruises that offers a memorable experience sailing over the lake. You can enjoy delicious Colombian food, live entertainment and dip into one of the hot tubs on the cruise ship. It is worth the experience. You can witness the small villages and the people living around the lake.
General Information On Guatape, Colombia
How To Get To Guatape
Guatape is one of the most popular and fun day trips from Medellin. The distance between the two cities is just 82 kms (90 minutes journey). You can either reach Guatape by an organized tour for a day trip or by getting aboard a public bus from Terminal del Norte in Medellin for an easy weekend getaway.
Traveling to Guatape by bus from Medellin is very simple. Take a metro ride to Caribe station. Walk to Terminal del Norte. Buy your tickets to Guatape from this bus terminal. Buses depart every 30 minutes for Guatape, you can board one of these buses. The journey will last for not more than 2 hours. From your stop in Guatape, you can find tuk tuks that will take you to the place you want to visit or to the hotel you are staying at.
If you have only a day to spend in Guatape, we highly recommend checking out this guided tour. It is a great option to explore the best of the city.
Renting a car is another convenient option if you want to visit the city at your own pace.
Where To Stay In Guatape
We would definitely recommend you to stay for at least a night in Guatape so that you have enough time to immerse yourself in the serenity of this place. There are many good accommodation options in the city and you will certainly find an ideal place to stay that suits your budget. Below are our best finds for a great place to stay in Guatape.
Hostel (upto $45) : Lake View Hostel is a vibrant place to stay in Guatape located right next to the lake. It has dormitory rooms as well as double/triple bed rooms for guests well equipped with basic amenities. Free WiFi, airport shuttle and an onsite restaurant are some of the convenient services provided by the hostel.
Mid Range ($45-$100) : Hotel Guatatur is a centrally located hotel that gives you easy access to the lake and the restaurants. The urban styled rooms boast amazing city and lake views. There are standard rooms, family rooms and suite rooms with a jacuzzi for guests available at the hotel. Free WiFi, rooftop, buffet breakfast, onsite restaurant & bar are some of the other facilities of the hotel.
Luxury($100+) : Looking for a dreamy escape in Guatape? The Boato Hotel is an exceptional place to stay amongst the beauty of nature that the city Guatape has to offer. Fantastic views, elegant rooms, calming surroundings, world-class services, spa, outdoor fireplace, BBQ area, water sports facilities and hot tub are other great facilities that guests enjoy at this hotel.
Lakeside glamping is also possible in Guatape. You can click here for more details.
How To Get Around Guatape
There are tuk-tuks available on the streets of Guatape and are the best mode of transportation in the city.
Don’t Forget Your Guatape Trip Essentials
Philips self cleaning smart water bottle – To be double sure about water you are drinking. This is a hassle free purification water bottle.
Steripen : This is a compact water purification solution.
Earth-Pak waterproof dry bag : To put in all your wet clothes if you go swimming near the waterfalls.
Bug Repellent Lotion : Carry one in your bag always. Apply to protect yourself from bug bites especially during the evening and night time.
Sunscreen : A good sunscreen is a must have.
Sunhat : You will need a good sunhat during the day time.
Portable Charger : To avoid draining out the battery of your cellphone.
Tripod and Selfie stick : This is a must have for any traveler.
Combination Luggage Lock : To keep your belongings safe.
Umbrella or rain cover : Guatape has rain showers at frequent intervals throughout the year. So you would definitely need an umbrella.
Shoecovers : To protect your shoes from getting damaged due to rain.
A light weight Osprey backpack : To pack in all your essentials. We love this one from Osprey.
An easy to carry Osprey day pack : You will need this, if you are coming to Guatape from Medellin on a one day trip.
There are so many things to do in Guatape, so you should plan to stay here for longer. We hope that all the above information will help you plan your trip better.
Which attractions in Guatape are your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.