The Big Black Rock and Guatepe

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There are some trips, daily but very enjoyable.  It may be in a little rush, but still gives a lot of pleasure. Now, I will suggest you a day-trip from Medellin. Both enjoyable and comfortable travel.

El Penon de Guatape

The dark-colored rock, that fascinates everyone with its view and majesty. It is possible to go from Medellin by a daytrip to this Rock, which you can also climb top of it.

Early in the morning, you go to North bus station of Medellin. There are minibusses from here to El Penon de Guatepe every half hour. Several bus companies go there, I preferred the one which is called Sotrasanvicente. I made a quite comfortable journey. Bus ticket costs 12.000 Pesos (12 Turkish Liras). By the way, it will be probably written “La Piedra” on your ticket, do not be suprised when you see it.  The journey takes about 1.5 hours (75 km).

If you’re sitting by the window, you will see it on the right side while aprroaching to El Penon de Guatape. It is not the last stop of the bus, so be careful and do not miss the place where you should get off the bus. I assume that there will be also other people going there, so the bus will probably stop at that place. Anyway, you can shout at the bus driver when you see the Rock.

After getting off the bus, you have two options to reach El Penon de Guatepe. Either you can get on three-wheeled van that are available where you get off the bus (2.000 Pesos- 2 Turkish Liras) or you can have a slow walk uphill about 15-20 minutes. Of couse, I preferred to walk.

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When you arrive to El Penon de Guatepe, you will be suprised by the size of the Rock. After watching the Rock for a while, you buy your ticket (15.000 Pesos – 15 Turkish Lirası) and start climbing upstairs. Totally 740 stairs. After climbing up 740 stairs, you will finally reach top of the Rock. After this, just enjoy the beautiful view and take some photos.

Guatape

After spending approx. 2 hours in El Penon de Guatepe, let’s go to Guatepe, the most colourful town you have ever seen. You need to go back the place where you got off the bus and find a bus that goes to Guatepe. If you do not want to wait for the bus, you may rent one of the three-wheeled van as an alternative way (4.000 Pesos – 4 TL).

Guatepe city center is 15 minutes drive from  El Penon de Guatepe. On the road to the town, colourful facades of the buildings will give you an idea how colorful the town is.

As soon as you arrive to Guatepe, the first thing you must do is to grab your camera and walk towards the streets of the town. While walking through the narrow streets of the town, you will enjoy watching the colourful reliefs on the buildings. It is said that every relief shows which craftmen resides in the building. These colorful reliefs actually resembles today’s neon signs. For instance, while there is a tailor relief on the wall of a tailor’s house, a barber relief on the wall of a barber’s house. There are also some other natural reliefs on the walls.

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I would strongly recommend you to see the Church in the main square. By revealing the colourful soul of Guatape, it might be the most colorful church that you have seen in your lifetime.

After you explore streets of Guatape, you can walk to the lakeside. You may have a short walk or even take a bout tour to explore the lake.

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Finally you can end your day and go back to Medellin again by bus, with good memories in your mind.

This post is also available in: Turkish

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