Guatape Day Trip – Everything you need to know to visit without the use of a guide or tour group
- Are you a backpacking Medellin? Well if so, lucky you.
- Are you planning to visit Guatape? If so, you’re on the right path.
- Have you only allotted yourself one day for the gorgeous natural scenery of the charming Guatape puebla? ….
Not a problem because like that time Bob Marley stated, “don’t worry about a thing because every little thing, is guna be alright”
In this Post, I will outline an ideal Guatape Day Trip, in the city of a million colors (Guatape is not actually called this, but you’ll understand once you have been)
Although much more worthy than just a day trip, Guatape is the winner for best day trip from Medellín. With more activities than a Will Ferrell’s Step Brothers room, Guatape is calling your name. Follow this guide for a:
- & Memorable day in one of my favorite Colombian cities.
Getting to Guatape
Guatape is VERY EASY to get too on your own. Don’t let the tour operators or hostels tell you it isn’t too take more money out of your pocket. Here’s how you do it:
- Take the metro, bus, taxi, Uber, walk, heelys, razor, motorbike, roller blades, skateboard or any other form of transit to the Caribe (North Station)
- Buy your one way ticket from window 9 or 14. The ticket should be about 12 million Colombian pesos. (Not sure of current prices)
- Find your bus & enjoy the 2 hour scenic ride. You’ll know you’re close when the city becomes farmland and you can see the giant rock
When to Visit Guatape
Get going early. Although it’s only 2 hours away you want to maximize your time in this lovely Puebla. It’s also advantageous to be in Guatape before the hoards of other folks who are going for the main tourist draw, La Piedra del penol.
What to do in Guatape
La Piedra del Penol. Aka the giant rock. Aka self best view in the world. This viewing platform is 700 stairs to the top. Yes, 700 stairs. It’s way up there. Hopefully you get there a bit early, before 11 because the crowds will be dizzying.
Head into Town
Once you have enjoyed your safe ascent & descent, make your way into town for 5-10,000 Colombian Pesos (not sure of current rate) from the rock. About 10 minutes later you will arrive in the main plaza. Feast upon the colors before you. Speaking of feast, you’ve definitely worked up your appetite from that trip to the moon so find yourself a place to recharge the batteries before exploring the rest of the city.
- Kushbu Indian Cuisine. Sam the chef, who has lived worldwide, is generous, gregarious, open & charming. Great place to have lunch on a Guatape day trip & don’t forget to ask about his travels.
- Thai Terrace – Above one of the hostels in town with excellent Thai food
- Anywhere on the water to soak in the views
Getting Around Guatape
Guatape is compact, & simple to navigate. Make your way to the plaza & marvel at the fountain & church which will become your landmark to work around. Walk the streets & admire the vuelos that line each door front, business and bar. What is a vuelo? Look at these pictures below:
Coffee or Snack
Need a pick me up or just a second to relax those dogs after the overwhelming amount of colors you will be seeing? Grab a cup of Colombian coffee from artisan roaster, Black Hole Coffee, at their storefront or mobile bicycle stand. Excellent quality & also a provider of delicious ice creams.
What else to do in Guatape
So what’s next? Some popular activities include:
- Bike Tours around the exterior of the city to hidden lagoons and waterfalls of San Rafael
- Floating your boat on the water (Pun intended).
- Jet skiing
- Taking photos
Dinner / Happy Hour before departure
If you want to refuel before heading back to Medellín you’ve got options. Head over to Thai Terrace for their happy hour from 5:30-7:30 & be appalled about how lucky you are to be eating some incredible Thai food tucked away in the Colombian hillsides.
Getting back to Medellin
Say your goodbyes to Guatape & get back to the bus terminal for your ride home. Located a block away from the city plaza you’ll be sad you didn’t stay longer. Busses are frequent and cost the same as your price getting there. But if you are staying longer, check out some other options for you to enjoy your time in this charming place.
Have you done a Guatape Day Trip? Where else would you recommend?