Guatape, the most popular tourist town close to Medellin
Guatapé is a beautiful town, where Colombian traditions feel very alive. It is a place where cobblestone streets and houses evoke the times of Spanish colonization. The smell of coffee floats in the air, while you can enjoy native Antioquian cuisine in the many restaurants located around the Main Park.
To reach Guatapé, you need to travel 79 kilometers from the city of Medellín. The population is located in eastern Antioquia, and when you arrive in town you'll feel the welcome cool and temperate climate. So if you are thinking of visiting one of the most beloved towns in Antioquia, this is one of them.
This place has the greatest magnetic power to attract tourists. El Peñol is a monolith, a huge rock that reaches a height of 220 meters. To reach the peak of El Peñol you'll need to climb a total of 740 steps. According to studies, the rock is composed of minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and mica. Not visiting El Peñol is unforgivable, because it has a silent presence inside the town, but it's known as one of the most iconic rocks in the whole world.
When you get to the top of El Peñol, you'll see one of the most beautiful views of the Antioquia region. From the top, you can see the entire Guatapé reservoir, you'll see a great amount of small "islands" are dotted over the landscape. In total it is an area of 2,262 hectares that gives life to one of the biggest hydroelectric plants in the country. Around the reservoir, there are several docks, where people can enjoy the waters or take part in some water sports. There is also a good range of restaurants around the lake. So now that you have seen one of the best views in Colombia, you climb back down El Peñol and go in search of something else that's a must do, the Recreational Park "La Culebra".
On one of the peninsulas of the reservoir, you'll find the Recreational Park La Culebra, a place where you can experience the nature of the region, finding animals such as squirrels, geese, and ducks. If you like kayaking, here you'll have the opportunity to do so.
The town & the main park
As already said, the town has a certain traditional and colonial flavor (you will not find many modern houses here). What most characterizes the town is the Church of Our Lady of Carmen. You can see its Baroque architecture and human-sized saints. From the entrance door of the church, you'll see an emblematic water fountain that echoes the tranquility of the town.
Located in the town and designed to commemorate one of the most beautiful streets in the original town before it was flooded to ake the current reservoir. As you walk along the street you'll feel the beauty of the houses with their facades of different colors, with pots of flowers hanging next to the windows.