How to get to El Peñon de Guatape

El Peñon de Guatape: 659 Steps to Colombia’s Best View

El Peñon de Guatape (The Rock of Guatape) is home to one of the most stunning views in Colombia – find out what you’ll see when you reach the top of this huge boulder!

In an otherworldly land of rolling hills & freshwater lakes lies a giant rock known simply as El Peñon de Guatape, La Piedra or The Rock.

657ft high at a maximum elevation of 7,005ft, it is composed of everyday rock with traces of granite, quartz and feldspar.

El Penon de Guatape belongs on every ultimate Colombian itinerary!

* Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any trip to Columbia. We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years – it’s the best-value provider we’ve found & we’ve also never had any issues on the few occasions we’ve had to make a claim.


El Peñon de Guatape

The massive boulder  looms ahead

El Peñon de Guatape was first climbed in 1954 by 3 local men using sticks fixed against the rock’s walls. It took them 5 days.

These days, climbing to the top via the built-in stairway can take less than 10 mins.

El Peñon de Guatape stairs

The epic staircase up offers a workout with a view!

The views all the way up the 649 steps are spectacular, so for photo freaks like us here at DIY Travel HQ, it took a lot longer.

El Peñon de Guatape views

Catch glimpses of the stunning views on the way

I never expected to see scenery like this anywhere on Earth, let alone in Colombia.

El Peñon de Guatape is naturally located in the town of Guatape, which can be reached via the best day trip from Medellin.

El Peñon de Guatape islands

Incredible views await you at the top

El Peñon de Guatape is surrounded by the waters of the river Nare, believed to be the product of a volcanic eruption, though also partly created by the construction of a hydroelectric dam that provides 30% of Colombia’s electricity supply.

With a network of roads linking people & homes around the islands and to the ‘mainland’, it’s very much a livable community.

There is paradise on Earth, and those that live around El Peñon de Guatape get to call it home.

Me at El Peñon de Guatape

I could not be happier at the top of El Peñon de Guatape!

How to Get to El Peñon de Guatape

The Rock of Guatape is in the city of Guatape, 83km from Medellin.

From Medellin, take a metro to Caribe station, which is connected directly to Terminal del Norte. Metro tickets cost 2,000 COP / $0.65.

Two bus companies travel to Guatape from Terminal del Norte: Sotrasanvicente & Sotrapenol. The average fare is 12,000 COP ($3.85) & the trip takes around 1.5hrs.

Tell the driver to drop you off at El Peñon. The stop is a short walk from the entrance.

How to get to El Peñon de Guatape

Take a tuk-tuk between El Peñon de Guatape & Guatape Town

El Peñon de Guatape Costs

Tricycle moto-taxi from El Peñon to Guatape Town: 1000 COP ($0.35)

Entrance fee for El Peñon: 12,000 COP ($3.85)

Total cost (transport & fees): 41,000 COP ($13.20)

El Peñon de Guatape

Goodbye El Peñon – we’ll be back!


*** The Final Word: El Peñon de Guatape should be on every Colombian itinerary! ***  

Have you seen any better views in Colombia?!

Accessible DIY travel to more distant locations via multiple connections or longer forms of public transport

Visited in October 2013