Guatape is the most famous day trip from Medellin, and it can be overcrowded if you don’t choose the right day. Don’t go there during Colombia public holidays, Holly Week, weekends, and holidays period!
Guatape is known for two reasons:
- The cute colonial town – although it’s quite small
- The breathtaking view from El Peñol, a massive monolith where you can reach the top – 750 steps
A day trip from Medellin is manageable as it’s 2 hours away from the city, but it can take up to 3 hours on the way back as you’ll arrive during the rush hour.
My travel tips for visiting Guatape:
- Leave in the morning from Medellin with a small bag and plan to stay 1 night in Guatape. Visit the town and book a water activity on the lake.
- Wake up early the next day and hike to the top of El Peñol so that you will be alone! It opens at 8 am.
- Take the bus back to Medellin around 2 pm. You can buy your ticket in advance at the bus station.
Another excellent travel tip is to include Guatape with San Rafael and San Carlos, 2 perfect off the beaten path towns with crystal clear rivers.