Things to Do in Guatapé That Aren’t El Peñol

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Things to Do in Guatapé That Aren’t El Peñol

TLDR? Guatapé is famous for El Peñol, but there are tons of other great activities to check out there too.

If you want to go somewhere outside of Medellín, Guatapé’s one of your best options. It’s not too far from the city but has some stunning views and great hikes!

Its most striking attraction’s the enormous Peñol rock. However, that’s not the only thing to do when visiting this famous town in Antioquia.

In this guide, I’ll show you other activities in Guatapé so that you can try something off the beaten path on your trip out there!

1. Look at Architecture

This city and its nearby town’s architecture and landscape are unlike other cities in Colombia. The colorful paintings and small sculptures on the facades of the houses, in the fountains, and on the corners of the streets, make you feel like you’re inside a painting.

That’s why strolling around Guatapé’s steep stone streets is the perfect way to spend an afternoon here.

One of Guatapé’s unique features are the baseboards that line the houses. If the house is in a commercial area, its baseboard’s decor frequently represents the profession or activity exercised there.

Locals say that no mold was employed to shape the baseboards. Whoever makes them does it on site.

It’s best to explore the town on foot early in the morning when there aren’t so many people on the streets and the shops haven’t opened.

If you have any particular condition or simply want to tour the town differently, there’s something known in the town as a moto-taxi which you can take. These are colorful tour vehicles with a driver that tells you the town’s history, usually in Spanish.

2. Hang Out in the Main Park

This probably won’t surprise you if you’ve been to any other Colombian town, but the park is the heart of Guatapé.

There, you’ll find the great church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, a historical building much loved by the locals.

You’ll also find street vendors selling local wares, souvenirs, and tasty Colombian food. It’s a nice place to grab a snack and sit down for a while.

3. Visit the Historical Museum

Known as a community history museum, in this place, you can learn about tools used many years ago. The Historical Museum is a converted house in one of the most famous streets of Guatapé, called the Calle del Recuerdo.

Inside the house, you can learn about the history of Guatapé, how it became what it is today, and what the people who lived here years ago were like.

4. Stroll Around Plazoleta de Los Zócalos

With very bright colors on the buildings surrounding it and curious drawings on its stairs, this square is one of the most distinct places in Guatapé.

Here, you can sit down to eat something, buy handicrafts, or just snap some selfies.

5. Walk Down Some Famous Streets

The town has two streets that are most sought after by tourists and most representative of locals. They’re a great place to go for a stroll and just admire this unique town!

La Calle del Recuerdo

This street is the recreation of another, lost after the hydroelectric plant’s flood. This event was also what created the famous Guatapé lake.

Calle del Recuerdo is adorned with original plinths recovered and installed in the houses to commemorate the town’s history. Recuerdo means recollection, making it a most fitting name.

La Calle de Las Sombrillas

Despite being narrow, Calle de Las Sombrillas is one of the most beautiful in town. The street has rows of colorful umbrellas suspended next to the houses’ roofs that match their facades or baseboards.

6. Enjoy Some Water Activities

If you go to Guatapé, after seeing its rock, you cannot deprive yourself of seeing the lake directly and not only admire its beauty from afar.

If you enjoy splashing around in the water, here are some great water activities for you to try:

  • Jet Ski: One of the tourists’ favorites and also a great couple’s activity.
  • Boat tours: Enjoy a guided boat tour of the dam.
  • Ferry: This is the best option if you’re afraid of water or are looking for a family tour.
  • Kayak: Another option to get to know the landscape as a couple.
  • Flyboard or Wakeboard: A more risky option, preferably for people with experience.

7. Spend a Day at Parque Comfama

Guatapé also has its own amusement park.

Here you can have fun with your family, friends, and partner. Parque Comfama offers different attractions within the same lake, such as:

  • Pirate ships next to the dam to see the lake and take in the view.
  • Equipment for rowing or pedaling a boat safely in the lake.
  • An inflatable diving board with a length of 111 feet (34 m).
  • An imitation of a traditional Antioquian village that’s perfect for visiting with children.
  • A floating inflatable obstacle course for you to climb and slide down.

8. Visit the Monasterio de Santa María de la Epifanía

You’ll find this old monastery in the middle of the forest reserve, a few minutes away from the Guatapé boardwalk.

Staying at Monasterio de Santa María is an option if you’re Catholic, but if you’re not, you can just tour the area and check out the architecture and history.

If you do want to stay overnight, remember to request lodging early due to the demand and the few rooms available. This experience will allow you to spend a few days in peace and get the chance to participate in the monastery’s daily rituals.

Get Outdoors and Explore Guatapé!

Now that you know what to do in Guatapé, you can see some unique things there that go far beyond just hiking up El Peñól. Pack your suitcase and choose what you will—I’m sure your trip to Guatapé will be amazing no matter what activities you try!

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