TLDR? Guatapé is a hotspot for camping, glamping, and getting outdoors!
Do you love being outdoors? Then you should visit Guatapé, where you’ll find a number of places to go camping or glamping.
There are tons of different types of campsites out there, including some near the town, some along the dam, others at the top of a mountain, or still others situated on one of the islands.
In this article, we’ll cover a couple of the best camping and glamping spots in the area. Let’s jump in!
Free Camping Spots
I have good news for you—camping on the islands of Guatapé is free! You’ll only have to pay for a taxi to take you and your camping gear out there.
If you prefer camping in a place a little closer to town, there are two free places that come to mind:
Near the airport of Guatapé
The Alto Verde viewpoint
The spot near Guatapé’s airport is located about 500m (1 mile) from the town. There, you’ll find a place with two tents at its entrance. This is a camp store that will rent items you may need to go camping, including tents and fishing equipment if you decide to catch dinner.
There are no free public toilets at this camping facility, but you can pay a few coins to use one.
You can also camp at the Alto Verde viewpoint. This place is on top of a mountain, so you’ll have to take a short hike to get there. The advantage of this place is that you will have a spectacular view of the town, El Peñon, and the dam.
If you choose to camp out there, I recommend getting up a little earlier than usual to watch beautiful sunrises.
Keep in mind that there will be no shops nearby, so you have to bring everything you need to camp. And, there are no toilets.
It’s best to take what you need to cook, too. And, you’ll want to pack some coats in case it gets cold at night.
This place is 5km from Guatapé, on the San Rafael road. It’s actually a country club, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not a good place to camp! The club’s surroundings are perfect for hiking, cycling, and walking through the most hidden areas of Guatapé.
I love this country club because it’s located on the reservoir’s banks. It has meeting places, a games room, camping facilities, picnic areas, and parking lots.
The crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and jet skiing. You can also practice hunting, archery, and fishing. Ask to rent a boat and try your hand at sailing.
Remember to bring your food and everything you need to use the communal kitchen. I also would suggest you gather some firewood and cook out over the campfire. It gives an incredible flavor to the food, and it’s just fun, too.
Also, make sure you bring cash as they don’t accept credit or debit cards.
This is one of the best places to camp in Guatapé. There’s a colorful farm with small, private beaches that you can check out. You can do things like go fishing, skiing, paddle boarding and try other water activities here.
There are also some great nature walks to try out. Or, you can try your hand at riding horses or taking a bike tour through the rural area.
If you don’t feel like cooking your own food, like me, you can order something at the restaurant or have a drink at the bar. You’ll meet the chef, an American who makes the best pizzas in the town.
They ask you to bring your tent, so it’s best to take yours or rent one from the village.
The hosts, Martha and Dennis, are fluent in both English and Spanish, so you can easily ask them for whatever you need. The place is also pet friendly, so you can bring your furbabies with you if you like.
As its name suggests, this place isn’t exactly a campsite, but a lodge. It’s great for those who want to do some serious hiking and backpacking in the area. At the lodge, you can try out a ton of organized activities, including:
Like most places, it has a private beach and plenty of outdoor activities to do. However, if you plan to just get some much-needed rest and relaxation, you can nap in comfortable hammocks overlooking El Peñol.
I enjoyed a complimentary breakfast, and they also have tea and coffee available all day. It’s also equipped with nearby bathrooms and showers.
To live the full camping experience, it’s you can head out and use the BBQ and special areas to make fires. Who doesn’t like marshmallows and sausages on a starry night?
But if you don’t want to BBQ, you can always ask for tasty homemade meals they prepare.
What I loved most about the place was the Secret Waterfalls Tour, where you’ll have the opportunity to hike through lakes and mountains. Then, you’ll enter a different environment, a dense tropical forest.
The tour lasts 7 hours, so I make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes (or rain boots), so you don’t get stuck in the mud.
This luxurious accommodation is ideal for taking your partner on a romantic trip.
Not only is the place just gorgeous, but they’ve also got a jacuzzi and a mesh “catamaran” (a hanging bed that’s something like a hammock) which was very comfortable.
Like most places in Guatapé, they offer fun water activities such as:
If you’ve already done all these water activities, you can choose to have some me-time and get a personalized spa session in your suite.
Domus also offers gourmet meals and cocktails at their restaurant, which has the best view of El Peñol.
The hotel will also help you organize a helicopter ride if you (and your budget) are up for it. It’s definitely worth the experience, as you’ll get some unparalleled views of the lake.
The staff told me we couldn’t be true glampers if we didn’t ride in a moto-taxi. This small cart will take you to Guatapé’s hot spots, and if you’re lucky, your drivers will tell you about its history.
Moto-taxi tours can last up to one hour. Just don’t forget to take your camera!
Cardinal Glamping is a series of rustic cottages with a cozy atmosphere. This is perfect for couples who want a more intimate space than a shared lodge or flimsy tent.
This place has a restaurant with a menu full of exotic dishes. And, you’ll get a great view of the rock and the dam from any o their tables. Aside from the restaurant, you’ll find a jacuzzi on the property where you can soothe sore muscles after hiking in Guatapé.
What’s cool about this spot is that it’s an excellent way to meet people, and who knows? Maybe you’ll make new friends who’ll teach you about Guatapé or share their travel adventure stories!
On top of that, it’s a pet-friendly place. Bring your pooch (or kitty) and let them enjoy the outdoors by your side.
Eva Glamping is an upscale campground with small cottages that also have a jacuzzi. This is a family-friendly campground, making it ideal if you’re traveling with kids.
If you want to camp here, you can either bring your tent or rent one. Their tents have a maximum capacity of two people, however, so if you’re going in a group you’ll need more than one. The campground can also provide you with everything you need to make a fire.
Like many other camping spots, they have a private beach on their part of the dam. And, in case you were wondering, they also offer some activities like fishing and hiking trails.
On a sunny day, you can access their pool or swim in the lake. It’s also nice to just have lunch by the water while you get some sun there.
A modern and stylish spot made especially for families, this campsite is made up of unique geometric domes. What’s great about the domes is that they have good climate control, so you won’t get as hot as you would in a tent. And, you’ll be able to see the stars from the terrace.
It is also pet-friendly, with all the necessary amenities for a family or couple’s trip to Guatapé.
One of the coolest activities to try here, and one that makes this glamping place stand out from the others, is that for a reasonable price you can rent a boat that can take you to different locations on the lake.
You can also visit the finca of Pablo Escobar, Maluma, and James Rodriguez.
Since Guatapé is a place with tons of hiking trails, I’d also recommend renting bikes to go off-roading with. But, just remember that you’ll have to wear comfortable clothes because you’ll probably get dirty.