My name is Juan Nino and thanks for stopping by my article on Guatape! I was born in Bogota and my parents moved to the United States when I was six years old. I grew up in Houston, Texas and believe there are three main reasons why I developed a passion for photography, film and traveling.
Firstly, it was the beautiful game of football or soccer as it’s known in America. Football was my passion growing up and I loved watching football matches on TV. I was always curious as to where the teams were from, where in the world was Croatia or Senegal, and what language they spoke.
I was always asking myself these questions and thankfully I have parents who were happy to answer or help me find the answers. I began to have a great understanding of where nations were on a map and what their capital cities were thanks to football. This only helped to spark my curiosity even more, and from a young age I was intrigued by other cultures.
The second reason was my parents’ old and still working Canon A1 film camera. When my siblings and I were young my Dad would buy film and let us take pictures. I’m pretty sure most of them were blurry but being a nostalgic person, I loved that I could capture a moment in time.
Thirdly, I enjoyed stories when I was growing up – it might have been reading a book or hearing about legends and myths around the world. I imagined all of these places in the stories and hoped one day I could visit them. For me, photography and film are tools in which we can inspire and tell stories. So that is a little bit about me, now let us talk about Guatape!
Visiting Guatape on a Day Trip
I recently visited Guatape with my girlfriend Steph because I’m working on a vlog of my past month spent in Medellin. The vlog will be on my YouTube channel soon. We went to Guatape and La Piedra del Penol for the day.
We left at around 8am in the morning from El Poblado and returned at 11pm. Guatape ended up being one of my favorite places in Colombia. The surrounding landscapes are beautiful and the town itself is extremely fun. It’s a colorful place with amazing little shops and restaurants. If you go to Guatape, you have to climb up La Piedra del Penol for some amazing views!
Why Guatape is so Incredible
Just imagine walking in a town where the weather is Spring-like for the entire year and all of the houses are different colors. There are little alleyways and plazas with colonial churches to discover, and you see lovely flowers growing from the balconies and hear music playing constantly.
People live life at a different pace here and they always have a smile on their face. Guatape is simply a must-visit while you are in Medellin! You can take a day trip or spend the night in one of the many glamping options.
I love photographing mountains and landscapes, so Guatape was paradise for me! My favorite place there was La Piedra del Penol. It’s such a massive rock formation in the midst of so much green and blue. The contrasts are intriguing and fun to capture. I loved the climb up because the higher you go, the better the perspective of how beautiful this region of Colombia is.
5 Must-Do Experiences in Guatape
- Climb up Piedra del Penol for spectacular views!
- Take a boat tour of the area from Guatape’s harbor.
- Explore the town of Guatape itself and give yourself the time to walk around the small streets. You will feel immersed and captivated!
- Try some of the delicious local Colombian cuisine. Guatape has various amazing restaurants and some fantastic little dessert shops as well.
- If you are planning on spending the night there then I recommend staying in one of the glamping spots like La Montana Sagrada.
“Paisa” Culture of Guatape
Colombia has so many different cultures. Every region has distinct accents, food, music and traditions. Guatape is definitely a place that embodies the “Paisa” culture. Medellin is the capital of the Antioquia region. People from Antioquia are called “Paisas” – known for being very kind and welcoming.
One of the best parts about this town is the food. Guatape has restaurants, bakeries and local food that every tourist will enjoy. The town is accustomed to tourists and so the chance of food poisoning is low, but exercise caution and use common sense. Make sure to try one of the desserts at the dessert shops and try a “merengon” – it’s life changing!
Best Memory from this Day Trip
My favorite memory from this trip was the funny selfies I took with my girlfriend Steph. We were sweating a lot from climbing up La Piedra del Penol and it was so windy that we couldn’t take a proper picture. We decided to snap away and we ended up with some really funny pictures.
Need to Know Before you Go
- If you are going on a day trip from Medellin, leave early so you can maximize your time. Traffic can get bad later in the morning. Leave early and have breakfast at a restaurant on the drive there.
- Put sunscreen on to protect yourself from the strong sun.
- Be sure to take cash with you. There are tons of places that accept cards, but having cash is always a good idea in Colombia.
- Make sure you have enough time to climb up La Piedra del Penol and explore the town of Guatape itself. It’s a place you don’t want to rush!