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Guatape Travel Guide

Updated: May 3

I will give you a step by step guide on how to travel to Guatape from Medellin yourself and have a great time in Guatape town and the surrounding area.


If you want to explore Guatape town and the surrounding area yourself and not with a tour group then you are in the right place!

  1. How to get to Guatape from Medellin

  2. Guatape town centre

  3. Where to stay in Guatape

  4. Best food places in Guatape

  5. Piedra del Peñol

  6. Video

How to get to Guatape from Medellin

  1. Head down by metro or taxi to North Bus Terminal (Terminal del Norte). If you go by metro you have to reach the stop ‘Caribe’, part of Line A, from Niquía to Poblado. The bus terminal and the metro is connected so stay within it. I have mentioned this in my other Colombia blogs, but for taxis best to use Uber or Cabify.

  2. Once in the bus terminal, find the ticket office for Guatape - red and white sign: Sotrasanvicente & Guatape la piedra. There is only one main window (3 windows together actually) that will sell tickets to Guatape. (In my video below you can see how it looks). Ticket one way costs 17000 COP (~3.80 EUR / 3.18 GBP / 4.32 USD). Once you have the tickets, the entrance to the actual bus stop is on the left. Security will check your ticket and let you pass to the actual bus. Gate and seats are clearly displayed on the ticket so you will find your bus easily.

  3. The ride takes around 2 hours if you do not get stuck in the traffic. On the way there you shouldn’t get a lot of traffic, but it is worse getting back into Medellin on the way back. Buses to Guatape go every hour.

  4. During the trip, I want to warn you, hustlers and ‘entertainers’ will get on and ask for money. It is normal. The driver is actually letting them in and allowing this, so just go with the flow. Say ‘no, gracias’ and that’s it. They will eventually leave.

  5. Usually, there will be a few small stops on the way. The first big stop is at El Penol, but then once you have passed the rock, there will be a small stop next to a fancy hotel and after that is the Guatape stop. You will understand once you are in the Guatape. Most of the people will get out. I am making this point because the bus after goes to San Vicente or San Rafael. So you need to make sure you get out at the Guatape and not the final stop.

  6. On the way back the bus to Medellin goes every 30min. Every half an hour a direct bus from Guatape to Medellin, every full hour a bus from San Vicente or San Rafael to Guatape to Medellin. Find a very small ticket office exactly where you were dropped off.

Guatape Town Centre

Gutape town is quite small. You can get everywhere by walking but if you are feeling lazy then tuk tuks are all over the town. The official tuk tuk station is here:

In the city centre, you will find ‘Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Carmen’, the main square and many cute streets with beautiful house murals.

Also, make sure you take a walk by the marina of the Guatape. It is a very nice new port area with cafes and bars and of course boats offering a tour around the lake. You can do a cheaper group tour or rent a private boat, which will cost you 60000 COP (~ 13.42 EUR / 11.23 GBP / 15.23 USD) for half an hour and 75000 (~ 16.78 EUR / 14.04 GBP / 19.04 USD) for a full hour.

Where to stay in Guatape


For those looking for convenience, I recommend staying in the Guatape city center as that is where all the public buses and shuttles go to and from. There you will also find most of the restaurants and it is easy to get a tuk tuk to get anywhere else in the area.

If a bit of extra cash for extra tuk tuk rides is not a problem, Guatape offers some amazing hotels around the lake with incredible views and ambiance.

Here are some of the best places to stay in Guatape:

  1. Bosko - This is an upscale option that offers unique, eco-friendly accommodation. Think glamping with a luxury twist, where you can enjoy privacy, comfort, and stunning views of the lake.

  2. Hotel Los Recuerdos - A well-established hotel located near the reservoir, offering comfortable rooms with balconies that provide panoramic views of the water and the iconic El Peñol rock.

  3. Casa Kayam Hostal y Residencia - A more budget-friendly option that's popular among backpackers. It offers a mix of dormitory-style and private rooms.

  4. Lake View Hostel - Known for its friendly atmosphere and beautiful lake views, this hostel offers both dormitory and private rooms, making it ideal for solo travelers or groups looking for a social vibe.

  5. Luxé by The Charlee - For those looking for a more luxurious stay, this high-end hotel offers modern amenities, exquisite design, and exceptional service, all while providing breathtaking views of Guatapé’s natural beauty.

Best food places in Guatape

Talking about food, let me share with you my favorite spots I discovered during my trip to Guatape.

Hands down, the best salty crepes place in the world - Guatacrep! Incredible crepes variations. Highly rated on Tripadvisor. We went there for dinner, but they also had breakfast options and dessert ones.

For a perfect coffee break, I highly recommend Cafe La Vina. Located in the heart of Guatape town, their 2nd-floor balcony offers amazing views of the town's unofficial main square - Plazoleta de Los Zócalos. You can also have food there. I had a lovely breakfast bowl there —>

Piedra del Peñol


You can’t visit Guatape and not climb the Piedra del Peñol (Guatape rock)! Or at least visit the surrounding site.

To get there you have two options:

  1. Take a bus. Ticket costs 2000 COP (~ 0.45 EUR / 0.37 GBP / 0.51 USD)

  2. Or take a tuk-tuk. The ride there costs 12000 COP (~ 2.68 EUR / 2.25 GBP / 3.05 USD), so ideal if you are 2 people traveling there.

Once you will reach the site, the ticket to get up costs 12000 COP (~ 2.68 EUR / 2.25 GBP / 3.05 USD) per person.

The rock is 65 million year old the highest point is 2,135m above sea level!

There are 649 steps and it will take you somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes to get up there. Make sure you have water and sunscreen on! I personally recommend doing this early in the morning to avoid the tourist groups and the weather will be more pleasant for the hike up.

Views from the top:

There are cafes and souvenir shops up at the top of the rock and downstairs.

Get the feel of the place in my Guatape Video:

My other articles and videos about Colombia:


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