659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

After spending 3 days on the road driving south we arrived in Guatape, which is famous of the vast granite monolith Piedra del Peñol, that is possible to climb. It is not about the climb itself, but the view is amazing. The fantastic landscape is believed to be the product of a volcanic eruption. In the 1970s, the area was dammed, and the view from the rock changed: It now overlooks a dramatic series of lakes and islands, which is the view you can see today. Part of Guatape was flooded in 1970 due to the dam. The lake that was created now generates much of the regions power.

P7030899_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7030893_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

Esben’s panoramic photo of the view at the top of Piedra del Peñol

P7030882-Pano_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

The Piedra del Peñol is 200 meters high and is located 2137 meter above sea level. The weight is estimated to be 66 million tons. The Piedra del Peñol contains granite, quartz and feldspar. The waters surrounding the Piedra del Peñol come from the river Nare. The rock was first climbed officially on July 16th 1954 by Luis Villegas Lopez, Ramon Diaz and Pedro Nel Ramirez. Climbing the huge stone took five days, but the top of the rock revealed beautiful views and a new species of plant, Pitcairma heterophila.

P7030970_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7030974_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

To get to the top we had to climb the 659 steps of the brick-and-mortar staircase.

P7030859_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7030949_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

On the decent it is mandatory to walk through the souvenir shops… and I found the WORST souvenir ever (right picture)!

P7030933_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7030937_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

The Piedra del Peñol is totally worth a visit, just because of the view. The Piedra del Peñol stands like a symbol of the region and can be seen from miles away.

P7020819_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7030987_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

We also spend some time in Guatape walking around the street enjoying the many houses, that are decorated with zocalos (colorful concrete bas-relief scenes). They were originally designed to prevent chickens pecking at the walls, and to stop children chipping away at the buildings with ball games. It is the only town in Columbia were we have seen the zocalos, and they are very beautiful and well maintained.

P7020763_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7020773_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

Take a close look at the zocalos…

P7020774_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7020803_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

Take an extra close look at the zocalos…

P7020756_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

P7020757_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7020754_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7020765_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7020801_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

The zocalos referring to the local stores (here a bakery) or the local handcraft (upper pictures)

P7020796_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

Guatape is a colorful and beautiful town

P7020809_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)  P7020783_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

It is not only the town that is colorful, check out this Tuk tuk

P7020795_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

At the time we were visiting Guatape, the annual festival “Feria de las flores” was about to start in Medellin. The festival is famous for the Desfile de Silleteros, when up to 400 campesinos (peasants) come from the mountains to parade a long the streets with flowers in their backs.

This is flower decorations for the parade displayed in Guatape

P7020789_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

And seen from behind, you can see the straps for carrying the flower decoration. The straps doesn’t look comfortable wlEmoticon-confusedsmile 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape) 

<

p align=”center”>P7020787_thumb 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

During our visit in the area of Guatape we stayed at Lifebreak Finca – learn more about the local life at Lifebreak Finca in the next post.

printfriendly-pdf-button 659 stairs at Piedra del Peñol (Guatape)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.