The Most Authentic Day Tour of Guatape, Colombia

Town of Guatape

This day tour from Medellin to Guatape, Colombia is the best tour I’ve been on to date. From home cooked meals, 70’s vans, and brilliant views, you’ll be sorry to miss it! Read on for the full experience.

Where to book?

The easiest place to book is at the Black Sheep Hostel (in person, pay by cash $120,000 Colombian pesos). It’s also a cool place to stay in Medellin, and where the tour guide, Raphael, will pick you up.

Transversal 5A # 45-133, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

The Tour

You’ll get picked up at 9:30 am from the Black Sheep Hostel by your new friend and guide, Raphael. He has a rad 70’s style van that will become much more fun later in the tour. First stop – his house, for breakfast.

Van por Colombia

Raphael and wife will serve you the most amazing home cooked meal…all not pictured, but it included fresh fruit, eggs with spinach or tomatoes, fresh bread with cheese,  mushrooms and tomatoes in it, corn pitas, guac, and nutella. You also get the option for coffee,  mocha, or pineapple tea. Seriously SO delicious.

colombian cooking

The meal comes with a pretty mountain landscape.

colombian countryside

After breakfast, you’ll get to ride on top of the van, back down to the main road, with incredible panoramic views. Hold on…

Van por Colombia
The Van!
Van por Colombia
His house
Colombian Countryside
Colombian Countryside

Once you get to the main road, you’ll get back inside the van and head to the small town of El Penól The picture below shows a recreation of what the town used to look like, since the old town is now gone due to a resevoir built by the government.

Penol Colombia

Here you can shop,
Penol Shopping

or just enjoy this view.

The old Penol

Next, you’ll head over to a swimming area, where there is also a bridge that you can jump from! Below is the view of the area where you’ll be swimming.

Colombian countryside

Here’s the bridge you can jump from. It’s about 40 feet, make sure to jump in straight! I did it, you can too.

Bridge Jumping

Cheers to me for jumping off that bridge 🙂 Raphael provides the beer and allows everyone to chill for about 45 minutes.

Cheers Poker

After, you’ll meet him at the hostel across the bridge, which if you have the chance, seems like a beautiful low key place to stay! There was a nice setup with a hammock, relaxing chairs, and a small kitchen all on the outside deck.

fresh spices and vegetables

hostel views

The views were also fantastic. I wanted to stay awhile.

hostel views

Next, you drive to El Peñón de Guatapé, the main attraction of the tour. This is where you will climb a massive rock, about 700 steps, for incredible views at the top.


A look inside the stairs…


Make sure to stop and enjoy the view on the way up.


Remember that all of this water is a resevoir that was built for an electric dam. So it was once all land, inhabited by people.

At the top of the rock there is a gift shop as well as food and beverages, but keep your stomach open for what is about to come. When you arrive back to the van, you’ll find that Raphael has orchestrated another scrumptious home cooked meal out of the back of the van!

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After the meal, you’ll head to the town of Guatapé. This town is the most colorful, flower-filled, happy place I’ve been. The paintings on the houses reflect stories, events and the culture of the people of this wonderful place. There are tons of shops and restaurants, as well as interactions with the locals. I would love to go back and stay a few nights here!

Town of Guatape

Look at all the colors 🙂

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Check out the Main Square area, and spend some time with the 5,000 inhabitants of this gracious place!

Town of Guatape

Town of Guatape

If you go to Medellín, you must do this tour! Thanks for reading.

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2 Comment

  1. This was a great post Jessica. The tour seemed amazing (i am definitely adding it to my list of things to do) Colombia looks amazing through your lens, You take some amazing pictures. Keep up the good work ! :*

    1. Thank you, Michael! 🙂

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