After visiting the lovely church I took a stroll around the pleasant plaza and came across a typical colonial building with colourful balconies and zócalos, Palacio Municipal (Town Hall). It houses various offices, like Tourism and Promotion Office, Police Station, Property Register, Town Council, Secretary of Government and Mayor's Office. In...more
Guatapé is wonderful to just wander around without any particular plan, admiring colourful architecture, observing life of the local people and children playing on the street. I started my walking tour on the main plaza. It was around lunch time and I was getting hungry, so I decided to walk to malecón first and find a nice restaurant by the lake....more
Be sure to visit Calle de los Recuerdos, most traditional street of Guatapé, one block up from the main plaza. This romantic cobblestone street boasts colourful houses with the most excellent examples of zócalos, brightly painted decorations, depicting geometric figures, animals and images tied to the family, unique to Guatapé. They are genuine...more
El Peñon de Guatapé (The Guatapé Rock) is a 200m high monolith set near the edge of a man-made lake surrounded with green hills. Declared a national monument in the 1940s, the giant rock is well worth a visit. At the base of the rock is a parking lot with numerous stands with local handcrafts, and restaurants offering grilled meat and fish from the...more
Guatapé has a pretty malecón (promenade) along the lake shore lined with boats and restaurants serving delicious trout. The lake is much more beautiful than I thought and provides an excellent outlet for water activities, such as boat tours, fishing, water sports, walks, chilling out, and the adventurous can take a ride on the cable vuelo, a zip...more
Overlooking a pleasant plaza with fountain and garden, meeting place for the community and visitors, is a lovely church, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen. Built at the beginning of the 19th century, it boats its Greco-Roman exterior. The church has white and red façade with rhomboid zócalos. If you look closely you will notice a gaping mistake...more
There is no shortage of good eats in Guatapé, centered mainly around the plaza. The lake is very pictures and there are some neat little restaurants on the malecón. While taking a tour of the town I asked a local woman if she could recommend any particular. She mentioned Asados Mi Casita which seemed to have fame for the good food and service. And I was not disappointed with the choice.
Asados Mi Casita is located right opposite the lake with the view of the water and the boats. Their speciality is trucha (trout). But if you are really very hungry, try the bandeja paisa, a typical Colombian dish, very popular in the Paisa region.
The restaurant is open daily from 7:00am to 9:00pm.
Favorite Dish: A trip to Guatapé wouldn't be complete without sampling the local speciality, fresh lake trout served in your choice of many delicious preparations. After a long consideration, and with the waiter's suggestion, I opted for trucha a la marinera. It was prepared in a sauce with shrimp, squid and octopus, and served with rice, salad, white arepa and a toasted toast. The trout was nicely soft, sweet and most delicious. Together with a glass of orange juice the bill came to 18.000 COP (December 2009). In fact, this was one of the most expensive dishes on the menu, but quite affordable for European standards.
One day I took a day trip to El Peñon de Guatapé (a giant rock formation) and then further to the charming town of Guatapé. Natalie from hostal Tamarindo suggested that I should leave early as it was the area with a lot to see and explore. Buses to Piedra del Peñol leave from Medellin's Terminal de Norte. There is a 15-20 minutes walk from the hostel to Poblado metro station. I took a metro to Caribe station which is connected to the bus terminal.
Sotrasanvicente bus company has regular service to El Peñon de Guatapé. The 1 hour and 45 minutes journey was 12.000 COP (December 2009). I got off the bus at a gas station and then it was an easy 20 minutes walk up the hill to the parking lot at the foot of the rock.
After climbing the rock I walked back to the main road and wanted to continue to Guatapé, when a fully restored oldtimer jeep stopped and offered to drive me to the town for 2.000 COP. I returned to Medellín in late afternoon. Busetas (minibuses) leave from the main square. The journey takes 2 hours. You have to buy the ticket in advance in Sotrasanvicente office on the square.
An interesting sight in the main plaza is the large number of three wheel mini chivas. These comical little vehicles are designed as typical Colombian chivas, artisan modified old-style buses now used to take tourist around town. They are painted colourfully (usually with yellow, red and blue colours of the flag of Colombia) with local arabesques...more
Known for its zócalso, a brightly painted boards along the façade's lower walls, Guatapé is a real hidden gem. Guatapé zócalos are part of the roots and tradition. Many were made in the early 20th century and still remain on the façades of the houses. The story goes that children in the street often played with little glass balls, damaging the...more