12 Best Things to Do in Guatapé, Colombia (Fun Attractions)

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Guatapé, Colombia
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Are you looking for exciting things to do in Guatapé, Colombia? Get ready to immerse yourself in a world filled with vibrant colors, breathtaking views, and unique adventures. From the iconic El Peñol Rock to the tranquil waters of the Guatapé Reservoir, prepare to explore the most captivating and unforgettable experiences Guatapé has to offer!

Welcome to Guatapé, Colombia, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Colombia. This vibrant town, known for its stunningly colorful streets and the iconic El Peñol Rock, is a paradise for adventurers and culture enthusiasts alike. Imagine waking up to the serene views of the Guatapé Reservoir, a sprawling body of water that mirrors the sky, and spending your days exploring a town bursting with life and color.

From the adrenaline rush of climbing La Piedra del Peñol to the tranquility of a lakeside retreat, there’s fun things to do in Guatapé for every traveler. Whether you’re kayaking on the reservoir, savoring local cuisine, or simply wandering through the Plazoleta de los Zócalos, every moment here is a story waiting to be told.

Ready to explore what Guatapé has to offer? From the lively local market to the serene lakeside retreats, there’s a perfect mix of excitement and relaxation waiting for you. Let’s start this journey through one of Colombia’s most charming towns!

The top places to visit in Guatapé, Colombia right now

Best Places to Visit in Guatapé, Colombia

Ready to discover the coolest attractions in Guatapé, Colombia? From the exhilarating climb up El Peñol Rock to the serene beauty of the Guatapé Reservoir, Guatapé presents a diverse array of unforgettable adventures.

Whether you’re wandering through the colorful streets of the town or kayaking on the peaceful waters, Guatapé has something special for every kind of traveler. Here’s your ultimate guide to the top activities in this vibrant and picturesque destination. Let’s embark on a journey through the lively and captivating charm of Guatapé!

1. Climb the El Peñol Rock (La Piedra del Peñol)

Climbing the El Peñol Rock is a highlight among the coolest things to do in Guatapé, Colombia. Trust me, the 740 steps to the top might sound daunting, but the panoramic views are more than worth it. You’re greeted with a breathtaking vista of the Guatapé Reservoir and the surrounding lush greenery – it’s like a live painting!

As you ascend, each pause offers a new, stunning perspective of the Guatapé Reservoir and its lush surroundings. It’s a journey as rewarding as the destination. I recommend taking it slow, savoring each moment, and of course, snapping plenty of photos.

Reaching the top feels like a personal triumph. The panoramic view is a feast for the eyes – a blend of water, sky, and greenery that’s simply unmatched. It’s a prime example of the best places to visit in Guatapé.

After the descent, you’ll find yourself carrying a sense of accomplishment and a camera full of postcard-worthy shots. This experience is a memory that will linger long after your visit to Guatapé.

Climbing El Peñol Rock is one of the best things to di in Guatapé, Colombia.
Climbing El Peñol Rock is a must-do activity with breathtaking views of the Guatapé Reservoir and lush greenery.

2. Explore the Colorful Streets of Guatapé Town

Ready for a burst of color? Guatapé’s streets are like walking through a rainbow. Each building, with its bright zócalos, tells a unique story. It’s a stroll that’s as fun as it is picturesque.

In these lively streets, you’ll find cozy cafes and artisan shops. Grab a coffee and maybe a one-of-a-kind souvenir. The Plazoleta de los Zócalos is a must-visit. It’s where the town’s artistry shines brightest, with the most detailed and vibrant zócalos.

Every corner in Guatapé brings something new. You might hear a street musician or see an impromptu art display. The town’s energy is infectious, which makes every moment here enjoyable. It’s one of the most fun places to visit in Guatapé, hands down.

For a day filled with color and culture, Guatapé’s streets are the place to be. Believe me, it’s one of those beautiful places in Colombia that you’ll want to return to again and again, each time discovering something new.

Guatapé’s streets are a colorful and picturesque stroll with each building telling a unique story through its bright zócalos.
Guatapé’s streets are a colorful and picturesque stroll with each building telling a unique story through its bright zócalos.

3. Take a Boat Tour on the Guatapé Reservoir

Hop on a boat and get ready for a scenic adventure on the Guatapé Reservoir! This is one of the coolest things to do in Guatapé, Colombia for a good reason. Picture yourself cruising through sparkling waters, surrounded by stunning landscapes and the majestic El Peñol Rock.

Boat tours here cater to all – whether you’re looking for a peaceful ride or an exciting exploration. The reservoir’s vastness offers a sense of freedom and escape. You can rent boats easily, which makes it a breeze to start your water journey. I recommend Poseidon Tours Guatapé.

As you sail, keep an eye out for local wildlife. The reservoir is home to a variety of birds and fish, adding to the charm of the trip. The shores are perfect for a quick stop to enjoy the tranquility.

A boat tour on the Guatapé Reservoir offers an immersive experience in nature. It’s a chance to see Guatapé from a different angle and create lasting memories. Set sail and let the beauty of Guatapé unfold around you!

Experience the beauty of Guatapé Reservoir on a scenic boat adventure with the majestic El Peñol Rock in the backdrop.
Experience the beauty of Guatapé Reservoir on a scenic boat adventure with the majestic El Peñol Rock in the backdrop.

4. Visit the Old Peñol Town (El Peñol Viejo)

El Peñol Viejo is a hidden gem in Guatapé and a must-visit for anyone exploring the area. This old town, once submerged, has a unique story of resilience and transformation. It’s like stepping into a different era, offering a glimpse into the past.

The standout landmark here is the iconic White Church, a symbol of the town’s history and endurance. As you wander through El Peñol Viejo, you’ll feel the echoes of the past mingling with the present. It’s a fascinating blend of then and now, which makes it one of the best places to go in Guatapé, Colombia.

This spot is perfect for history enthusiasts or anyone interested in the local culture. The town’s story showcases the adaptability and spirit of the Guatapé community.

Visiting El Peñol Viejo offers more than just sightseeing – it’s an immersive experience. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of Guatapé and its people. It’s a journey through time, culture, and the enduring spirit of a community that stood strong through change.

Explore the hidden gem of El Peñol Viejo, a submerged old town with a unique story of resilience.
Explore the hidden gem of El Peñol Viejo in Guatapé, a submerged old town with a unique story of resilience.

5. Kayak on the Guatapé Reservoir

Get ready for a fantastic adventure on the Guatapé Reservoir! Kayaking here is one of the best activities in Guatapé, where you’ll dive into the heart of Colombia’s natural beauty. Imagine paddling through shimmering waters, surrounded by lush green hills and the iconic El Peñol Rock. It’s an experience straight out of a dream!

If you’re a kayaking pro or just starting out, the reservoir is perfect. Its calm waters are great for beginners, and the views keep even seasoned kayakers coming back for more. You’ll find rental shops nearby, making it super easy to get on the water and start exploring.

As you kayak, look out for local birds and fish. The reservoir’s edges are also ideal for a relaxing break or a picnic. Imagine chilling by the water, enjoying a snack, and soaking in the peaceful vibes.

Kayaking on the Guatapé Reservoir is a must-do. It’s a chance to connect with nature and make unforgettable memories. So, grab your paddle and let’s hit the water!

Experience the beauty of Guatapé Reservoir through kayaking amidst lush hills and the iconic El Peñol Rock.
Experience the beauty of Guatapé Reservoir through kayaking amidst lush hills and the iconic El Peñol Rock.

6. Visit the Plazoleta de los Zócalos

The Plazoleta de los Zócalos is a vibrant heart in Guatapé, Colombia. It’s a must-see for its unique, colorful zócalos – these are the decorative panels that make Guatapé famous. Each one tells a story, making the plaza a gallery of local art and history.

Walking through this square, you’ll feel Guatapé’s lively spirit. The zócalos depict everything from daily life to historical events. It’s like a fun, open-air museum. I recommend taking your time here to really appreciate the craftsmanship.

This plaza is also a great spot for people-watching and enjoying the town’s vibe. You’ll find locals and tourists alike, all drawn by the charm of the zócalos. It’s one of the best places in Guatapé to visit for a true taste of local culture.

Don’t forget to snap some photos – the zócalos make for an amazing backdrop. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a street performance or a local market in action. The Plazoleta de los Zócalos is a place to experience the essence of Guatapé.

Visit the vibrant Plazoleta de los Zócalos, a must-see with colorful zócalos.
Visit the vibrant Plazoleta de los Zócalos in Guatapé, Colombia, a must-see with colorful zócalos.

7. Hike Around the Guatapé Reservoir

Hiking around the Guatapé Reservoir is a top pick for anyone wondering what to do in Guatapé. The trails offer stunning views and a peaceful escape into nature. It’s perfect for a day of exploration and relaxation.

The paths are well-marked and suitable for all levels. As you hike, you’ll be treated to incredible views of the reservoir and the lush countryside. It’s a great way to experience Guatapé’s natural beauty. I recommend packing a picnic – there are plenty of scenic spots to relax and enjoy a meal.

Along the way, keep an eye out for local wildlife. Birds, butterflies, and even small mammals are common sights. The tranquility of the area makes it a fantastic place for nature lovers.

If you’re wondering where to go in Guatapé, this hike should be on your list. It’s an opportunity to connect with the serene side of Colombia. The fresh air, the greenery, and the calm waters create a truly rejuvenating experience.

Hiking around the Guatapé Reservoir is a top choice, providing stunning views and a peaceful nature escape.
Hiking around the Guatapé Reservoir is a top choice, providing stunning views and a peaceful nature escape.

8. Paragliding Over Guatapé

Without a doubt, paragliding is one of the most amazing things to do in Guatapé. Imagine soaring like a bird, with the vast landscape spread beneath you. The views of the reservoir and El Peñol Rock from up high are simply unmatched!

You don’t need to be an expert to try this. There are plenty of experienced instructors who’ll guide you through the whole process. Trust me, it’s safe and thrilling at the same time. The feeling of gliding over Guatapé is something you’ll never forget.

The best part? You get to see Guatapé from a completely different perspective. The patchwork of land and water below is a sight to behold. It’s peaceful up there, with just the sound of the wind and the panoramic views for company.

For anyone looking for fun activities in Guatapé, Colombia, paragliding should be on your list. It’s an adventure that gives you a story to tell. Just remember to book in advance, as it’s quite popular. Ready to fly?

Experience the unparalleled thrill of paragliding, soaring above with unmatched views of the reservoir and El Peñol Rock.
Experience the unparalleled thrill of paragliding, soaring above with unmatched views of the reservoir and El Peñol Rock.

9. Explore the Guatapé Market

Exploring the Guatapé Market is a must-do for a taste of local life. If you’re looking for free things to do in Guatapé, Colombia, you’ve got to head here. The market is a bustling hub of colors, flavors, and friendly faces.

Here, you’ll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts. It’s a great place to try local snacks and dishes. The food is as delicious as it is diverse. Don’t miss out on the arepas and fresh juices!

The market is also perfect for picking up unique souvenirs. Handcrafted jewelry, textiles, and artwork are available at reasonable prices. It’s a chance to take a piece of Guatapé’s culture home with you.

I recommend spending a morning or early afternoon here. It’s when the market is liveliest. You’ll get to mingle with locals and maybe even pick up some Spanish. The Guatapé Market isn’t just shopping – it’s an immersive cultural experience.

Must-visit for a taste of local life, the vibrant Guatapé Market in Colombia is a hub of colors, flavors, and friendly faces.
Must-visit for a taste of local life, the vibrant Guatapé Market in Colombia is a hub of colors, flavors, and friendly faces.

10. Relax at a Lakeside Retreat

Looking for a peaceful getaway? Hotel Pietra Santa in Guatapé, Colombia is a fantastic choice. One of the best places to stay in Guatapé, this lakeside retreat that offers an experience in tranquility and beauty.

Situated by the Guatapé Reservoir, this hotel provides stunning views. The rooms are cozy, and many offer a direct view of the water. Waking up here feels like a dream. I recommend booking a room with a balcony for an extra special experience.

Hotel Pietra Santa has activities for everyone. You can enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, or just lounging by the water. The hotel’s peaceful setting makes it perfect for reading a book or enjoying a quiet moment.

The dining experience here is also noteworthy. Meals with a view of the reservoir are unforgettable. The food is delicious, focusing on local flavors and ingredients.

In the evenings, the ambiance is serene. It’s the ideal time for a stroll or to simply relax and watch the stars. Staying at Hotel Pietra Santa is a rejuvenating retreat in one of the most beautiful places in Colombia.

For a peaceful getaway, Hotel Pietra Santa in Guatapé, Colombia, stands out as a fantastic lakeside retreat.
For a peaceful getaway, Hotel Pietra Santa in Guatapé, Colombia, stands out as a fantastic lakeside retreat. | Image Source: https://www.booking.com/

11. Take a Coffee Plantation Tour

A visit to Miler Finca is one of the most unique things to do in Guatapé for coffee lovers. Take it from me, their coffee plantation tour is a delightful experience for all your senses.

Miler Finca offers a hands-on tour where you’ll learn about coffee cultivation and processing. The guides are passionate and knowledgeable, which makes the tour both fun and educational. You’ll walk through lush coffee fields and see how beans are picked and processed.

The best part? The coffee tasting session. Here, you’ll sample some of the freshest coffee you’ve ever tasted. The flavors are rich and aromatic, a real treat for any coffee enthusiast.

I recommend this tour for anyone interested in the journey of coffee from bean to cup. It’s a unique opportunity to understand and appreciate the hard work that goes into every cup of coffee.

Miler Finca’s setting is also beautiful, surrounded by the natural beauty of Guatapé. It’s a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon, immersed in the world of Colombian coffee.

For coffee lovers, a visit to Miler Finca is one of the most unique things to do in Guatapé.
For coffee lovers, a visit to Miler Finca is one of the most unique things to do in Guatapé.

12. Try Local Cuisine

Last on our list of the best Guatapé things to do, but definitely not the least, is to sample local Colombian cuisine. I highly recommend taking a food tour, and the “Exploring the Flavors of Guatapé” tour is a fantastic option.

This tour takes you to local eateries and street food stalls, where you’ll taste a variety of traditional Colombian dishes. The flavors are authentic and mouth-watering. From arepas to local sweets, each bite is a delight.

The guides are fantastic, sharing stories and insights about Guatapé’s cuisine and culture. The tour also includes visits to local markets, where you can see fresh produce and learn about the ingredients used in Colombian cooking. It’s a great opportunity to pick up some cooking tips and tricks.

Hands down, taking a food tour is one of the coolest activities in Guatapé. It’s a fun, tasty way to explore the town and its culinary treasures.

To complete your Guatapé experience, don't miss sampling local Colombian cuisine.
To complete your Guatapé experience, don’t miss sampling local Colombian cuisine. | Image Source: https://guatapefreewalkingtour.com/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Guatapé, Colombia:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Guatapé, Colombia? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Guatapé.

Is it worth visiting Guatapé?

In my opinion, Guatapé is one of the best places to visit in Colombia, a gem in South America. It’s not just the vibrant streets and the stunning El Peñol Rock – the whole town has a unique charm. It’s perfect for both adventure seekers and those looking to relax. The culture, the views, the activities – all make it a worthwhile destination.

How many days should I spend in Guatapé?

I recommend at least two days. This gives you enough time to climb El Peñol Rock, explore the town, and maybe take a boat tour or kayak on the reservoir. If you can stay longer, it’s worth it. There’s plenty to see and do without feeling rushed.

What is the name of the main attraction in Guatapé?

The main attraction in Guatapé is the El Peñol Rock (La Piedra del Peñol). It’s famous for its 740 steps leading to an incredible panoramic view. It’s a bit of a climb, but the view at the top is something you can’t miss.

Breathtaking aerial view of El Peñol Rock, a massive natural landmark surrounded by lush greenery.
Breathtaking aerial view of El Peñol Rock, a massive natural landmark surrounded by lush greenery.

Can you do a day trip to Guatape?

Yes, a day trip is possible, especially if you’re coming from Medellín, one of the top places to live and visit in South America. It’s about a 2-hour drive. However, a day trip only gives you a taste of what Guatapé offers. Staying overnight lets you experience more of the town’s beauty and culture.

How safe is Guatapé?

Guatapé is generally safe for tourists. Like any travel destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions. The locals are friendly and welcoming, which adds to the town’s safe atmosphere.

Can you swim in Guatapé lakes?

Yes, you can swim in the Guatapé Reservoir. The water is usually calm and clean. There are also specific areas designated for swimming, so look out for those. It’s a refreshing way to enjoy the natural beauty of Guatapé.

The top things to do in Guatapé, Colombia for all types of travelers
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