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June 25, 2020

Guatape, Colombia Guide + Photo Diary

View from the top of the El Penol hike with Annie Miller
View from the top of the El Penol hike.

As mentioned in the Medellin blog post, we heard about Guatape from a friend and follower of ours. Medellin was a fine city, but Guatape offered a fun weekend trip. So we rented a car in Medellin from Europe Car. Definitely get a SUV if you can as some of the roads were dirt and bumpy as we got closer to our hotel.

Guatape is less than two hours outside of Medellin and well worth the trip. We went bigger with this location as it was a true getaway, aimed at a relaxing experience. There are a large range of accommodations, but we settled with Lux by The Charlee.

The lodges are spread out on the property which makes for a very private experience. You can see some of the rooms/condos in the photo below; the photo was taken at the restaurant during our complementary arrival drink. If you haven’t caught the drift yet, you should come here – to Guatape.

Staying in Guatape

Guatape is actually pretty large, and there are a lot of different areas to stay in. We had a car, which allowed for transportation during the day if needed. But we mostly stayed and enjoyed the views from our hotel. The Lux By The Charlee location is gorgeous and although we had no interest, there are plenty amenities like jet skies, boats, kayaks and paddle boards.

We had two full days in Guatape. Although you can do A LOT here, that was not our purpose for visiting. In fact the only event we wanted to do was hike El Penol for the iconic views of Guatape (See bottom of post).

You can see El Penol in the photo below – which was taken on our walk from the hotel restaurant back to our condo after dinner one evening. And yes, some of the suites have this as a view. It was an absolutely stunning view. We certainly didn’t hate seeing it on our walk to and from meals.

View of El Penol from Lux by The Charlee in Guatape
Views in Guatape from Lux by The Charlee
View from the deck of hotel in Guatape
The view from our deck at the Lux By The Charlee
Views from Lux by The Charlee in Guatape

We literally did not leave the hotel until the morning we hiked El Penol, which happened to be the morning we drove home. It was the coolest day on the forecast and it just made sense to check out, take an hour or so to do the hike, and then head home.

El Penol Hike

Staircase at the El Penol Hike

We paid 5,000 for parking, 20-30k per person to enter the hike. And we definitely suggest going early. I want to say we asked our hotel when it opened and we were among the first cars there. It was 750 steps to the very top and definitely suggest going up the extra 50 to the top view point.

On the way up, we saw maybe five other people. By the time we left, we understood why there are two opposing staircases – one for the way up, and one of the way down. The stairs are mostly well kept. There are certainly some steep areas, or spots where the stairs are slanted downward a bit. But overall we felt it was in great condition.

The great thing is, you don’t have to rush this little hike. I say little, because it is not lengthy. Yes, it is a task. 700+ steps. It’s a lot. But you can take it as slow as you like. Though there are only one or two points to step aside and get a view before you reach the top.

My friend, when you reach the top…THIS IS WHY YOU DO THIS HIKE. You get legitimate 360 views of Guatape and it is so incredibly worth all those steps. Just take a look for yourself.

360 degree views from the top of El Penol in Guatape
Annie Miller on the stairs at El Penol hike in Guatape
Annie Miller overlooking Guatape on the El Penol hike
Amazing views of Guatape Colombia

As you can see, Guatape is a must if you are ever in Colombia. It was easy to get to, accommodating and absolutely gorgeous.

Planning a trip to Colombia? Pin this post for later!

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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