18 March, 2019 21:03
Guatape is a holiday town at the shores of the artificial lake of Guatape. This place is known for the fresco-like adornment in the tradtional houses called zocalos (you can see it in the cover picture before you enter the article), which is what called our attention to come in the first place.
We took a car from Medellin that took us around 2 hours driving to get to our first stop in the old town of el Penol. The views are amazing, you can appreciate the lake and the different islands that are in it, but one thing that you will notice is that where you stop it looks like a miniature town with just one church and full of shops for tourist. This is because that is a replica of what it once was the original town of el Penol, which because of the industrialisation era, was flooded to construct what today is a huge hydraulic system to produce electricity for the region. To read more follow this link.
Our second stop was to El Penol de Guatape or "la roca" or "the rock" in english. This 200 meters high granite monolith rises from near the edge of the embalse or reservoir. It has a brick staircase of 659 steps at the side of the rock which you can climb and appreciate a 360 view of the entire reservoir. The picture of the header shows what I saw during that trip and how high we were looking at the eagles flying. It was absolutely magical and something worth the trip.
Our final stop was the actual town that we came for, which is called Santa Fe de Antioquia. This was once the capital of Antiquia (the region) and is one of the oldest settlements, you can still appreatiate pretty much how it looked in the old days. What definetely caught my attention was the elaborately carved and typically Antioquian woodwork around windows and doorways called zocalos. They are as beatiful as people say and because of these looks really colourful and unique. I'm really happy that people take care of it.
Also it is a really dog friendly town, you can find free food and water for dogs wherever you go.
Here we made our technical stop to have lunch, where our guide took us to a restaurant with views to the resorvoir to have one of the typical dishes called "bandeja paisa". Is a really heavy dish, with beans, pork, eggs, chorizo, morcilla, rice, avocado and a lot more things, that probably in another situation I wouldn't have eaten all that by myself, but what I can say after eating, it's completely worth it.
Guatape is a really great place to scape from the city and appreciate the nature together with history and stories, like La Cruz (a monument to the flooded town of el Penol), la isla de las fantasias, la finca Manuela (Pablo Escobar's abandoned farm) , a boat that sank in front of everybody in the lake resulting in several deaths, and much more. Is a day that you won't regret doing.