Colombian Chronicles: Guatapé

Remember Joana from Cali? Well, it turns out we were in Medellín at the same time and ended up spending a considerable amount of time together. One of my most memorable days in Colombia was when five of us did a day trip to Guatapé. Another place where I lost a considerable amount of weight, might I add.

I met Joana at her hostel at 7.30am. She was accompanied by: Maarten from Belgium, German-Chilean Mauricio and Marco from the Italian part of Switzerland. Joana’s Brazilian and I’m still trying to work out where I’m ‘from’ (read my post on ‘home’) but together, we were a real international cocktail.

Apparently, the tour to Guatapé was ridiculously expensive, so us thrifty bunch decided to make the venture ourselves for a fraction of the price. We walked from our hostels to Poblado Metro Station, then caught a bus which stopped just outside Peñol Rock. Well, just below it. We had to do an excruciating climb up to the base of the rock in the intense heat and when we finally reached the top, we realised we’d have to climb a further 750 steep stairs to the top if the rock.

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Can you see the steps?

On my way up very narrow stairs, I was encouraged by a woman walking up with her baby strapped to her chest. Not only did I have absolutely no excuse to be as tired as I was, but it’s also a subtle reminder that people can still travel once they’ve had children and do not have to be confined to the four walls of their home…

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Halfway up!
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A premature celebration…
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Squaaaaa!

After what seemed like a lifetime, we made it to the top. Guess who was the last one to reach it…

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At the top!

After a sweaty ascension, I was elated to see fresh Colombian fruit (so you know it was sweet). I went straight for the watermelon, not giving a damn about how stereotypical it looked. The thing was juicy, fight me. Maarten bought some mango too and it was lovely getting to know each other a bit better whilst sharing our fruits.

Once we had cooled down, we proceeded to the town of Guatapé which we had all heard so much about.

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After lunch and a leisurely walk around the village, we decided to go kayaking. Man, reminiscing about it now, it was the perfect day.

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Marco, Me, Mauricio, Joana and Maarten
Conquerors.
Smiling whilst mosquitoes feasted on our flesh.
My smile was forced as Mauricio had just revealed he ‘didn’t enjoy’ Breaking Bad and ‘couldn’t get into’ Game of Thrones. Who even is he?

After kayaking for an hour, we stopped off for a couple of beers before getting the last bus back to Medellin. I sat next to Maarten and we had an interesting chat before we both inevitably dozed off. The day had taken a lot out of us.

I’d definitely recommend going to Guatapé if you’re ever in Medellín, or Colombia in general. Definitely worth it and definitely doable without spending loads on a guided tour. Do it! You won’t regret it.

Chit chat: What is your idea of a perfect day whilst on holiday? Let me know in the comments section below.

Stay tuned for my next and final post in the Colombian Chronicles Series: Cartagena!

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