Guatape and La Piedra del Peñol ( a.k.a. The Big Rock)! Every local person that we ran into told us we should check this place out if we got the opportunity. It’s a cheap 2 hr bus ride and its a fun day trip!
Here are some quick and easy directions.:
1st Head to the North Bus Terminal. 2nd If you’re on the Metro, take Line A to the Caribe Metro Station then walk across the pedestrian bridge to the Norte (North) Bus Terminal. On the first floor you’ll find ticket counters to several places around Colombia. You can 3rd purchase bus tickets to Guatape at either counter 9 or 14.
We went in May 2019 and purchased tickets for 15,000 COP one way. Buses tend to run every 30 minutes. Although we didn’t have an exact timetable, the counter lady gave the time of our bus and pointed us in the direction of the bus ramps. Check your ticket to determine which ramp or gate (rampa) your bus is at, and your assigned seat (puesto). We had a short 15 minute wait before our bus was scheduled to depart.
The ride to Guatape is about 2 hours long. You’ll stop along the way to pick up locals headed in your direction and may even encounter a few vendors who briefly hop on to sell snacks.
Just before you arrive to the town of Guatape, the bus driver will stop at the base of La Piedra del Peñol for those who want to visit and climb the rock. The bus stops at a little gas station/ gift shop area. If you stay on the bus, it’ll take you to the cool little throwback town of Guatape, about 10 minutes down the road. You can always catch another bus, tuk tuk or taxi back to La Piedra del Peñol. We decided to get off at La Piedra, conquer the 720 steps first. When we were done we took a little tuk tuk to Guatape for a cool 12,000 COP ($4).
La Piedra del Peñol/The Rock of Guatape
Tickets to climb la Piedra are 18,000 COP. Conveniently, the steps are numbered by 50, so you always know how much further you have to go. After about 20 minutes of cardio you’re treated to the amazing views of the surrounding lakes and islands from below. Go on and do your IG trademark pose – you earned it and your Instagram followers will thank you. You can shop the shops and grab a drink or some nachos at one of the restaurants on top of the rock before you descend.
After enjoying the views, we started our descent. Once at the bottom, you have the option of waiting for another bus to come by to hop on, taking a taxi, or a tuk tuk. The tuk tuks were closer to grab, so we (the 3 of us) crammed in for a 12,000 COP ride to Guatape.
Once in Guatape, we made note of the bus terminal we were dropped off at as our point of interest. After walking around the town, perusing in and out of gift shops, taking more shots for the gram, and stopping for lunch – we headed back to the bus terminal, purchased our tickets for the ride back and enjoyed a nice cup of cafe con leche until our bus arrived. All-in-all a great trip.