BACKPACKING IN COLOMBIA: GUATAPÉ
Guatapé was never on my itineray when I was planning my trip to Colombia. In fact, I’ve never even heard of this quaint Colombian town until a friend tagged me on a facebook video of El Peñon (thanks, Joyce!)
And I’m so glad she tagged me on that video! My jaw dropped within 5 seconds of watching it – I knew immediately that I had to include Guatapé on my itinerary for this trip no matter what.
Luckily, Medellin was already part of my itinerary – which worked out well considering Guatapé was only a short hop and skip away from Medellín!
Where is Guatapé
Guatapé is located in northwest Colombia. It takes approximately 1.5 hour bus ride from Medellín – perfect for a day trip if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Where I stayed in Guatapé
I mentioned in my last article that I was solo traveling in Colombia. This usually means backpacking and staying in hostels in hopes of meeting other travelers who have the same itinerary as I do.
I actually met heaps of travelers in the hostel I stayed in Cartagena. Luckily, I met another backpacker from Amsterdam (Hey, Mo!!!) who was also traveling to Medellín and Guatapé the same time as me.
We didn’t really have a solid plan on where to stay in Guatapé. In fact, we didn’t even plan on staying overnight in Guatapé – we thought it would just be a day trip out of Medellín.
Fortunately, Mo and I felt that Medellín was a little too busy for what we were looking for. We wanted an environment that was a little bit less hectic and more relaxed – and Guatapé had exactly that.
We ended up staying in Lake View hostel in Guatapé – and it was perfect. It had all the elements we were looking for: laid back and chill environment, stunning scenery, reasonbaly priced, and an overall clean and well-kept hostel.
Highly recommend staying here, you’ll thank me later!
You can directly book Lake View Hostel on Hostelworld.
What to do in Guatapé
Many travellers opt to do a day trip to Guatapé from Medellín, considering the relatively short distance between the two cities.
And the usual itinerary for those who choose to do a day trip consists of climbing El Peñon de Guatapé and walking around the colorful neighborhood of this photogenic tiny town.
While you can definitely do all of the above in a day, I highly recommend spending overnight in Guatapé. There are other activities that you can do such as kayaking on the lake, hiking, bike tours, paragliding – you can easily spend three nights here like we did.
How to get to Guatapé from Medellin
From Medellín, take an uber or the metro (Caribe Station stop) to North Bus terminal.
Find the counter that sells the ticket to Guatapé (usually counter 9 and/or 14). The ticket usually cost 13,000 COP, or just under $5 USD.
Before boarding, I recommend letting the conductor know that you are going to Guatapé and he will notify you the moment you reach the main town.