News & Events
Guatapé Tour from Medellín
- September 5, 2023
- Posted by: Tim Samuels
- Category: Culture
History of Guatape
Before the Spanish conquistadors arrived, the area that we now know as Guatape was inhabited by a group of indigenous people called the Tahamí. The Tahamí society was mainly based on agriculture and the order of succession was determined via hereditary lines. The leader of the Tahamí at the time of the Spanish conquest was Guatape, hence the origin of the name of the town today. Guatape means Stones and Water in Quechua.
The Tahamí were a religious people and revered the stone of el Peñol. Local folklore speaks about the mystical attributes of the Stone of El Peñol. It was said to have godly powers and that they likely believed it to be of divine origin as there is nothing of the sort to be found nearby. It’s also being said that the devil tried to kidnap the rock multiple times. Fortunately for us, the devil never succeeded in his attempts but it did leave a large crack on one of its sides.
The town of Guatape was founded in 1811 and has seen significant political and economical changes in its time. Initially, it was mostly an agricultural town with a dependence on mining-activities. In 1970 however, a hydroelectric complex was built that put the land under water, creating the mesmerizing landscapes we know today.
To truly relish the experience and avoid the pitfalls of overcommercialization, it’s essential to plan thoughtfully. As you venture out on this journey, here’s how you can ensure an authentic and enriching Guatape adventure that’s free from the trappings of mass tourism.
Choosing the Right Tour Operator:
Opt for reputable tour operators that focus on providing personalized experiences in your Guatape tour from Medellin rather than large, overcrowded groups. Look for companies that emphasize cultural immersion, local interaction, and a deep understanding of the region’s history.
We at Blink Spanish offer a Guatapé Tour for just 100.000 COP for all transport, meals, tour and a boat ride.
Early Start Advantage:
Consider starting your tour early in the day to savor the tranquil beauty of Guatape before the influx of visitors. The peacefulness of the morning allows you to explore its charming streets, enjoy its breathtaking landscapes, and truly connect with the essence of the place.
Exploring Beyond the Main Attractions:
While the El Peñol rock and the colorful streets of Guatape are undoubtedly highlights, venture beyond the main tourist spots. Engage with locals, visit lesser-known cafes, and wander through hidden alleys to experience the town’s authentic spirit.
Wear the right shoes, the climb up and down is 740 steps each and you will be doing more walking during your Guatape tour in the pueblo’s.
Bring sunscreen, water and a light snack.
The bus-ride to Guatape takes about 1.5 to 2 hours so make sure you have something to do. Or you could try being more Colombian and make friends with a stranger.