After visiting Guatape Rock, we paid $5 to get a ride to Guatape City, Colombia. The city is really small but worth the trip. My only regret was we only planned a day trip to Guatape. If I hadn’t already booked flights and a hotel for the next leg of my trip, I would have stayed in Guatape for at least a weekend.
There’s not a ton to do there, but the place is very nice, the people are very nice and the town is very quiet. It’s the most relaxing place I’ve been to in Colombia. If you run out of things to do in Guatape, you can take a 15 minute cab ride to the next town. It had a small water park and a handful of things to do there as well.
As far as Guatape (gua-tal-pay) goes, the most famous attraction is the rock. You can view my post on that here: Guatape Rock. The rock is a must. One of the most incredible things I’ve ever done.
Outside of the rock, Guatape offers boat tours around the city, a decent size zip line, horse riding and day trips to natural springs where you can swim and have lunch. All we got to do was the boat tour and zip line 🙁
The history in Guatape is rich. Pablo Escobar and other drug lords used to have houses there and throw big parties…like the one’s you see in the movies (particularly Blow). We learned all this on our boat tour. The tour cost $20/person and lasted an hour. We took a small boat with just the two of us. They have large boats as well that hold several people but I don’t speak Spanish so I’d been lost the whole time. Our guild would stop the boat along the tour and tell us about various places. He would speak to Ana, then Ana would translate to me. Here are some of the sites:
This is one of Pablo Escobar’s old party houses. The government blew it up during the search for Pablo. The explosion killed 17 of his men but he escaped through an underground tunnel that led to a submarine, which took him across the water to his escape car.
This is the museum you will hit on the tour. It’s an old hospital…which is the only remaining building from a civilization that you are now floating over. There used to be a town under the water. But rain eventually covered the village completely so now it is under water. The only remaining building is this old hospital and the cross below to signify where the church used to be.
The flood started in the early 1900’s. By the 1970’s the church looked like this:
You can see the top of the church and some other buildings. These items would eventually get in the way of boats, so the government blew them up. Where the church used to be, they put the above cross. It was pretty creepy floating on water where just underneath, an entire community used to live.
This is what the waters looks like nowadays.
This is the wishing well at the old hospital…looks very much like a US state I’m very familiar with.
One other interesting fact about the flood is the government gave rich people new houses and poor people some money to help them out.
And the most interesting fact we learned on this tour was the owner of the old hospital had 54 children with 36 different women. Allegedly, none of the women knew about the others…perhaps in the pre-facebook era, this would have been possible…
The boat tour was a blast and something I would do again. It was very relaxing to be on the water and the views were amazing. They even let Ana drive us back.
Zip Line in Guatape Colombia
I mentioned the zip line earlier. It is 300 meters and the guy that worked there said it was the longest zip line in Colombia. I’ve never done it before so we paid $5 and took a short ride. It was worth the $5 I guess, but it was definitely not the adrenaline rush of paragliding in Medellin. It would definitely be something to do if you had children.
Guatape City Pictures
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