Guatape Village is called the ‘Little Switzerland’ of Colombia. And rightfully so.
This tiny village is located about two hours outside of Medellin and is the perfect day trip experience. You can come here on your own by taking a bus, or a private driver (what I did) or do it as a tour.
Since I had a place to stay in Guatape, I decided to do it alone and it was great.
Personally I don’t think you really need a full-on guide or tour group to come here. The main attractions of this area are Piedre de Penol (which is a huge rock face that you climb – read the full article about it here). And the best part, where you don’t have to climb 750 stairs, is the actual village which is along the waterfront.
What To Do and See in Guatape Colombia
In my opinion, everyone headed to Medellin needs to carve out a day for a trip to Guatape and Piedra de Penol which can easily be done in one day.
Guatape offers the adorable village where the streets are colorful with cobblestoned streets.
My favorite was the main plaza the colonial styled church.
And the municipality buildings that align the plaza look like the buildings are from a small town in Europe.
The plaza is dotted with tons of restaurants, which interestingly enough are full of locals (men in particular) rather than just tourists.
Guatape itself is along the waterfront, and the malecon (boardwalk) is another area with tons of local style restaurants and street vendors selling sweets, alcohol, toys and clothes.
Fun Facts About Guatape Colombia
- Guatape is a tiny town also known as Pueblo de Zócalos – Zócalos are a molding covering a wall and floor. The buildings from Guatape are known for their colorful and artistic Zócalos, most tell stories.
- Long before European conquerors arrived to this land, indigenous tribes inhabited this area but were eventually moved to other parts or killed.
- At some point those tribes were commanded by a cacique named Guatape, the town was named in his honor.
- It was officially founded in 1811 by Francisco Giraldo Jiménez.
- During its early days the town’s main economical activities were farming agriculture and mining.
- In the 70’s, a large reservoir was created that flooded 2,262 hectares of land. This started to bring travelers.
- Over eight years ago the Mayor of Guatape decided to make the buildings so colorful and unique, making it a perfect place for tourists and locals to enjoy.
- One of its main attractions is piedra del peñol.
- There is also a board walk (Malecon) with lots of restaurants and an area called “Vereda del Alto Verde” where you can find old tombs.