On a beautiful Saturday morning, I headed over to the north bus terminal to meet a group of friends and spend the day in Guatape.
The north bus terminal is practically attached to the Caribe metro station. Once inside I was slightly overwhelmed with the amount of people and destinations. I was really glad to have my friends there. The bus ride out was 8,500 COP. My friends tried to get me to get the ticket by myself, but with my extremely limited Spanish, there were questions I didn’t understand.
We had a really nice bus ride, even though on the way we were stopped several times. Once was for a cycling marathon, and we were stopped for nearly twenty minutes to let them pass safely. We were also stopped and searched at one check station. They checked our bags and patted down the guys. I’ve seen done at several places in and around Medellin, so I wasn’t bothered. There was one American on the bus that was slightly frustrated to be searched.
The bus dropped us off at the base of a hill, and we walked up to the base of El Peñol. From the bottom, I could see that, while it may be suitable to Base jump from, it would be a pretty sketchy jump. It’s pretty low, and it’s so rounded at the top that it’s impossible to get to the edge without climbing gear or committing to jump. I might have a look at it again after I get some jumps in the city.
At the base, there were the typical vendors I’ve come to expect at the tourist sites of Medellin. For 6,000 COP we accessed the stairs to the top of El Peñol. The climb was super easy, and the view at the top was amazing. I even challenged a few people to a race, but the stairs were too uneven for it to be safe.
We then took a bus to the town of Guatape, and we spent time at the shore. It reminded me of the south shore of Lake Tahoe in California, with all of its sidewalk restaurants and water activities. After eating lunch, we decided to buy some beer, and take a boat to one of the islands. The island was my favorite part. It was very small and relaxing.
We paid 11,000 COP for the bus ride back, and while we were waiting for our bus, we ate some arepas, empanadas, and palos de queso from some street vendors. It was the perfect food after a long day of drinking in the sun.