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Colour Around Every Corner In Guatapé


by Timmy Crews



Welcome to Guatapé, a vibrant and enchanting town nestled in the heart of Colombia. Known for its colorful streets, picturesque landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Guatapé is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This small town, located just a few hours from Medellín, offers a captivating journey through Colombia’s natural beauty and traditional charm.


Guatapé is known for its ornately decorated buildings, with vibrant colors adorning every corner of the town. It is a place where creativity and imagination come to life, as each building tells a unique story through its intricate murals and facades. As you wander through the streets, you’ll be transported into a world of vivid hues and intricate details, creating a sensory experience unlike any other.


Not only is Guatapé visually stunning, but it also boasts a stunning natural landscape. The town is surrounded by stunning mountains and is home to the mesmerizing Guatapé Lake, a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming. The combination of the colorful town and the breathtaking natural surroundings make Guatapé a perfect destination for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike.


Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, embark on outdoor adventures, or simply relax and enjoy the picturesque scenery, Guatapé has something to offer everyone. From hiking and rock climbing to indulging in delicious local cuisine, there are countless experiences waiting to be discovered.


So, pack your bags and get ready to explore Guatapé – a town bursting with color, culture, and natural beauty. Let the vibrant streets, the majestic lake, and the warm hospitality of its people enchant you as you create memories that will last a lifetime.


The Captivating Town of Guatapé

Located in the Antioquia department of Colombia, Guatapé is a town that captivates visitors with its unique charm and undeniable beauty. The town’s rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant streets make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Colombian experience.


One of the first things that strikes you upon arriving in Guatapé is the colorful facades that adorn the town’s buildings. Each building tells a story, with intricate murals and designs that reflect the vibrant culture and heritage of the local people. From flowers and geometric patterns to scenes depicting local customs and legends, the artistry and attention to detail are simply awe-inspiring.


As you wander through the streets, you’ll also notice the town’s unique architecture. Many of the buildings feature traditional Colombian balconies, adorned with colorful flowers that add to the town’s picturesque ambiance. The streets are lined with charming shops, restaurants, and cafes, offering visitors a chance to sample local cuisine and purchase unique handicrafts.


One of the highlights of Guatapé is the iconic Zócalo, which is the town’s main square. Here, you’ll find the town’s church, adorned with colorful domes and intricate designs. The Zócalo is a vibrant hub of activity, where locals and visitors gather to socialize, enjoy street performances, and immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of Guatapé.


Guatapé is not just a feast for the eyes, but also a destination that offers cultural and historical insights. The town has a rich history, and guided walking tours provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the significance of the murals, architecture, and landmarks that shape Guatapé’s heritage.


Whether you’re exploring the streets, indulging in local delicacies, or simply soaking in the lively atmosphere, Guatapé will captivate you with its charm, colors, and warm hospitality. It’s a town that invites you to slow down, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Exploring the Vibrant Streets

When visiting Guatapé, one cannot help but be enchanted by the vibrant streets that wind their way through the town. Each street is like a painting, with every building adorned in bright colors, intricate murals, and fascinating designs. Exploring these streets is an immersive experience that allows you to fully appreciate the artistic beauty and cultural significance of Guatapé.


One of the best ways to explore the vibrant streets of Guatapé is by simply walking around and taking in the sights. As you stroll along the cobblestone paths, you’ll discover a kaleidoscope of colors that bring the town to life. From pastel shades to bold hues, the buildings stand out against the backdrop of the clear blue sky and the lush greenery.


Every corner you turn reveals a new masterpiece waiting to be admired. The murals that adorn the walls tell stories of the town’s history, traditions, and natural beauty. Some murals depict scenes from Colombian folklore, while others portray famous landmarks or pay tribute to local artists. Each mural has its own unique style and message, creating an open-air gallery that delights both locals and visitors alike.


The vibrant streets of Guatapé are not only visually striking but also offer a glimpse into the daily lives of the townspeople. As you walk, you’ll encounter charming cafes, boutique shops, and local artisans selling their handmade crafts. You can stop for a coffee, browse through the unique souvenirs, or even witness an artist at work. The streets come alive with the sounds of laughter, music, and the bustling energy of the community.


Exploring the vibrant streets of Guatapé is a sensory experience that engages all your senses. The vibrant colors, intricate designs, and lively atmosphere create a feast for the eyes, while the sounds of conversations and street performances immerse you in the local culture. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and traditional Colombian dishes wafting from the cafes further adds to the sensory experience.


Don’t rush your exploration of Guatapé’s vibrant streets. Take your time, soak in the atmosphere, and let the colorful facades and artistic flair transport you to a world of creativity and beauty. Whether you’re snapping photos, chatting with the locals, or simply enjoying the ambiance, you’ll find that the vibrant streets of Guatapé are a true delight for the senses.


The Iconic Zócalo and its Colorful Facades

At the heart of Guatapé lies the iconic Zócalo, a bustling square surrounded by colorful facades that showcase the town’s unique charm. This central plaza is not only a gathering place for locals and tourists but also a testament to the vibrant spirit and rich heritage of Guatapé.


The most distinct feature of the Zócalo is the extraordinary facades that adorn the buildings. These facades are an explosion of colors and designs, each one telling its own captivating story. From intricately painted flowers and geometric patterns to scenes depicting local customs and legends, the facades are a labor of love by talented artists who have transformed these buildings into works of art.


As you stroll around the Zócalo, you’ll notice the meticulous attention to detail that has gone into every facade. Bright, contrasting colors bring the buildings to life, while hand-painted motifs reflect the town’s culture and traditions. The facades create a harmonious blend of aesthetics, showcasing the creativity and artistic flair that Guatapé is renowned for.


In addition to the colorful facades, the Zócalo is home to the town’s church, another architectural gem. The church features beautiful domes adorned with intricate designs, adding to the visual appeal of the square. The church serves as a focal point for religious and cultural events, and its presence adds an aura of tranquility and spirituality to the Zócalo.


Surrounding the Zócalo are vibrant cafes, restaurants, and shops, each with its own unique facade. Locals and visitors can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee while admiring the beautiful architecture or indulge in local cuisine while taking in the lively atmosphere. The Zócalo is an excellent place to people-watch, as it is always bustling with activity, from street performers entertaining the crowds to locals gathering to socialize and celebrate.


The Zócalo is not only a hub of cultural and architectural significance; it is also a place where the community comes together to celebrate festivals and events. Throughout the year, the square comes alive with music, dancing, and vibrant processions. These festivities showcase the town’s rich cultural heritage and provide an opportunity for both locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the vibrant traditions of Guatapé.


When visiting Guatapé, a visit to the Zócalo and its colorful facades is a must. It is a vibrant, picturesque square that allows you to witness the artistic beauty, cultural heritage, and warm spirit that define Guatapé. Take the time to explore, admire the facades, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this iconic square.


The Enchanting Guatapé Lake

Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Guatapé lies the mesmerizing Guatapé Lake, a natural wonder that adds to the town’s enchanting appeal. This sprawling body of water is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a multitude of water-based activities and breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.


Guatapé Lake, also known as Lake Guatapé or Embalse Guatapé, is a man-made reservoir that stretches over 2,000 hectares. It was created in the 1970s as part of a hydroelectric project, and today it serves as a recreational paradise for locals and tourists alike.


One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of Guatapé Lake is by taking a boat tour. The tours offer a unique vantage point to admire the surrounding landscapes, with towering green hills and lush forests providing a stunning backdrop against the crystal-clear waters. As you glide along the lake, you can marvel at the picturesque islands dotted throughout, each with its own charm and story.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Guatapé Lake offers opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Dive into the refreshing waters and explore the hidden coves and secluded beaches along the lake’s shores. The calm and tranquil waters make it the perfect place to engage in water sports or simply relax and soak up the natural beauty.


One of the highlights of Guatapé Lake is the iconic Piedra del Peñol, a massive monolith rising over 200 meters above the water. You can climb the 740 steps to the top of the rock and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. It’s a challenging but rewarding experience that showcases the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Guatapé from a different perspective.


Whether you choose to explore the lake by boat, engage in water sports, or climb the Piedra del Peñol, Guatapé Lake offers an enchanting escape into nature. The serene surroundings, crystal-clear waters, and captivating landscapes make it a perfect retreat for those seeking tranquility and a connection with the natural world.


As you gaze out over the vast expanse of Guatapé Lake, you can’t help but be captivated by its beauty. It’s a place where you can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with the serenity and serendipity of nature. Guatapé Lake truly is a gem that enhances the allure of this charming Colombian town.


Adventures in Nature: Hiking and Rock Climbing

Guatapé is not only a town of vibrant streets and enchanting lakes; it is also a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning natural landscapes and rugged terrain, Guatapé offers endless opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and exploring the great outdoors.


One of the most popular hiking destinations in Guatapé is El Peñol, a towering monolith that offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The hike to the top of El Peñol is a rewarding challenge that involves climbing over 700 steps. As you ascend, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking vistas of Guatapé Lake, the lush green hills, and the colorful rooftops of the town. The hike is not for the faint-hearted, but the sense of accomplishment and the stunning views from the summit make it all worthwhile.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, rock climbing in Guatapé is a must-try activity. The granite cliffs that surround the town provide the perfect playground for climbers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, you’ll find routes that cater to your abilities and challenge you to push your limits.


One of the most popular rock climbing areas is La Piedra de Garrapatas. This crag offers a variety of routes, from easy climbs for beginners to more challenging routes for experienced climbers. The adrenaline rush of scaling the sheer rock faces and the breathtaking views from the top make it an unforgettable experience.


Another popular spot for climbing is La Mojarra, known for its challenging routes and stunning views. The routes here vary in difficulty, ensuring there’s something for climbers of all levels. As you navigate the cliffs, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making each ascent an exhilarating and visually rewarding experience.


Whether you’re hiking to the top of El Peñol or conquering the granite cliffs while rock climbing, Guatapé’s outdoor adventures immerse you in the beauty of nature. The fresh air, breathtaking views, and sense of accomplishment make these activities a must-do for those seeking an adrenaline-fueled escape.


As you explore the natural wonders of Guatapé, always remember to prioritize safety and respect the environment. Stay hydrated, wear appropriate gear, and follow any regulations or guidelines set for hiking and rock climbing activities. By doing so, you can enjoy the adventures in nature while preserving the beauty of Guatapé for generations to come.


Indulging in Local Cuisine

No visit to Guatapé is complete without indulging in the mouthwatering local cuisine that showcases the rich flavors and culinary traditions of the region. From hearty traditional dishes to delightful snacks and sweet treats, Guatapé offers a gastronomic experience that will tantalize your taste buds.


One of the signature dishes of the region is the bandeja paisa. This hearty platter is a true representation of Colombian comfort food, featuring an array of delicious ingredients. It typically includes beans, rice, ground beef, chicharrón (fried pork belly), fried plantains, arepa (cornbread), avocado, and a fried egg on top. This filling dish is a must-try for those craving a taste of traditional Colombian flavors.


For seafood lovers, Guatapé is the ideal destination to indulge in fresh and flavorful dishes. Ceviche is a popular choice, featuring marinated raw fish or shrimp, typically mixed with lime juice, onions, cilantro, and spices. It’s a refreshing and tangy dish that perfectly complements the coastal ambiance of the town.


Another seafood delicacy is the mojarra frita, a whole fried tilapia fish served with patacones (fried plantains) and a side of rice. The fish is crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with flavor. It’s a local favorite that showcases the abundance of seafood in the region.


Guatapé is also known for its delicious street food. As you wander through the vibrant streets, you’ll encounter vendors selling empanadas, which are savory turnovers filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. These portable snacks are perfect for a quick bite while exploring the town.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the obleas, a popular Colombian dessert. Obleas are thin wafers filled with arequipe (dulce de leche), a creamy caramel-like spread. They are often topped with sprinkles, shredded coconut, or fruit, offering a delightful combination of textures and flavors.


As you enjoy the local cuisine, be sure to pair your meal with a refreshing Colombian beverage. A traditional favorite is aguapanela, a hot drink made from panela (unrefined cane sugar) dissolved in water with a hint of lime juice. It’s a comforting and energizing drink that complements the flavors of the local dishes.


Exploring the local cuisine in Guatapé is not only a treat for your taste buds but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Colombia. From traditional platters to street food delights and decadent desserts, Guatapé offers a gastronomic journey that will leave you wanting more.


Festivals and Celebrations in Guatapé

Guatapé is a town that knows how to celebrate life and its rich cultural heritage. Throughout the year, the town comes alive with vibrant festivals and celebrations that showcase the traditions, music, and joyful spirit of its people. Attending these lively events is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the true essence of Guatapé.


One of the most anticipated and colorful festivals in Guatapé is the Festival de los Zócalos. This festival celebrates the town’s artistic facades and showcases the creativity of local artists. During the festival, the streets are filled with music, dance performances, parades, and live art demonstrations. The facades of the buildings become a canvas for talented artists to create new murals and transform the town into a vibrant open-air gallery.


Another prominent celebration is the Festival del Dulce de Guatapé, dedicated to showcasing the town’s sweet treats and culinary heritage. During this festival, the streets are lined with vendors selling an array of delicious sweets and treats, such as obleas, arequipe, and other traditional desserts. Visitors can sample these delectable delights while enjoying live music, dance performances, and cultural exhibitions.


For those who enjoy music and dance, the Festival de la Música y el Baile offers a captivating experience. This festival brings together local musicians, dancers, and performers, who showcase the vibrant rhythms and traditional dances of Colombia. From salsa to cumbia, the air is filled with infectious beats, and the streets become a stage for everyone to join in the celebration.


The Semana Santa celebration, or Holy Week, is another significant event in Guatapé. It is a time when the town commemorates the religious significance of this season with processions, church services, and reenactments of biblical events. The streets are adorned with beautiful, intricate carpets made from colored sawdust and flower petals, creating a stunning visual spectacle.


Throughout the year, Guatapé also celebrates national holidays, such as Independence Day and Christmas, with parades, fireworks, and cultural activities. These events bring the community together and create a sense of unity and pride in their heritage.


Attending these festivals and celebrations in Guatapé is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and joyful spirit of the town. The lively music, captivating dance performances, delicious food, and warm hospitality of the locals create an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories of Guatapé.


Souvenir Shopping in Guatapé

When visiting Guatapé, you’ll have the opportunity to bring home a piece of its vibrant culture and artistic flair through the local souvenirs that reflect the town’s unique charm. Guatapé offers an array of delightful mementos and handicrafts that make for perfect keepsakes or gifts for loved ones.


One of the most iconic souvenirs from Guatapé is the hand-painted ceramic or clay plate, locally known as “plato de Guatapé.” These plates are adorned with intricate designs and vibrant colors, showcasing the artistic talent of the local artisans. They make for beautiful decorative pieces that add a touch of Colombian charm to any home.


For something smaller but equally captivating, consider purchasing a locally crafted keychain or fridge magnet. These miniatures capture the essence of Guatapé with their colorful facades, iconic landmarks, and traditional motifs. They are perfect for adding a touch of Guatapé to your everyday life or as small gifts to share with friends and family.


If you’re a fan of unique jewelry, Guatapé has plenty to offer. Look for handmade beaded bracelets or necklaces that showcase the vibrant colors and traditional patterns of the region. These pieces are not only fashionable but also serve as a meaningful reminder of your time in Guatapé.


Another popular souvenir option is a traditional woven or embroidered item, such as a colorful scarf or a textile bag. These textiles are typically made by local communities and showcase the region’s rich textile heritage. They are not only stylish but also support local artisans and contribute to the preservation of traditional craftsmanship.


No visit to Guatapé would be complete without taking home a bag of locally grown coffee. Colombia is renowned for its high-quality coffee beans, and Guatapé is no exception. Visit one of the local coffee shops or markets to find a variety of coffee blends and single-origin beans that will satisfy even the most discerning coffee lovers.


As you browse through the shops and markets, you’ll also find an abundance of handmade crafts, including woven baskets, painted wooden figurines, and intricately patterned textiles. These unique pieces reflect the cultural heritage and creativity of Colombia and make for distinctive and meaningful souvenirs.


Remember to explore the vibrant streets and visit local artisan shops to find the most authentic souvenirs. The friendly locals will be more than happy to share the stories behind each item and help you find the perfect memento.


By bringing home a piece of Guatapé, you can carry a part of its vibrant culture, artistic beauty, and warm hospitality with you, allowing the memories of your visit to live on long after you’ve left this captivating Colombian town.



Guatapé is a town that mesmerizes with its vibrant streets, colorful facades, and natural wonders. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the artistic beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality that define this Colombian gem.


As you explore the streets of Guatapé, the vivid colors and intricate murals will transport you into a world of creativity and imagination. Every corner reveals a new masterpiece waiting to be admired, showcasing the town’s artistic flair and cultural identity.


The enchantment continues with Guatapé Lake, where you can immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and engage in water activities. Whether you’re taking a boat tour, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, or scaling the heights of Piedra del Peñol, the natural beauty of Guatapé will leave you speechless.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Guatapé offers adventures in nature through hiking and rock climbing. El Peñol and the surrounding cliffs provide a playground for those seeking excitement and breathtaking views, showcasing the rugged beauty of the region.


Indulging in the local cuisine of Guatapé is a treat for the senses, with traditional dishes that satisfy every palate. From bandeja paisa to fresh seafood and delightful street food, the flavors of Guatapé will leave you craving for more.


The festivals and celebrations in Guatapé bring the community together and provide a glimpse into the vibrant culture and joyful spirit of the town. From the Festival de los Zócalos to the Festival del Dulce de Guatapé, these events showcase the artistic talents, musical rhythms, and rich traditions of Guatapé.


And as you bid farewell to Guatapé, don’t forget to bring home a piece of its vibrant culture through locally crafted souvenirs. From hand-painted plates to textiles, jewelry, and traditional coffee, these keepsakes will serve as lasting reminders of your time in this captivating town.


In Guatapé, every corner is adorned with beauty, and every moment feels like a celebration. So, pack your bags and let Guatapé capture your heart with its colorful streets, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. It’s an experience unlike any other, where the beauty of Colombia comes to life in every vibrant hue and every smiling face you encounter. Guatapé will leave an indelible mark on your soul and create memories that will last a lifetime.