We wanted to visit the small town of Guatapé where there is a famous rock to climb up so we left our big bags at our hostel in Medellin and headed off on bus into the countryside. 

Medellin slowly gave way to winding country roads with glimpses of water and small farms. After about two hours we reached El Peñól, an enormous and strange looking black rock jutting out of the landscape. All around were bright blue lagoons and fresh forests, then this huge lump of rock rising 200 metres above ground. A staircase has been erected in a crack in the rock and, 659 steps and a lot of huffing and puffing later, we reached the top. All around were stunning views of lakes, stretching as far as the eye could see, forests, small villages and boats out on the water. 

Later, we would walk to our hostel, sat on the water edge with beautiful views of the rock and a perfect spot to chill in a hammock and relax. That night, we caught a tuktuk into the small town of Guatapé where we walked the streets lined with brightly painted buildings, watched Argentina v Uruguay in a bar on the plaza and ate delicious fresh trout from the lake. Colombia had played earlier that day and a little girl with red, blue and yellow ribbons in her hair waved at us then ducked behind her mum; an old man welcomed us to the town in a stream of Spanish. 

The next morning we take the hostel’s kayak out for half an hour on the water: fun and beautiful though a bit scary for me when the kayak started to rock a bit in the wind. A swim in the lake after was a perfect way to relax before our return to Medellin ahead of our journey to Salento in the coffee region. 


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