Guatapé (map) is a small, very pretty lakeside town in Eastern Antioquia, about 1½ hours from *Medellín (map), Colombia.
The Rock of Guatape (map), it is also known as The Stone of El Peñol, or simply La Piedra or El Peñol (La Piedra del Peñol), as the town of El Peñol, which borders Guatapé, has also historically claimed the rock as their own and thus has led to different names for the site.
Peñón de Guatapé is an outcrop of the Antioquia Batholith and towers up to 200 meters (656 feet) above its base. Visitors can scale the rock via a staircase with 649 steps built into one side.
The picturesque town of Guatapé is known as the Pueblo de Zócalos, named for the beautifully sculpted and painted depictions of village life that adorn the lower half of most buildings in the town center. On weekends, the waterfront malecón (boardwalk) fills up with local vendors selling beautiful Paisa art, food, and souvenirs, and the adventurous can take a ride on the Cable Vuelo, a canopy zipline over the lake.
Near the base of the Rock, there are food and market stalls for shopping. About halfway up the stairs, there is a shrine to the Virgin Mary. The summit contains a three-story viewpoint tower, a convenience store, and a seating area.