Recently during my last vacation, I had the opportunity to visit Medellín, a wonderful city, capital of the department of Antioquia, second in importance and number of inhabitants in the country, full of beautiful people and places to visit (I will dedicate other entries in the future to show some interesting sites that I visited). Once I was in Medellín, I had decided not to stop visiting one of the most important natural attractions in the region. The stone of the peñol of Guatape.
The tour can be done by car leaving Medellin or taking one of the tourist packages offered by some agencies (here some information on prices), the distance to the site is approximately 86 km, which can be covered in about 40 minutes enjoying the green landscapes of the Borá Valley. Once you arrive you are surprised by a huge rock 220 meters high and 22 million cubic meters of rocky material that splits the horizon riddled with small lakes crossed by roads and mountains. This huge stone is presented to you face to face with the challenge of climbing it. For 10,000 pesos or the equivalent of $ 5.2 you can climb a 650-step concrete staircase that has adhered to the side of the stone and zigzags to the top. Every 15 steps the number has been painted so that you can keep track of what you are missing and know how bad your physical condition is. My recommendation is that you prepare and bring your bottle of water, as it is not an easy ascent for everyone, but once you conquer the last step you receive a view of the place that definitely pays for all your effort.
A beautiful view
At the top of the stone I was waiting for a couple of shops that offer from soft drinks to quench the thirst for the climb, to full lunches to the hundreds of visitors who come to the place. Additionally, a small building has been built in the stone that allows you to rise even higher above the stone (completing the staircase up to a figure of 740 steps). Inside the building there are 2 huge craft shops that offer all kinds of souvenirs from the place and the region. It is worth buying something to decorate the house (I personally bought a mug for my collection).
A little history
The history of the peñol stone dates back thousands of years, when a rock formation emerged from the earth thanks to enormous pressure forces that were generated in the area. Legend has it that this monolith was a source of worship for the pre-Hispanic indigenous inhabitants of the area who attributed legends to it such as that the devil wanted to steal it and hence left a huge crack in its side.
Many years passed before the stone took its current tourist attraction, because for the inhabitants of the area it was nothing more than a rock on the horizon. As the historical note mentions, it was not until 50 years ago that it began to be used for tourism.
They are already 50 years of struggle and work in which this mass has been removed from anonymity and oblivion.
Its history dates back to 1954 when, due to a challenge from Father Alfonso Montoya, parish priest of Guatapé, knowing that climbers from different parts of the world would come to take up the challenge of climbing it, at mass he launched the expression that “toads do not climb stones ”and as a challenge Don Luis Eduardo Villegas assumes it and in the company of Ramón Díaz and Pedro Nel Ramírez he overtakes everyone and they manage to climb this wonderful mass and after 5 days of adventure they manage on July 16, 1954 to lift a shirt on the high.
Several wooden ladders succeeded it before the safe concrete ladders it currently has, with two tracks, one to go up and one to go down. In the future, it will come to have a modern cable car, which makes it possible for more people to climb, including those with disabilities.The brands owned by the great rock GI date from when they wanted to write the name GUATAPE but a rule that prohibited the intervention of this type of attractions prevented them from finishing their work.