Wondering how to get to Guatape from Medellin?
It’s not as hard to get to Guatape from Medellin as you might think. We were pleasantly surprised at how well organized the logistics and transportation is sorted in Medellin.
Whether you’re a tourist visiting for a few days or you’re a digital nomad visiting for a couple of months – visiting Guatape is a MUST on the list of things to do while in Medellin!
In this blog post, we are going to share exactly how to get to Guatape from Medellin with the 3 best transport options (and a step-by-step guide).
How To Get To Guatape From Medellin – 3 Options And Step by Step Guide
Guatape is a small town located 1.5-2 hours away from Medellin depending on traffic. This tourist attraction is known for 2 things – the rock aka La Piedra El Peñol and the colorful buildings/history of Guatape.
If you want to see El Peñol, it’s actually not located in the town of Guatape even though everyone calls it that. It’s about a 15-minute walk away from the center of town. Most people will get to El Peñol early in the morning to beat the crowds and climb the 740 steps to the top. Afterward, the usual itinerary is to wander around the colorful town of Guatape, learn about the zocalos and have lunch.
Guatape is a popular tourist destination that is perfect for a day trip or even an overnight trip!
We decided to go on a day trip to Guatape. It’s a packed day with lots of things to do, eat, explore and learn the history of this colorful town.
You can choose to do get to Guatape on your own or you might choose to book a tour. Both are great options that are completely safe – you just have to decide what your preference is.
If you’re wondering how to get to Guatape from Medellin, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the 3 best ways to get to Guatape from the city and back.
1. Take The Bus To Guatape From Medellin
Want the cheapest option to get to Guatape from Medellin?
Your best bet is taking public bus transportation. We found that when we did day trips from Medellin – these buses are actually very organized, safe and reliable. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s a bad or unsafe option.
We have felt safe both times we have taken the public bus transportation. If you speak a little Spanish, it definitely helps because they don’t speak a word of English. You can also have Google Translate ready, if not.
Step-by-Step: How To Get The To Guatape From Medellin By Bus
- Take an Uber to Terminal del Norte
- Go down the escalators and find the ticket booths
- Look for ticket booth #14 which are buses to Guatape from Medellin
- The ticket booth is called ‘ Sotrasanvicente & Guatape La Piedra’ – it’s bright red and white
- Say “para Guatape” and they will get you on the next bus to Guatape
- Pay for your bus ticket to Guatape or La Piedra which costs 17,000 COP ($4.30 USD)
- Find a seat and wait till for boarding time
- Go through and show your ticket to get inside the departure area
- Show your ticket and line up to get into the bus
- Let the driver know if you want to stop at El Peñol first before Guatape
- You’ll need to walk/take a tuk-tuk to get to Guatape from El Peñol
That’s it – it’s as simple as that. We were nervous about getting the public bus transportation in Medellin but after our trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia, we found it quite easy and not scary at all!
TTA TIP: Once you arrive at Guatape’s bus terminal, make sure you buy your tickets back to Medellin as soon as you arrive. They do sell out of tickets if you’re too late in the afternoon. This guarantees you have a seat back to Medellin!
We loved how organized and convenient it is to take the public bus around Medellin and to surrounding areas.
2. Get An Uber To Guatape From Medellin
Getting an Uber to Guatape from Medellin is the most convenient option!
You don’t have to plan ahead and it’s door-to-door service. For some reason, a lot of blogs didn’t include this as an option when we knew several people who actually opted to get to Guatape this way.
It’s not a cheap option that’s for sure. For example, an Uber ride from Poblado to El Peñol will cost around $170,000 COP ($43.60 USD) more or less. That’s almost double the cost of booking a full guided tour for the entire day.
But if you’re looking for convenience and getting there as quickly as possible, Uber is the best option for you.
Step-by-Step: How To Get The To Guatape From Medellin By Uber
- Open the Uber App
- Search for “El Peñol” or “Guatape” depending on where you want to go first
- Make your departure point your hotel or Airbnb
- Click “Confirm” and wait for your Uber to arrive
- Get in the car and they will take you straight to your destination
From here, you will need to either walk to Guatape or take a tuk-tuk Guatape. While Uber is a convenient option to get to Guatape, you’ll need to figure out how to get back to Medellin. Uber is generally not available in Guatape so you’ll have to take the public bus.
3. Go On A Tour Bus To Guatape From Medellin
The best transport option for a day trip to Guatape is to book a tour!
We did this and we were so glad we did! The tour company takes care of everything for you and you just need to pay one price. For our day trip to Guatape, it included:
- bus transportation to Guatape and back to Medellin
- Colombian lunch
- cruise on the lake
If you don’t mind being on a tour bus with other tourists, it’s a great way to learn about the history and culture of Guatape and El Peñol. Otherwise, you just look at a rock and town without knowing the context or meaning behind the colors/zocalos. Our tour guide, Sandy, spoke great English and it was easy to understand all the stories he told! This made the trip much more meaningful.
It’s also very inexpensive. Surprisingly, it’s less than half the cost of the Uber ride to Guatape. That’s right – it’s only $94,000 COP ($24 USD) per person for a full-day tour including transport, lunch and a cruise on the lake!
Step-by-Step: How To Get To Guatape From Medellin By Tour Bus
- Go on Airbnb and click on the ‘Experiences’ tab
- Search for Guatape and click on one that says ‘Guatape and La Piedra del Peñol’
- Enter the number of people and click ‘Confirm’
- Pay online via Airbnb and you’ll receive a message from the guide
- On the day of the tour, head to the meeting points in Poblado or Laureles
- Spot the lady in red and tell them your name
- Get on the bus she tells you to and sign in
- Once you’re on the bus – you can sit back and relax for the entire day
We highly recommend Guatape and La Piedra del Peñol tour on Airbnb Experiences. It was easy for us to hop on and off the bus to see and explore what we wanted. You also get a walking tour of Guatape by an English-speaking tour guide. The value for money is unbelievable!
How To Get Back From Guatape To Medellin?
Are you already in Guatape and need to get back to Medellin?
The best option for you is to take public bus transportation from Guatape to Medellin. Here’s how to do it:
- Head to the bus station called ‘Terminal de los Buses‘.
- Go to the ticket booth and say “para Medellin”.
- They will get you on the next bus to Medellin (if seats are available)
- pay for your ticket and double-check the departure time
- Have a coffee and wait to depart from Guatape to Medellin
- Get on the bus and get off at Terminal del Norte
- You can take an Uber or public transport (bus/metro) from here
There’s generally no Uber available in Guatape itself and if you don’t book a tour in advance. If you want to get from Guatape to Medellin, you will have to take public bus transportation which is a great system!
FAQ – How To Get To Guatape From Medellin
Where Is Guatape? How Far Is Guatape From Medellin?
Guatape is located east of the city of Medellin. If you want to get to Guatape, it will take around 1.5-2 hours of driving depending on traffic. Guatape is around 80 kilometers away from Medellin.
Is A Day Trip Enough Or Should You Stay Overnight In Guatape?
Yes, a day trip is more than enough to climb La Piedra del Peñol and explore the colorful town of Guatape. If you want to spend the weekend, most people go to Guatape to escape the city life and enjoy the quiet, lake views for a couple of days.
How To Read The Colombian Bus Ticket?
Here are some key phrases to know:
- puesto = seat
- rampa = gate
Most buses in Medellin will assign a seat number. This means you don’t have to rush to the bus – your seat is allocated for you. Make sure you don’t confuse rampa or puesto! You can always ask someone to point you to the right gate for departure.