top of page

Journal #25: Guatape

This is from a journal written on February 15, 2022, from Lima, Peru.

Waking up to our 5:30 am alarm was less painful than I had anticipated. I was probably still a bit drunk from the night before.

I messaged Emilie and Christina to make sure they were up. We had all gone out last night. I planned on getting to bed by 11:00 or 12:00, but Emilie convinced me to stay out dancing until 1:30 am. It was hard to say no to her because A. She's fun af and B. We were both getting up to go on the same tour the next day.

Emilie responded to my morning message. Christina did not. After twice caller Christina, I gave up since she passed out and clearly was not waking up to any alarm or call.

We walked to the meeting spot of the tour and met the delight of a human being that would be our guide for the day, Mateo.

We booked the tour through and the whole day tour cost $30 (not including the COP 20,000 for the Peñol entrance fee, which is about USD 5)

We drove two hours outside of Medellin, stopped for a typical Colombian breakfast of scrambled eggs, arepa con queso, and hot chocolate (included with the tour), and entered the winding roads of the reservoir. It felt like we were in the Ozarks. Well, at least it's what I would imagine the Ozarks to look like from my extensive binging of the Netflix series.

Hills rolling up and down and jutting out into the water and back. Hundreds of small bays and alcoves. Tons of waterfront, gorgeous properties.

What we learned from Mateo is that the whole area used to be a valley with an old town. But one day, the government decided that this valley would be the ideal spot for a reservoir to supply Medellin due to its location where two rivers meet.

The government had originally tried to buy the property from the residents. However, the community women demanded that the government build a new town for the residents to move to instead of simply paying them off.

The government agreed, the new town was built, the old one demolished, and the entire area was dammed up and flooded with water.

We took a boat tour at the end of the day and went to a spot where you could see the top of the original church popping out of the water. We also got a glimpse of one of Pablo Escobar's old vacation homes that was bombed back in the day.

So, anyway, back to the drive. As we got closer and closer to our destination, we could start to see El Peñol peeking out above the hills, growing taller and taller as we got closer to it.

When we arrived at the base, I could not believe it. This giant rock seemed just to be plopped in the middle of this valley!

We hopped off the bus, paid our entrance fee and started the 700-step ascent to the top of the rock. The hangover still hadn't entirely set in yet, thank god, but those steps were crazy steep and we took a few breaks along the way.

When we made it to the top, the view was breathtaking.

But the thing that got me was the number of little shops and restaurants at the top of this big-ass rock.

Do these people walk up here every single day? What if there's an emergency with a family member in the valley below?

Anyway, the rock was really cool and we enjoyed a local specialty when we got back down fresh lemonade.

Next was a stop in the town of Guatape, a super-cute and colorful little place. We were given about an hour of free time to walk around and explore.

That's when Brett said, "Let's find some jet skis."

Emilie and I looked at each other and shrugged, "Why not?"

Sure enough, when we walked out towards the reservoir, the first guy Brett asked said, "Jetski? Follow me."

We gave this random group of guys on the dock all the cash we had (about USD 55) and bought ourselves 30 minutes on two jet skis; Emilie and I on one, and Brett on another. We gave these men all our belongings, except phones and wallets, which I stuffed in my Lulu belt bag.

We won't fall off, right?

Then, off we went! We weaved through coves and passed through narrow openings in the hills, and feel free as FOOK!

It was exhilarating and precisely the boost of energy we needed to finish off the rest of the day. Oh and we didn't fall in and got all our stuff back at the end of our joy rides.

Would highly recommend going out to Guatape if you ever visit Medellin. And rent those jet skis!



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

My boyfriend and I started our digital nomad journey in December 2021. We're just starting out and want to share all the ups and downs with you!

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page