El Peñón de Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia (with Map & Photos)

El Peñón de Guatapé is a giant rock in Colombia weighing ten million tons, is notable for its unusual shape and the fact that it was once a place of worship for the Tahamis Indians.

El Peñón de Guatapé
El Peñón de Guatapé

General Information


The massive rock rises 220 meters from the surface, the highest point is at around 2135 meters above sea level. The age of the rock is about 70 million years. El Peñón de Guatapé is composed of quartz, feldspar and mica. In fact, it is just a giant stone, one of the largest stones in the world. It stands on the banks of the Guatapé reservoir. The rock is 380 meters long, 100 meters wide, and has a volume of 4,685,000 m³. Local farmers often dig up stones of the same origin and composition in their gardens, but only millions of times smaller.

El Peñón de Guatapé
El Peñón de Guatapé

The Indians of the Tahamis tribe, who have long lived in the region, worshiped the rock, calling it Mojarra or Muhara, which means rock, stone. Nowadays, residents of nearby towns, Guatapé and El Peñol, are fighting for the right to call this rock their attraction, which is obvious from the names of the rock. In the early 1940s, the rock was taken under state protection.

El Peñón de Guatapé
El Peñón de Guatapé

The first ascent of the rock was made by three residents of Guatapé from 11 to 16 July 1954. They wanted to write GUATAPÉ in large white letters on its north side, but in the end only the first letter and a half came out, so it turned out to be GI. In the mid-1960s, a reservoir was formed near the rock. At the top of the cliff, an unknown plant species was discovered, named Pitcairma Heterophila.

El Peñón de Guatapé
El Peñón de Guatapé

The slopes of El Peñón de Guatapé are almost completely smooth, there is only one long crack, which the climbers used when climbing. Later, a stone staircase with 649 steps was built in it - this is the only way to get to the top of El Peñón de Guatapé. You can climb up for a modest fee of $ 2, the money goes to maintain the stairs in good condition. At the top are several religious relics and a three-story observation tower. Tired of climbing, tourists can enjoy a cup of coffee or tequila with salt in a small restaurant.

El Peñón de Guatapé Map