No matter you are from which part of the world, everybody has a travel bucket list. Be it somewhere in their own country, or in Europe, be it at the mountains or the beaches- all of us have a dream destination. But would you say a gigantic rock qualifies for that? Well, once you get to know about the Big Guatape Rock in Colombia, you might reconsider!
A total of 650 stairs lead you through a narrow crack on the edge of the impressive La Piedra Del Penol, better known as The Big Guatape Rock. Once you reach the top of this rock you’ll be greeted with a simply breathtaking view! Also, what has to be one of the most amazing lookouts in all of Colombia. At 2,135 meters above sea level, this rock is a natural wonder. It is also the perfect spot to enjoy panoramic views of Guatape Lake and this beautiful region.
The massive stone was formed millions of years ago
It is uncertain what the rock is, or how it formed. However, it is very smooth and most likely part of a granitic pluton that was uplifted during the formation of the Cordillera Occidental mountain range in Colombia in South America. The Tahamies Indians, former inhabitants of this region, worshipped the rock.
The rock has a curious history
On the northern face of the stone, there are large white letters painted, “G”, and an “I”. The “I” is actually an incomplete “U” (only the single vertical stroke was completed). Guatapé and El Peñol, two different regions in the area, had long disputed ownership of the rock. The residents of Guatapé decided to settle the matter by painting the town’s name on the rock in huge white letters. It did not take long for the residents of El Peñol to notice the work. A large mob was assembled to stop it. Only the “G” and part of the “U” were completed.
There is an even more interesting fact about this region that changes your whole perspective on the landscape.
The rock is a natural formation. However, the lake is man-made. It is part of a national hydroelectricity project and supplies more than 35% of the electricity for Colombia. It also provides electricity, which is sold to neighbouring countries like Venezuela.
The town of El Penol, which can see from the top of The Guatape Rock, is actually a new town. The old El Penol is underwater. The hydroelectricity project took the old town when the lake was created. The old El Penol is now almost completely underwater. Tens of thousands of residents had to be relocated to the new town. There is now a huge cross that sticks out of the water in the lake. This marks the spot where the old town is now submerged underwater.
The view from the top of the Guatape Rock will completely blow you away!
The view is out of this world! You’ll see hundreds of small islets scattered throughout the deep blue water of the lake as far as your eyes can see. On one side is the city of El Penol and to the other side, the old-style town of Guatape.
You can even hang out at the top for a couple of hours. Recover from the stairs and also take in the epic view for as long as possible. There are lots of chairs, tables, and umbrellas as well as a cafe and a refreshment stand. All this and more makes this viewpoint a really good chill-out area to spend a morning or afternoon!
That’s another place added to our bucket list. What about yours?
Featured Image Source: YouTube