The reservoir at Guatapé.
A few of the hundreds of tree-covered islands throughout the reservoir.
Water sports are a popular activity for visitors to Guatapé.
The giant monolith named "El Peñon de Guatapé" or simply "La Piedra" rises as a backdrop to the beautiful scenery.
Years ago, an artist was commissioned to write the word "Guatapé" on the side of the monolith. However, his work was halted in the middle of the project due to protests from the local community and thus only the first and part of the second letter remain.
From this close up view of La Piedra, you can see some of the 644 stairs that allow for everyone to make it to the top.
The town of Guatapé is known for its beautifully decorated homes and cobblestone streets.
The hanging flower pots are a common decoration throughout Colombia.
Almost every aspect of each facade is colorfully decorated.
Even the garage doors are beautiful.
Part of what makes Guatapé special is the town's universal requirement to adorn each building with zócalos. Each zócalo design is chosen by the owner of the home and can either be artistic or actually represent something specific about that person or family. Many examples of zócalos to follow...
The owner of this home must be a fan of sailing.
The owner of this home might be a sheep farmer.
The owner of this home is either a school master or just strongly believes in education.
Some zócalos, however, are in some desperate need of maintenance.
Some zócalos are in the midst of production, like this one representing the owner's construction business.
Here's the sheep owner zócalo again.
This funeral home named, Los Angeles, used the obvious zócalo of angels.
This close-up of a zócalo depicts another construction scene, implying the owner of the building is involved in similar activities.
Some zócalos simply represent the owner's passion.
And some zócalos tell a story. Here, the parade of silletas (the culmination of Medellín's August Flower Festival) is represented in one frame.
Here, we can only guess that this zócalo is attempting to tell a story about Colombia's history.
This zócalo is located on a bakery's wall.
The owner of this home is part of Guatapé's music scene.
Guatapé's most prominent man-made landmark is the central plaza's cathedral, depicted here in this home's zócalo.
Guatapé's most prominent man-made landmark: the cathedral.
El Peñon de Guatapé at sunset.
El Peñon de Guatapé from the water.
El Peñon de Guatapé with a festive chiva bus in the foreground.
One of the first (recorded) people to climb the monolith was Luis Villegas, depicted here in a bronze statue at the base of the rock.
This poem, written by Antonio Ariztizabal Serna, translates loosely to:
Save it! Rocky pedestal scandal of granite, you are so faithful, monolith, to rest on the ground, you rise to heaven and kiss the infinite.
For this main reason, I would sing to you flamenco with all of my heart. And exclaim excitedly, conceitedly, and proudly: God bless you Peñon!
- Cantor of the Mountain
Su Casa Colombia tour guide, Marcela, is seen here scaling the steps correctly. She is on the "subiendo" side.
La Piedra is covered with thousands of plants seemingly defying gravity and logic as they grow sideways out of the rock.
View from the top: simply beautiful.
One of the many hawks that fly above La Piedra and the reservoir.
Absolutely spectacular scenery can be viewed from atop El Peñon de Guatapé.
Guatapé and El Peñon welcome you! Come visit soon!