El Penon de Guatape is the Rock of Gibraltar of Colombia. This massive boulder juts out of the jungle and farmland as if it landed there as a meteor. A number of years ago, three local climbers decided to climb the rock and spent three days using climbing gear and building bamboo ladders to reach to top. They realized that this might be an interesting tourist attraction. So one of the climbers purchased the land around the rock and began building the stairway to the top. It is now a major tourist attraction that helps feed the small beautiful town of Guatape with hungry tourists.
The rock is 1,000 feet high and incorporates 800 steps to the top. The base is at 6,000 feet and climbs to 7,000 immediately. I had some altitude issues after being in Bogota at 8,500 for four days. I didn’t know if I was going to make it to the top beginning at 6,000 feet. Think about this, it’s doing the stairclimber for 30 minutes at 6,000 feet. I huffed and puffed my way to the top and after we came back down, Janine told me I was the oldest person climbing the rock at that time. Good, I didn’t die.
View from the top.
Huffing and puffing.
Half way up where you can pray to your god that you won’t die.
We made it to the top.