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Marinilla, El Peñol, Guatapé - Eco-Tour Medellín - Colombia

Marinilla, El Peñol and Guatapé are small municipalities roughly 50 kilometers (31 mi) from Medellín, easily reachable from the Terminal del Norte.

Marinilla is of great importance in the region of Antioquia as a site of historical and artistic interest. Founded in 1690, it bears all the hallmarks of a religiously motivated town with ornate and austere churches. It is said that despite the introduction of black slaves into the community and the existence of indigenous peoples, the colonial settlers never intermarried, and, to this day, their descendants are still fair-haired.

El Peñol was founded in 1714, and in contemporary times has risen to prominence as a tourist haven. When a dam was built nearby, a massive artificial lake was formed, making this a great place to practice water sports.

Guatapé, which neighbors El Peñol, is also a major destination for people from Medellín looking to enjoy the lake. Visitors can join the fun, participating in ecotourism, exploring the religious sites, boarding or trekking. From the northern bus terminal in Medellín, buses leave every 15 minutes and take 30 minutes to an hour to arrive.

If you want to spend a night in the area, Hostel El Encuentro (Vereda Quebrada Arriba. Tel: 861-1374, E-mail:, URL: is a good choice. This eco-hostel, on a private peninsula overlooking Guatapé, has a camping area and on-site tent rental in addition to shared dorms ($10) and private rooms with private baths ($37). Free use of its yoga/meditation area and its six-person row boats are additional perks.


Oriente Antioqueño

Near Medellín, Medellín, Colombia


Getting There

Price Description:

Prices vary as to activity

Relative price: Mid-Range

Travel Skills: intermediate/somewhat difficult.

There are three municipalities here and so plenty of activities to keep you occupied.

By Richard McColl
With over five years travelling and working in Latin America, Richard feels most at home here in the big Continent. From the former Scottish...
16 Feb 2012

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