El Peñón de Guatapé. Colombia
This lone rock is called El Peñón de Guatapé – in English “The Rock of Guatapé”, also known as Piedra de Guatapé and Piedra del Peñol. It is located between the towns of Guatape and El Penol in the department of Antioquia in Colombia. This extraordinary mountain has a height of 220 meters, its highest point – 2,135 meters above sea level. It is noteworthy that more than 2/3 of the rock is hidden under the ground.
El Peñón de Guatapé consists of such components as quartz, feldspar and mica. Scientists estimate that its weight is about 10 million tons and its age accounts approximately 70 million years. A picturesque storage reservoir with the similar name Guatape is located next to the mountain.
This popular monolith has an original meandering stairway, so the tourists can climb up to the top watching all the beauty of the surrounding landscape. This stairway will seem endless – it includes 644 steps. The observation deck, three-story tower and hospitable restaurant on the top of the rock will smooth all the inconvenience of the tiresome uplift. Here you will be offered a cup of delicious coffee or tequila with salt.
This place is associated with an interesting legend. The locals say that the tribe called Tahamis lived here many years ago. These inhabitants called this mountain «Mojarra», which can be translated as rock or stone. Here they were engaged in fishing and believed in the existence of the divine fish Batolito. The tribe brought her sacrifices, and she thanked them with a good catch. Aborigines started praying this fish. The Gods seeing it became angry and sent their wrath to the people who didn’t honor the Gods anymore but worshiped the fish. The Holy fish Batolito jumped out of the sea in order to protect its people. And there was a fight with heaven, and the Gods retreated. But the fish suffered – fell down, petrified and turned into a rock. People bring gifts to the foot of El Peñón de Guatapé till the present day.
In the early 1940s, the state took The Rock of Guatapé under its protection. The first ascent of the mountain was committed by three rock climbers in July 1954. It took 5 days to reach the top and as a bonus – the discovery of a new plant “Pitcairma heterophila”.
Entrance will cost $ 2; this amount of money goes for the maintenance of the stairs. In earlier times it was a rope ladder and not everyone could dare to climb up.
The unbelievable species that are opened from the top of this natural monument are worth it to climb here!