Climbing the rock
The Piedra Del Peñol or El Peñón de Guatapé, depending on which town is doing the claiming (and whether it’s a ‘rock’ or a ‘stone’), is a 200m high rock, a 90 minutes drive from Medellin, which, once climbed, provides superb views of the area.
The rock was only climbed for the first time in 1954, when three men climbed the rock in a five-day endeavour, using sticks that were fixed against the rock’s wall. Now, with concrete steps leading to the top, this process is a bit faster.
The rock is within the municipality of Guatapé, itself sometimes called ‘The most colourful town in Colombia’. However, those of nearby El Peñol tend to disagree, hence the confused naming of the rock.
On the western side of the outcrop, a large letter “G” and an unfinished “U” are drawn. At some point, the residents of Guatapé decided to settle the matter of who owns the rock, by painting the town’s name on the rock in large white letters. Hard to miss, the residents of El Peñol noticed the work, and a large mob was assembled to stop the propagation of the visual claim.