Key Places - Viva Colombia
Colombia A Cyclist's Paradise
Piedra de Penol or El Peñon de Guatape
The region’s indigenous Tahami people worshiped this 220m high monolithic granite rock; La Piedra. In the 1950’s a group of locals wedged planks of wood into a crevice in the rock face and over 5 days made their ascent to the summit, discovering stunning views and a new species of plant, Pitcairma heterophila. A masonry stairway, that appears from afar almost to be stitched into the stone, is now the means of access. You can climb the 700 steps to its summit and enjoy stunning vistas over the reservoir of the archipelago. At its highest point it has an elevation of 2,135 m. Local towns Guatapé or El Peñol have both staked claims to ownership of the rock. Hence the G U markings on one face which went no further when the citizens of El Penol intervened to prevent any further addition of letters.
Near the base of the Rock, there are food and market stalls for shopping. About halfway up the stairs, there is a shrine to the Virgin Mary. The summit contains a three-story viewpoint tower, a shop, and a seating area.
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