Guatapé is an absolute must-do trip from Medellín. Most people do just a day, but an overnight stay means you get to enjoy the colorful colonial town at night—something tourists usually miss out on.
The most convenient way to get to Guatapé is by booking a private transfer or hiring a taxi. You'll get there in an hour and forty minutes and won't have to worry about anything but taking in the scenery.
You can also hop on a bus, which takes only around 2 hours and is the most common way for people to arrive. However, be prepared to be cramped and sweaty for the duration of the trip.
Both of these options allow for a stop at the famous Peñón de Guatapé, one of the town's most astonishing landmarks.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Given Guatapé's popularity among Colombians and foreigners, several companies offer private cars to the town. This option is particularly convenient for large groups, as you can decide the size and model of the car that best fits your needs.
A private car will also have no qualms about stopping at the Peñón de Guatapé, one of the last standing monolithic rocks in Latin America. Rising 7,000 feet, this impressive rock offers gorgeous views for those willing to climb the 740 steps to the top. Needless to say, this is one of the region's most popular attractions.
If you don't feel like contacting different services, you can simply take a taxi o an Uber to Guatapé. Not every driver would be willing to make the long trip, but most are. If you decide on this option, make sure you let them know you want to stop at the Peñón before starting the journey.
Duration: 2 hours
Given the close distance and relative ease, the bus is the most common way for travelers to get to Guatapé.
To take the bus, head to the Northern Transport Terminal and look for signs for Guatapé. The buses used are usually small vans and they run every 20-30 minutes.
If you are planning a stop at the Peñón, tell the driver to drop you off there, as it is on the outside of the town. If your Spanish can't take you that far, just pay attention when the driver makes a stop and several people start getting off. You will see the giant rock, so the chances of confusion are little to none.
Once you have conquered the massive neolithic stone, you can simply hop on another bus that will take you to the center of the town in around 15 minutes.