Without a doubt, the Stone of El Peñol has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Antioquia. Also known as “El Peñol de Guatapé”, this wonder of nature is 220 meters high and has more than 700 steps that will lead you to the top, where you can enjoy the sightsees of the 2,200 hectares of the dam. Discover more activities that you can find in Guatapé here
We know it is beautiful, but we’re sure you don’t know the history and the myths behind it. And that’s why we’re here for. We are going to tell you EVERYTHING about the story of this impressive stone that has left more than one breathless.
Let’s start in the beginning, what is The Stone of El Peñol? It is a batholith, which is a large mass of rocks that are formed due to the cooling of the earth’s surface. Now that you know what it is scientifically, it’s time to get into what matters: the story behind the Stone of El Peñol. Before having the importance that this natural wonder has, the myths say that the Stone of El Peñol was an element that the indigenous people worshiped, and between us, they also say that it was the victim of multiple kidnapping attempts by the devil, and because of this, it has a large crack on one of its sides.
However, as interesting as this story sounds, we cannot prove it, but what we can do is tell you some facts that we can prove about the Stone of El Peñol. The first time a person climbed the Stone of El Peñol was Luis Villegas on July 16, 1954, with the help of two of his friends. It took them five days to climb the stone. First, they started by pinning stakes and ties each day to be able to continue climbing. After this, a local priest, Alfonso Montoya, convinced the people of Guatapé to climb the Stone of El Peñol, which would become the biggest tourist activity in the area.
Now, we know that the next question will be about the letters that can be seen on one of the sides of the Stone of El Peñol, relax, here we go. The initial was to write “Guatapé”, literally, giant letters. But all his dreams were cut short when the people of El Peñol realized that the word would be looking at their side and they didn’t like the idea so much. At the end of it all, the people of El Peñol won the battle, claiming that since it was a natural monument it could not be adorned or changed.
The following is what we already know, little by little the Piedra del Peñol has gained recognition and has been forged into what we know now, a 220 meters high batholith, which is a challenge for many, but has a spectacular reward, an incredible view of the Guatapé dam.