La Piedra Del Peñol, Spanish for "The Rock of Guatapé", also known as El Peñol Stone or simply as La Piedra is a massive rock located in the town and municipality of Guatapé, in Antioquia, Colombia. The 10 million-ton rock rises 200 meters from the surrounding plain, visible from miles around the countryside. The rock, which is almost entirely smooth, has one long crack running top to bottom on one of the faces. Across this crack, is wedged a 649-step masonry staircase, that appears like a giant stitch holding the split rock together.
The top of the rock consists of a small fenced in area with stalls for buying souvenirs, and a viewing platform. Food vendors have laid out outdoor tables where you can enjoy snacks with a bottle of beer taking in the outstanding vista that stretch to the horizon in every direction.
The rock is located near the border of two towns - Guatapé and El Peñol. Both towns claimed ownership of the rock. Once, the residents of Guatapé decided to settle the matter by painting the town's name on the rock in huge white letters. It did not take long for the residents of El Peñol to notice the work, and a large mob was gathered to stop it. Only the "G" and part of the "U" were completed. The two giant letters can still be seen on the northern face of the stone.
The rock was first scaled officially on July 1954 by three climbers using sticks embedded in the fissure on the rock. The staircase was built later.
View of the Guatape lake from the top. Photo credit
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