Great Big Strange Rock in Columbia

The Rock of Guatapé is a landmark inselberg in Colombia. It is located in the town and municipality of Guatapé, Antioquia. It is also known as The Stone of El Peñol, or simply La Piedra or El Peñol, as the town of El Peñol, which borders Guatapé, has also historically claimed the rock as their own and thus has led to different names for the site.

The landform is a granitic rock remnant that has resisted weathering and erosion, likely as result of being less fractured than the surrounding bedrock. The Peñón de Guatapé is an outcrop of the Antioquia Batholith and towers up to 200 meters (656 feet) above its base. Visitors can scale the rock via a staircase with 708 steps built into one side.

An inselberg or monadnock is an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain.

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 convenience store, and a seating area.

The rock was first officially climbed in July 16, 1954, when Luis Eduardo Villegas López, Pedro Nel Ramírez, and Ramón Díaz climbed the rock in a five-day endeavor, using sticks that were fixed against the rock’s wall.

A new species of plant, named Pitcairnia heterophylla by a German scientist, was found on the top of the rock.

A viewing spot was built on top of the rock, where it is possible to acquire handicrafts, postcards, and other local goods. It is possible to see the 500 km shore-perimeter dam. There are 649 steps to the uppermost step atop the building at the summit, a fact reinforced by yellow numbers also seen in the climb up the stairs.

In the 1940s, the Colombian government declared it a National Monument.

One thought on “Great Big Strange Rock in Columbia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.