Day trip to Guatapé

Trip Start Apr 14, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Colombia  , Santa Fe de Antioquia,
Saturday, April 17, 2010

ok.. first off.. excuse the pictures randomly scattered along this explaination of Guatapé...  i guess it took the first few i entered, and i´m not interested enough in figuring out how to change them... but that lady has nothing to do with the city

(thanks wiki)
Guatapé is a town and municipality
in Antioquia Department, Colombia.
Part of the subregion of Eastern Antioquia. Guatapé is located in the outskirts of
bordering a reservoir created by the Colombian government for a
hydro-electric dam, built in the late 1960s. This quaint town is the
gathering place for "Las Vegas", or the small farms of the area. It is
also a growing area of recreation for citizens of Medellín, and aims to
be a tourist destination for foreign travellers.

Guatapé was founded by Spaniards in 1811, by Don Francisco Giraldo y
Jimenez. The name "Guatapé", comes from the Quechua
language, related to "stones and water". The area was visited by the
conquistadors circa 1551.

On the late XX century, Guatapé became on of the most important
electric production centers in the country, the guerrilla later
initiated operations, trying to black mail the local power company, and
farm owners, later, the paramilitaries began operations. The Antioquian
and national government sent security forces into the area in force to
crush the paramilitary that once controlled the area. By 2006, the
remaining military and police presence has diminished
drastically. With no paramilitary activity remaining in the area, the
national police presence is now only necessary to ensure that they do
not return.
New resorts, several restaurants, and rental homes along the lake are
available for visitors. Each building has tiles along the facade's
lower walls in bright colors and dimensioned images. Many of the tiles
are tied to the products sold by the shops, or the beliefs of the
residents. Others are cultural images of the farming heritage of the
community.The "Guatape Rock" (Peñón de Guatapé) that borders the lake is a rock
formation, that formed along the Antioquia Rock Base (batolito de
antioquia), 70 million years ago. With 2/3 of its height below ground,
the exposed vertical face is over 200 meters high and visible from
throughout the surrounding countryside. Visitors can scale the rock via a
staircase built into one side, a path that includes more than 644 steps
to the top.
On the flat top of the rock, a restaurant offers outdoor tables
overlooking vistas that stretch to the horizon in every direction. Above
the restaurants are two gift shops, and an open-air viewing area to see
the spectacular scenery.
Also you can visit two monasteries, that belong to the "Benedictinos"
Communities. The monks are devoted to receive and share with visitors.
There are many Ferries available, to take tours around the dam, a
visit islands as "The Fantasy Island Hotel", located at 3 NM, north of
Guatape shore. There are many water extreme and tradicional sports
Currently there is a project of constructing an ultralight airport.
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