Rock On

· by wendy · Colombia

Our day trip to see the giant rock, La Piedra del Penol, started off with another Metro ride which went much better this time around. We knew where the ticket booth was, we knew what to say to buy tickets and we knew which direction to travel. Only one trip to a platform this time cause we’re profesionals now. Our short metro ride took us directly to Terminal del Norte where we were once again newbies. After wandering around like lost idiots, we finally found the proper bus company and were on our way within 10 minutes. I must say these buses are much nicer than those at home. Look! A plasma tv! Even kt would be comfortable on this one.

The only unknown variable was how long it would take to get to our destination. The bus company posted an hour and a half, but I had read anywhere from 1 hour to 3. I was starting to see how the time could fluctuate when about a half hour into our ride we were pulled over by La Policia. No worries, they were just checking to make sure we were legit. We were. YES! After a total trip time of an hour and 45 minutes, we arrived at our destination. We were bombarded by offers to give us a ride up the hill either by tuk tuk, taxi, some random dude’s car or via horseback. We decided on none of the above and hoofed it up to the top in about 10 minutes, for free. We chuckled along the way as we noticed the horses could only make it up halfway due to a grate in the road, which meant about 3 minutes of ride time. Totally lame.

As we approached the big rock we couldn’t believe our eyes. What the heck is this thing!?

Much research has brought me no luck on finding out how the giant granite rock got there. Locals weren’t any help either. No guides, no brochures, no English. All we could do was climb the big thing.

About 600+ steps later we reached a landing with some venders that were selling beer, soda and snacks. They work hard for their money! Next, we found even more stairs (grr!) which took us up to the highest observation deck at 220 meters. The view was ridiculous.

From the ground, it was impossible to detect just how this area was laid out. The number of water ways and land masses was incredible!

After taking in the beautiful view, we climbed down to get some Colombian grub at the base then headed back to our hostel in Medellin. Although it did take 4 hours of transport time, it was well worth it and we would recommend it to anyone.

The Details


  • Walk to and from Metro from Parque Lleras: 4 miles
  • Walk Up and Down Hill: 1 mile
  • Climb Up and Down 600+ Stairs

Getting There and Back

  • In Medellin, take the Metro to the Caribe Station
  • Take the stairs, turn left, take the bridge to the Terminal del Norte bus station.
  • Find a bus to take you to La Piedra. We took Sotrasanvicente bus line.
  • Exit the bus at La Piedra when the driver announces it.
  • Follow the road behind the bus stop to the top.
  • To get back go back down the road to the bus stop.
  • Buy a return ticket from the dude manning it. He’ll point out the bus you’ll get on.
  • Get back on the Metro at Caribe Station to your destination

How Much

Activity USD COP
Metro one way $ .75 $1,350
Sotrasanvicente Busline one way $5.95 $11,000
La Piedra de Penol Entry $3.78 $7,000
Total for 2* $34.27 $63,400

*Take a bit extra for bathroom use!

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