Guatape is a town and municipality in Antioquia Department, Colombia. Part of the subregion of Eastern Antioquia. Guatape is located in the outskirts of Medellín, bordering a reservoir created by the Colombian government for a hydro-electric damn, 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.
It was once home to Pablo Escobar, the famous Cocaine druglord, it was a dangerous place for both foreign visitors and local population. Following his death at the hands of the Colombian government working with U.S. special forces. The guerrilla later initiated operations in the area and later paramilitaries. 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. Escobar's home is now a bombed out shell that is easily viewed from the lake.
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 "Rock" that borders the lake is an unexplained geological phenomenon. With 2/3 of its height below ground, the exposed vertical face is over 200 feet 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 300 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.
Luxury living in a bucolic, shoreline setting in Colombia ; Town at reservoir gets boost from increases in home prices in Medellin
May 10, 2013; NICK FOSTERInternational Herald Tribune05-10-2013Luxury living in a bucolic, shoreline setting in Colombia ; Town at reservoir...