Taking the bus from Medellin to Guatape or La Piedra Del Penol is easy.
Follow these steps:
- Take the Medellin Metro to Caribe Station. Fare is about 2,000 COP.
- Get off Caribe Station and cross the pedestrian bridge to the North Bus Terminal. The bus terminal is viewable from the metro station.
- Buy a bus ticket to La Piedra or Guatape at one of the ticket booths (counter 9 or 14). There are a few bus companies that go to La Piedra and Guatape. I used Sotrasanvicente at counter 14 (prices may not be updated online). The fare is normally 12,000 COP to La Piedra and 13,000 COP to Guatape. Make sure to ask the ticket clerk from which gate the bus departs.
- Board the bus. The ride is about 2 hours. It’ll make a few stops on the way to pick up passengers at random stops. Try to sleep or enjoy the views.
- The bus goes to La Piedra first. The driver will usually stop at the base of La Piedra as there will be a few people sightseeing here. You can go up La Piedra and then up El Penon. The bus will then continue to Guatape.
- The driver will also make a stop at Guatape. Then he’ll continue until the final destination, probably San Rafael.
- To return to Medellin, just wait on the opposite side of the road where the bus dropped you off. When the bus approaches, wave it down.
The buses are microbuses. If you’re tall, you won’t have much leg space. The bus I took had assigned seats. When buying your bus ticket, ask if you can sit at the front or beside the bus driver (shotgun) for more leg space and a better view. Or ask the bus driver if you can sit beside him when boarding the bus.
There’s also a Terpel gas station, with several buses, across from the bus terminal. The gas station almost looks like a bus terminal; make sure not to go here.
Alternatively, you can take a tour to La Piedra Del Penol and Guatape. The good thing about the tour is you’ll see quite a few sights in one day. The bad thing is you’ll probably depart before seeing the sunset from El Penon.