Guatape is a colorful wonder of the Andes, full of culture, clear water, and gigantic granite boulders. It’s a hub for watersports enthusiasts and a quiet escape from the bigger, noisier cities. Backpackers come here for thrills, chills, and intensive nature therapy. 

Backpackers fly into nearby Medellin and take the bus to nearby Guatape. It’s close enough that many hostels offer shuttle service from Guatape to the airport, which can save backpackers a pretty penny. There are also taxis in the area for travelers willing to pay substantially more in exchange for a direct trip.

Anyone traveling Colombia by car will find plenty of parking at and around most local hostels. The area is far enough removed from industrialized city hubs that space isn’t at a premium. 

Check out also: Best Hostels in Medellinhostels medellin

This resort town is best known for the man-made lake surrounding it, the Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir. It’s huge and popular for its excellent fishing, scenic islands, kayaking, and essentially every watersport imaginable, including parasailing. Naturally, swimming and sunbathing are always in vogue.

The surrounding hills also offer many attractions, and the area’s granite bedrock is showcased by the Piedra del Peñol and Marial Stone, both giant rocks that offer splendid views. If none of that appeals, then the area’s magnificent waterfalls will still enchant visitors.

There is a fantastic range of hostels around the town, many in renovated historic buildings. They cater to backpackers looking for a fun night out, watersports fans, and even families traveling with children. Each offers unique benefits.

Happy Buddha Hostel and Lodge

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from $7 / 18-dorm 4.2/5 Map

Highlights of the Hostel:

  • Nightclub
  • Bar
  • Café
  • Mini-Supermarket
  • Outdoor Terrace
  • BBQ
  • Private Refrigerators and Safes
  • Swimming Pool
  • Cable TV

Conveniently located and filled with some of the friendliest hosts around, this highly social hostel provides dorms and private rooms equipped with everything a busy traveler needs to enjoy their stay. Although it’s a little further from the center of town than some other hostels, it provides a vibrant atmosphere and attractions all on its own.

The outdoor pool gives guests a chance to meet, play, and spend some quality time in the sun. Great food is just a few steps away in the hostel’s café, and since private rooms come with their own refrigerators, backpackers can keep their own snacks and ingredients on hand for 24-7 nibbles.

Private room guests enjoy free breakfast, and all three main meals are available for any guest to purchase. Staff are happy to help arrange tours, answer questions, and work with guests to ensure the best possible visit. The Happy Buddha chain also provides shuttles to their sister location in Medellin, so backpackers can take the next step of their adventure with ease.

Lake View Hostel

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from $6 / 8-dorm 4.4/5 Map

Highlights of the Hostel:

  • Outdoor Terrace
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar/Restaurant
  • Towels Included
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Bike Rental
  • Self-Catering Facilities
  • DVDs

A night at Lake view Hostel comes with not just a comfy bed, but also fantastic views! The name is a true reflection of the hostel’s best feature. Guests can enjoy the view as they relax for the evening, taking some time to unwind in the hostel’s bar or fantastic Thai restaurant. Adventurers are never far from the water.

The town center is only a few minutes’ walk away, too. With both the water and the region’s cultural hub so close, backpackers have their choice of entertainment. 

Thanks to their affiliation with Colombia Getaway, Lake View Hostel makes it easier than ever for guests to get out and take in the best of Guatape’s natural splendors. Whether visitors prefer land-based adventures like truck tours, mountain biking, and hiking or they’d prefer to hit the water right away, they have access to experts with the best advice and guides.

Colombia Getaway offers everything from kayaking and parasailing to waterfall repelling. There’s never a shortage of adventure here, and the view keeps guests engaged with their adventure for the duration of their stay. 

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Casa Kayam Hostal Y Residencia Artistica

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from $7 / 8-dorm 4.8/5 Map

Highlights of the Hostel:

  • Professional recording studio
  • Skate ramp slackline
  • Acrobatic tissue
  • Outdoor Terrace
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Towels Included
  • Airport Transfers
  • Luggage Storage
  • BBQ

Less than thirty minutes’ walk from the town center, this hostel is a unique haven for travelers and artists exploring the world. It frequently hosts traveling musicians and artists who add to the hostel’s incredible atmosphere.

Space is comfortable, friendly, and designed for traditional backpackers looking to save money while enjoying the experience of a lifetime. Unlike many other hostels in the area, Casa Kayam is also kid-friendly! Visitors of all ages are welcome provided they travel with adults.

Casa Kayam Hostel offers several dorm types in addition to private rooms for two with space for a cot or additional sleeper. Families and solo travelers alike are welcome, and the warm ambiance makes a perfect setting for cooking meals with new friends and soaking in the sun on the outdoor terrace.

It’s easy for travelers to shop and cook on their own, and since the hostel caters particularly to artists, there’s always space for creatives to work on their music, sketches, novels, etc. Travelers who enjoy art-making it or simply soaking it in – need to check out this creative oasis in paradise.

Galeria Guadape Hostel

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from $14 / 6-dorm 4.7/5 Map

Highlights of the Hostel:

  • Lake Access
  • Free Breakfast
  • Linen Included
  • Cafe
  • Games Room
  • Free WiFi
  • Common Room
  • Outdoor Terrace
  • Cable TV

Location, location, location! This hostel offers stellar views of the water, the countryside, and even the big rock. Guests don’t have to go far to reach the waves, either. Galeria Guadape is set right on the lake!

Big windows in most rooms – including the dorms – keep visitors close to nature during their stay. As they enjoy the views, guests can enjoy their free breakfast. Vegetarian options are available!

In addition to direct access to the dam, Galeria Gaudape has its own pier, leading guests directly into the reservoir. Although it’s just five minutes off the main road, the hostel is closest to nature, and it’s a watersports-lover’s dream. Forested islands and the big rock rise out of the reservoir, an easy boat ride away.

Naturally, being so close to the water makes it easy to paddleboard, kayak, and take advantage of all the other attractions on the lake. The hostel offers its own kayak rentals, and the tours/travel desk is always ready to help visitors go parasailing, find a boat tour, etc.

Casa Encuentro Hostel Boutique

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from $16 / 8-dorm 4.4/5 Map

Highlights of the Hostel:

  • Free Breakfast
  • Bar
  • Café
  • Free WiFi
  • Airport Transfer
  • Towels Included
  • Bicycle Hire

An old farmhouse with private lake access, this hostel offers a picturesque stay visitors are sure to remember. The town of Guadape is an easy, scenic walk that takes no more than 15 minutes, and the lake is right on the hostel’s doorstep.

Colorful, warm, and designed to encourage dialogue and relaxation, this hostel aims to give travelers a glimpse into the vibrant cultural heart of Colombia. The hostel even offers bicycles for hire to help guests explore the town and surrounding hills. It’s a healthy, nurturing break from the hustle, bustle, and smog of big cities, a place to commune with nature and make new connections. 

The magical setting is made even better with great food. All guests get free breakfast, and they can enjoy gourmet food at the café throughout the day. Once they’ve eaten, the water awaits. Whether guests want to take a quick dip or engage in some serious watersports, they always step out the door prepared for a great day. Coming back in the evening isn’t a loss, either! The friendly staff and charming atmosphere will make any guest want to stay forever.

Casa Rosa Hostel

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from $7 / 8-dorm 4.7/5 Map

Highlights of the Hostel:

  • Free WiFi
  • Common Room
  • Security Lockers
  • Board Games
  • Fridge/Freezer

This charming little hostel occupies an old, renovated house just steps from the center of Guadape. The bus stop is nearly as close, so no visitors need to bother with a taxi to get to their beds.

Guests can choose between private rooms and traditional dorms. All have access to the hostel’s incredibly unique common room, a tent-covered courtyard that lets guests enjoy and socialize in the fresh air regardless of the weather. 

Although it’s a little farther from the shore, this hostel is ideally located for travelers with heavy bags, travelers arriving by bus, and visitors interested in soaking up the exceptionally colorful town culture. Being in town has other advantages, like quick access to the local bars and discos for a night out.

There are plenty of restaurants around, too! The town center offers plenty of watersport vendors with rentals and tour booking facilities, so even though the hostel isn’t on the lake, it still has plenty to offer tourists looking for adventures around the man-made lake.

More about Guatape..

Guatape’s lake attractions draw the most attention, and they alone are well worth visiting for, but the town offers much more. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed, and since the region is very used to tourists, they offer plenty of amenities and services that make it easier to relax and plan the next step of the journey.

It’s also one of the most colorful towns in the country, famous for its bas-relief artwork that covers houses around the city center. Simply walking from the hostel to the store is a vivid, unique experience.

Watersports are not the only reason to visit Guatape. The area is a natural gem, filled with green hills stepping down from the mountains. The clear water flows down in stunning waterfalls, many of which hide just off the beaten path. Locals lead bike tours around hidden falls and scenic overlooks perfect for fit adventurers who need to give their wrinkly fingers a break from the water. 

Although the natural wonders are always splendid, visitors hoping for more socialization should visit on over the weekend or in the summer to experience a better crowd.

The town has plenty of bars and discos for dancing and indulging in nightlife, not to mention a great spread of restaurants. Visitors will find not only local cuisine but also goodies like Thai and Italian dining, pizza parlors, burger joints, and classic little cafes with coffee and pastries. After a long day on the water, guests will be hungry enough to take advantage of them all!

It’s a beautiful little city with stunning scenery and more to do than any backpacker could hope to accomplish in a single visit. It’s a place for thrill-seekers, foodies, and travelers looking to reconnect with nature. Everyone experiences the wonders of Guatape in their own way.