Jun 242016

Hi friends! Today I’m back with another recap of our adventures in Colombia! If you missed the first few posts you can find them here.

This time we’re talking about a day trip we took to Peñol and Guatapé! This was a bit of a drive outside of Medellin, but still in the state of Atioquia. This area of rolling hills and little streams was absolutely beautiful!


The water is green this time of year due to a certain type of algae that grows here. It was SO green!


We actually joked that it looked like the “dip” from the movie Roger Rabbit. Anyone know what I’m talking about?


It was sort of spooky looking!


Weirdly enough, I had spotted this same area from the plane when we arrived in Colombia, and took a picture because I thought the green water was really interesting. Who knew I’d actually be getting up close and personal with it a week later?


Once we arrived in Peñol, we met our tour guide who explained some of the history of this area. Apparently it used to be a thriving town, but in the 1970s the government flooded almost nine square miles of it to make room for a hydroelectric plant. The people of Peñol were against this idea and protested, but the government flooded the town anyway. The citizens of the area packed up all their stuff and moved to a neighboring town, and now they call themselves people of the Phoenix because they survived a hard time and made it out to the other side. They also built a replica of what the town used to look like so that people wouldn’t forget.


Side note: while exploring the town replica we found a Jack lookalike and couldn’t resist giving him some love. 🙂


After checking out the town and buying a couple souvenirs, we headed down to a boat that would take us on a tour of the area.



Fabio’s uncle, Juan Pablo, joked that he was Captain Morgan and asked for some rum (lol).


Then we set off into the green water. Eek!


Our tour guide explained that this cross was constructed to mark the spot where the old church from the town used to stand. It’s crazy to think that the whole town we had just seen was right here under the water!


Then our tour took quite a turn, as our tour guide pointed out this little hut where Pablo Escobar used to make international business deals. Yes, as in, cocaine drug lord Pablo Escobar.


I knew Pablo Escobar’s house was close to this area (I had read about it when researching which day trips to do) but I didn’t expect to start hearing about Pablo Escobar in the midst of this tour about the lost city of Peñol.

But before we knew it, we were boating past Pablo Escobar’s house!


It was pretty cool to see, even if it was just a bunch of ruins (I think our tour guide said it got bombed by the Cali cartel, but I don’t want to ruin season 2 of Narcos for myself by looking it up! Haha!)


Very cool!


Apparently this area is also very popular with celebrities because a short distance away we saw the house of the famous soccer player, James Rodriguez.


I wasn’t too interested in that fact, but the boys thought it was cool!

Overall we had a great boat ride and learned a lot!


After our boat tour was finished, we stopped for a quick lunch (more traditional Colombian platters) before it was time to in get our real exercise in for the day…


…climbing the giant rock of Guatapé!


This rock is a natural formation, and it has 740 very steep steps to the top.


At first I honestly didn’t think this sounded too challenging, but I didn’t realize how steep the steps were going to be! They sort of reminded me of staircases in Europe that have very steep and high steps. Phew – this was a workout for sure!

As we started climbing, the views started getting better and better.


Guatapé is just a short distance from Peñol, so it was cool to see the flooded areas from an aerial view.



Up and up and up we went! We had to take a few breaks to rest, and take pictures of course.



IMG_0866 (1)

After much climbing, we made it to what we thought was the top.


At this point there were a few little shops and restaurants where you could buy souvenirs or a cold beer. We thought we were done climbing, but then we noticed a small spiral staircase – sort of like a lighthouse – that would take us up to the very top. Alright then, up we go!

Finally, we made it to step 740! Woohoo!


The 360 degree views from that high up were pretty amazing, and made the climb so worth it.







After spending some time soaking up the scenery, it was time to climb back down, down, down.

Finally we made it to the bottom. So glad we conquered this giant rock!


Overall, I thought our day trip to Peñol and Guatapé was a lot of fun, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is booking a trip to Medellin and looking for some fun activities outside the city!

Question of the day: How do you feel about heights?

It was a little scary looking down from the top!

 Posted by on June 24, 2016
Jun 222016
Wedding Dress Shopping with Mom

This weekend I’m going wedding dress shopping with a small crew of bridesmaids and female family members, and I could NOT be more excited. I made an appointment at two dress boutiques, and we’re going out to lunch afterwords, so it should be a really fun day! Before taking everyone out to the stores though, […]

 Posted by on June 22, 2016
Jun 202016
Packing & Father's Day Fun at the Bay

Hellooooo, and happy Monday to you! Did you have a nice weekend? We were originally supposed to go to Montauk, NY, with some friends for the weekend, but once we started buying a town house, we realized we needed this weekend to get started on packing (especially since we won’t be around to pack next weekend, and then […]

 Posted by on June 20, 2016
Jun 172016
Favorite Things Friday!

Hi friends! We made it to Fridayyyy! Woop!! Did everyone have a good week? Mine was pretty excellent, the highlight of which was getting back into a normal routine with normal meals and workouts. After nearly three weeks away from home in places like Colombia, New Orleans, and Philly, I was so ready to get […]

 Posted by on June 17, 2016
Jun 152016
Colombia Part 3: Peacock Days & Salsa Nights

Hi friends! I’m back today with another recap of our adventures in Colombia! In case you missed it, you can get caught up with my first post about exploring Medellin and my second post about touring a Colombian coffee farm. Today we’re talking about the long weekend we spent at a finca, which translates to […]

 Posted by on June 15, 2016
Jun 132016
New Orleans & Philly

Hi friends! Hows everyone doing today? Sorry for my absence on Friday; I was traveling to New Orleans for work and wasn’t able to get a post up during my down time. Luckily I’m back today with a recap of my adventures! Thursday I flew into New Orleans late Thursday afternoon, and when I arrived I […]

 Posted by on June 13, 2016
Jun 082016
Colombia Part 2: Coffee Tour!

If you missed part one of my Colombian vacation, read that first! One of the things I really wanted to do during our trip to Colombia was visit a coffee farm. Although I’m not a huge coffee drinker (I probably have two or three cups a week) I do enjoy the taste of coffee and, […]

 Posted by on June 8, 2016
Jun 062016
Colombia Part 1: Medellin!

Hi friends! On Saturday evening, Fabio and I returned home from our awesome adventure in Colombia! I spent a ton of time yesterday downloading and editing photos from our trip, and today I’m excited to share part one of our recap! The first part of our vacation was spent in Medellin, one of the largest […]

 Posted by on June 6, 2016
May 252016
My Trips Around the World!

Hi friends! As you know, today is my first full day in Colombia, South America! (A coworker asked me if I was going to Columbia, South Carolina. Nope! Somewhat different. 😉 Haha!) I am very fortunate in that I’ve been able to travel to lots of really cool places over the years from Italy to Bolivia to […]

 Posted by on May 25, 2016
May 232016
Gill & Daria's Rainy Day Wedding

Another weekend, another wedding! Fabio and I are lucky enough to be attending seven weddings this year, and this past weekend we crossed another one off the list. Fabio’s good friend and fraternity brother Brian (aka, Gill) married his college sweetheart Daria on Saturday! Friday On Friday evening, Fabio and I joined Gill, Daria, and […]

 Posted by on May 23, 2016