Guatapé, a picturesque town known as the Pueblo de Zócalos, for the beautifully sculpted and hand painted 3-dimensional decorations that depict various scenes of village life, and adorn the lower half of nearly every building in the town’s historic center. We wandered this charming city with our new friend Sammy (the dog), constantly impressed by the detail and variety of the decor, yet remained oblivious to the fact that this quaint town happens to be one of the most important electric production centers in the country (due to the hydro-electric dam).
Sammy (see below) led us on a delightful tour of the city’s art, before suggesting we relax on an outdoor picnic table at a small, locally owned restaurant. We indulged in a typical Colombian lunch consisting of a meatball soup, deliciously seasoned carne asada and amazingly tender chicharrón served with beans, rice, pickled radishes, a sweetcorn arepa, a savory fried plantain, and tomate de arbol juice–all for 6,000 COP ($3).
The weather suddenly turned cloudy and brisk, so Sammy suggested we meander through the colorful streets towards the peaceful town center, and book our return tickets to Medellin. As we waited for our bus, we were told that on the weekends the boardwalk fills up with vendors selling local art, clothing, and snacks to Colombian tourists, however, most restaurants, stores, and museums were closed due to the timing of our midweek visit.