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El Peñon De Guatape Is The Most Epic Way To 'Take The Stairs'

08/25/2014 07:00 am ET

Such is the case at El Peñon de Guatape, a monolithic, 10-million-ton rock in the Colombian backwoods. After a group of friends scaled the rock in the 1950s using nothing but a wooden plank, someone got the bright idea to build a staircase of about 600 stairs in the rock's singular, gaping crack.

And we have to thank them, because while our stomachs pretty much explode at the thought of such a narrow ascent, the views from the top -- of Guatape's meandering lakes and lush islands -- are unfathomably epic.

el peñón de guatapé

el peñón de guatapé

el penol

piedra del penol

el peñón de guatapé

el penol

El Peñon De Guatape, also known as El Peñol, is about a two-hour bus ride from Medellín, Colombia's second-largest city and a popular tourist spot. Upon arrival, you can pretty much walk right up to the rock and pay a minimal fee to climb the zig-zagging stone staircase.

At El Peñol's summit, you'll find a three-story viewpoint tower (you can apparently climb to its roof, if the preceding hike wasn't nauseating enough), souvenir stands, "religious relics" and beer.

Some visitors suggest taking a nap at the top... and we can't say we blame them.

el peñón de guatapé

el peñón de guatapé

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