From a distance, this 10 million-ton stone towering 650 feet above the Colombian town of Guatapé looks like two halves of a giant rock messily stitched together. Get closer and you realize that the “stitching” is actually a zigzagging staircase wedged into the crack running down the rock.
Once worshiped by the local Tahamies Indians, the rock—known as El Peñón de Guatapé—had come to be regarded as a nuisance until 1954, when a group of adventurous friends climbed it using a series of boards jammed into the crack. The ascent took five days, but the view from the top of the rock was so spectacular that it had to be shared. A 650-step staircase was installed in the crack, and El Peñón soon began attracting visitors eager to make the trip to the top. You, too, can climb to the summit after a three-hour bus ride from Medellín.
More stone-cold fascinating tales of rocks and boulders: