By JD


There is a legend that long ago a priest was sitting on the top of “The rock of two heads” as it was called in the 1800’s by the Indians.

This rock is in the valley of Marial and at the time this priest was serving in a small town called Peñal.

A Phoenix appeared to the priest and warned him that his village was in danger.

“One day the blue dragon will come and destroy your village you must warn the people. You must warn them so that you know and they know.. that I have spoken and that you and they will believe in me.”

Time went by and nothing happened.

Then in the 1900s a priest was sitting on top of the same rock and had a vision from the Virgin Mary and she said to him, “You must warn the people that the blue dragon is coming and the village is in danger.”

It was not long after that, the village was flooded and had to be moved to what is now called, “The New Peñol.”

The name of the rock was then changed to, “The rock of Marial” in honor of the Virgin Mary’s prophecy.

There is a stone marker to identify the location of the priest when he was visited by Mary.

It has been said by locals when images were taken of the town from satellite the flooded lake resembled that of a blue dragon.

It is in this small town that we begin our adventure for the day.

We first climb the rock with two heads.

The path is narrow.

The path has high elevation and many steps. From this vantage point you can easily see the “Two heads.”

We keep climbing.

And climbing.

And climbing.

It took us about 45 minutes to get to the top.

There was a simultaneous feeling of exhilaration and awe when we reached the top.

After the rejoice, you realize you have a view of the entire world.

The view of the valley is breathtaking.

Because of the religious significance of this rock a church was built at it’s base.

Catholic services are held here regularly.

Interestingly enough there is an endless supply of water that streams in one place only from the rock.

Catholics feel this is holy water because even during extreme times of drought in the city this water has “Never, ever..not even once run dry or stopped.”

Why stop there? If you can climb one rock then why not two?

We head over to the rock called “The Rock of Guatapé ”

Back in the car we hit the road. The countryside never ceases to intrigue.

Eventually we make it to “The Rock of Guatape.” Located in the town and municipality of Guatapé.

At its highest part, it has an elevation of 2,135 metres (7,005 ft) above sea level.

Those numbers don’t really mean anything until you start the climb.

And you keep climbing.

And climbing.. Just know that you may have to take several breaks on the way up, there is an emergency station in the event that you feel sick as well as an emergency phone number to dial.

There comes a point at which you wonder if you’re ever going to reach the top and you look down and see this.

Is it an encouragement? Is it a warning? A mystic message? After so many flights of climbing.. the lines begin to blur between your own imagination and the reality that- your climb is not over.

We didn’t find out what the numbers on the steps meant until midway up.

It’s how many steps you have taken.

But the view when you get to the top is absolutely worth it.

After the long climb we stayed for the glorious sunset and felt rewarded and exhilarated at the same time.

Light snacks at the top go along way to refresh and refuel after the journey upwards.

It’s not until you come down and look up do you realize the magnificence and the grandeur of the journey you have just taken. This is a must do adventure when visiting Medellín Colombia.