Visitors to Guatape, the lakeside pueblo two hours east of Medellin, Colombia, will find there are two main ways to cruise around the lake by boat.
First, you can opt for a large, slow boat with a bar and upper deck for dancing as you motor along. This is your typical party boat, and it's very cheap to get on board, though you do have to pay for drinks thereafter.
The second, more exciting option, is to hire a small motorboat to cruise at high speeds around the lake, taking in the views, wind in your hair. This option is much more expensive, but you can bring your own beer.
Walking around the lakeside area of town, you'll get the same “lake tour” pitch and price from all the guides. Approximately 80,000 pesos, or $44 for a one hour tour with a bunch of sites that you've never heard of….and Pablo Escobar's farm. Needless to say, Troy and I were chomping at the bit to see the former head of the Medellin cartel's vacation home, but we wanted more time on the water. Eventually, we negotiated with a guide for a 1.5-hour tour for 90,000 pesos, or $50.
Our little boat comfortably held four people, and we took off sporting colorful orange life jackets. As it turned out, the emphasis of the tour seemed to land squarely on the vacation homes of Pablo Escobar, his family, and his main drug cartel rival.