Benedictine Monks in Colombia

One Sunday I went to a Benedictine monastery. Believe me, I wasn’t going to become a monk, but rather as a nice hike, to a beautiful place, with a lookout over the surrounding area. We happened to go on a Sunday, which meant that mass was being held. I have proudly missed attending a Catholic service for many years. I didn’t stay for the whole service on this day either, but the singing was truly beautiful.

 The monastery up in the Colombian hillside.


On this particular Sunday we asked the hostel staff for a nice walk that wasn’t too long. He suggested walking to the monastery. It was only about 40 minutes from the hostel, but the road, which was essentially a back-country road, was really busy this day. We realized upon arrival that everyone was going to the same place we were, they just had chosen a different mode of transport.


You’re going to need a view if you’re going to be silent for so long!


I wouldn’t recommend going to the monastery on a day where there isn’t a service. It’s beautiful there, but there isn’t a whole lot to see. The main attraction was definitely the mass, complete with the famous choir.

Look Mom! I’m practicing to be a monk.


The monastery was situated on top of the hill with a viewpoint of Guatape and El Peñol below. It was a beautiful location, and we just happened to be lucky enough to hear the famous Benedictine choir singing.  Check out the video below.

A video of the famous and beautiful singing of the Benedictine monks.

How to Get to the Monastery:

The monastery is about an hour walk from the town square of Guatape. To get to Guatape go to the North Bus Terminal in Medellin, and find the stand for Guatape. Buses leave approximately every hour from 7am-7pm and cost about 8000COP depending on the company you choose.  The trip is about two hours to the Guatape town centre.  From there you can take a tuk-tuk to the monastery, or you can hike. Once again, I’d recommend going on a Sunday.




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