No, those aren’t stitches holding a mountain together. That is a flight of stairs. Believe it or not, the only way to get to the top of these mountains is by climbing up that treacherous flight of stairs.

What you’re looking at is the  El Peñon de Guatape, a massive rock in Colombia jutting up to a staggering 650 feet. With almost a step per foot of the climb, the stairs were originally erected by a group of friends using the crevices along the jagged edges of the rock in 1954. What we see here is the sturdier replacement that came later.

 

Over the years, a small economy developed around the rock. For a small fee, you can climb to the top and enjoy the brilliant view of the very many small islands that surround it.

This view was much different before the 1970s, when the area was damned and the view became a series of lakes and islands.

 

At its base and its summit are small markets where you can purchase food or any other local goods that catch your fancy.

On the north face of this stone, you can see the letters G and a half completed U. It was the result of a territorial pissing contest between the residents of Guatape and the rural population around El Peñol. It ended with the residents of Guatape trying to write their town name which was then stopped by an angry mob.