Popayan, la Ciudad Blanca

I decided to visit Popayan on the flight Santa Marta – Pereira. I saw some pictures on the flight company’s magazine and thought  that I wanted to see this beautiful city by myself.

Popayan, located in the region of Cauca, is a small colonial city which was once the capital of Southern Colombia until Cali took it this honor. Popayan is famous for its white facades, that’s why people call it “La Ciudad Blanca”.

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Popayan is very easy to walk around, with many interesting buildings in terms of architecture like the National Theatre, San Francisco’s Church (one of the few buildings “not white” but arguably the most beautiful church in the city), the University (very beautiful courtyard and student atmosphere inside) or the Neoclassical Cathedral. I enjoyed especially la Capilla de Belén, a nice small chapel on the top of a hill with beautiful views over the city.

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Popayan has also nice restaurants and cafes, some of them located in historical buildings with nice inner patios where I stretched on my breakfast more than I should!  Definitely Popayan deserved the trip 😉

It is difficult to say which colonial city I preferred. I found Popayan most authentic, not touristy at all, but its white architecture did not help with pictures, especially when the sky was grey. Cartagena was a little bit “Disnelyand” but its colors and the sun made the difference for me.

From Popayan we travelled to Puracé National Park because we wanted to climb its volcanoes. We were not lucky with the weather, the day that we were supposed to hike it was raining very hard and the rangers did not let us go. We spent a very cold night in one of the park’s cabin, I think that we slept with all our wools on, lol . We left the following day, direction to Neiva. The road was very bad but at least it offered us beautiful landscapes.

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