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An update from Evaneos

Popayán (Colombia)

Practical information about Popayán

  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Museums
  • Place or Historical Monument
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
110km drive from Cali
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Popayán

Caroline Gourmaud Travel writer
221 travel articles

Overlooked by the Puracé Volcano, Popayán is a town situated in the Cauca Department, about 100km from Cali.

My suggestion:
Try a champús whilst you're there. It's a local cocktail made from pineapple, corn, cinnamon, cloves and lemon juice.

As with Cartagena, the town of Popayán is famous for its architectural heritage. It's said to be one of Colombia's most beautiful towns.

Nicknamed the Ciudad Blanca or 'White City', thanks to its white colonial buildings, Popayán is an artistic and historically important town. This white city is home to an eclectic mix of religious buildings, largely due to the influx of different religious communities, such as the Jesuits and Franciscans. 

As you're walking through the maze that forms the town centre, you'll find that Popayán has numerous historical buildings, which have been renovated following the catastrophic earthquake of 1983. The town boasts the 18th and 19th Century churches of Santo Domingo and San Agustin, as well as the Torre del Reloj and the superb Archdiocesan Museum of Religious Art. And once you've had a break in the Caldas Park, I suggest you head to the Municipal Theatre.

Once the sun goes down, the town springs to life with bars and restaurants livening up its streets. If you want to enjoy a bit of local life, you'll find bars and nightclubs that stay open until dawn. People live life to the full in Popayán!

Travel writer
14 travel articles

Nicknamed the 'White City', Popayan is a great stopover in the south of the country, particularly for visitors who love colonial architecture.

My suggestion:
Take a wander around the white streets of this pretty town and sit down with the locals for a meal in La Viña, a great little restaurant that serves tasty Colombian dishes.

We hadn't planned to do anything in particular during our trip to Colombia, other than laze around on the Caribbean coast. As we arrived from Ecuador, to the south, our first stop was the lovely little colonial town of Popayan, our plan being to wallow in warm, Columbian waters.

And it was the perfect choice, as Popayan's a town that's built on a human scale. With its impressive historical past, this fairytale 'White City's' town centre glitters under a sunlight that reflects off its immaculate white walls. We loved strolling from the church to the musuem along narrow streets in the heart of town and breathing in the local, Colombian life.

Popayan also provided us with our first taste of Colombian cuisine, which, like the rest of South America, is delicious and served in homely, welcoming restaurants. We discovered a great little canteen-style place called 'La Viña', where everyone meets up for lunch in a wonderfully relaxed setting. You must pay it a call!

Popayan town centre