- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
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!
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!