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Walking tour of Popayán

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Stroll through the elegant white-washed Spanish colonial streets of unspoilt Popayán in southern Colombia.  

No two walking tours of Popayán will be the same, but that is all part of the charm of this city, which is relatively unused to tourism and still playing things by ear.

It is certainly one of the continent’s great colonial masterpieces, ranking easily alongside Arequipa in Peru, Cuenca in southern Ecuador and Bolivia’s legislative capital, Sucre. Like these noble cities Popayán has the gravitas of a long and distinguished history, but is also a modern, forward looking place in love with music, art and learning.  There are several universities, so the place is usually buzzing with young people strolling through the squares and congregating in the cafés and bars.

Popayán  was off the map for visitors during the epoch of guerrilla activity but now it is a peaceful and optimistic city with plenty to offer the sight-seer. Following sever earthquake damage many of the stately buildings were restored with deference to the Spanish colonial style, all washed in brilliant white, fringing the original grid of narrow streets.  

Depending on your guide and the time of day, you’ll pop into some of the many baroque churches, there are eight in the centre including five in one block. But you also gain access to some of the stunning colonnaded courtyards of religious buildings now housing anything from college offices to prisons.  There are some interesting museums: tell your guide if you have a special interest in visiting any of them – and to cap it all a superb panoramic view from the top of Tulcán hill.

Colombia
San Agustin, Popayan and Cali

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Jamie Swan
    Jamie Swan - Travel Consultant

    Jamie backpacked across Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil before joining us; he has a degree in politics and is also a keen sportsman..

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

Meet the team