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Walking tour of Popayán
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.
San Agustin, Popayan and Cali
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Real Latin America Experts
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
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 Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.