Asunción de Popayán is a colombian municipality, capital of Cauca department. It’s located in the Pubenza valley, between Central and Western Cordillera to the southwest of the country. It’s one of the oldest and best preserved cities in America. This city is well known for its colonial architecture that is still preserved, it has 236 blocks of Historic Sector.Popayán was founded in 1537 by the Spanish conqueror Sebastián de Belalcázar, who traveled to the south of Colombia in search of the mythical treasure El Dorado. During the Viceroyalty of New Granada, Popayán became a very important city due to the mining and commercial boom, and the arrival of Spanish families of lineage. In 2005, UNESCO declared Popayán the UNESCO city of gastronomy for its historical value and for being an intangible heritage of Colombians. In 2009, the Holy Week processions of this city were designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Travel tips for Popayan
If you have planned to move around the regions in Colombia, you might be asked to have the yellow fever vaccine. Other vaccines that you should consider -in case you travel to rainforest areas- are the tetanus vaccine and the hepatitis A/B.The electric current kind used in Colombia is 110-volt AC (110 V), with a frequence of 60 Hz. We recommend you to have a plug adapter if you travel to places that use other voltage to avoid that the electronic devices suffer a short-circuit and don't work.Because it’s a small city with very beautiful architecture, it would be perfect if you can walk among its streets so you can appreciate the details of its constructions. Touring the city at night is also very pleasant.
Best time to visit Popayan
The best months to visit Popayan are January, April and September. In January the carnival of Pubenza is celebrated, in April the Holy Week is celebrated with processions practiced since the 16th century, and in September the National Gastronomic Congress of Popayan is organized.
Climate in Popayan
The Weather in Popayan is temperate and its average temperature is between 57.2°F (14°C) and 66.2°F (19° C) throughout the year. The months of greatest precipitation are October, November and December.
Things to do in Popayan
Nightlife in Popayan
Location: Road 9 # 15 Norte # 10 - 177, Popayan Hours: unknown Price: unknown Disco with varied music, live shows and dj's guests. Sometimes they invite national and international singers to liven up the night. The atmosphere and the service is very good.
Delirio Disco Club
Location: Road 9 N. 4-42 Downtown of Popayan Hours: unknown Precio: unknown Disco located in the historical center of the city. It offers the best rumba and organizes events with invited DJs. Also, it has very attractive cocktails.
Where to eat in Popayan
La Cosecha Parrillada Restaurante
Location: Road 11 with 4N Street, Popayan Hours: 11:00am- 11:30pm Price: unknown Restaurant that offers very tasty grilled meats, ribs and salads.
Pio Pio Popayan- Restaurante
Location: Cl 6 8-67, Popayan Hours: unknown Price: unknown Restaurant that is dedicated to the sale of chicken in different presentations since 1971. The locals recommend to consume the Pio Pio and the salad.
The tourist places to see in Popayan are
Location: Between road 7 and 4th Street, Popaya’s center Hours: All day Price: Free entrance Downtown of Popayan, where the principal buildings and representative houses of the city converge. It stands out for having a beautiful view of the colonial architecture of the area.
Del Humilladero Bridge
Location: Carrera 6, Popayan Hours: All day Price: Free entrance Very old and beautiful bridge with historical value since colonial times. It connects the center of the city with the periphery. It is a must visit to understand the importance of Popayan during the colony.
The things to do in Popayan
Museum of National History
Location: Rue 2 # 1A-25, Popayan Hours: 9.00- 12:00pm and 2:00- 5:00pm Price: unknown Museum that has impressive collections of geology and dissected animals. It has the largest collection of birds exhibited in Latin America, and also exposes mammals, reptiles, fish and crustaceans.
Archdiocesan Museum of Religious Art
Location: 4th Street N. 4 - 56 Downtown of Popayán Hours: From Monday to Friday 9:00am- 12:30pm and 2:00pm-6:00pm, Saturday 9:00am- 2:00pm Price: unknown Museum with religious art pieces from the fourteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It has paintings, oils, engravings, among other very valuable objects related to religion. These pieces provide information about the history of the city.
Typical dishes in Popayan
In quechua it means cornbread. It’s produced with the mass of cooked corn. With this kind of bread is prepared the famous carantata soup, which has guata and yellow potatoes, and patacones of fried bananas.
Dessert created in colonial times, it’s elaborated with puff pastry and is cooked in the oven. Historians identify the influence of French pastry in its preparation technique.
How to reach Popayan
Popayan by train
There is no passenger train service currently operating in Popayán.
Popayan by flight
The city has the Guillermo León Valencia airport (formerly Machangara), in which daily flights are made to and from Bogota, and throughout the country.
Popayan by bus
The city has an urban public transport system and taxis with taximeters. The distance from Bogota to Popayan is 361.017 miles (581 km), and the approximate journey time is 13 hours 34 minutes. The approximate ticket price is 98244 COP. The distance from Medellin to Popayan is 338.647 miles (545 km), and the approximate journey time is 11 hours 47 minutes. The approximate ticket price is 92177 COP. The distance from Cali to Popayan is 85.1279 miles (137 km), and the approximate journey time is 3 hours 25 minutes. The approximate ticket price is 23878 COP.
Accomodations in Popayan
Villa Blanca Hotel
Location: 6th road # 0n52 Bolivar district, 190003 Popayan Price: From 40 000 COP Hotel located 9 km. from Santa Rita. It offers accommodation in spacious and comfortable rooms with flat-screen TV and private bathroom (with bath and shower). It has a living room, 24-hour reception, Wi-Fi and free private parking.
Location: 6th Street # 5-30, 190003 Popayan Price: From 60 000 COP Hotel that offers rooms with flat screen TV, private bathroom with shower, and free WiFi. Also, they have a 24-hour reception.
Hotel Popayán Inn
Location: 8th road # 7-53 Downtown, 190003 Popayan Price: From 65 000 COP This colonial-style hotel is located 8 minutes in car from Guillermo Leon Valencia airport and 400 meters from Nuestra Señora de la Asunción cathedral. It offers rooms with a flat-screen TV, patio, private bathroom (with bath and shower), and free toiletries. Also, the reception is open 24 hours and has free WiFi.
Santa Maria Hotel
Location: 15th road N° 18n – 430 Adjacent to Centro Comercial Campanario, 005721 Popayan Price: From 98 000 COP Hotel located in the Cauca that offers rooms with flat screen TV, private bathroom and free WiFi. Also, they have a 24-hour reception, a restaurant and hairdresser, and offers free parking.
Important dates in Popayan
Carnavales de Pubenza
From january 4th to january 9th
Carnival celebrated every year in order to pay homage to the racial diversity of Popayan. It celebrates the carnival of blacks and whites, that was created during the slave era, commemorating the day of the kings.
Popayan Short Film Festival
It’s one of the most important short film festivals in Colombia. It congregates colombian producers to show their work.