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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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Off the beaten track Colombia: San Agustin and the Amazon

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  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

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    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

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    Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

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    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

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    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.

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