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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.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    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 Sales team.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    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 an invaluable part of our Group Tours 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.

Meet the team