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Cauca, Andean South

Popayán

This colonial city situated at an altitude of 1700m (5600ft) is called The White City because of its many white charming buildings, numerous churches (San Francisco, Santo Domingo & La Hermita,...), traditional squares, courtyards & the famous Puente del Humilladero with the clock tower. You can even catch a glimpse of the snowy peak of the Puracé volcano in the background. Drink a coffee on the old main plaza called Parque Caldas, sit back & relax!

HIGHLIGHTS
PNN Puracé

Morro de Tulcán, pre-colonial pyramid now covered with earth where you get a nice view of the city = FREE. Not recommended to go @N! Pueblito Patojo next door consists of replicas of the city & the region’s own crafts.

Belén Chapel: visit this enchanting little church from which you'll have an excellent view over Popayán. Walk = 7min, follow the stairs from cll 4 # 0.

Silvia: a very charming typical Andean village where the locals (Guambianos) still wear traditional clothing. Market every Tuesday.

It's a good area to do some hiking up Guambia or the Valley of San Jose. Take a walk or ride a horse (next to the church) along the river. From the terminal: B = 1,30hrs, 7pp.

Coconuco: Aguas Tibias: is the nicest (11pp/D) & Aguas Hirviendo: is the hottest (6pp/D). They are 20min apart from each other, by jeep 7pp or motoT 4pp. B = 1hr, 3.5-6pp from 6am to 6pm, every hr. Crowded on the wknds.

Rent a citybike @Ecociclo (4/hr, 10/day) or join a tour to the hot springs of Coconuco where you are taken to the mountains by truck (bikes in the back). Take a bath in the springs before pedalling your way back, mainly downhill (30km/20mi). Tours start @10am = 45pp/t (min 2 pers). 
www.ecociclo.co, @cll 4 # 2-21.

Tierradentro: a historical archeological site with tombs & statues dating from the year 1000BC (UNESCO). B = 5hrs, 21pp.

ACCOMMODATION
ParkLife Hostel

HOW2GETTHERE
San Agustín = 4,5hrs, 30pp. Pitalito = 5hrs, 20pp. Pasto = 6-7hrs, 25-32pp. Cali = 2,5-3hrs, 14pp. Bogotá = 13hrs, 65-77pp. Ipiales = 8-9hrs, 25-38pp. Neiva = 8,5hrs, 45pp. Plata = 4hrs, 28pp.

TIP
UNESCOs 1st gastronomic city - Try Popayan’s traditional Colombian dishes.