A Day in Popayán: Exploring the White City

Popayán, known as Colombia’s “White City” due to its well-preserved white colonial architecture, is a charming destination worth exploring if you have a day to enjoy its rich history, culture and natural beauty. Although one day may not seem like much time, this southern city offers a memorable experience. Here is your guide to making the most of your day in Popayán.

Morning: Discover the History and Architecture

8:00 AM – Breakfast in Centro

Start your day with breakfast in one of the cozy cafés in downtown Popayán. Try the traditional empanada with hot chocolate or a high quality coffee from the region. This will give you the energy you need to explore the city.

9:00 AM – Visit the San Francisco Church

Your first stop should be the impressive San Francisco Church, one of the oldest in Colombia. Admire its baroque façade and go inside to contemplate its impressive interior, full of religious artwork and architectural details that will transport you back in time.

10:00 AM – Walk through the historic center with the Free Walking Tour.

Walk through Caldas Park, the heart of Popayán. Here, you will find the imposing Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Clock Tower. Take the opportunity to take pictures of the iconic white houses that surround the park and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the city. This free walking tour lasts approximately two hours and will take you to the most iconic places of the historic center. Although it is a free tour, a tip is suggested for the guide who accompanies you.

Noon: Gastronomic Delights

12:00 PM – Lunch

For lunch in the center you will find different options from the menu of the day to a la carte dishes. Try the delicious regional food, such as empanadas de pipián, tamal de pipián, Salpicón de Baudilia and Champús.

Afternoon: Art, Culture and Nature

2:00 PM – Guillermo León Valencia Museum

Head to the Museo Guillermo León Valencia to explore the rich history and culture of the region. The museum houses an impressive collection of colonial art and exhibits that tell the story of Popayán and its people.

3:30 PM – Stroll around the Rincón Payanés

Take a stroll through the Rincón Payanés, a charming place with beautiful gardens and small enterprises representative of the city. This is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the local atmosphere.

5:30 PM – Sunset at Morro de Tulcán

To enjoy a panoramic view of the city, climb the Morro de Tulcán. Here, you will find a beautiful view where you can appreciate the beauty of the city of Popayan. The hike is not long and the reward is worth it, especially at sunset.

Night: Dinner and Nightlife

6:00 PM – Dinner at Tiuspa Café, Centro de Paz

Tiuspa Café offers a unique dining experience in a historic setting. Taste traditional dishes with a contemporary twist and enjoy different dishes with a taste of peace. This place is a peace center because it brings together initiatives of communities affected by the armed conflict in one place. To eat here is to contribute to peace in Cauca. You can also join the weekly activities offered by the place.

9:00 PM – Tour the Zona Rosa (Pink Zone)

To experience Popayán’s nightlife, head to the Zona Rosa known as Boulevard. Here, you will find bars and cafes with live music and a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a drink and learn more about Popayán’s nightlife.


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