Not many people rave about Popayan, but I thought it was lovely and deserves to be a more regular feature on travellers’ itineraries. This wonderfully preserved old town is surrounded by impressive colonial architecture and whitewashed buildings, with pretty little churches on every corner. Thanks to its popular university, Popayan has quite a young population, so is a great place for excellent cheap food and lively bars. A sleeping giant on the travelling circuit.
Popayan lies in the southwest of Colombia. It is a colonial-era city with mostly white colonial houses; that's why it is also called the "white city". It has a mild and pleasant climate but few touristy sights. Most people stop here en-route to San Agustin and/or Tierradentro. However, Popayan was once an important stopping point on the road between Cartagena and Quito. Today it boasts one of the oldest universities in Colombia.
Colombia's white city. Located a couple hour drive from Cali, it is a university center and was once one of the more important administrative centers of Spanish colonial rule. The old colonial architecture, and wonderful weather make it a great place to visit for a weekend. In addition to the historical value of the old city, it is has a vibrant university community which gives any visitor plenty of options for things to do in the evening
This is the city where you stay before going to Tierradentro and San Augustin, two of Colombia's most important archaeological sites. It's beautiful and colonial, but somewhat marred by traffic. Be sure to check out the mummies in the church of San Francisco - you have to ask the policeman to let you in.