Introduction

This sleepy colonial town is the region's oldest settlement and was once the capital of Antioquia. Founded in 1541 by Jorge Robledo, the clock stands still at 1826, the year the government moved to Medellín. Because it was eclipsed for so long by its neighbor 80km southeast, its colonial center never fell to the wrecking ball and today it looks very much like it did in the 19th century. The narrow streets are lined with whitewashed houses, all single-story construction and many arranged around beautiful courtyards. You'll also see elaborately carved – and typically Antioquian – woodwork around windows and doorways.

It makes a great day trip from Medellín. Don't miss sampling pulpa de tamarindo, the beloved sour-sweet candy made with tamarind from the surrounding valley.