Welcome to Popayán


Founded in 1537 by Sebastián de Belalcázar, Popayán became an important stopping point on the road between Cartagena and Quito. Its mild climate attracted wealthy families from the sugar haciendas of the hot Valle de Cauca region. In the 17th century they began building mansions, schools, churches and monasteries. In March 1983, moments before the much-celebrated Maundy Thursday religious procession was set to depart, a violent earthquake shook the town, caving in the cathedral's roof and killing hundreds.

Popayán is now home to numerous universities, and the streets of its old center are filled with students in the daytime.


Top experiences in Popayán

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Travel guides

Starting at $26.99

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Popayán activities

$230.51 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Green Colombia - 17 days - Travel Itinerary

Travel Package according to the following itinerary:Day 1: Arrival in Bogotá and private transport to your hotel in the old town.  Day 2: Take a flight to Pitalito and start the discovering of San Agustín and surroundingsDay 3: Full day tour to the archaeological parks of San Agustín and IsnosDay 4:  Tour to the archaeological sites of La Chaquira y el Tablón in the morning. In the afternoon, private transport to Popayan.Day 5: Full day tour to the Puracé natural park where you will discover a Paramo ecosystem and see wild condors from very close by.Day 6: Tour to visit the indigenous market of Silvia in the morning. Private transport to Tierrandentro in the afternoon. Day 7: Full-day archaeological tour of the Tierradentro park.Day 8: Private land transport to the Tatacoa DesertDay 9:  Full-day tour to discover the Tatacoa DesertDay 10: Private Transport To The Coffee ZoneDay 11: Full-day tour to discover the towns of Salento, Filandia and The Cocora Valley Day 12: Coffee Tour in the morning & private Transport To ManizalesDay 13: Full day tour to the Laguna del Otun in the Parque de lo Nevados Day 14: Bird Watching tour in the morning & flight back to Bogotá in the afternoonDay 15: Immersion tour In Bogotá (full day)Day 16 : Full-day tour to visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira and the sacred lake of GuatavitaDay 17:  Private transport to the airport of Bogotá so you can catch your flight back home. The quoted price includes:– All local flights– Transport, tours, and accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary– Breakfast in each hotel– 24/7 support from the Lulo Colombia staff– The use of one of Lulo’s mobile phones on your trip– A local SIM card with emergency credit– A travel application with access to all details of your trip The quoted price does not include:– International flight– Travel insurance– Not mentioned services and meals

$23 Spa Tours

Coconuco Biking & Thermal Springs

Guests are collected from the Hosteltrail at 10am and driven to the indigenous mountain village of Cocouco (2,650m alt.) where they can bathe in the hot thermal waters. After a time in the springs, jump on the bikes and start the 30km leisurely ride back to the hosteltrail (1,700m alt). The route is mainly downhill on a paved road with very little traffic. This trip is designed for those with limited experience of cycling - there's no guide and so you can take as long as you wish to ride back to Popayan. This really is a great way to see some beautiful Colombian countryside, contribute to the development of an indigenous community and stretch your legs as well!

$270.64 Day Trips & Excursions

Day trip to San Agustin

At 6am you are picked up from your hotel in our comfortable SUV and from here we drive over the mountain pass - heading through the Paramo area at 3,200m altitude and dropping back down into the valley of the river Magdelena.  If the weather conditions are good in the mountain we should be arriving into San Agustin at around lunchtime. The driver can drop you at a restaurant in San Agustin for you to have some lunch (not included) or alternatively he can drop you at the main archaeological site (10USD entrance fee and optional guiding fee is not included).  The main site usually requires between 2 to 2.5 hours to look around.Upon returning to the car, you will then be taken to the Village of Isnos to see the second Archaelogical site (Alto de los Idolos) which has no additional fee.  After an hour in the Alto de los Idolos we then begin the return journey to Popayan - arriving anywhere between 4pm and 7pm depending on the road condions.   An optional overnight is also available for those who wish to divide the journey over two days.

$243.58 Day Trips & Excursions

Day trip to Tierradentro

At 6am you are picked up from your hotel in our comfortable SUV and from here we drive over the mountain pass - heading through the Paramo area at 3,200m altitude and dropping back down the mountain to arrive at the village of San Andres de Pisimbala.  If the weather conditions are good we should be arriving at Tierradentro by around 10am. The driver will drop you at a the entrance to the main archaeological site (18USD entrance fee and optional guiding fee is not included).  From here, you will have time to visit the small museum before embarking on the trek to see the following sites - Segovia; El Duende and El Tablon. After approx 4 hours the trek will take you to the village of San Andres where you can have something to eat in one of the local restaurants.After the stop in the village, you can continue onto 'El alto de San Andres' before returning to the village so we can begin the journey back to Popayan.The trek to visit the 5 main sites requires between 4-5 hours and is a distance of around 8km. An optional overnight is also available for those who wish to divide the journey over two days.

$360 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Cali to Purace National Natural Park 2-Day Tour with Admission

Parque Natural de Puracé is located in the Andean region of Colombia, southeast of the city of Popayán in the Cordillera Central range.Day 1: (B, L)Depart Cali in the very early morning in order to arrive at the park in time for breakfast. Then visit the Andean condor viewing rock for an opportunity to see the 'king of the sky' above the mountains (generally, there's a 50 percent chance of seeing one). Watching this majestic bird soaring through the air above the cliffs of the Colombian Andes is an experience better than any souvenir from your trip. Afterward, explore the scenery of the park's ecosystem—the 'magical' Puracé Moorland, with its atmospheric mist above the San Rafael lagoon and the landscape of the San Juan hot springs. Next, have lunch and go to the hotel for leisure time. Day 2: (L)On your second day, visit the thermal pools of Coconuco in the morning for a relaxing soak, and then have lunch before returning to Cali to end your tour.

$133 Day Trips & Excursions

Cali to Popayan History and Culture Private Full-Day Trip

We will leave at 5:30am from the hotel in Cali in a comfortable air-conditioned car. We will be arriving to Popayán at 8:30 am where we will have breakfast.During the day we will visit the Colonial Religious Art Museum with its spectacular collection of paintings, silver works, and gorgeous sculptures. Also the Guillermo León Valencia Museum who was the president of Colombia in the middle of the XX century. House full of history and objects from the 18th and 19th centuries.Also the "Pueblo Patojo" a scale model version of Popayán and its most important Architectonic Spaces. Here we will decide which of the Churches and colonial hotpots like the Caldas Park, the Clock Tower, etc, we will visit in the historical downtown. We will have lunch at 12:30 pm in a nice restaurant and we will come back at 3:00 pm. The arrival to Cali will be at 6-7 pm approx.