The best things to do in Popayan, Colombia are:

Visit the Cathedral

Popayan’s Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, is a must-see attraction in the city. The cathedral, built in the 18th century, is an excellent example of colonial architecture and is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the exterior and interior of the building, as well as the beautiful stained glass windows.

Explore the Historic Center

Popayan’s Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to many of the city’s most important landmarks and monuments. Visitors can take a stroll through the cobblestone streets, admiring the colonial-style buildings and stopping to visit museums and churches along the way. Some highlights of the Historic Center include the Palacio de la Inquisicion, the Casa del Marqués de San Felipe, and the Church of San Francisco.

Visit the Museo Arqueológico La Merced

The Museo Arqueológico La Merced is a must-visit for history buffs and those interested in the indigenous cultures of Colombia. The museum, located in the Historic Center, features exhibits on the pre-Columbian cultures of the region, including the Quimbaya and the Tolima. Visitors can see a variety of artifacts, including pottery, textiles, and goldwork, as well as learn about the history and customs of these ancient peoples.

Take a Day Trip to the Sotará Waterfall

The Sotará Waterfall, located just outside of Popayan, is a popular destination for those looking to escape the city and enjoy some nature. The waterfall, which is about 80 meters high, is surrounded by lush vegetation and is a great spot for swimming, hiking, and picnicking. Visitors can take a guided tour to the waterfall, which typically includes transportation and a guide.

Visit the Parque Nacional Natural Purace

The Parque Nacional Natural Purace is a must-visit for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park, which is located just outside of Popayan, is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, including spectacled bears, Andean condors, and pumas. Visitors can take guided hikes through the park, go birdwatching, or simply admire the beautiful scenery.

Experience the Nightlife

Popayan is known for its lively nightlife and there are plenty of options for those looking to party. Visitors can choose from a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues, with something to suit every taste. Some popular options include La Casa de la Cerveza, El Bar del Teatro, and El Cine Bar.

Take a Cooking Class

Colombian cuisine is delicious, and Popayan is an excellent place to try it. Visitors can take a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional dishes such as bandeja paisa, ajiaco, and tamales. Many classes are held in private homes, giving visitors a chance to learn about local culture and customs while they cook.

Go Shopping

Popayan is known for its traditional crafts, including textiles, pottery, and goldwork. Visitors can find a variety of handicrafts, souvenirs, and gifts at the many markets and shops throughout thecity. One popular spot for shopping is the Mercado Central, where visitors can find everything from traditional clothing and jewelry to local produce and artisanal goods. Another option is the Feria de Artesanías, a weekly market that takes place on Sundays in the Historic Center. Here, visitors can find a variety of handmade crafts, including textiles, pottery, and jewelry.

Take a Cultural Tour

Popayan is rich in culture and history, and visitors can learn more about it by taking a cultural tour. These tours typically include visits to important landmarks and monuments, such as the Cathedral and the Historic Center, as well as stops at museums and other cultural institutions. Visitors can also take a tour of the city’s traditional neighborhoods, such as La Merced and San Francisco, to learn more about the local way of life.

Overall, Popayan has a lot to offer visitors, from the beauty of the natural surroundings to the rich history and culture of the city. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, or just looking for a good time, there’s something for everyone in Popayan. With so many things to do and see, it’s no wonder why Popayan is a popular destination in Colombia.