Back to the Past – Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia


Santa Fe de Antioquia is a popular weekend getaway for paisas (people from the department of Antioquia) who are living in Medellin. They make the 50 mile (80 km) drive from the busy city to go back to the past and enjoy all of the things that have earned this town, founded in 1541, a place Colombia’s elite Pueblos Patrimonio network: colonial architecture and churches, cobblestone streets and a pleasing sense that there’s nothing much to do but grab a beer and soak it all in. You could travel there as a day trip, but we found reasons to stay.

Parque Principal Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

Parque Principal in Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia.

Getting to Santa Fe de Antioquia

On our way from  Medellin to Santa Fe de Antioquia, which was the first capital of Antioquia province before Medellin took over, we made a quick stop at the picturesque Puente de Occidente (Bridge of the West). When the bridge was finished in 1894, the 950 foot (290 meter) span which crosses the Cauca River, was the longest suspension bridge in South America and the 7th longest in the world. These days the bridge, which is a National Monument, has been restored but only light traffic (motos, small vehicles and foot traffic) is allowed to use it.

Puente de Occident Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

Puente de Occidente (Bridge of the West) was the longest suspension bridge in South America when it was completed in 1894.

Exploring Santa Fe de Antioquia

As we mentioned, the main reason to visit Santa Fe de Antioquia is to grab a beer and soak in the Colonial atmosphere. However, we do have a couple of recommendations about two specific things to do and see in town.

Plaza Santa Fe de Antioquia

One of many picturesque plazas in Santa Fe de Antioquia.

 

colonial architecture Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

Restored and preserved Colonial architecture like this is one reason that Santa Fe de Antioquia is part of Colombia’s Pueblos Patrimonio group of historic towns.

Jorge Robledo Ortiz is a lauded Colombian poet and the founder of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Not surprisingly, there’s a charming little museum dedicated to his life,  accomplishments and local legacy. For a glimpse or artists shaping modern Santa Fe de Antioquia, head for La Comedia. This bar and restaurant is a magnet for creative types and doubles as a movie theater. It’s a relaxed place to eat, drink, people watch, enjoy the excellent soundtrack and appreciate the rotating art shows.

Santa Barbara church Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

Santa Barbara church in Santa Fe de Antioquia.

colonial architecture Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

Colonial architecture, lovingly preserved, in Santa Fe de Antioquia.

In Santa Fe de Antioquia we stayed at the Hotel Mariscal Robledo which is located on a small plaza.It’s been in business since 1946 which explains why the place is filled to the rafters with antiques (or old dusty junk, depending on your POV). They offer a wide range of rooms, a big, inviting pool, and a tranquil atmosphere. But don’t take it from us. Actors Tara Reid and John Leguizamo are up on the celebrity guest wall, so there’s that.

view-sf-antioquia-colombia-hotel-mariscal-robledo

A church view from one of the patios at the Hotel Mariscal Robledo in Santa Fe de Antioquia.

pool Hotel Mariscal Robledo Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

The pool at the Hotel Mariscal Robledo in Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Piasas Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

Local paisas hanging out in Santa Fe de Antioquia.

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One comment on “Back to the Past – Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia

  1. Hello. Thanks for such a beautiful post. You have included so many gorgeous photos in it. Santa Fe de Antioquia is one of the most attractive places in Colombia. I have been there. It is truly amazing. However, high level of crime makes Colombia a very cautious country for international travel. Thanks a lot for the post!

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