During our time in Colombia we made a point of traveling to as many of the colonial towns on the country’s elite list of Pueblos Patrimonio as we could. In the end, we explored 13 of the 17 towns currently on the list. Here’s why you should too.

The Pueblos Patrimonios of Colombia

The Colombian government operates a program called Pueblos Patrimonio which recognizes towns in the country which retain a remarkable amount of Colonial architecture, living history, and thriving traditions. Here’s a travel snapshot of the 13 Pueblos Patrimonio in Colombia that we visited.

Villa de Leyva

Villa de Layva Colombia Pueblo Patrimonio

Villa de Leyva, Colombia.

Close to Bogotá, this extremely popular pueblo deserves more than just a day trip.

 

Santa Cruz de Mompox

Iglesia de la Concepcion - Mompox, Colombia

Santa Cruz de Mompox, Colombia.

Time stands still, history is alive and an important part of the essence of Colombia is at hand in Mompox (sometimes called Mompos). This riverside stunner is getting easier and easier to reach, so no more excuses.

 

Barichara

Barichara Colombia

Barichara, Colombia.

Our choice for most beautiful Colonial town in Colombia. Hands down.

 

Honda

street Honda, Colombia

Honda, Colombia.

Honda did not make a good first impression, but we warmed up (a lot) to a great boutique hotel and meaty alfresco dining in this steamy town.

 

Aguadas

Traditional hat weaver in Aguadas, Colombia

Aguadas, Colombia.

We spent  just a few hours in Aguadas, but that was enough to get an impressive look at the town’s hat-making heritage and get some video of the artists at work (below).

 

Santa fe de Antioquia

Parque Principal Santa Fe de Antioquia Colombia

Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia.

A creative vibe and a legit place in Colombian history make Santa Fe de Antioquia a top day trip choice from Medellin.

 

Salamina

Salamina Colombia

Salamina, Colombia.

The weirdest breakfast and tallest palms in Colombia can be enjoyed in and around Salamina.

 

El Jardin

Plaza Jardin Colombia

El Jardin, Colombia.

Outdoor adventure and one of the most charming plazas in Colombia await in El Jardin.

 

Guadalajara de Buga

Holy Water Ale cervesaria - Buga, Colombia

Guadalajara de Buga, Colombia.

Buga, as it’s usually called, is home of a miracle which pilgrims still come to celebrate. It’s also home to Colombia’s only Bed & Beer hostel with it’s own microbrewery.

 

San Juan Girón

Colonial Giron Colombia

San Juan de Giron, Colombia.

Called the “white city” because of the amount of whitewashed Colonial buildings, Girón offers good food and a charming little hotel as well.

 

Jerico

Jerico, Colombia

Jerico, Colombia.

Colombia’s first saint and its beloved traditional man bag are both from Jerico. And that’s not all.

 

Guaduas

Guadas, Colom,bia Peublo Patrimonial

Guadas, Colombia.

We did not spend the night in Guaduas, but we did tour through long enough to appreciate the town’s picturesque church and time-worn cobblestone square.

 

Monguí

Mongui Colombia Pueblo Patrimonial

Mongui, Colombia.

Altitude, Andes, and a whole lot of soccer balls–all in little Monguí.

Here’s more about travel in Colombia