Discovering Colombia: its 5 most ancient cities

calle de colores colombiana

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Would you go back in time? What a fear! Well, it’s really scarier what’s to come, after all, you know the past. We can’t go into the future, but we are going to try to move you into the past by introducing you to Colombia’s most ancient cities. Do you like the idea of visiting palaces and colonial houses?

You may think that these are remote cities, ghost towns with unknown names, but no! Colombia’s most ancient cities are precisely the most known cities in the country.

Santa Marta

The city of Santa Marta is not only Colombia’s most ancient city but of all South America! It is surrounded by exuberant nature and offers amazing sunsets. Its streets are charming and full of bright colors.

Cathedral historic center Santa Marta Colombia

The truth is that, unfortunately, Santa Marta is many times a dormitory city from where go to Lost City and explore Punta Gallinas. It’s true that the mysterious Lost City deserves to be visited, and to have an experience in Punta Gallinas is unforgettable, but don’t forget Santa Marta, poor her.

Cartagena de Indias

Also known as ‘La Heroica’, it was founded in 1533. It is said that it is the most beautiful city in Colombia and we cannot deny it. One of the best plans to do in Cartagena is as simple as walking through its streets and contemplating its imposing walls and its colonial architecture.

Architecture Cartagena de Indias Colombia

Its attraction goes beyond being one of Colombia’s most ancient cities. In Islas del Rosario you can enjoy nature in its purest form. After a tour through the Pirate Island, the most paradisiacal island, take a dip in its crystalline waters. Doesn’t sound bad at all, does it?

Santiago de Cali

Third Colombia’s most ancient city is the epicenter of trade and tourism in the Pacific. It is known for the warmth of its inhabitants and the love for salsa. It is a welcoming city that has managed to merge the modernity of the most technological cities with the colonial style.

Historic center Santiago de Cali Colombia

Without a doubt, the best thing about Cali is the atmosphere. The music doesn’t stop playing and many festivals are celebrated, such as the Petronio Alvarez pacific music Festival or the International Art Festival. You can also ask about the Cali’s Fair, get ready to dance!


Known as the white city of Colombia, Popayan was founded in 1537. The most fascinating thing about it is its colonial architecture, represented in imposing churches and large houses painted entirely white. With its cobblestone streets, it seems that time has not passed in Popayan.

Cathedral historic center Popayan Colombia

It is a UNESCO city of gastronomy since 2005 and its Holy Week, besides being the oldest celebration in the country, is considered Immaterial Heritage of Humanity. What a trip to Colombia awaits you!

Santa Fe de Bogota

Right, the country’s capital is one of Colombia’s most ancient city. Bogotá is also the largest city in Colombia and stands out for its amazing cultural offerings. It has a beautiful historical center that concentrates many museums that gather the most interesting of each region, from the Upper Guajira to the Amazon.

We tell you some curiosities about the city:

  • Bogota comes from Bacata, a word that means Lady of the Andes.
  • It is known as the Athens in Colombia due the large number of cultural activities that offers.
  • It counts with more than 5.000 parks!
  • It’s a very high city, it’s over 2.300 meters of altitude!
  • Maybe it’s confusing because it’s streets doesn’t have names, but numbers.

Cathedral historic center Bogota Colombia

We have brought you Colombia’s most ancient cities, but not only that. They are cities with an amazing charm and whose particularities will make you forget when they were founded. What we mean is that you will not remember them for their year of construction, but for their rich architecture, their charming streets, their delicious smells, their rhythm and their people. Do you agree?


Journalist, nomad and adventurer. Paula would never say no to a camping trip and is an expert in setting up a tent in less than 10 seconds.

Besides that, she loves to dance and maybe that's why she loves Latin America so much. One of her best trips was to Argentina, but she has many more destinations behind her, which she talks about in this blog.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks a lot you answered my questions that I had.

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