Known as the “Mother City”, Santa Fe de Antioquia is adorned with beautiful colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, colorful wooden windows everywhere you look and the majestic Puente de Occidente.
Santa Fe de Antioquia is on the list of Network of Colombian Heritage Villages, a place full of history and culture; it is considered “the cradle of the paisa culture and the mother of the Antioquia department”.
In this guide you will have the necessary information to visit this adorable small town.
Discovering Santa Fe de Antioquia
Founded with the name of “Antioquia” on December 4, 1541 by Marshal Jorge Robledo in the same place where a mining town that was called Santa Fe was originally located; only until 1584 it began to be called Santa Fe de Antioquia, due to the merger of the city of Antioquia and the town of Santa Fe.
Bear in mind, the average temperature in Santa Fe de Antioquia is 23 ºC (73ºF) and the dry season is between December and March.
How to get to Santa Fe de Antioquia
The town is located in the western sub-region of Antioquia, bordered on the north by the municipalities of Giraldo and Buriticá, on the northeast by the municipalities of Buriticá, Liborina and Olaya, on the east by the municipalities of Olaya and Sopetrán, on the south by the municipalities of Ebéjico, Anzá and Caicedo, and on the west by the municipalities of Caicedo, Abriaquí and Giraldo. In addition it is located approximately 58 kilometers (36 mi) north of Medellín.
Take a 1,5-hours flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to José María Córdova International Airport (MDE) at Rio Negro city. Once in Rio Negro you take an approximately 3,5-hours ride (56 Km) to Santa Fe de Antioquia.
Where to stay in Santa Fe de Antioquia
There you will find numerous accommodation offerings for all budgets and personal tastes; our recommendations for you are:
- Mariscal Robledo Hotel, a colonial-style hotel in the historical center.
- Casa Bixa Hotel Boutique, which includes a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and garden and a sun terrace.
- Hotel Santa Barbara Colonial, a lovely colonial mansion.
Santa Fe de Antioquia Attractions and Activities
1. Walk through the historic center
We recommend that you start the tour in the central square, having as a starting point the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which is a construction of the nineteenth century and you will fall in love with its unparalleled beauty.
As you walk through the streets you can appreciate different restaurants where to taste the traditional local dishes and delicious desserts. In addition you will find small fruit and handicraft markets.
2. Visit the municipal house of Juan Antonio Mon y Velarde
It is currently the town hall which has an imposing architecture. There you will be able to enjoy its garden and appreciate its beauty walking or taking a seat in the central part of the house.
3. Photographic session of the house of the Gómez Martínez family
It is one of the most recognized houses of Santa Fe de Antioquia and you will be able to recognize it by its majestic walls made of stone, brick and real mixture.
Being one of the largest houses, it is also the most used as a photographic scenery for tourists, so do not miss the opportunity to take a beautiful picture in its imposing wooden windows.
4. Visit the churches of Santa fe de Antioquia
Temple of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá
You must walk to the Plazuela de la Chinca 3 blocks from the main park, there you will find the Martinez Pardo Park where the church is located. The church of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, built between 1863 and 1868 is well known for its neoclassical architecture with baroque details.
Santa Barbara Church
This beautiful church made of stone is located next to the religious museum, inside is the altar of the Virgin of Anguish with her son in her arms after being taken down from the cross. You will fall in love with its internal and external beauty.
5. Visiting the museums of Santa Fe de Antioquia
One of the museums that you cannot miss is the Juan del Corral Museum where you will be able to learn about the history of the city and appreciate pre-Columbian pieces of the region. Admission is free of charge.
Another museum you can visit is the Francisco Cristóbal Toro Museum of Religious Art, where you will see important works of the colony, pieces of gold and silver work. In addition to having 2 beautiful rooms, a room dedicated to Mother Laura and another to Holy Week in Colombia.
6. Visit the bridge Puente de Occidente
One of the most popular attractions in town. Just 5 km from downtown you will find this architectural jewel of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, considered one of the most important ancient engineering works of the country. It is 291 meters long, allowing you to cross Cauca River.
7. Outdoors and Nature Activities
Among other activities you can do in Santa Fe de Antioquia are the following:
you can make a tour through the town on horseback, you can also cross the western bridge above or below the western bridge, where the horses will allow you to be in contact with the Cauca River.
With the help of a guide you can hike in the nearby or rural areas of the town; you should bring comfortable clothes and hydration for the hikes.
There are 2 important rivers near the town, Cauca and Tonusco, where you can do this aquatic activity; there you will have the opportunity to live a pleasant moment with all the protection and security of the case.
Visit to a vineyard
Visit the Sicilia Vineyard, which is located 45 km from the town. When you arrive at the vineyard you will have the opportunity to learn about the whole process of harvesting and production of high quality wines.
When you finish the tour you will be able to enjoy a glass of wine and if you wish you can stay in the beautiful facilities or take an afternoon of relaxation in a Wine spa.
Make a wonderful tour both in the cobblestone streets of the town and in the rural areas; each tour lasts approximately 4 to 5 hours accompanied by a guide.
Paragliding and hot-air balloon flights
Since there are high points in the mountains around the town it is possible to do these activities. With the support of specialized guides you will have a magical experience of paragliding or hot-air balloon flights over the valley of Tonusco.
Important events in Santa Fe de Antioquia
If you wish to visit Santa Fe de Antioquia during the holy week season you will be able to appreciate the beautiful cultural representations of this religious town happening during these dates. The processions are performed by faithful parishioners who respectfully interpret each role with the utmost respect and devotion that this date deserves.
Los Diablitos Festivity
At the end of each year, to be more exact the last 9 days of the year, the Fiesta de los Diablitos is celebrated; where different people dress up as striking devils with wide clothes and elaborate paper hair; they interact with the public that observes them in their daily parades through the center of town.
Santa Fe de Antioquia is a small town that will make you fall in love with its cultural offer and the quality of its inhabitants, you will also get to know the roots of the paisa people. Plan your trip with us!
About the author
Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.