50 miles north of the strikingly modern urban landscape of Medellín is a quaint, charming town called Santa Fe de Antioquia. With cobblestone streets, colonial houses and an irresistibly relaxed atmosphere it’s the perfect contrast with the skyscrapers, malls and booming nightlife of its famous neighbor.
Santa Fe de Antioquia was founded in 1541 and grew as a mining town, with gold mining being the major source of commerce for the village. In 1813, when Santa Fe was declared an independent state, Santa Fe de Antioquia was named as its capital, but remained so for only 13 years. In 1826, Medellín was to become the new host to the political and industrial hub of the area. Fortunately for visitors to the area, this left Santa Fe de Antioquia somewhat forgotten by modern industrial and urban development and, as such, the town still looks much the same as it did in the 1800s.
Santa Fe de Antioquia is a great place to visit on a day-trip from Medellín. The climate is slightly hotter than that in Medellín, and wandering the enchanting colonial streets is a great way to relax and escape the bustle of city life. From Santa Fe de Antioquia you can ride bikes or horses into the nearby countryside, admiring the rolling hills that decorate the area. You can also visit the impressive Puenta de Occidente, a Colombian landmark and one of the first suspension bridges in South America.