I have to admit that when I heard about the walk that Chris and I made with the Alianza Turística Valle del Cartama I was surprised. I’ve been living in Medellín for a long time, and I had never heard anyone say that they were going to visit La Pintada. According to me, La Pintada was nothing but a place you passed on the road between Medellín and the Eje Cafetero, which was very hot, that looked like hell, and maybe that people go to the ‘fincas’ far from the town to enjoy the pools.
In short: For me, La Pintada was not a touristic place but a strategic one; but if you give this young town on the Antioquean southeastern the opportunity, and you dedicate it some time, it will surprise you!
The first two things that will capture your attention are the Cauca River and the Farallón de la Pintada hill, and the longer you stare at the Farallón Hill, and its brother La Paz hill, the more you will be captivated by the surrounding scenery and the beautiful views that one can enjoy. I spent time seeing, admiring, and taking photos of the landscape and the sky from the terrace of the hotel Real Dinastía, from there it seems like the Farallón sat right in front of you.
So we decided to get to know it from a closer look, and we went on hiking around that strange mountain, leaving from the town La Pintada and returning to it. The hike is not very demanding, since it doesn’t have many slopes, but I recommend that you carry a lot of water because the air is dry, and the temperatures are relatively high.
A part of the trail is also through a dry forest, and our guide Simón told us that the forest around El Farallón de La Pintada lives some monkeys and various species of birds that can be observed. I was very excited when we saw an owl. The hiking was organized by Alexander Saldarriaga, the director of tourism for the municipality of La Pintada. If you ask at the hotel they will surely coordinate a walk with him.
The other great attraction at La Pintada is surely the Cauca River. The Cauca is one of the two most important rivers in Colombia along with the Magdalena River and separates the central mountain range from the western mountain range of the Andes.
There we went to meet artisanal gold miners, who told us their story and the danger they live in daily, and even, they taught me how to for gold myself, but yes: it is soooo difficult, and unfortunately I didn’t take anything. Don’t think that panning for gold is an easy task! Being an artisanal miner is very complicated, it is hard work to be every day with the water up to your knees in the river, enduring a hot and spicy sun to support their families, as Wilder and his partner told us.
Just above where the miners pan the gold, a very beautiful spectacle that cannot be missed passes daily on the old bridge: the arrival of the herons to the trees near the old bridge of La Pintada.
Another plan in La Pintada is to follow the road for a couple of kilometers towards Manizales and try your luck fishing. The Pipintá Canyon fishmonger is a very good place, not only to fish, eat delicious food and spend a nice afternoon with your family, partner or friends, but you can also walk down the trail to the Cauca and admire the Pipintá Canyon, named after an important and famous chief of the area.
Chris and I left La Pintada, Antioquia, wanting to go back to climb the Farallón de la Pintada, to see from there all towns that are members of the Alianza Turística Valle Del Cartama, and discover more about this Antioquean town, such as the descent by a tire in nearby rivers.