Situated just under two hours away from Medellin, the former capital of Antioquia, Santa Fe is a sleepy town filled with colonial history. The climate is much hotter and humid compared to Medellin due to its low altitude (the elevation is only 500 meters) from sea level.
The center of Santa fe has many beautiful narrow cobbled streets with many single story whitewashed houses with stylish window guards in bright colors. The woodwork carving around the doors and windows are very typical of Antioquian architecture. There are a few beautiful churches worth visiting to admire the architecture.
How to get to Santa Fe from Medellin?
The best and cheapest way to go to Santa Fe is to take the bus from Terminal de Norte in Medellin. The bus tickets cost anywhere from 10,000 Pesos (if you buy in advance through BusBud website) to 15,000 pesos if you buy at the terminal (window 25). The bus drops you off near the center of the town. It is best to book accommodation in advance of your visit. There are plenty of hotels offering special weekend rates for couples. Or if you are traveling solo check out Nomadicstay website for a few good listings.
Our favorite place to stay in Santa Fe is Casa Mesabe which provides an all-inclusive stay with food and room. They also have two large indoor swimming pools.
Once you settled in make sure you walk around the center of the historical town. But start your day early in the morning as it is hot and humid between 11 am and 3 pm.
Here are a few recommended things to do:
- Visit the main cathedrals – Santa Barbara and Catedral Basílica
- Check out the food market – Try the green Avacados,
- Try the Japanese style of cafe preparation at Cafe Canelo
- Hotel Mariscal Robledo for some beautiful antique collection of bicycles, photography, gramophones, rotary telephones etc
- Visit the Museo Juan del Corral (free entrance) – artifacts of indigenous inhabitants
One iconic site of Santa fe is the wood and steel Western Bridge built across the river Cauca. This bridge was built in the 1800s by local engineer José María Villa (who also worked on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge), You can catch one of those moto taxis (called Tuk tuk in Asia) from the center of the town to see the bridge. It will cost you about 20,000 pesos to go and come back. You can cross the bridge either by walking or by moto taxi.
There are a few nice paths to walk in Santa Fe de Antioquia. One such walkway is located just outside the center and it goes in the direction of Medellin. It was recently constructed for both walkers and bikers. You can enjoy the nature along the way.