Antioquia’s southwest was one of the first regions of Colombia to adopt coffee-growing as a core economic activity in the middle of the 19th century. That’s why you can find a strong coffee culture in several of its most representative towns. Visiting any of them is a trip to the past, to the times of colonization and expansion when Colombia was a nation in its infancy.
Almost two centuries of history have passed and today Antioquia’s Southwest has become one of the most important tourist destinations, not only for its coffee legacy, but also because each of these towns has a different personality and features that make them unique.
Founded between 1845 and 1848 by Don Santiago Santamaría and Bermúdez de Castro, in 1853 it adopted its name after the first city the Israelites found when arriving to the Promised Land. It is famous for the beauty of its colonial architecture and its colorful streets. Laura Montoya, a world-famous religious figure, was born in this town. Also called “Mother Laura”, she was canonized in 2013.
Founded in 1863, its main square was declared a National Monument in 1985. It is recognized for its many boutique hotels and Spas. It has two aerial cables, one handmade and a modern one. Both serve as a means of transport for local inhabitants and tourists. The typical dish is Trout, which you can even catch yourself a few kilometers from the town center.
The name “Fredonia”, was suggested by engineer Tyrrell Moore, of English origin, who hinted at the English word “freedom” (freedom) to designate the town. It was founded in October 1790 and is the birthplace of world-famous coffee icon “Juan Valdés”, whose real name is Carlos Sánchez and who became the official ambassador of Colombian coffee.
Founded in June 1848, the town’s economy is entirely based on coffee-growing activities. That’s why coffee culture and its traditions are present everywhere. One of his most famous inhabitants is Salvo Ruiz, father of the “Trova paisa”, one of the most popular musical genres of the region and who is deeply associated with Antioquia’s culture.
The original inhabitants of the town’s area where the indigenous people Embera Chaami. You can see 93 of the more than 300 petroglyphs that date back to pre-Hispanic times. It was founded in December 1858. It is said that the name of the town was suggested by one of its founders, Doña Rafaela Gómez Trujillo, who had visited England during her youth and proposed the name of the London river.
To visit the heart of Antioquia’s coffee zone you can’t miss our seven-day journey where we visit several of the most authentic and special towns of this mystical southwest .