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Day 8 – Popayán

We started early morning from Cali, taking a taxi to the bus terminal (COP 6,600) and catching the 7am bus to Popayán. Having been informed by our hotel staff to catch the ‘Expreso’ bus, we were told that there are no express buses to Popayán at that time; and that the bus will make multiple stops along the way. It took three hours (COP 16,000 per person) to reach the bus terminal, located about 1.5 km from our hostel. Although it could have been a quick walk, we had booked the bicycle tour starting at 10 am, and our us reached the terminal at 10:10 am. That made us take a taxi to the hostel!

Having checked-in, we were all set to take the tour and luckily for us, we were the only two people on the tour, it being the day after Christmas.


HostelTrail Hostel


Breakfast included: No.

Address: Carrera 11 No. 4-16, Popayán
Phone: +57 314 696 0805
Email: popayan@hosteltrail.com
Website: www.hosteltrailpopayan.com

The de-facto place for every backpacker to stay, HostelTrail is managed by a Scottish couple who owns Popayán Tours and is well-known for their English-speaking guides and tours they offer around the South American continent. Located on Calle 4, just a few meters walking distance from the main square, this is the best place to stay if you’re on a budget. Considering a major tourist destination in Colombia, Popayán has a lot of hotels and hostels, but HostelTrail is value for your money.

We got a double bed room (two separate beds) that was comfortable and not-so-big. It was good enough for two adults without any tables or desks to keep stuff on, but had a decent-sized closet. A single bathroom is shared between all the rooms on the floor.

Breakfast is not included in the price of COP 27,750 a night per person. The hostel has wifi that hardly worked when we were there.

The staff is extremely helpful and friendly; and keep the hostel secure by locking the front door.


[Lobby area]


Find cheap hostel


Bicycle Tour

There’s a separate post on the bicycle tour and how we met a local artist at the end of tour. Check it out:


Popayán Bicycle Tour Bicycle tour & meeting a local artist

  • Costs COP 50,000
  • Dip in the thermal waters
  • A 30 km downhill bicycle tour in the mountains, organized by Popayán Tours.
  • Met a local artist in a cafeteria, where we got invited to her home and had an experience and friendship of a lifetime.



Feeling satisfied and complete with the tour, we headed to the post office on Calle 4 to get the stamp of Popayán in our Postal Stamps Travelogue book.

Riding back to the hostel, we had a shower, relaxed for a while and headed out to explore the ‘white city’ just before sunset when the temperatures were down.

The best way to understand this town is walking around the small alleys, or perhaps sitting at Parque de Caldas, which is the central square. Popayán comes to life at night with all the monuments and buildings lit up giving it a very surreal and traditional touch.

Quite tired with the bicycle ride and walking around, along with a fellow traveler from our hostel, we had dinner at the Italian restaurant La Cosecha Parrillada.

[Popayan at night]

[Popayan at night]

[Popayan at night]

[Popayan at night]

[Popayan at night]



Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = COP 2200 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.

What Cost Notes
Taxi in Cali $3.00 COP 6,600. From Cali hostel to us terminal.
Bus from Cali to Popayan $7.27 COP 16,000 per person. One way.
Taxi in Popayan $1.81 COP 4,000 from bus terminal to hostel.
Bicycle Tour $22.72 COP 50,000 per person.
Lunch $5.91 COP 13,000 per person. At Sofi in Coconuco
Coffee & Hot Chocolate $2.47 COP 5,450 per person. At Estadero Don Luis
Dinner $7.84 COP 17,250 per person. Pasta and drinks at La Cosecha Parrillada.
Postal stamp $0.45 COP 1,000
HostelTrail $14.10 COP 27,750 (stay) + 7,500 (laundry) per person. One night. Double bed room.
Water & snacks $1.82 COP 4,000 per person.
Total Costs $67.39 Per person
Overall Costs $1,802.35 Per person


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Feria de Cali festival.

Day 8


Traditional colonial architecture of ‘White city’ & bicycle tour.

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Popayán to Cali to Medellin

Popayán highlights; Travel from Cali to Medellin.


Travel On The Dollar