West Route | Sun & Fruit

by marcus

in Medellín Day Trips


Abriaqui • Santa Fe de Antioquia • Anza • Armenia • Buritica • Cañasgordas • Dabeiba • Ebejico • Frontino (Colombia) • Giraldo • Heliconia • Liborina • Olaya • Peque • Sabanalarga • San Jeronimo • Sopetran • Uramita

western antioquia medellin

Western Antioquia

This journey takes us to the banks of the Cauca River, a hot weather zone containing a wide variety of fruit trees and access to multiple spas, parks and swimming areas. Here the city of Santa Fe de Antioquia (Santa Fe), which was the capital of the department until 1826 can be found.

The old road to Santa Fe used to be the only way to get to the sun paradise of Medellin and it took more than 2 hours of winding roads to get there. In 2006, a new tunnel was built through the Antioquian mountains that now allows visitors and travelers access to the area in under one hour. The Fernando Gomez Martinez Tunnel is approximately 2.86 miles and joins the western region of the country with the Uraba region. This new tunnel is the longest and most modern tunnel in Colombia and Latin America. It is equipped with cutting edge security technology and even has its own radio station that can be heard while traveling through it! Tune in to 106.9 while traveling through the tunnel.

After travelling through the tunnel, you will exit off the main road to arrive at the town of San Geronimo. This is also the way to the beautiful colonial town of Santa Fe de Antioquia.


There are many ecological tourism options in San Geronimo including places like La Alacona, Espadas & Aburra brook as well as El Cidral where archaeological remains can be found.


* Founded in 1541 by Jorge Robledo.

Crossing the Cauca River and arriving in beautiful colonial Santa Fe takes you back in time to a period of narrow cobblestone streets, single-storey whitewashed homes, ornate painted wooden balconies and homes with gigantic doors. This town is the regions oldest settlement and one of the best preserved due to its rich heritage. Because Santa Fe is situated in a low lying valley, the temperature is nice and warm most of the time and many families from Medellin come here for vacations, weekends and holidays. During the week (Monday – Thurday), the town is uncrowded and rooms are easy to come by as most of the tourism takes place on the weekends and holidays in Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Vendors line the Plaza Mayor (central square) and sell mainly food items and an assortment of tropical and exotic fruits including tamarindo, mango,


1. Basilica Cathedral – The Basilica Cathedral is a central theme at the town square (Plaza Mayor). It was the first church in the region and was constructed between the years of 1797 to 1836 after a fire destroyed the original place of worship. Although the white-washed church is in disrepair, its nostalgic beauty holds true to this day and one should not miss the opportunity to take a tour of the church inside. The misa (mass) is held mornings and evenings and on Sundays @ 11:00 a.m. *The church is open for the better part of the day on Sunday.

**Other notable churches to see are Iglesia de Chiquinquirá, Iglesia de Jesús Nazareno, Iglesia Santa Barbara, Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, Capilla de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Capilla de San Juan Nepomuseno (Iglesia = church, Capilla = chapel)

2. Puente de Occidente (Western Bridge) – The “Bridge of the West” is located between the municipality of Olaya & Santa Fe de Antioquia. It was designed and constructed by Jose Maria Villa starting on December 4, 1887 and was completed on December 27, 1895. It was the longest suspension bridge in South America at the time and built entirely of wood except for the supporting cables. It was open to automobile use in 1922 and the bridge was declared a national monument in 1987. *Extensive rehabilitation of the bridge occurred both in 1955 and 1995.


Many people visit Santa Fe as a day trip as it is now just one hour from Medellin. However, there are more than a dozen hotel/hostel options for those travelers that want to stay overnight in order to experience more of the city. This especially holds true of couples and many of the hotels advertise specials for this purpose.

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