Mention La Popa to any Cartagenero and he will invariably turn dreamy eyed. Visible for miles around on Cartagena’s highest hill (150m high), the Convento de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (as it is officially known) was founded in 1608 by an Augustinian monk who, delirious from fasting, had a vision/hallucination that the Virgin Mary ordered him to build a monastery on Cartagena’s highest point. As legend has it, Father de la Cruz destroyed the temple the Indians had built to honor their idol (a golden goat called Burizago) which the monk tossed down what is referred to as the Goat’s Precipe (Salto del Cabron). Devout Colombians flock to La Popa to view a compelling image of the beloved La Virgin de la Candelaria, the patroness of the city, in the convent’s chapel. For non-believers, the gorgeous cloister and courtyard awash with shocking-pink bougainvillea, and the superb panoramic views of the city below, are worth the visit alone. The main road snakes up to the convent (no public transportation) and while there are paths (it takes around 25 min. to ascend), it’s advisable to take a taxi (pickpockets and armed robberies have been reported). Expect to pay around COP$45,000 for the round-trip journey; always negotiate.
Convento de la Popa
Cerro de la Popa
Our Rating Hours Daily 8am–6pm; June and Sept daily 10am–4pm; July–Aug daily 9am–5pm Phone 5/666–2331 Prices COP$9,000 adults, COP$6,000 children
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.