After our interesting bus journey from Cali we arrived in Popayan, a beautifully clean and white looking city towards the south of Colombia. Popayan has a very safe feel to it and there are a number of hostels located either near the main bus terminal or near the historic centre.
The city itself can be easily seen in a day, but there are a number of nearby excursions to be had so you can easily spend a couple of days exploring the area.
Our main reason for visiting Popayan was to use it as a base for seeing nearby places of interest, such as, the indigenous Silvia market located an hour and half away and San Agustin, a little town surrounded by large stone sculptures.
In Popayan we stayed at the Hosteltrail hostel for a couple of days, whilst deciding where to go next, as we wanted to see both San Agustin and Tierradentro, a small indigenous town surrounded by underground tombs with paintings.
The hostel offers an array of information on local transport and places to visit, and we soon worked out that San Agustin and Tierradentro were both around a 6 hour’s bus travel from Popayan but set 7 hours apart from each other, on supposedly very bad roads.
I myself do not travel very well on buses normally, so the thought of these extended rides on windy bumpy roads had me running for the nearest chemist for some travel tablets.
After weighing up the route we decided to head to San Agustin first and then see how we got on from there. If the route was doable we would head onwards to Tierradentro, if not we could head back to Popayan for a night before heading onwards to Pasto.