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Antioquia: The town that seems to be taken from a fairy tale

Home / Travel Blog / Antioquia: The town that seems to be taken from a fairy tale
Antioquia: The town that seems to be taken from a fairy tale

She closes her eyes and imagines that you are walking through colorful streets. Where houses with angels, flowers and animals painted on their facades welcome you. You can open them now, you are in Antioch.

 

Antioquía is a small and peaceful town located among the hills of the province of Huarochirí, just 70 km. from Lima. It is also known among its inhabitants as the Holy Spirit town. This magical corner of Peru is known for having constructions with very cheerful and colorful facades. That is why they also call it "people of colors".

 

Among the varied figures that one can appreciate within its walls are the flowers, the farm animals, the constructions. The town is ideal to exercise your imagination and, incidentally, to take beautiful selfies with these works of art in the background. The best season to take advantage of Antioquia's glorious sunshine is between April and December. Thousands of visitors find the perfect photo thanks to the impressive daylight.

 

Where is Antioch?

Antioquía is located 76 kilometers from the center of Lima, in the province of Huarochirí and about 1,500 meters above sea level. This district was founded in 1935 and its capital is the town of Espiritu Santo.

 

The History of Antioch

How did the famous Pueblo de Colores begin? Everything arises from the need of the locals to recover the economy of their community. So, the idea of ​​producing more income was born, which would not only come from agriculture. This is how in 2004 a tourism development project of an artistic nature was born, which they called "Colors for Antioquia".

 

Immediately, the Center for Research, Education and Development (CIED), together with the inhabitants of Antioquia, called a contest in which the proposal by the Peruvian artist Enrique Bustamante was the winner.

 

In this way, the recovery plan of the town is given rise, in which the facades of schools, churches, houses and public spaces were painted by the winning artist. In addition, as part of Antioquia's economic and cultural development initiative, local residents were trained in tourist service areas to turn the town into a potential destination for travelers.

 

#TheDate

Currently, more than 120 facades of houses in Antioquia have been painted, repaired and completely refurbished. The History of Antioch

 

How did the famous Pueblo de Colores begin? Everything arises from the need of the locals to recover the economy of their community. So, the idea of ​​producing more income was born, which would not only come from agriculture. This is how in 2004 a tourism development project of an artistic nature was born, which they called "Colors for Antioquia".

 

Immediately, the Center for Research, Education and Development (CIED), together with the inhabitants of Antioquia, called a contest in which the proposal by the Peruvian artist Enrique Bustamante was the winner.

 

In this way, the recovery plan of the town is given rise, in which the facades of schools, churches, houses and public spaces were painted by the winning artist. In addition, as part of Antioquia's economic and cultural development initiative, local residents were trained in tourist service areas to turn the town into a potential destination for travelers.

 

#TheDate

Currently, more than 120 facades of houses in Antioquia have been painted, repaired and completely refurbished.

 

The Land of Colors

The history of Antioquia is an example of creativity to boost the economic growth of the town. In the 1990s, the Center for Research, Education and Development (CIED) was working to promote agricultural development in the area, when it realized that they needed to do something bigger.

 

Therefore, in 2003, they set the goal of attracting more visitors through tourism. In this way, the "Colors for Antioquia" project was born, with which they literally transformed this town into an art gallery. The first step was to make the population aware through plastic arts workshops, with experts who instructed the families of the town. Then, an international contest was held to choose the artistic design that the district would carry. Peruvian painter Enrique Bustamente was the winner. Thus, in 2004, the artist painted Antioch. He started with the schools, the church, the community hall, and continued with the houses and various public spaces.

 

Also, as part of the economic development initiative, the inhabitants of Antioquía were trained in tourist services, in order to turn the town into a striking destination for travelers. And yes they did amazing!

 

Weather in Antioch

One of the best things about Antioquia is its climate, which is warm for most of the year. The best time to visit this charming town is between April and December, when the temperature usually averages 22° C.

 

Tourist attractions of Antioquia

Here is a list of the best places you can visit in the district of Antioquia for a tour full of unforgettable experiences:

 

Holy Spirit Church

The central temple of the town of Espiritu Santo offers perhaps some of the most memorable postcards of the place, with its facade full of multicolored Andean designs. Inside this church there are small altars with golden motifs and a main altar with a large altarpiece.

 

Local Museum of Antioch

Near the Plaza de Armas you can also find a small but interesting museum with ceramics, old utensils and tools, samples of vegetables and animals, and even mummies.

 

Cerrito de Amancaes Viewpoint

One of the two viewpoints that Antioquia has. You can climb it from the city, admire the colorful houses along the way and, once at the top, enjoy an unparalleled view of the picturesque town and the green valley that surrounds it.

 

Cochahuayco

The town of Santiago de Cochahuayco is located 3 kilometers from the town center of Espiritu Santo. You can visit the beautiful Temple of Santiago de Cochahuayco, declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation, as well as the Processing Plant that offers a tour to learn about the area's agribusiness.

 

Qhapaq Ñan

In the Santa Rosa de Chontay area you can find one of the best preserved segments of the Xauxa-Pachacamac section of the Inca Trail or Qhapaq Ñan. On it you can go trekking and admire the landscape.

 

Lurin River

In the area you can also find this river surrounded by greenery. The pools on its banks are ideal for taking a refreshing swim, as long as the waters are calm.

 

Archaeological site of Nieve Nieve

Near the small town of San José de Nieve Nieve is this archaeological site that houses houses from the Inca era and even a cemetery. This town also boasts a beautiful stained-glass church and a viewpoint to contemplate incredible panoramic views.

 

What do we find in Antioch?

The main attraction of the Antioquia district is the Espiritu Santo community. It is a very quiet and picturesque place where you can relax and spend a family day in contact with nature. Walking through its streets is like being inside a beautiful altarpiece because the white facades throughout the town have been artistically painted with religious motifs, birds and multicolored flowers that give it a unique touch. We recommend you visit the museum and the tourist house where you can buy some beautiful souvenir crafts.

 

The most important traditional festivity in Antioquia is the Descent of the Kings (January 6). The entire town celebrates it with parades of typical dances and a big party in honor of the baby Jesus.

 

The main attraction of the Antioquia district is the Espiritu Santo community. It is a very quiet and picturesque place where you can relax and spend a family day in contact with nature. Walking through its streets is like being inside a beautiful altarpiece because the white facades throughout the town have been artistically painted with religious motifs, birds and multicolored flowers that give it a unique touch. We recommend you visit the museum and the tourist house where you can buy some beautiful souvenir crafts.

 

The most important traditional festivity in Antioquia is the Descent of the Kings (January 6). The entire town celebrates it with parades of typical dances and a big party in honor of the baby Jesus.

 

If you get hungry, in the town you will find several restaurants. Savor the typical dishes of the area based on shrimp and trout; in addition to jams, desserts and drinks made with pumpkin, apple and quince. If you want to stay a few days there are some accommodations available, you can even camp.

 

How to get to Antioch?

This beautiful district is located in the province of Huarochirí in Lima. To get there from the city center you should go to Javier Prado Avenue and continue east. After passing Camacho, turn right onto La Molina avenue and follow this road for 18 kilometers, until in Cieneguilla you come to a small oval where you must turn left onto Nueva Toledo avenue. From here there are no more detours and after traveling another 44 kilometers you will arrive directly at your destination.

 

With little traffic you could get to Antioquia in a little over 2 hours, so I recommend leaving very early. For most of the route, the road is paved, however, in the area from Huaycán to Chontay, there is a short stretch of undemanding trail of almost 5 kilometers.

 

What else can be done in Antioch?

Many people think that the only thing in Antioquia is its painted houses, but in reality it has several tourist places to visit and many fun activities, which, as we already mentioned, are aimed at enjoying nature and living a different experience. We can mention some of them:

 

Walk to the Amancaes Viewpoint

To get to the viewpoint you have to take a short 15-minute walk, where you can appreciate the town and the beauty of the entire valley that surrounds it from above, in the distance you will also see the neighboring town of Cochahuayco. Past the viewpoint there is a path that continues along the side of the mountain, if you like a bit of adventure you can follow it very carefully because it is narrow. This path will give you a different perspective of the landscape, although in the end you will discover that it doesn't really lead anywhere and you will have to go back the way you came... then don't say we didn't warn you!

 

Town of Cochahuayco

Very close to Espiritu Santo is the town of Cochahuayco. On the way you can make a stop to bathe in the river, do not forget to bring sunscreen and especially mosquito repellent.

 

Cochahuayco is known for its colonial Santiago Apóstol Church (cultural heritage of the nation), also because it has an artisan factory of juices, nectars and jams prepared with fruits grown in the area such as apples and quince.

 

From Cochahuayco you can start a walk of approximately 2 hours along the Inca Trail Capac Ñan (Qhapac Ñan); In this incredible route you will find a great variety of vegetation where the Huarango tree stands out, you will also be able to appreciate the wonderful view from several viewpoints and get to know the Tanquire archaeological zone.

 

Archaeological Site Snow Snow

This is a mandatory stop that you must do before visiting Antioquia (or when you go back to Lima). It is located about 22 kilometers from Antioquía, you do not have to deviate from the route and the entrance is a few meters from the highway.

 

The archaeological site is impressive and its buildings are very well preserved. It has several viewpoints located on top that allow you to observe the complex from various angles and the beautiful landscape that surrounds it. Here you can also see part of the Capac Ñan and many other nearby buildings.

 

Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

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