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So many beautiful flowers grow in and around La Ceja.

As we’ve gotten more settled in Medellin, we’ve been packing up the pups and making some quick weekend visits to nearby towns and cities in Antioquia province. The latest is La Ceja, a charming colonial town about 41 kilometers from Medellin. I’d seen the plural form of the noun before, “cejas,” on a sign for a beauty salon (cejas y pestañas – brows and lashes). Turns out, La Ceja is named for the topography of the surrounding hills, which apparently form an eyebrow shape. 

When our friends Dan and Clara invited us to bring up our “kids” and spend the weekend with them just outside La Ceja, we jumped at the chance. Dan and Clara are renting a house on a large and beautiful finca (country estate), about an hour and a half by car from our apartment in the city. Rosie and Tango had a ball playing with their new doggie friends, Susie, Penny, and Dino. 

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Beautiful poinsettia bush growing on Dan and Clara’s finca
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A stroll with the caninos down a country road
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Horse heaven!
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Rosie had fun with her new pup friends. This gentle giant is Dino.
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Pooped pups!
La Ceja fun facts
  • The area now known as La Ceja had been inhabited by the Tahamíes indigenous people for centuries until Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1541. The town was founded as La Ceja in 1789.
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Early settlers were blown away by the area’s vast and fertile valleys, green meadows, and abundant clean water. We see what they meant! This is very close to Dan and Clara’s home.
  • La Ceja is one of the centers for Colombia’s huge cut-flower growing and exporting industry, and the surrounding flower farms are the region’s biggest employers. In fact, we learned that most of the flowers for Medellin’s huge Feria de las Flores, held every August, come from La Ceja. 
  • La Ceja proper is a quaint town of about 55,000 with a friendly and low-key vibe, but one thing you won’t find is tourists. It seems completely off the tourism radar at the moment, but we predict that will change. There are only two hotels in town and not a t-shirt shop in sight. 
  • One thing La Ceja does have plenty of is bicycles; in fact, it’s estimated that each citizen owns at least two bikes. It’s the first place we’ve seen in Colombia where the pedal-powered two-wheelers outnumber motos (motorcycles), and there’s an abundance of bike repair shops.

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    The La Ceja main square is currently undergoing renovation. It’s going to be much more pedestrian-friendly when finished, just in time for the Flower Fair in August. The two-story colonial buildings house small shops and businesses.
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    La Ceja’s main church, the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Carmen. Completed in 1815.
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    Interior of the Basilica
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    For lunch, we enjoyed one of the best restaurant meals we’ve had since arriving in Colombia, at Restaurante Pimentos. Tan rico!!
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    A couple of the colonial-era buildings near the main square
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    Hola, señores! Like Colombians everywhere, the people of La Ceja are extremely friendly and welcoming.
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    Quick stop at a fruit stand. Beautiful and inexpensive produce!
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    Colorful doorway for this shop, Mi Chelada
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    With friends Dan and Clara (she recently had knee surgery)
Bonus stop: a roadside waterfall

On our way home, we made a lunch stop at a fabulous landmark, Tequendamita Falls. This beautiful waterfall is just off the main road about halfway between La Ceja and Medellín. It’s a real draw for visitors up from the city for the weekend, and includes an excellent restaurant. 

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Glorious Tequendamita Falls. It’s easily visible from the road.
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We slipped and slid our way to this little footbridge for a family photo.
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A beautiful orchid on the waterfall grounds
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I was enraptured by these plants, which look like giant Christmas Cactus. The bees love the flowers.
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Lunch stop with Juan Camilo, our friend and driver
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Photo courtesy Los Saltos Ecoparque

We really enjoyed our visit to La Ceja and look forward to our return trip. Something that we’ll need to explore next time is the nearby Los Saltos Ecoparque, home of more than 10 waterfalls. And we do love waterfalls! 

Ah, Colombia – such a beautiful country. And there’s so much to explore!

5 Comments

  1. Todd Wheeler Reply

    Looks like a nice little town and weekend getaway! Thx for the post!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Yay! We’re SO looking forward to meeting you 🙂

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