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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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!