Concepción, Colombia is yet another scenic and historic colonial town that feels worlds away – but it’s only a two-hour drive from our home in El Retiro or from Medellín. We and our fur kids, Rosie and Tango, just spent a lovely and relaxing two days there, soaking up the fresh air and taking in the stunning natural surroundings with four other friends and their pups.
Although Concepción is not an officially-designated Pueblo Patrimonio (Heritage Town), it was declared significant to the “cultural and historical heritage of the nation” in 1999 by the Colombian government. It’s easy to see why, with the town’s quaint cobblestone streets and beautifully preserved colonial architecture. Interesting factoid: Concepción is also known as La Concha (since Concha is the nickname for the common girls’ name of Concepción).
A stroll through the main village of Concepción is like taking a step back in time. Because the town is tucked away in the northern Andes and not a crossroads to other destinations, it feels completely authentic and untouched by tourism. The city is making an effort to attract more visitors, though – here’s a great website describing all the points of interest.
We loved the colorful houses and winding cobbled streets, surrounded by hills in every shade of green. (Usual note: photos are in galleries – just click through to see larger versions of each.)
Harmony with Nature
You don’t have to go far from town to be immersed in nature. The countryside around Concepción is blessed with beautiful rivers and streams, numerous jaw-dropping cascadas (waterfalls) tumbling into crystal-clear charcos (swimming holes), and lush, green hills. On our first day, we took a beautiful hike into the countryside along the Rio Concepción. The next morning, our group ventured up to two separate cascadas: Matasana and Aguacate.
Concepción, Colombia is an easy drive from Medellín on a scenic and recently paved road. There are also regular daily buses from Medellín’s Terminal Norte (make sure you take the route through San Vicente, since the northern route through Barbosa has some unpaved spots).
We loved our stay at AthaKai, a beautiful riverfront eco-resort located just outside of town. The name AthaKai is derived from Sanskrit and local indigenous words that mean “the energy of now,” which perfectly describes the laid-back, peaceful, and close-to-nature vibe of this place. The welcoming host, Luca, a native of Italy, went all out to make sure our group was well-accommodated and cooked us two fantastic Italian dinners. He also arranged for a local tour guide, Nelson, to show us the sights in town. Oh, and AthaKai is amazingly dog-friendly – our four dogs were able to roam all over the property and swim to their hearts’ content in the river. Luca, we’ll be back!
FYI: The best way to book a stay at AthaKai is to contact Luca directly on WhatsApp: +57-315-354-7621.
(Photos courtesy AthaKai)
Coming soon: The Spain Adventure. Three times is a charm!