The View From la Popa
During my February 2013 trip to Cartagena Colombia, I made a point to visit the Convento de la Popa.
The Convento was built in 1607 to honor Cartagena’s Patron, Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria. It stands atop a 500 foot tall hill, which gives it breathtaking views of the area. Its bright white walls can easily be seen atop the hill from long distances away.
The view to the left was shot from near the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, using a zoom lens.
To get to the Convento, you’ll want to take a cab. The road up the hill is curvy and full of switchbacks, and though one could probably walk it, it would be terribly taxing in the heat. Plus, you would have to walk through some pretty shady neighborhoods to get to the road. There were police stationed along the road up to the convent when I went, a reminder that this road may not be safe.
I paid a taxi driver to drive me up, wait, and then return me to the centro area. The rates given for this service vary widely between $20,000 COP and $40,000 COP (roughly $10 to $20 in US dollars) and probably depend a lot on your negotiating skills. I paid somewhere in between, and was fairly pleased with the deal I got.
There is an admission fee to get into the the Convento, at the time of this writing it was $8,000 COP.
The main entrance into the Convento puts you into a beautiful courtyard. From there, you can explore the various rooms and the chapel.
The chapel is dedicated to Cartagena’s Patron, Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria. The chapel is quite small, but inside you will find a beautiful golden altar with the Senora de la Candelaria in the center. The gold leaf, together with the red painted wood, make for a very beautiful altar.
But, the real reason many people come to the Convento is for the views. They are absolutely stunning. You can see for many miles in all directions, and get a spectacular view of the old city, Boca Grande, and many others. I’ve tried to capture those views in photos, I hope you enjoy them.
Please click the images for a larger version.