Cauca Viejo, The Only Private Town in all of Colombia.

For our anniversary, we decided to rent a room in the only private town in all of Colombia, Cauca Viejo. We arrived just after the Semana Santa festivities to find a tiny, beautiful colonial town that is only accessible to the town residents and those who have made an advanced reservation.

We had traveled from Carmen De Viboral to Cauca Viejo through the back roads which instead of the 2.5 hours back through Medellin took us about 5 hours. However, we encountered so many beautiful vista points, waterfalls and villages that we would have never otherwise seen. We even picked up a man who was walking with two large plastic bags and drove him about 4 miles and dropped him off at his house.

Just before we got back on the main road, we were stopped by the police for the very first time in Colombia. Really they just wanted to talk to us about our travels. We sat there holding up traffic for a good 5-10 minutes while we picked the officer’s brain about places to go and things to see, where he was from and how long it would take us to get to any of the places he’d suggested we go. The other officer was sitting on a bench talking to some of the locals and said “They’re from Washington! The USA!” They were so excited to see travelers driving through and were genuinely interested in our vehicle because they never see them here.

After sharing information, we were sent on our way with smiles, waves and “que la vaya bien!”

We arrived to our destination a few short minutes later and were greeted at the town gate by the guard. He looked up our reservation and told us how to arrive at our accommodation.

Our first impressions were that the town is super cute and very traditional with cobblestoned streets and spanish colonial buildings surrounding a central park. The streets were clean and completely empty. It was a little strange.

We arrived at our accommodation and opened the gate. The property seemed completely empty, though we had been told that there would be someone there waiting for us. Our friend Adriana, who has been traveling with us since we picked Dusty up from the Port in Cartagena, walked in and started calling out for someone. We got the ok to open the gate and park. We drove in and were immediately greeted with a beautiful view of the river just beyond the property line, a beautiful pool and Jacuzzi. There was a pool table, a beautiful courtyard with garden and a ping pong table. We were taken to our room and told that we were the only people there for the evening and that we had the entire run of the place. It was beautiful.

We then went to dinner, took some beautiful pictures of this empty town and retired early to bed since we had driven so many hours to arrive.


The following morning we woke up, dipped in the Jacuzzi and the Turkish Bath, which is really a steam sauna. We had a simple breakfast and headed out to take more pictures of this picturesque town. We spoke with one of the residents who explained that there are only 20 residents in the entire town. There are 130 rentals and during busy times and festivals like Semana Santa, the town swells. However, because there is a limit to how many tourists can enter, the town is never overcrowded, like Antigua Guatemala.

I do have to say, having the town completely empty was a little creepy. I had a completely different feel than Antigua during Covid, but almost the same emptiness. Honestly it was kind of a cool experience and I really felt like we had rented an entire town all to ourselves. We saw maybe 6 other people the entire 16 hours we were there. Though, I will say that because the vibe is so weird and there is really only 2 open restaurants in the whole town, staying for one night was sufficient to get a feel of this 2 block by 3 block town. Super cute, but a little weird. Would I do it again? Probably not, but the experience is a once in a lifetime thing, so it’s worth it if you’re in the region.

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