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Valledupar, Colombia - Home Of The Vallenato Music Festival In April

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - November 2014   » View Photoset (91 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Valledupar is situated in the north-east of Colombia only about 25kms west of the Venezuelan border, it's a lively and colorful city and also is the home of the Vallenato
Colombia Photo - The house where President Lopez mother lived - Rosario Pumarejo Cotes (died in 1894).
The house where President Lopez mother lived - Rosario Pumarejo Cotes (died in 1894).
Festival of music! If you visit Valledupar from Santa Marta it is around 4hrs by bus. From Valledupar to Maicao to cross into Venezuela is around 3hrs.

Hot City Cool River

It's a hot city which makes the Guatapuri River a popular destination for the locals to go to cool off during the day. The river has a gold monument honoring the Vallenata Siren legend (mermaid).

The Vallenato King

During my 6 day stay in Valledupar the city was gearing up for a big concert by Vallenato King Silvestre Dangond for Saturday night. There were t-shirts of the man
Colombia Photo - Woman in a pink dress, mural in Valledupar, a woman with an umbrella walks past.
Woman in a pink dress, mural in Valledupar, a woman with an umbrella walks past.
for sale all around the city on every street corner.

Inner City Tour

I found Plaza Alfonso Lopez and the surrounding streets to be the most attractive part of the inner city with quite a few historic sights and some Spanish colonial architecture to see. The plaza is highlighted by the tall 'marching revolution' monument and the huge mural to mark the location of the original temple of the Upares indigenous people which burnt down in 1530. Beside the mural is the local Government building and at the time had a large banner hanging down in remembrance of local singer Anibal Martinez Zuleta. In another corner of Plaza Lopez is the church - Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Inmaculada Concepcion built in 1782. On the opposite side from the church is the courthouse. Around the plaza between these important buildings are many houses where
Colombia Photo - Church Convento de Santo Domingo in Valledupar.
Church Convento de Santo Domingo in Valledupar.
famous or well-known people have lived including a presidents mother and grandmother. I walked around some other streets around the plaza and found the 2nd version of church Convento de Santo Domingo, the first was destroyed in the 1600's.

Paintings, Arts and Crafts

While I walked around I saw a lot of colorful artwork and paintings for sale in the streets. Then I visited the arts and crafts market - Centro Artesanal Calle Grande where there are lots of locally made products, many with a musical theme. Also there were hats, clothing, bags, hammocks, musical instruments and some beautiful large colorful paintings.

Wandering Around Town

Out on the street I had some icey fruit juice to cool down -
Colombia Photo - Green tree and its shadow at Plaza Alfonso Lopez in Valledupar.
Green tree and its shadow at Plaza Alfonso Lopez in Valledupar.
watermelon, coconut, pineapple... I walked past college Colegio Loperena (a national monument) which is quite posh, then headed in the direction of the government buildings where a statue of Simon Bolivar and busts of Luis Carlos Galan, Alfonso Lopez Michelsen and Pedro Castro Monsalvo stand. A large and beautiful mural in the entrance of the building caught my eye and as I went to have a look I must have caught the eye of a local clown who came over and helped animate my photos of the mural, that was great fun!

Vallenato Legend Festival

In April each year Valledupar hosts the Vallenato Legend Festival, one of the most important musical festivals in Colombia! That's the best time to visit Valledupar!

     

View all photos in the Valledupar Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Valledupar (Colombia) to:


Map location: Valledupar, Colombia. A very colorful city and home of Vallenato music! It's hot here and not far from Venezuela, the city has some nice arts and crafts!
 A : Santa Marta to Maicao - Colombia 82 kms 82 kms straight distance | 3hrs 38mins 3hrs 38mins by car (169 kms) | 4hrs 21mins 4hrs 21mins by bus (169 kms) (169 kms)
 B : Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary - Colombia 109 kms 109 kms straight distance | 3hrs 37mins 3hrs 37mins by car (172 kms) | 4hrs 20mins 4hrs 20mins by bus (172 kms) (172 kms)
 C : Barranquilla to Santa Marta - Colombia 118 kms 118 kms straight distance | 3hrs 37mins 3hrs 37mins by car (234 kms) | 4hrs 20mins 4hrs 20mins by bus (234 kms) (234 kms)
 D : Santa Marta - Colombia 132 kms 132 kms straight distance | 4hrs 1min 4hrs 1min by car (256 kms) | 4hrs 49mins 4hrs 49mins by bus (256 kms) (256 kms)
 E : Taganga - Colombia 132 kms 132 kms straight distance | 4hrs 12mins 4hrs 12mins by car (266 kms) | 5hrs 2mins 5hrs 2mins by bus (266 kms) (266 kms)
 F : Tayrona National Park - Colombia 131 kms 131 kms straight distance | 4hrs 15mins 4hrs 15mins by car (266 kms) | 5hrs 6mins 5hrs 6mins by bus (266 kms) (266 kms)
 G : Minca - Colombia 117 kms 117 kms straight distance | 4hrs 15mins 4hrs 15mins by car (269 kms) | 5hrs 6mins 5hrs 6mins by bus (269 kms) (269 kms)
 H : Maracaibo - Venezuela 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 5hrs 27mins 5hrs 27mins by car (312 kms) | 6hrs 32mins 6hrs 32mins by bus (312 kms) (312 kms)
 I : Barranquilla Carnival - Colombia 183 kms 183 kms straight distance | 5hrs 10mins 5hrs 10mins by car (315 kms) | 6hrs 12mins 6hrs 12mins by bus (315 kms) (315 kms)
 J : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 211 kms 211 kms straight distance | 5hrs 46mins 5hrs 46mins by car (354 kms) | 6hrs 55mins 6hrs 55mins by bus (354 kms) (354 kms)
 K : Cartagena - Colombia 249 kms 249 kms straight distance | 6hrs 35mins 6hrs 35mins by car (380 kms) | 7hrs 54mins 7hrs 54mins by bus (380 kms) (380 kms)
 L : Maracaibo to Coro - Venezuela 273 kms 273 kms straight distance | 7hrs 42mins 7hrs 42mins by car (451 kms) | 9hrs 14mins 9hrs 14mins by bus (451 kms) (451 kms)
 M : Merida to Maracaibo - Venezuela 266 kms 266 kms straight distance | 8hrs 36mins 8hrs 36mins by car (505 kms) | 10hrs 19mins 10hrs 19mins by bus (505 kms) (505 kms)
 N : Cucuta to Venezuela - Colombia 296 kms 296 kms straight distance | 9hrs 55mins 9hrs 55mins by car (539 kms) | 11hrs 54mins 11hrs 54mins by bus (539 kms) (539 kms)
 O : Merida - Venezuela 309 kms 309 kms straight distance | 12hrs 40mins 12hrs 40mins by car (731 kms) | 15hrs 12mins 15hrs 12mins by bus (731 kms) (731 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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