She closes her eyes and imagines that you are walking through colorful streets. Where houses with angels, flowers and animals painted on their facades welcome you. You can open them now, you are in Antioch.
Antioquía is a small and peaceful town located among the hills of the province of Huarochirí, just 70 km. from Lima. It is also known among its inhabitants as the Holy Spirit town. This magical corner of Peru is known for having constructions with very cheerful and colorful facades. That is why they also call it "people of colors".
Among the varied figures that one can appreciate within its walls are the flowers, the farm animals, the constructions. The town is ideal to exercise your imagination and, incidentally, to take beautiful selfies with these works of art in the background. The best season to take advantage of Antioquia's glorious sunshine is between April and December. Thousands of visitors find the perfect photo thanks to the impressive daylight.
But how did the idea of turning this town into an open-air gallery come about? Find out below.
The history of Antioquia is an example of creativity to boost the economic growth of the town. In the 1990s, the Center for Research, Education and Development (CIED) was working to promote agricultural development in the area, when it realized that they needed to do something bigger.
Therefore, in 2003, they set the goal of attracting more visitors through tourism. In this way, the "Colors for Antioquia" project was born, with which they literally transformed this town into an art gallery. The first step was to make the population aware through plastic arts workshops, with experts who instructed the families of the town. Then, an international contest was held to choose the artistic design that the district would carry. Peruvian painter Enrique Bustamente was the winner. Thus, in 2004, the artist painted Antioch. He started with the schools, the church, the community hall, and continued with the houses and various public spaces.
Also, as part of the economic development initiative, the inhabitants of Antioquía were trained in tourist services, in order to turn the town into a striking destination for travelers. And yes they did amazing!
Antioquía is located 76 kilometers from the center of Lima, in the province of Huarochirí and about 1,500 meters above sea level. This district was founded in 1935 and its capital is the town of Espiritu Santo.
You can get to Antioquía by car or your own mobility, take the route to Cieneguilla in the direction of La Molina and continue directly to the province of Huarochirí; or take one of the buses that leave from the intersection of Nicolás Arriola and Rosa Toro avenues, in San Luis. You can also sign up for a full day tour of this magnificent destination. The duration of the trip is about three hours.
One of the best things about Antioquia is its climate, which is warm for most of the year. The best time to visit this charming town is between April and December, when the temperature usually averages 22° C.
Here is a list of the best places you can visit in the district of Antioquia for a tour full of unforgettable experiences:
The central temple of the town of Espiritu Santo offers perhaps some of the most memorable postcards of the place, with its facade full of multicolored Andean designs. Inside this church there are small altars with golden motifs and a main altar with a large altarpiece.
The main church of Antioch is decorated as if it were an altarpiece.
Near the Plaza de Armas you can also find a small but interesting museum with ceramics, old utensils and tools, samples of vegetables and animals, and even mummies.
The Antioquia museum is full of plant, animal and cultural riches.
One of the two viewpoints that Antioquia has. You can climb it from the city, admire the colorful houses along the way and, once at the top, enjoy an unparalleled view of the picturesque town and the green valley that surrounds it.
The town of Santiago de Cochahuayco is located 3 kilometers from the town center of Espiritu Santo. You can visit the beautiful Temple of Santiago de Cochahuayco, declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation, as well as the Processing Plant that offers a tour to learn about the area's agribusiness.
Cochahuayco produces many products based on apple and quince.
In the Santa Rosa de Chontay area you can find one of the best preserved segments of the Xauxa-Pachacamac section of the Inca Trail or Qhapaq Ñan. On it you can go trekking and admire the landscape.
In the area you can also find this river surrounded by greenery. The pools on its banks are ideal for taking a refreshing swim, as long as the waters are calm.
The Qhapaq Ñan sector that passes near Antioquía offers views of the Lurín river valley.
Near the small town of San José de Nieve Nieve is this archaeological site that houses houses from the Inca era and even a cemetery. This town also boasts a beautiful stained-glass church and a viewpoint to contemplate incredible panoramic views.
The archaeological site of Nieve Nieve contains vestiges of Inca times.
In Antioquía you can find restaurants with delicious food and drinks made with local products: spicy guinea pig, shrimp chupe, pumpkin mazamorra and quince soda.
If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.