The town of Honda, Tolima, Colombia, doesn’t look like much when passing through, but get to the heart of the city and you’ll realize there’s more to it. Colombia’s “City of Bridges” sits at the confluence of the important Río Magdalena and the smaller Río Gualí, and is one of the country’s prestigious Pueblos de Patrimonio. More than 25 bridges cross these and two smaller rivers that pass through the city, some of them over a century old.
Honda is not exactly a dream town – the weather is unbearably hot and many of the buildings have yet to be restored, but it does have a few interesting features such as its 17th century cobblestone alleyways and stair paths. Is it a must see? Definitely not, but worth a quick stop if passing through. Compared to other Pueblos de Patrimonio I’ve visited, it’s not nearly as impressive, but it has its charms.
The historic center of the city is where you can spend a good hour wandering around. An hour is really enough as there’s not much to see and it’s relatively small. There are several restored colonial style homes and buildings as well as many others that have yet to undergo restoration.
Other than the impressive bridges, the cobblestone paths were pleasant to walk down. The most famous of these is Calle de las Trampas, a narrow path sometimes with flowers hanging from the houses along it. It intersects with a few beautiful cobblestone stairways that provide interesting views from the tops.
The Plaza de Mercado, built in 1935, is a market building where locals come to shop for just about anything. It’s colonnaded exterior gives it a regal look while the inside is packed with shops. It can be quite hectic during working hours.
At the top of the historic center is a small but beautiful plaza with a stone church, Nuestra Señora del Rosario. There didn’t seem to be any action on the plaza other than a small store. Everything else was closed.
The Museo del Río Magdalena sits at the end of town along the Río Magdalena. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovation at the time of our visit.
On the other side of the old town from the Río Gualí is the main car bridge through town over the Río Magdalena and a beautiful church, Nuestra Señora del Carmen.