TLDR? The Puente de Occidente is a famous swinging bridge in Santa Fe de Antioquia.
If you are a lover of rural and urban walks and enjoy visiting places on foot, consider visiting the Puente de Occidente bridge. This is one of the major tourist attractions in Santa Fe de Antioquia.
To get to the bridge from Santa Fe de Antioquia, you can drive, take a mototaxi, or you can make your way there by walking.
I skipped the taxis and went by foot, so if that’s your speed, this guide is for you. Keep reading for the full story on the Puente de Occidente!
Puente de Occidente: A Big Tourist Attraction
The Puente de Occidente is located five kilometers, or about three miles, from Sante Fe de Antioquia and stretches over the Cauca River.
The bridge was completed in 1885 and currently connects Santa Fe de Antioquia with Olaya, another small Antioquian town across the river from Santa Fe.
One of the first suspension bridges built in South America, the Puente de Occidente was the world’s third longest suspension bridge at the time of its construction. It was declared a National Monument of Colombia in 1978.
The bridge measures 291 meters long and is built from wood, iron, and steel in a colonial design meant to honor historic Santa Fe de Antioquia. It can be crossed by foot or by car.
How to Get to the Puente de Occidente
The Puente de Occidente is accesible from Santa Fe de Antioquia by car or by “mototaxi,” a form of local public transportation.
It can also be reached by foot, on a hike down the beautiful banks of the Cauca River.
Arriving by Car
Getting to the bridge by car is simple and fast. After arriving at the bridge, you can choose to either park your car in the parking lot and walk across the bridge or simply drive across the bridge at a moderate speed.
Arriving by Mototaxi
The mototaxi, a three-wheeled motorcycle attached to a tented cab, is a common form of public transport in the towns of Colombia and can seat up to four people.
You can catch a moto-taxi in the main square of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Just ask the driver to take you to the Puente de Occidente!
The cost of a round trip is set at about $5 USD (subject to change) regardless of the number of passengers.
Your driver will wait for you to cross the bridge on foot and take some photos before taking you back to town.
Arriving by Hiking
Although walking to the Puente de Occidente is less common than car or moto-taxi, those who’ve experienced the hike know how incredible the route is.
The hike begins in Santa Fe de Antioquia and follows the riverbank, crossing through the luscious vegetation surrounding the river.
You’ll need to cross several busy roads at the beginning of the walk, so make sure to keep your wits about you.
The hike continues along the road to Turbo Via or the Uraba Antioqueño. This is a coastal region of Antioquia known for its banana crops.
During the walk, my hike partners and I enjoyed the warm air of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Plus, we got gorgeous views of the area’s lush vegetation. We also saw many of the colonial houses and buildings the historic town is known for.
You’ll also have a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountainside, arid yet speckled with patches of greenery.
After walking through the urban area of the Santafereños neighborhoods, you’ll find the road that leads to the Puente de Occidente.
A few meters later, you’ll turn down a dirt road and begin your descent to the banks of the Cauca River. A dry bed of ravine surrounded by trees casts a bit of shade on sunny days.
Pro Tips for the Tour
If you’re getting ready to go on this hike for yourself, there are a couple of things to know.
For starters, the hike took us around two and a half hours from Sante Fe de Antioquia to the bridge. Make sure to plan enough time!
Secondly, we found some great restaurants and shops after crossing the bridge. So, we took a break to rest and rehydrate. You can bring snacks and water of your own, but it’s not necessary.
Lastly, while it’s not a hard hike, make sure you’ve got good walking shoes. You’ll be on your feet for a while, so it’s good to dress appropriately!
Other Walks of the Puente de Occidente
Another walking tour across the Puente de Occidente heads towards the town of Olaya. This round trip route covers 9.2 kilometers, or around six miles, and takes about three hours of hiking.
The hike begins by crossing the bridge before ascending through an urban area down towards Olaya. After passing through Olaya, you’ll reach a gorgeous waterfall, the perfect place to refresh yourself after a long walk.
Experienced lovers of hiking should consider attempting both tours on the same day!
Which hike sounds more your speed?
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Before you race out to try this hike yourself, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
You’ll want to wear comfortable athletic clothes and shoes on the hike and bring a light bag for your belongings.
Don’t forget to put on sunscreen, and consider bringing a hat to protect you from the sun.
Staying hydrated is extremely important. Make sure to bring enough water with you, though you can always purchase more when passing through urban areas and towns.
With these pro tips, you’ll be all set for a great day of hiking in this cute town!
Hike Across the Puente de Occidente in Santa Fe de Antioquia
If you love nature walks, I highly recommend taking a hiking tour to the Puente de Occidente!
Crossing the bridge after walking along the banks of one of Colombia’s important rivers is sure to be a wonderful experience for those brave enough to give it a shot!
If you like this blog, you might like the Casacol Instagram page to keep up with all the new articles. Anything we need to update or correct? Care to contribute? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.