Welcome to Santa Fe de Antioquia's most famous bridge El Puente de Occidente – which at one time was the LONGEST bridge in South America and the 7th longest bridge in the world! People come from all over just to cross this bridge and marvel at its magnificence. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook and YouTube.
We left Medellín at 7am to make the hour and and a half drive to Santa Fe De Antioquia, during which we passed through Colombia's longest tunnel at 2.6 miles (4.2 km). Prior to this tunnel being built, the drive to Santa Fe De Antioquia was a couple hours longer and took you on a dangerous route through mountain switchbacks.
Santa Fe De Antioquia is the place to go to RELAX! Every weekend the town is filled with locals from Medellín and international tourists who come to check out their many pools – but more information about that is coming up in my NEXT video.
The bridge itself is located a few kilometers from the town center. You could certainly walk there – but it's hot – so you might want to drive or take a tuk tuk. We had a car so we drove (which you could probably tell from my intro shot in the video.)
Normally on a Saturday, the town of Santa Fe De Antioquia and the bridge is filled to the brim with tourists, but we happen to go on the weekend of the Colombian Presidential Election so most people stayed in the city to vote the next day. We were only taking a day trip so Andrea (the only Colombian out of the three of us) was able to be back in town to vote on Sunday.
Welcome to El Puente Occidente. At one time, the longest bridge in South America!
This bridge connects the two towns of Olaya and Santa Fe de Antioquia and crosses the infamous Rio Cauca.
While today there are other, much longer suspension bridges, originally El Puente de Occidente was the longest of its kind in South America and the seventh largest suspension bridge in the world.
It was built in 1887 by a local Antioquian named José María Villa who also participated in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which is why you can see similarities between the suspension systems.
At first only pedestrians were allowed to cross, but years later the bridge was opened to cars – only in one direction at a time though.
It was declared a National Monument of Colombia in 1978 and today is one of Sante Fe de Antioquia's most visited tourist attractions.
People go out of their way to cross this magnificent bridge and marvel at its elegance. And you won't want to miss it either.
So the next time you're in Santa Fe de Antioquia, don't make visiting El Puente Occidente an “accidente”.
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