Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Popayán is the capital of the Colombian Department of Cauca, with a population of about 215,000 people. It was founded by Sebastián de Belalcázar on January 13, 1537. Located at an altitude of 1,737 meters, the city is well-known for its colonial architecture. Unfortunately, an earthquake in 1983 destroyed many buildings, though a significant number have survived. Nearby is Puracé National Park, a geothermal wonderland of hot springs, waterfalls, and a (currently) inactive volcano from which the park derives its name. The nearest large city is Cali, in the neighboring Department of Valle del Cauca, to the north.
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