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The Most Colorful Town in the World

In Guatapé, every building is a work of art. Residents paint their houses and businesses in gorgeous bright colors, and decorate the bottom of every building with fresco-like panels called “zocalos.” It’s sometimes called the most colorful town in the world.

With its steep and windy streets and bright colors, Guatapé is ridiculously photogenic, but it’s the zocalos that make it distinctive. Some friezes are simply cute: Sunflowers, doves, and sheep are popular. Other zocalos advertise businesses: bread loaves on a bakery, sewing machines outside a clothing store. The most complicated tell stories—several panels showing a journey—or commemorate history: musical instruments marking the house of a famous local musician.

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