28 Best Places to Visit in Colombia: Cities, Nature & Beaches

The muffin of South America, Colombia has something for every traveler. here are 28 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by me and other travel experts .
colorful pueblo, fascinating cities, stunning home parks and idyllic beaches : Colombia has it all .
It wasn ’ t all that long ago that tourists avoided Colombia. But times have decidedly changed. Nowadays this jewel of South America tops many a locomotion regard list .
diverse in every sense of the word, people often rightly describe Colombia as several nations – each with its own landscapes, traditions, culture and cuisine – rolled into one.

From the Caribbean coastline to the border of the Amazon, spanish colonial towns to modern metropolises, Colombia tourist spots to hidden gems, these are the 28 very best places to travel in Colombia .
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Table of Contents

Best cities to visit in Colombia

1. Medellin, the best city to visit in Colombia

A woman stands in front of a street mural in Medellin, Colombia.Medellin’s Comuna 13 is one of the best places to visit in Colombia for street art & urban culture.
Colombia ’ s second-biggest city was once considered the most dangerous city in the earth. But not anymore. Thanks to some imaginative civil projects and the will and resilience of local residents, Medellin has emerged from its dim past to become one of the best places to visit in Colombia .
Dubbed the ‘ City of Eternal Spring ’, Medellin is located in a rich and fat contribution of Colombia responsible for producing much of the nation ’ s coffee, fruit and flowers. The city itself is surprisingly large : brick houses spread out for miles in every direction, best viewed from lookouts accessed via cable cars connected to the only metro system in Colombia .
The highlights of Medellin include the Museo de Casa de la Memoria, a tasteful court to the city ’ s disruptive past, and Comuna 13, a set of barrios that cling to the side of the hill and provide a analyze for Medellin ’ randomness best street art .
Spend your days in Medellin visiting fruit markets, sipping on newly squeezed OJ and nibbling on empanadas and arepas. Or you can skip over to El Poblado, the city ’ s most feeder area, and enjoy the many restaurants. Take a stroll through Laureles, a delightful inner-city suburb filled with parks, cafe and bars .
Take a selfie in Plaza Botero ( which is lined with sculptures by the Medellin-born artist ), and if you ’ rhenium golden adequate to be in town on the foremost weekend of the month, drop into the San Alejo Handicraft Market for some authentic souvenirs .
Medellin is the biggest transport hub in Antioquia Department and a perfect passing point for exploring Colombia ’ s coffee bean belt and the colorful colonial towns that characterise this region of the state. It ’ sulfur worth spend at two or three days in the city itself – most of your clock time should be dedicated to eat and drink .
Get there: Fly into Jose Cordova International Airport ( 1-hour fledge from Bogota ).

Stay: 574 Hotel – Boutique on a budget near Lleras Park in El Poblado, with bright, goodly rooms and breakfast included. Or try one of these singular Medellin Airbnbs .

2. Cartagena, one of the most beautiful places in Colombia

Colourful architecture in Cartagena, Colombia.Pretty colonial architecture in Cartagena, one of the most popular places in Colombia for visitors.
The port city of Cartagena was founded in 1533. One of the best places in Colombia for vibrant architecture and culture, several parts of Cartagena were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 .
Because of its localization on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena has a unique feel. Visitors to the city besides enjoy easy access to beaches, islands and jungle trek .
The city itself is divided into three neighbourhoods : Getsemani, San Sebastian and Santa Catalina ( where you ’ ll find the iconic cathedral and many of the most recognizable streets and buildings ), plus San Diego, traditionally home to Cartagena ’ sulfur merchants .
Must-dos in Cartagena include climbing the Castillo fortress for a view, roaming the Plaza Santo Domingo, and shop for keepsake at Las Bovedas covered commercialize. If the bustle UNESCO Walled City gets to be besides much, make a break for one of the sandbag beaches nearby or charter a boat to Colombia ’ s Caribbean islands .
As you explore cartagena by infantry, keep an eye out for the celebrated Palenqueras, yield sellers dressed in vibrant costume and carting baskets of tropical goodies. They ’ rhenium hard to miss !
Get there: Fly into Rafael Nunez International Airport ( 1-hour flight from Medellin ; 1.5-hour flight from Bogota )

Stay: Hotel Boutique Casona del Colegio – Beautiful colonial-inspired rooms with tiled floors and four-poster beds, an eternity pool and garden terrace set in a inheritance building 100m from Bolivar Park .

3. Bogota, Colombia’s dynamic capital city

Bogota's city skyline.The view from Monserrate in Bogota, Colombia.
The largest city in Colombia and the nation ’ second capital, Bogota is an necessity check on any Colombia path .
The Spaniards founded Santa Fe de Bogota in 1538 at a breathtaking altitude of 8,661 feet. Nestled at the foot of green mountains, it is present a bustle city and home plate to more than 11 million people .
To get the best overview of the colonial old town, the clientele zone and the outskirts stretching far to the horizon, you can take the cable cable car to the exceed of Monserrate ( 10,340 feet ) .
Stunning historic buildings line the narrow streets of the erstwhile town, Barrio Del Candelaria. The heart of the city is the Plaza Bolivar, where musicians regularly perform and other events take place .
On Sundays and populace holidays, the independent road Carrera Septima is closed for cyclists, inline skaters, joggers, and walkers. After the sport performance, a folk festival takes place in the streets .
design for at least two days in Bogotá to visit the independent sights, more if you ’ d like to see surrounding attractions or if you ’ rhenium golden enough that one of the many festivals is taking place so you can swing the dancing leg Bogota ’ sulfur to salsa rhythm .
By Marcelle from Grey World Nomads
Get there: Fly into El Dorado International Airport ( 1-hour flight from Medellin ).

Stay: GHL Hotel Bioxury – Efficient rooms with modern bathrooms and a lovely shared atrium space walking distance from El Retiro .

4. Cali, Colombia’s salsa capital

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.Street musicians in Cali, Colombia. Photo credit: Tiago Fernandez/Depositphotos.com.
Cali is best known by outsiders as the early home of the ill-famed Cali Cartel. many travellers skip it without knowing this colombian city is celebrated for something else ampere well .
If you ’ re interested in learning how to salsa dance, Cali is considered the global capital of salsa. I spent two months there taking group salsa lessons in the afternoon and practicing what I learned at night at local haunts such as Tin Tin Deo .
Colombians are some of the friendliest people in the world. They understand that everyone begins somewhere, and so you don ’ t need to be shy if you ’ re new to salsa. At the golf club I danced the night off and took shots of aguardiente with new friends, who taught me to how to fit in by learning colombian gull .
Cali is besides home plate to the worldly concern salsa championships where you can watch kids arsenic young as four and five years compete in individual or group events. It lasts several days over several venues and is a capital way to see Cali from a local anesthetic position .
By Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic
Get there: Fly into Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport ( 1-hour fledge from Bogota or Medellin ).

Stay: Alko Hotel Casa Nispero – Stunning boutique rooms with disclose rafters and a cardinal court complete with pool finale to Cali City Theatre .

5. Popayan, one of the country’s finest colonial cities

Colonial architecture in Popayan, Colombia.Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Asunció in Popayan, Colombia. Photo credit: Feliperma 15/WikiCommons.
Popayan is located in the Cauca Department in the west of Colombia. It ’ sulfur one of the top destinations in Colombia for a stop when travel by bus from Ecuador to the city of Cali .
Popayan, otherwise known as La Ciudad Blanca ( ‘ the white city ’ ), is decidedly worth a stop for at least two nights ( more if you can spare it ). The climate is much milder than sweltering Cali, and with all the spell of a distinctive colonial town, the small city provides a great initiation to Colombia .
The colonial concentrate is a beautiful tribute to post-colonial spanish architecture and one could well spend days exploring the cobble streets and whitewashed buildings. The Iglesia San Francisco in the old town is worth a attend, and you can take a enlistment through the construct to view a collection of mummies which were discovered after an earthquake damaged the build in the 1980s .
If you ’ rhenium looking for more adventurous activities, you can hike up El Morro de Tulcan, a vantage point over the city that housed an indian pyramid dating back to the 1500s. It ’ s a great place to catch the sunset and is easy walking distance from the city center ( or a cheap taxi ride aside ) .
By Emma from Mum’s Money
Get there: 2.5-3 hours by road from Cali.

Stay: Hotel Dann Monasterio – Comfortable rooms in a 1570 Franciscan convent with swimming pool, spanish galleries and a central court .

Best places to visit in Colombia: Small towns & pueblos

6. Guatape, Colombia’s most colourful town

Guatape, Colombia - a beautiful landscape of lakes and islands.The majestic Embalse El Peñol-Guatapé lake at Guatape, Colombia.
Guatape is much called ‘ the most colorful town in Colombia ’. With bantam streets, colorful houses and clusters of joyful tourists, this locate is straight out of Disneyland !
Guatape is located 10 minutes ’ drive away from La Piedra, one of the largest free-standing rocks in the global. Since the whole area is quite small, one day for both these Colombia is more than enough .
After spending the dawn hiking La Piedra, you can dedicate the good afternoon to marvelling at Guatape ’ s alert roads. A few cafe sit down barely across from the central plaza, providing ample opportunities for people-watching .
needle to say, the colours that decorate Guatape ’ mho streets are outstanding. From undimmed reds to rich blues, you ’ ve never seen such charm houses .
By Daisy from Beyond My Border
Get there: 2 hours by road from Medellin.

Day trip: Guatape, Piedra del Penol and boat tour departing from Medellin ( 11 hours ; from $ 37 per person ).

Stay: Oak Tree House – An atmospheric retreat with wide outdoor balconies precisely outside the center of Guatape .

7. Jardin, a typical colonial town in the coffee region

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.The main square in Jardin, Colombia.
Located in the heart of Antioquia ’ s coffee region, Jardin is another pretty pueblo with a retentive and vibrant history. hera excessively, residents paint the facades of their homes with bright colours and bent flowers from their windowsills and awnings .
The center of Jardin is characterised by an impressive cathedral built from locally hewn rock and a independent plaza paved with river stones. You ’ re never far away from nature in Jardin : It ’ mho just a few minutes ’ drive to waterfalls and forest paths, birdwatching areas and batch trails .
In town, boutiques sell locally made handicrafts and you can sample sweet treats at a generations-old sugarcoat shop ( even the Pope is a fan ) .
not surprise for a town so airless to coffee country, Jardin has a wealth of local drink holes and uber-trendy cafe that roast beans grown in the hills around the town .
What makes Jardin one of the best places to visit in Colombia is the feeling of community. design to spend a few days in Jardin, but don ’ thyroxine be surprised if you wind up staying longer .
Get there: 3-3.5 hours by road from Medellin.

Stay: Casa Passiflora Hotel Boutique – Elegant rooms behind a traditional brilliantly painted facade a few blocks from the main square .

8. Jerico, a hidden gem in Antioquia

A woman peers out a wooden window in Jerico, Colombia.A woman looking out of her window in Jerico, Colombia.
Jerico is a smaller and lesser-known town located roughly halfway between Jardin and Medellin. It ’ s a gruelling twist-and-turn-heavy bus ride to get up the mountainside, but it ’ s well worth the travel to visit one of the most concern places in Colombia .
Jerico is still relatively off the external tourist radar. ( Until recently, you couldn ’ thyroxine evening find it in Lonely Planet. ) plenty of colombian tourists come here, many of them pilgrims visiting the birthplace of Santa Laura, Colombia ’ s inaugural and only saint, who was born in Jerico in 1874 and is something of a local picture .
Jerico remains a tight-knit, profoundly pious community. There are no fewer than 17 churches in town and a seminary with a goodly population of 40-plus manque priests – not bad for a small town of fair over 12,000 people .
Museums, historic libraries and a charming botanical garden are among the top things to do in town. Jerico even has its own miniskirt Christ the Redeemer statue, which offers capital views over the city .
Like Jardin, Jerico is besides a good base for coffee tourism. La Nohelia is a local farm that offers ecotourism activities ( including coffee go ) and onsite accommodation .
If the great outdoors is calling, take an early morning rise to Las Nubes, a lookout that leads you high gear into the cloud, and pay a visit to Ecoland to try tandem paragliding over the lush valley .
In town, climb the giant stone staircases that connect the amphetamine and lower parts of Jerico. Drop into workshops to watch craftsman making carriels, traditional leather bags, and drink local coffee at El Saturia and Don Rafa. Don ’ t girl Bomarzo, a recently opened multipurpose creative space that houses galleries, cafe and artist studios .
An ideal home to base your stay in Jerico is El Despertar, a boutique hotel set in an Antioquian-style mansion firm .
Get there: 3-3.5 hours by road from Medellin ; 2.5 hours by road from Jardin.

Stay: El Despertar Hotel – Beautiful rooms with hammocks and ensuite bathrooms set inside a historic Antioquian home in the kernel of town .

9. Villa de Leyva, home to Colombia’s biggest Spanish Square

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.Colonial architecture in Villa de Leyva, Colombia.
With its colonial architecture, cobble streets and white-washed facades, Villa de Leyva is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Colombia. It ’ second well know for being home to the biggest spanish Square in the area, the 150,000 square-foot Plaza Mayor .
Located under 100 miles ( 160km ) from Bogota ( or about 3.5 hours by car or bus ), this charming town is a favorite destination for both local and external travellers. In fact, the town is so pretty and well-preserved that it is a popular filming location for period films and television receiver shows. When you walk around its cobble streets, it feels like you ’ re stuck in time .
Besides the 16th-century architecture and historical museums, Villa de Leyva is set in a valley that is rich in fossils from the Cretaceous earned run average. So you can besides see some fine specimens on display at the specialize museums in the area. Villa de Leyva besides has a boom gastronomic picture, so it ’ s a capital rate to taste some of the best local dishes Colombia has to offer .
Villa de Leyva is a bang-up stopover if you ’ re travelling between Bogota and San Gil. It ’ south recommended to spend at least two days to in truth soak up the dateless atmosphere .
By Bianca from Nomad Biba
Get there: 3.5-4 hours by road from Bogota.

Day trip: Villa de Leyva tour with a end in Raquira departing Bogota ( 12 hours ; from $ 80 per person ).

Stay: Maria Bonita Hotel – Colonial-style rooms with a cardinal court three blocks from the town square .

10. Raquira, pottery capital of Colombia

A colourful shopfront in Raquira, Colombia.A colourful souvenir store in Raquira, Colombia. Photo credit: STYLEPICS/Depositphotos.com.
Raquira is angstrom colorful as nearby Villa de Leyva is white. The brilliantly painted facades in this town bring a smile to your font, and you can easily spend a couple of hours wandering around as separate of a day trip or stopover .
This charm little village is wide known as the pottery das kapital of Colombia. Just about every assemble of colombian ceramic you can buy was made in this bantam township. So you know what to do if you have some spare room in your backpack. amply packed ? Indulge in a pottery workshop and reelect home with memories rather .
Though pottery is dominant allele, it ’ s not the entirely type of keepsake you can buy in Raquira. All kinds of artisanías – from hammocks, to Mochilas ( the pretty hand-loomed bags from Northern Colombia ) and clothing – can be bought here for a fraction of the price you ’ d pay in Bogota .
Buses leave for Raquira about five times daily from Villa de Leyva. It ’ s a 30 moment trip. Four hours is enough for lunch and to pick up some souvenirs. Try to sneak in a morsel of people watching on the little plaza american samoa well. A good day to visit is on Sunday, when the local market is in wide swing .
By Barbara from Travel Gear For Kids
Get there: 3.5 hours by road from Bogota ; 45 minutes by road from Villa de Leyva.

Stay: Hosteria Campestre San Fermin – Simple rooms on a leafy property with a large garden .

11. Guadalupe, a must visit town in Colombia for nature lovers

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.The church in Guadalupe, Colombia. Photo credit: Tales of a Backpacker.
This bantam town in the Santander Department of Colombia is not comfortable to get to, but make the attempt and you won ’ thyroxine regret it. You will fall in love with Guadalupe the moment you arrive .
A five or six-hour bus ride north of Bogota to Oiba, then another hour to Guadalupe by jeep, you could be forgiven for thinking the trip international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine worthwhile. however, when you arrive in Guadalupe you will realise it ’ s all been worth it .
The town itself is just a few streets centred around the independent squarely, with locals normally riding around on hogback or minibike .
What is actually especial about Guadalupe is the besiege nature and outdoor activities on offer. Las Gachas de Guadalupe are naturally jacuzzi dive pools formed in a shallow river, where you can enjoy a dip in the quick body of water. If you ’ re feeling brave, you can slide along the smooth rocks and cliff into the water .
They earned the nickname the ‘ Caño Cristales of Santander ’, and although the water international relations and security network ’ t arsenic colorful as the real thing, the red rock at Las Gachas is good as picturesque. The scenery around Guadalupe is beautiful, and adenine well as Las Gachas, there are other natural swim pools, waterfalls and caves to explore besides .
Although there aren ’ t excessively many tourists here, at the weekend tour groups from Bogota or Bucaramanga arrive, so travel to during the week if you want Guadalupe to yourself .
It ’ mho recommended to spend at least a copulate of nights hera, but if you love nature and gamble, then there is enough to keep you busy for several days .
By Claire from Tales of a Backpacker
Get there: 1.5 hours by road from Contador Airport in Pitalito ( 1.5-hour flight from Bogota ) ; 6 hours by road from Popayan.

Stay: El Portal De Don Luis – Simple rooms with a divided terrace, onsite restaurant and antique colombian cordial reception .

12. Aracataca, the birthplace of Gabriel García Márquez

A Gabriel Garcia Marquez mural in Aracataca, Colombia.A Gabriel Garcia Marquez mural in Aracataca. Photo credit: Tim Buendía/Wikicommons CC3.0 (changes made).
A must-visit for literature buffs, the minor town of Aracataca in the Caribbean Magdalena Department is best known for being the birthplace of Colombia ’ s national generator Gabriel Garcia Marquez .
Founded in 1885, the river town is small and sleepy. The main attraction is of course the Casa Museo ( Museum House ), set inside the home where Nobel Prize-winning Garcia Marquez was raised. It contains exhibitions of photograph, letters penned by the generator, and respective personal memento .
As you wander the streets of Aracataca on a day travel from Santa Marta, you ’ ll see versatile tributes to Garcia Marquez including murals and sculptures .
See if you can ’ t position some of the landmarks that inspired the fabricated village of Macondo, the set for his much-loved novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude .
Get there: 1.5 hours by road from Santa Marta.

Stay: Casa Turística Realismo Mágico – A singular accommodation inspired by Garcia Marquez ’ s charming realism .

13. San Jeronimo, an underrated small town near Medellin

Street art in the small town of San Jeronimo, Colombia.Street art in San Jeronimo, Colombia. Photo credit: Megan Starr.
After a couple of visits to the south american country, San Jeronimo remains one of the most underestimate places I have visited in Colombia .
The Antioquian town is located in close up proximity to the mountains and offers a quieten respite from feverish Medellin, which sits around an hour and a one-half away .
once you arrive in the sleepy, however quintessentially colombian town, you will be greeted with smiles, the olfactory property of fruit, and bracing batch air. There are many cafes, minor shops, and terraced restaurants waiting to be visited by the identical few tourists who frequent the streets of the town .
The best thing about San Jeronimo international relations and security network ’ thyroxine in the town ’ randomness center, however – it lies an hour ’ south tuk-tuk drive away in the mountains, and is called Hostal La Finca. This guesthouse, which is owned by Colombians and Germans, is one of the most relax places in the state. They have a boastfully pool, gardens for yoga, and homemade colombian cuisine made with yield from the many trees surrounding the property .
There are waterfalls nearby that you can hike to, and the lodge prides itself on being eco-friendly. I have never traveled somewhere and come back so refreshed. A quick weekend getaway to San Jeronimo is highly recommended for anyone who is visiting Medellin .
By Megan from Megan Starr
Get there: 1.5 hours by road from Medellin ; 30 minutes by road from Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Stay: Hostel la Finca or San Jeronimo Cabaña – Comfortable vacation home with a sauna stopping point to the center of town .

14. San Gil, the adventure capital of Colombia

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.Red rooftops in the centre of San Gil, Colombia. Photo credit: Mano Chandra Dhas/WikiCommons.
Don ’ t let the size of this minor town gull you : There is no dearth of activities to do in San Gil .
Located in Santander Department, San Gil is known as the venture capital of Colombia. Adrenaline junkies can choose from any count of heart-thumping outdoor activities, including white urine raft, rock candy climb, paragliding, mountain bicycle, waterfall rappel, and more .
For those into softer adventures, San Gil inactive has you covered. right field in town the Parque elevated railway Gallineral has 10 acres of walking trails among moss-grown beard-like trees that go by the lapp identify. A 20-30 moment walk or quick taxi ride will get you to Pozo Azul, a lovely swim hole with small waterfalls, perfective for cooling off on hot days.

The Chicamocha National Park offers a perfect proportion between easy and hard venture. Just an hour away from San Gil, the park sits in a deep canyon with no deficit of options for things to do. From spelunking to hiking to taking a ride on the 3.7 mile-long cable cable car ( one of the longest in the earth ), Chicamocha won ’ t disappoint .
By Jen from Long Haul Trekkers
Get there: 7 hours by road from Bogota ; 3 hours by road from Bucaramanga International Airport ( 1-hour flight from Botoga ).

Stay: Green Door Boutique – Breezy, comfortable rooms walking outdistance from the center of San Gil and on the doorsill of the region ’ second best nature .

Best places to visit in Colombia: Nature & adventure

15. Minca, mountains & waterfalls

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.The view from Cases Viejas Hostel Lodge in Minca, Colombia. Photo credit: Explore With Lora.
Minca is a small mountainous township in Northern Colombia that is the perfect scat into nature from the party picture of Santa Marta. Busses run from town and it takes about 45 minutes to reach the center .
What makes a travel to Minca especial is staying in one of the incredible accommodations in the mountains such as Cases Viejas Hostel Lodge. Getting there requires an extra 20-minute drive in a jeep up the mountain, but it ’ randomness worth it .
The hostel overlooks gorgeous landscapes and offers several lounging areas to relax and take it all in. They besides offer casual yoga classes, hikes to nearby waterfalls, and horseback rides. Plus, they reservoir produce from a nearby local farm, so the food served onsite is newly, goodly, and delightful .
kin expressive style dinners, a bar and incredible views give this place a relax but sociable atmosphere. It is potential to visit Minca for merely one night, but it ’ second highly recommended to stay for two for a more relax experience, or more if you have the time .
After all, could you ever get nauseated of this see ?
By Lora from Explore With Lora
Get there: 45 minutes by road from Santa Marta.

Day trip: Full-day coffee bean and cocoa go from Santa Marta ( 8.5 hours ; from $ 90 per person ).

Stay: Sierra Alta Finca Boutique – Gorgeous ecolodge with indoor-outdoor rooms, hammocks and gardens nestled in the mountains close to Minca and Santa Marta .

16. Salento, gateway to the Coffee Triangle

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.Horse riding in Salento, Colombia. Photo credit: Our Escape Clause.
Located in the heart of Colombia ’ s coffee triangulum, Salento is easy to fall in love with. Whether you ’ re looking to take a horseback ride to a deserted waterfall, play some tejo ( there ’ mho gunpowder involved in this local anesthetic plot ! ), or just enjoy views of the valley from one of Salento ’ s many viewpoints, you ’ re tie down to find something enchanting about this bantam colombian township .
While you ’ re there, be certain to stroll down Calle Real to take in the fabulously colorful buildings that make up Salento and learn all about Colombia ’ second coffee ( they don ’ t predict it the coffee triangle for nothing ) .
Admire the views from Salento ’ south mirador, and, most importantly, pay a sojourn to the stun Cocora Valley, which is the describe that brings many tourists to Salento in the first invest .
It ’ mho recommended to stay in Salento for at least three days. That will give you time to spend one day in the Cocora Valley and two closer to town. But you can surely entertain yourself for much longer !
We extended our clock time in Salento doubly, and ended up spending closely a week there. If we hadn ’ triiodothyronine had a plane to catch, we would have stayed even longer !
By Kate from Our Escape Clause
Get there: 1 hour by road from Pereira.

Day tour: Salento coffee tour at Finca El Ocaso with hotel pick up from Salento ( 3.5 hours ; from $ 87 per person ).

Stay: Hotel Kawa Mountain Retreat – Rustic bungalows with a luxury edge surrounded by handle trees in the affection of the coffee region .

17. The Cocora Valley, one of the most famous places in Colombia

A mother and child walk through Cocora Valley in Colombia.Palm trees in the Cocora Valley, Colombia. Photo credit: The Happy Kid.
Wondering where to go in Colombia to see the celebrated towering palm trees ? merely 9 miles ( 15km ) from Salento, the Cocora Valley is the main attraction in this depart of Colombia besides the coffee farms .
Visitors are greeted with a alcoholic k valley as they enter the Los Nevados mountains. Cocora is the home of the wax palm, Colombia ’ s national tree, and besides the tallest of all decoration species .
For Europeans like myself, the typical effigy of palm trees is on a tropical flaxen beach. Seeing fabulously tall palms set against mountains is even more charming .
There are several trails through Cocora Valley, covering the mountains, a small river and some waterfalls. Take a horse ride for the most authentic feel ! These are very democratic in the area and can take from 1-6 hours depending on your chosen path. But make surely you are fit enough if you opt for a longer lead .
We loved the ride, but the muscle tenderness reminded us about it for a few days ! Try to go in the dawn, to avoid the big push ; the scenery is better besides, with the mist covering the mountains .
By Alina from The Happy Kid
Get there: 30 minutes by road from Salento.

Stay: Bio Habitat Hotel – Immersive lavishness rooms with hardwood floors and glass walls nestled in the treetops, with a hot bathtub, sauna and pool. Located in Armenia, convenient to Cocora Valley .

18. Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), Colombia’s best hike

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.The Lost City trek, Colombia. Photo credit: Borders of Adventure.
many travellers use Santa Marta as a base for a much bigger gamble that begins two hours away, deep within the hobo camp terrain of the Sierra Nevada mountain region .
In a four-day round-trip you can reach Colombia ’ s Lost City, an ancient archaeological site built by the Tayrona people in around 800 AD. It remained concealed until it was uncovered by looters around 50 years ago .
With the serve of archaeologists and license of the autochthonal communities of the area, a modest share of it has been uncovered and is afford for visitors cook to tackle this multi-day expedition by metrical foot .
The trek is bully, with steep terrain and some treacherous paths, so it takes some stamina and determination. You can ’ t do it alone : You need both permits and a template, since this is through a National Park and private autochthonal lands. Therefore it is crucial that you choose a caller where an autochthonal scout will accompany you .
however hard it is to get there, you will be rewarded with a view of Colombia ’ sulfur ancient history that you won ’ metric ton find anywhere else .
By Becki from Borders of Adventure
Get there: Approx. 1.5-2 hours by road to the trail head from Santa Marta.

Guided hike: 4-6 day trek to the Lost City from Santa Marta with a local anesthetic guidebook.

Stay: Cabaña Guarumo de la Sierra – Comfrotable rooms with stunning mountain views in Santa Marta, conclude to the trail head .

19. Caño Cristales, the most beautiful river in the world

Water flows into the Cano Cristales, the famous red river in Colombia.The incredible Cano Cristales. Photo credit: Mario Carvajal/Wikicommons CC3.0 (changes made).
Nestled deep within the ​​Parque Nacional Natural Tinigua in the distant Meta region, the Cano Cristales or ‘ Crystal Channel ’ is one of Colombia ’ s most incredible natural wonders .
besides called the ‘ River of Five Colours ’ or the ‘ Red River ’, the river seam is tinged with hues of jaundiced, k, blue, black and red, giving the body of water hole and surrounding rapids an nonnatural fluid rainbow appearance .
This natural phenomenon – created by a combination of quartzite mineral rocks, alga and plants – lone occurs between the months of July and November .
arsenic well as beautiful waterfalls and rapids, you can see circular depressions in the river. Known as ‘ giant ’ second kettles ’, these are formed by chunks of unvoiced rock ‘n’ roll that make deep pits. You ’ ve never seen anything quite like the brilliantly colored water falling and churning in the pits .
As a license go lead and extra license is required to visit the river, some advanced planning is substantive. swim is alone allowed in destine areas .
The humble town of La Macarena ( which has an airport and weekly flights from Bogota ) is an ideal base for visiting the Cano Cristales and exploring the rest of this wilderness department of the interior landscape, where the Amazon meets the mountains .
Get there: 45 minutes by road from La Macarena ( a 75-minute flight from Bogota ).

Stay: Hostal Caño Nevera – A kin move guesthouse with tidy rooms and gardens, close to La Macarena town center and the border of the national park. Staff can organise guides and exile on your behalf .

20. Leticia, gateway to the Amazon Rainforest

A night sky framed by palm trees in Leticia, one of the best places to visit in Colombia for an Amazon rainforest encounter.Parque Santander in Leticia, Colombia. Photo credit: Bizarre Globe Hopper.
Leticia is the das kapital of the colombian Amazon. As there are no roads leading to the Amazon, flying into Leticia is the only means to launch your rainforest adventures .
Visiting Leticia is a eldritch experience. At inaugural, you ’ ll notice chaotic traffic and moth-eaten streets. Before night falls, you ’ ll be amazed how close to nature you are after all. Birds that are normally hard to spot are abundant in the city and every night you can witness a indicate of thousands of parakeets arriving at Santander Park .
Within a one-hour gravy boat trip lies virgin rainforest, wholly away from the crowd. Jungle hikes and night campaign reveal the residents of the Amazon : Sloths, caimans, alligators, toucans, feather boa and armadillo to name a few .
The best things to do in Leticia are all relate to nature : Boat trips on the Amazon River and its tributaries, spotting pink and grey dolphins, hiking and kayaking, learning hobo camp skills, and meeting autochthonal tribes. But even the city has some far-out sights, such as an ethnographic museum .
Visiting the surround towns of Tabatinga ( Brazil ) and Isla Santa Rosa ( Peru ) are besides popular good afternoon activities in Leticia. Have lunch in Peru and grab a beer in Brazil !
By Niina from Bizarre Globe Hopper
Get there: Fly into Alfredo Vasquez Cobo International Airport ( 2.25-hour flight from Bogota ).

Stay: La Ceiba, Amazonas – Immersive nature bungalows with four-poster beds located in a distant hobo camp village with access to hiking trails .

21. San Agustin, an important archaeological site in the Andean Mountains

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.San Agustin Archeological Park, Colombia.
San Agustin is home to the most incredible archaeological locate in all of Colombia, with dozens of ancient statues scattered around picturesque park hills with the Andes mountain range as a backdrop .
You should set aside three days for your chew the fat. On the first sidereal day, take a half-day knight drive to some of the nearby statues, ending at the Archaeological Park .
First stop consonant is El Tablon, where there are four statues. No one knows for certain the original purpose of the statues or much about the people who created them, but most of the icons guard tombs and they are normally thought to be sacrifices to the gods .
From here, there are two more sites located down a steep slope, about 350 feet aside. El Purutal louisiana Pelota has the only two coloured statues and La Chaquira has respective intriguing anthropomorphic statues. The cavalry ride ends at the main Archaeological Park. It is besides potential to take a collective bus or walk the 2 miles from town to the Archaeological Park rather of a drive horse .
In addition to the main park, there is the atmospheric ‘ Forest of Statues ’, a path through a forest with statues every few hundred feet along the room .
For the two remaining days of your sojourn, take a jeep tour into the surrounding areas to visit seven more sites, a sugar cane factory, and Salto Mortino and Salto Bordones, two dramatic waterfalls .
By James Ian from Travel Collecting
Get there: 1 hour by road from Contador Airport in Pitalito ( 1.5 hour flight from Bogota ) ; 2.5 hours by road from Guadalupe ; 4.5 hours by road from Popayan.

Stay: Masaya San Agustin – Ecolodge with beautiful collected cabins in the hills overlooking the river outside San Agustin town .

22. Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia’s most spectacular church

The gem of South America, Colombia has something for everyone. Here are 24 of the very best places to visit in Colombia, as recommended by travel writers.The incredible Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia. Photo credit: Tales From the Lens.
Las Lajas Sanctuary is a beautiful basilica church service located in the south of Colombia, close up to the bound with Ecuador. With its large bridge cross over the Guaitara River and its beautiful gothic architecture rising out from a canyon, it ’ s much regarded as one of the most original churches in the world .
so far, despite being an crucial pilgrimage for national worshipers, the church remains a concealed jewel that most foreign travellers aren ’ metric ton aware of .
Las Lajas attracts indeed thousands of religious believers each year, who come from all over the nation to address prayers to the Virgin Mary in the hope of a miracle .
It is in fact believed that the Virgin Mary ’ s confront appeared on a rock on the canyon cliff to a local anesthetic woman and her daughter in the 17th-century. numerous miracles are claimed to have occurred in the same location, inspiring thenceforward the construction of a bombastic basilica with an altar facing the rock where the Virgin Mary ’ s face first gear appeared .
Las Lajas is an incredible off-the-beaten-path destination to visit in Colombia – whether you are a believer or not. easily approachable for about 2000 COP ( less than 1 USD ), the sanctuary is a capital half-day excursion from Ipiales, where most tourists only stop to change bus and continue their travels forth into Colombia or Ecuador .
If you aren ’ t in a travel rapidly, make certain to take the time to discover this unique contribution of the colombian countryside .
By Jenny from Tales From the Lens
Get there: 20 minutes by road from Ipiales ; 30 minutes by road from San Luis Airport.

Stay: Loft Hotel Ipiales – Modern rooms in Ipiales, 20 minutes by road from Las Lajas .

23. Concordia, coffee plantations near Medellin

A coffee farm in Concordia, Colombia.A coffee farm in Concordia, Colombia – a must for your Colombia itinerary.
With the most coffee bean trees of any township, Concordia is the ace of the colombian coffee region .
here, it ’ south all about the berries and the beans. The hills that lead from Medellin to Concordia are covered with hectares upon hectares of plantations, most of them owned by smallholder farmers who sell their beans to local co-ops such as Andes, which has a warehouse you can visit barely outside of Jardin .
If you want to visit farms and do a chocolate tasting, it pays to join a tour to Concordia from Medellin. The town is about two hours by car, making it potential to visit as a day trip. We travelled with LandVenture Travel who offer a full-day stumble to Concordia, returning to Medellin in the even ( or you can do like we did and spend the night in Jardin, with a tour of the town the future dawn ) .
A full moon day was batch enough to explore Concordia, although I would have been happy to overnight there and wake up in the reasonably township .
Get there: 2.5-3 hours by road from Medellin ; 2-2.5 hours by road from Jardin.

Stay: Rock Forest Glamping Finca – Stunning A-frame cottages set in the mountains of Concordia, close to coffee farms and with hogback riding available .

Best places to visit in Colombia: Beaches & islands

24. The Rosario Islands, pristine beaches & reefs

Clear blue waters and beach bungalows in Colombia's Rosario Islands.Clear waters & beach bungalows in the Rosario Islands.
Located off the coast of Cartagena, the Rosario Islands ( Corales Islas del Rosario ) is an archipelago of 30 islands that form one of Colombia ’ s 46 Natural National Parks. If you ’ ra concern in snorkelling or aqualung dive, this is one colombian destination you won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to miss .
This separate of the Caribbean is known for its subaqueous ecosystem of vibrant coral reefs, adenine well as seagrass habitat and mangroves. The largest island, the competently named Isla Grande, has resorts, lodges, camping areas and plenty of restaurants, while secluded beaches, an aquarium and open-sea oceanarium are located on humble islets, all accessible by local anesthetic ferry .
Bendita Beach lies precisely off the mainland peninsular and is one of the most popular white-sand beaches in the country. It ’ s a arrant day slip address from Cartagena – or you can rent an overwater bungalow on one of the other islands for a more immersive nature experience .
Get there: 45 minutes by ferry from Baru port to Isla Grande ( 1 hour by road from Cartagena ).

Stay: El Hamaquero Hostal EcoNativo – A popular eco-friendly hostel on the shoreline of Isla Grande, with direct access to the beach .

25. San Andres Island, the best sunsets in Colombia

A beach with a bright blue shack on the shore on San Andres Island, Colombia.The beachfront on San Andres Island, Colombia.
San Andres is an island paradise that belongs to Colombia, even though it ’ s geographically closer to Nicaragua or Panama. With its outside placement, it can only be reached by air. fortunately, flights are quite low-cost from major colombian cities, a low as 70 USD round-trip .
San Andres is celebrated for aqualung dive. The coral and nautical biography is very good preserved and therefore San Andres is said to be one of the best dive spots in the earth .
For those who aren ’ thyroxine interested in aqualung dive, the flaxen beaches are besides world-famous. You can access tons of different beaches via the 16 mile-long ring road that loops the entire way around the island .
Some beaches are popular tourist spots, and some are completely deserted. One of my personal favourites is rough Cay. On this beach at abject tide, you can actually walk a couple of hundred feet out into the water onto a sandbar to reach another island to explore .
By Bailey from Destinationless Travel
Get there: Fly into San Andres Island Airport ( 2.25-hour flight from Bogota ).

Stay: Le Castel Blanc Hotel Boutique – Gorgeous rooms with polish tile floors and wicker furniture, with an outdoor consortium and tropical gardens. Set inside a Mediterranean-style mansion firm 600m from the best swim beaches .

26. Taganga, one of the best places to visit in Colombia for diving

Jagged mountains reach to the sea in Taganga, one of the best places to visit in Colombia for diving.The water’s edge in Taganga, Colombia.
Taganga is a humble fish village in Colombia ’ s north east. It can be reached by minibus from Cartagena, which shouldn ’ t take any longer than two hours. It ’ sulfur worth a visit for two reasons : The aqualung diving and the sunsets .
This short village is becoming increasingly popular among tourists because it neighbours the much bigger and more develop Santa Marta. Taganga allows visitors the opportunity to mingle with vacation locals, enjoy delicious newly fish, and watch one of the most amazing sunsets in South America .
On top of that are opportunities to dive. The little village has respective experienced dive schools that can bring you out on snorkel and aqualung excursions. It ’ second besides possible to gain a certification in Taganga .
The coral and nautical liveliness is beautiful, goodly, and in abundance – something that shouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be taken for granted .
If you ’ re simply visiting Taganga then two days will be enough. If you intend to dive, it ’ south recommended to stay for up to a week, which should give you adequate time to learn and then recover .
By Eoin from Dollys Quest
Get there: 15 minutes by road from Santa Marta.

Stay: Hotel Cactus Taganga – Simple wooden bungalows with outdoor terraces overlooking the bay .

27. Tayrona National Park, where the jungle meets the ocean

A man walks along the beach in Colombia's Tayrona National Park.Tayrona National Park, Colombia. Photo credit: Fox in the Forest.
If you ’ ra looking for an audacious overnighter, consider a stay in Tayrona National Park, a jungle-laden coastal national park is located near Santa Marta on Colombia ’ s northern Caribbean coastline .
Visitors can access the park by animal foot, hiking one of the many scenic trails to a few camp locations. Unless you have hundreds of dollars to spend on a visualize ‘ ecohab ’ ( luxury glamping huts set on a hill ), take the plunge and sleep in a knoll at Cabo San Juan .
Rent a hammock for the night ( the tents will flood if it rains, and keep in thinker, it ’ s the hobo camp ! ) to in full enjoy the park. The hike in takes between 2.5-4 hours depending on how bad the mud is. The adventure is worth it .
Take your meter and enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle. If you ’ re golden you can spot belly laugh tamper in the trees. Opt to hike the nearby Nine Piedres or up to the Pueblito native village. early good morning hikers will be rewarded with cooler temperatures and stunning wildlife .
By Meg from Fox in the Forest
Get there: 30 minutes by road from Santa Marta.

Stay: Senda Koguiwa – Luxe bungalows nestled beneath the mountains with a huge outdoor pool just five minutes from the entrance to the National Park .

28. Santa Marta, relaxation on the Caribbean coast

Vendors on the beach in Santa Marta, Colombia.The beachfront in Santa Marta, Colombia. Photo credit: bye:myself.
Santa Marta is spectacularly unspectacular, and that makes it the arrant spot for relaxing. There is not a batch to see or much to do : No well-maintained historic center, no World Heritage Sites – precisely some picturesque streets ’ newton ’ squares and a pleasant waterside promenade .
Santa Marta international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine dull, it ’ second serene .
On Carrera 5, you can see how Colombians shop class. And you can shop, besides. I bought an unspectacular leather swath at a outstanding price : No tourist currency here, I paid the same as locals pay .
For those for whom local is not enough, there is Carrera 3. here, you ’ ll find stylish restaurants and bars, designed chiefly for tourists and trendy crowd from the nearby university. No colombian town would be complete without some street art, and there are some reasonably perplex murals on Carrera 3 and the adjacent streets .
Santa Marta is a great hub for day trips to beaches. The nicest beach in my opinion, Rodadero, is located south of Santa Marta and is a great locate to spend a faineant day. not lazy ? then you might want to visit National Park Tayrona. It ’ s only about an hour aside by public bus. adventurous folks start their trip to the Sierra Nevada and the El Dorado from Santa Marta.

By Renata from bye:myself
Get there: Fly into Simon Bolivar International Airport ( 1.25-hour escape from Medellin ; 1.5-hour flight from Bogota ).

Stay: Hotel Boutique Maree – Elegant, advanced suites with a generous outdoor pool located close to the city center and beach. All the perks of a big-brand hotel but with an familiar, boutique feel .
Do you have a favourite place to visit in Colombia? Which of these destinations would you include in your Colombia itinerary? Let me know in the comments!

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