If you require help in planning your journey to Colombia We’ll help you find the right choices. In addition to coffee plants, tropical beaches to vibrant cities, here are the 12 best places to go to in Colombia!
A list of the most popular places to visit in any country would be ridiculous. “Best” is relative. What may be on my “best places to visit in Colombia” list may not be on your list.
In addition, it’s similar to asking parents to select a favorite child. I’m a huge fan of all destinations in Colombia and limiting the choices to one or two is difficult!
If you’ve been thinking about an excursion to Colombia you’ve probably realized that there are a lot of amazing destinations to include in the Colombia itinerary.
Colombia is among the most diverse destinations that is South America, filled with beautiful beaches, posh cities and plenty of jungles. If you don’t have a lot of free time to spare, it’s difficult to take in and explore all.
To aid you in planning your excursion, I’m going share my top 10 list of the top places to go to in Colombia. The list I’ve put together may not be the same as yours, however it will provide you with some suggestions on the locations you could want to visit while in Colombia.
If I had to pick my absolute favorite destination to visit in Colombia the place would be Cartagena.
The city isn’t the ideal destination for everyone. The beaches aren’t the best It’s extremely hot and humid and you’ll always see people who try to sell you things on the street. But there is history in the city and culture to behold.
Two women dressed in vibrant clothing walk along a street in Cartagena which is one of the top places to go in Colombia.
Streets of Cartagena
The city’s old wall, the tales of pirates’ attacks, and the fortress that is situated over the city’s historic center give you the impression that you’re in the middle of history. Cartagena is also home to some the most impressive Spanish colonial structures within Colombia (and South America).
In addition to the history, Cartagena is one of my most favorite cities of Colombia for its great nightspots, festivals that run all year round as well as excellent dining. It’s among Colombia’s most secure cities for tourists – particularly if you stick to the historical center as well as in the Bocagrande neighborhood.
2. Rosario Islands
If you want to stay close to the coastline, the next place on my list of top places to go to within Colombia includes The Rosario Islands (Islas del Rosario).
About an hour away from Cartagena The islands form an integral part of the national park. They provide the breathtaking Caribbean Island experience Cartagena is sorely lacking.
The Rosario Islands are another one of the top destinations to visit in Colombia.
Do you need to relax? Head to the Rosario Islands.
The islands were never included in an official national park so they have small hotels and houses. There are no beaches as gorgeous as those on adjacent Isla Baru, but they aren’t as crowded. If you’re interested in diving or snorkeling it is possible to enjoy it here.
Personally, I recommend accommodation for the night on the islands. There are a few choices, however, there are some hostels. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the bioluminescent phytoplankton that lives in this lagoon. Alternatively, arrange a tour through the mangroves.
3. Volcan de Lodo El Totumo
If I’m truthful, at first at first, it’s easy to see that the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (aka the Mud Volcano) could appear like tourist traps. But before you judge and pass over this cutesy tourist attraction, listen me out.
There’s nothing like the sensation of floating in a endless lava field I personally feel this is why it’s among the top places to visit in Colombia. Seriously. Add to that a lot of mud-covered individuals and locals who offer massages with mud, and difficulty of keeping your balance inside the deep mud pit I’m sure you’ll be laughing when you leave.
In all honesty there are a few ways to lessen the unpleasant tourist trap sensation.
In the beginning, accept the fact that you will be a tipping point at the volcanic mud. For people living there it is their source of income. From the little kid who is looking over your belongings to the woman who is adamantly helping you rinse off the mud, everyone is looking for to receive a small amount.
If you are in more people in your group, you might consider hiring a taxi rather than taking an excursion. The option of booking your own private transport will allow you to time it to get there prior to or after the bus tour rush (early morning or later in the after lunch).
4. Tayrona National Park
If you’re looking for the most beautiful beaches in Colombia visit Tayrona National Park, near Santa Marta.
It is said that the Cabo San Juan beach regarded by many as the most beautiful beach in the world. In addition to beaches the park is filled with lush vegetation and sparkling clean Caribbean waters.
You shouldn’t go to Colombia without stopping by the Tayrona National Park. It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Colombia.
You can escape the crowds at Tayrona National Park, Colombia.
What is it that makes Tayrona special in its own way and makes it one of the top destinations to visit in Colombia is also the reason that the majority of travelers ignore the place? It is not just the maximum number of visitors permitted in per day, however it also has a pretty steep cost for entry.
The park is also closed for a period of a month or more each year, at the request of indigenous communities in the area to aid in repairing the harm done by over tourism.
If you’re planning to visit Tayrona I suggest that you stay for the night. There are a variety of tent camping or hammockshowever, if you have an extra hundred dollars there are some cabins to choose from.
When I was a kid when I first went to Palomino, Colombia, I would have suggested it over Tayrona National Park. This is how much I enjoyed the endless white-sand beaches and the laid-back, small-town atmosphere.
A few years ago, Palomino had just started becoming a popular hiking trails for backpackers.
While I continue to believe that Palomino is a wonderful destination for a visit, I’m recommending it due to various reasons.
The option of skipping Tayrona can no more be an option due to the fact that Palomino Beach is less of an oasis of peace and is more of a party spot.
This laid-back, hippie town is a backpacker’s dream with a variety of hostels and delicious, affordable food and cheap day trips and surf lessons.
In addition to hanging out at the beach top activity to do in Palomino is tubing down the river. For a small amount, you can hire tubing equipment, hop on an moto-taxi ride along into the water, take a few hours sliding downstream through your Colombian jungle.
6. La Guajira
If you’re looking for something different on the Colombian Caribbean shoreline, I’d recommend going to La Guajira.
The area is located to the east from Santa Marta, this section of Colombia is famous for its deserts and sand dunes. It is a far cry from the lush green forests of Tayrona.
There are many options to go and places to visit during your visit to La Guajira that make it one of my favorite destinations to visit in Colombia.
Kitesurfing is very popular in the area and is a fantastic opportunity to get started. It’s also a great spot for bird watching. Sand dunes as well as beaches can be enjoyable also, no matter if you enjoy dunes-buggies or simply soaking in the sunshine.
Do you want to be off the beaten path? Go to La Guajira. It’s one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Colombia.
The dunes of La Guajira, Colombia
This region of Colombia is also home to one of the biggest indigenous tribes in the country, the Wayuu. These bright, vibrant bags that you can find almost everywhere you go in the country? These bags from Wayuu are the company that create bags of these colors. If you’d like to contribute to our local area, you should consider purchasing a bag from here instead of going back to Bogota and Medellin.
Beware, if manage to get this way off the beaten path in Colombia Be prepared for no Wi-Fi and, most importantly, there aren’t hot baths.
Away from the coastline, let’s discuss the cities in Colombia. Bogota which is the capital is one of my top destinations to visit not just for the reason that there’s a high chance that you’ll fly in or out of Bogota.
Bogota is the bustling capital city of Colombia. It boasts one of the best nightclubs, restaurants and museums. It also has the historical La Candelaria, the vibrant center of the city.
Locals will inform that, despite the fact that they would prefer Cartagena for being one of the top places to visit in Colombia, and Bogota being amongst the worst — living in Colombia is quite the opposite.
Bogota is the ideal place to be.
Bogota may not be the ideal place for a trip to Colombia however, it could be the most ideal location to live in.
Rooftop views of Bogota, Colombia
If you’re interested in the arts, you should go to the Botero Museum. Are you a foodie? Bogota is home to three of the most renowned eateries within Latin America and one restaurant that is on the World’s Top Restaurants list.
Are you looking to have a great party? Bogota’s nightclubs are among the top within South America, with the nightclub Theatron being voted the top LGBTQ club of Latin America.
The ideal time to plan for a trip to Bogota on your Colombia vacation is on weekends. On Saturday, you can visit a few attractions located in La Candelaria, and an delicious dinner at a restaurant before going for a night out at one of the nightclubs in Bogota.
The following day, wake up in time to be able to witness the conclusion of the city’s most famous Sunday ciclovia, an annual event that shuts down many of the city’s main roads for cyclists and pedestrians to take advantage of.
8. Villa de Leyva
If you are looking for a quiet escape from Bogota I recommend Villa de Leyva as one of the top destinations to visit in Colombia.
A few hours away of Bogota, Villa de Leyva isn’t sufficient for a one-day excursion, but it’s the ideal location to enjoy an escape on a weekend.
The town is stunning with whitewashed houses and a huge central square along with cobblestone street. There are a myriad of good restaurants, art galleries and local craft stores.
The central square of Villa de Leyva, Colombia
Although Villa de Leyva is an ideal spot for a tranquil relaxing weekend, it can also offer distinct vibes in the event of one of the many annual celebrations.
Imagine the thousands of people who line the cobblestone streets to mark this New Year, flying kites to celebrate the annual kite festival in August and carrying candles to mark celebrations like the Festival de Luces in December!
Another most important Colombian cities is Medellin. Medellin has plenty of things to do, from amazing weather to the most friendly people you’ll meet in Colombia.
Medellin is, without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to go to in Colombia!
Medellin is among the most welcoming, vibrant cities in Colombia
The thing I love about Medellin is the ease with which you can get to all the towns that are nearby. You can make a day trip out to Guatape and hike up the famed El Penol rock. Cocorna is another small town with one of the most thrilling paragliding opportunities in Colombia.
If you’re not ready to go away from the city, you can take the tour through La Comuna 13. The local area in Medellin was once controlled by cartels, but is now recognized for its amazing street art.
If you’re only to Colombia for one week or less skipping the coffee region is an act of blasphemy. This is coming by someone who hasn’t drink coffee.
Colombians are extremely pleased with the quality of their coffee and Colombia’s Coffee Triangle is a definite should-visit. The choice of a specific spot within the region of coffee isn’t easy but. For the majority of people, Salento is probably the most suitable choice.
Salento is a great escape from the bustle and hustle of some of the bigger cities in the area. The coffee is fantastic.
Its town, Salento is tiny, charming and vibrant. However, beware: it can be a little cool, especially when compared with the cities of the lower coffee triangle such as Armenia.
In town, you’ll find a variety of hostels as well as some hotels that are boutique style. I suggest not leaving until you’ve had the local eatery’s trout-based dish. The trout that comes from the region in Colombia is deliciousand almost every restaurant in town offers an outstanding meal made of it.
11.The Cocora Valley
Outside of Salento The Corcora Valley is what really makes this region in my “best places to visit in Colombia” list. The Corcora Valley is home to the world’s tallest palm tree and I guarantee you’ll be amazed by the size of them.
Cocora Valley Cocora Valley is, hands down, the most beautiful places to visit in Colombia without a doubt.
The Valley is one of my top areas to hike in the entire region of Colombia as well as possibly the entirety of South America. There’s a wide range of hikes to choose from, from short hours-long hikes to long-distance excursions. If you’re not into the outdoors you can also take horseback riding tours that are available.
Bonus: There are plenty of amazing coffee farms in the area that you can spend the night and learn more about the process of making coffee and relax.
If you’d like to experience what’s in Amazon rainforest, Leticia is your best choice in Colombia.
Right on the border, you’ll be able to easily observe areas in the Brazilian as well as Peruvian Amazon jungle on day trips out of Leticia.
The city itself doesn’t have much to be raving about. There are some nice restaurants and a great market. From the town of Leticia you can make reservations for tours for both day trips as well as overnight tours to the jungle.
A popular option for trips is visits to villages in the area as well as piranha fishing. There is also stopping at “Monkey Island,” and trekking through the jungle.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll have the opportunity to see the famous Amazon Pink River Dolphins!
13. San Gil
For those who love adventure sports, San Gil is a must-see. San Gil is known as the adventure sports capital of Colombia with the right reason. There’s everything that you could want from whitewater rafting paragliding to bungee jumps.
The town is situated in the stunning area that is Colombia with lush forest all around. The nearby rivers and canyons are where the majority of adventure sports alternatives are available. Tours and adventures can be booked easily from many companies within the town.
14. Cano Cristales
To get there Cano Cristales can be quite the trek. The river is far from the main road. There are restrictions regarding when and how you are able to visit. If you are timing the right way it is worth a trip to Cano Cristales is a chance to witness one of the nation’s most beautiful natural marvels.
The nickname is”the Liquid Rainbow, the Cano Cristales river is famous for its gorgeous range of colors – blue, red green, yellow and many more. The colors are actually a blend of aquatic plants which bloom and then grow into stunning display.
15. Ciudad Perdida
The famous archeological site is situated in the mountains around Santa Marta. It can be reached through an extensive hike that includes treks lasting between 4-6 days. Numerous companies offer guided hikes to the city’s ancient ruins and tours can be booked within Santa Marta and Palomino.
Prepare yourself for intense tropical heat with lots of bugs and lots of mud! If you are able to endure the entire experience, you’ll be rewarded with an almost empty archeological treasure.
The Ciudad Perdida – or Lost City is believed to have been constructed in the 800 CE period. This means that the city is about 600 years older than Machu Picchu.
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