Thirteen days is plenty of time to have satisfying experiences in each of Colombia's three most popular cities—including day trips from each—plus time in the mountains or at the beach, all without rushing. Or mix and match your urban adventures with outdoor fun and cultural experiences: go whitewater rafting down a jungle river, visit working coffee farms, take a cooking class in Cartagena, learn to dance salsa in Cali, or snorkel around the Rosario Islands.

Itinerary #1: Coffee, Whitewater, & Caribbean Islands Adventure

On this outdoorsy trip plan, you'll raft down wild rivers, relax on Caribbean islands, and drink plenty of locally produced coffee.

Colombian coffee and banana plantations
Colombian coffee and banana plantations
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Zona Cafetera - Coffee Finca Pereira
Day 2 Hiking in Valle de Cocora - Explore Salento Pereira
Day 3 Zona Cafetera - Transfer to Medellín Medellín
Day 4 Medellín City Tour Medellín
Day 5 Guatapé Day-Trip Medellín
Day 6 Río Verde Rio Verde Campsite
Day 7 Río Verde (Day 2) - Transfer to Medellín Medellín
Day 8 Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 9 Cartagena Walking Tour - Cooking Class Cartagena
Day 10 Rosario Islands Day Trip Cartagena
Day 11 Day Trip to Palenque Cartagena
Day 12 Kayaking Around Barú Island Cartagena
Day 13 Depart Cartagena  


Start the adventure in Colombia's Zona Cafetera (coffee region), where you'll visit a working coffee finca (farm) and overnight in Pereira.  Spend the next day hiking in the pretty valley of Valle de Cocora, then transfer to Medellín for a tour of the city's cultural highlights. Day-trip to the colorful lakeside village of Guatapé before embarking on a two-day rafting trip down Río Verde river. After camping under the stars, you'll back-track to Medellín for a night and then move onto Cartagena de Indias, the colonial jewel of Colombia's Caribbean coast.

Get to know Cartagena on a guided walking tour and take a cooking class in a local home, learning how to make traditional dishes from the region. Take a boat to the Rosario Islands on day ten, then day-trip to colorful San Basilio de Palenque, once Colombia’s main port of entry for slaves abducted from Africa—it's a great place to experience a unique blend of African and Caribbean cultures. Spend a day kayaking around Barú Island before one last night on the town in Cartagena. Toast your trip with cold drinks by the walled city's old ramparts, then catch a flight out the next morning. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Colombia's Vibrant Cultures - the Caribbean to Cali 

This action-packed itinerary covers the northern Caribbean coast, Tayrona National Park, Cartagena, and Cali, to name a few highlights.

Hit the dance floor at a salsa club in Cali, Colombia
Hit the dance floor at a salsa club in Cali, Colombia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santa Marta -> Transfer to Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 2 Tayrona National Park Tour Tayrona Park
Day 3 Free Day Near Tayrona Park Tayrona Park
Day 4 Transfer to Barranquilla: The Carnival City Barranquilla
Day 5 Barranquilla - Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 6 Salsa Dancing Cartagena
Day 7 Day Trip to Palenque Cartagena
Day 8 Explore Cartagena Cartagena
Day 9 Rosario Islands Day Trip Cartagena
Day 10 Flight to Cali Cali
Day 11 Salsa Dancing in Cali Cali
Day 12 Cali Free Day Cali
Day 13 Depart Cali  


Kick off the trip in the historic coastal city of Santa Marta. Transfer to Tayrona National Park, where you'll spend a couple of days hiking, relaxing on sandy white beaches, and camping by the ocean. On day four, you'll continue onto Barranquilla. Stop for a coffee in the trendy neighborhood of El Prado or follow the steps of one of the city's most famous former residents, the legendary writer Gabriel García Márquez. On day six, travel to Cartagena de Indias, where you'll see the sights and learn how to dance salsa—a good warm-up for the activities that await later in the itinerary.

Day-trip to Palenque, then to the Rosario Islands, spending your evenings dining on ceviche back in Cartagena. By day ten, you'll be headed to Cali, where you'll hit the salsa club scene to practice the skills you picked up earlier in the trip. Enjoy a free day for exploring Colombia's third-largest city, visiting galleries, museums, and churches in a trio of walkable neighborhoods: Centro, San Antonio, and Granada. After sampling freshly squeezed juices and the local specialty, tamales (meat and dough wrapped in banana leaves, then steamed), hit the salsa scene once more before the next day's flight out of Colombia. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Colombia's Cities & Zona Cafetera

On this diverse itinerary, you'll visit Colombia's coffee-growing region, stay in a traditional hacienda, wander the streets of colonial Cartagena de Indias, and hike in the beautiful Cocora Valley.

A coffee plantation near Manizales, Colombia
A coffee plantation near Manizales, Colombia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá - Explore the City Bogotá
Day 2 Bogotá City Tour Bogotá
Day 3 Guatavita, Zipaquira & Salt Mines Day-Trip Bogotá
Day 4 Bogotá - Transfer to Zona Cafetera - Coffee Finca Pereira
Day 5 Hiking in Valle de Cocora - Explore Salento Pereira
Day 6 Explore Quindío Villages Pereira
Day 7 Zona Cafetera - Transfer to Medellín Medellín
Day 8 Medellín City Tour Medellín
Day 9 Guatapé Day-Trip Medellín
Day 10 Medellín - Flight to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 11 Cartagena City Tour & Sunset Mangrove Excursion Cartagena
Day 12 Rosario Islands Day Trip Cartagena
Day 13 Depart Cartagena  


This busy itinerary starts in Bogotá. Spend a day sightseeing, visiting local markets, and dining on Colombian food to get oriented. On day three, you'll side-trip to the Laguna de Guatavita lagoon, the underground Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, and Nemocón Salt Mine. The next day, transfer to Zona Cafetera to tour a working coffee farm. Go hiking through the Valle de Cocora valley, then go on a Jeep tour of traditional villages including Montenegro, Circasia, and Cordoba.

The second week of the trip takes you to Medellín. Spend a day exploring the city on a guided tour that features stops at landmarks like Botero Square, known for its striking outdoor sculptures. Day-trip to colorful Guatapé, then catch a domestic flight to Cartagena de Indias on day ten. After a city tour, you'll go on a sunset excursion to the fishing village of La Boquilla and canoe through nearby mangroves. Boat to the Rosario Islands for snorkeling, sunbathing, and time to relax on the beach, then cruise back to Cartagena, where you'll have one more night to enjoy Colombian culture and cuisine before jetting home the next day. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Bogotá, Medellín, & the Pacific Coast 

Get to know Colombia's busiest cities—and the relatively little-known Pacific coastal region of Chocó—on this two-week trip plan.

Outdoor sculptures at Botero Square in Medellín
Outdoor sculptures at Botero Square in Medellín
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá - Explore the City Bogotá
Day 2 Bogotá City Tour Bogotá
Day 3 Guatavita, Zipaquira & Salt Mines Day-Trip Bogotá
Day 4 Bogotá - Flight to Medellín Medellín
Day 5 Medellín City Tour Medellín
Day 6 Guatapé Day-Trip Medellín
Day 7 Coffee Finca Day-Trip Medellín
Day 8 Flight to Nuquí Nuqui
Day 9 Whale Watching, Hiking & Hot Springs Nuqui
Day 10 Joví River: Canoe & Village Day-Trip Nuqui
Day 11 Free day on the Pacific Coast Nuqui
Day 12 Fly from Nuquí to Medellín Medellín
Day 13 Depart Medellín  


Begin in the capital city of Bogotá. After a day touring the city and sampling local cuisine, you'll go on a day trip to the Laguna de Guatavita lagoon, Nemocón Salt Mine, and the underground Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira. On day four, take a flight to Medellín. See some of the city's highlights on a guided tour, including the Botanical Garden, and take a ride high over town on the Metrocable gondola system. Side-trip to laid-back Guatapé on day six, then tour a working coffee farm in the Zona Cafetera on day seven. 

Kick off the second week of the trip by flying to Nuquí in the region of Chocó on Colombia's undeveloped Pacific coast. Relax on the pristine beaches of Guachalio, take a dip in thermal hot springs, and hike through the surrounding rainforest. The next day, you'll go looking for humpback whales on a boat tour around the Tribugá Gulf. Canoe along the Joví River, visit an indigenous village, and take a free day to relax on the beach before flying from Nuquí to Medellín at the end of the trip. You'll have one more evening to spend in the big city before flying home. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Camino Verde & Tayrona National Park Hiking Adventure

Hike through the Colombian rainforest and relax on the beaches of idyllic Tayrona National Park on this active trip plan.

A hiking trail through the forest in Tayrona National Park
A hiking trail through the forest in Tayrona National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Medellín Medellín
Day 2 Medellín City Tour Medellín
Day 3 Pablo Escobar Tour Medellín
Day 4 Camino Verde Trek - Day 1 On Trek
Day 5 Camino Verde Trek - Day 2 On Trek
Day 6 Camino Verde Trek - Day 3 Medellín
Day 7 Coffee Finca Day-Trip Medellín
Day 8 Explore Medellín (Free Day) Medellín
Day 9 Flight to Santa Marta (Optional City Tour) Santa Marta
Day 10 Santa Marta - Tayrona National Park Tour Tayrona Park
Day 11 Free Day Near Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 12 Tayrona National Park - Pueblito Ruins Tayrona Park
Day 13 Depart Tayrona National Park  


Arrive in Medellín. Get to know the city on a sightseeing tour on day two, then follow the footsteps of Pablo Escobar, Medellín's infamous drug lord, on a dedicated tour on day three. You'll shift gears on day four, heading to the Camino Verde (literally "Green Path") for a hiking journey through the rainforest. For the next three days, you'll hike along jungle paths, spotting rare birds and overnighting in farmhouses and family homes. Caffeinate on day seven with a guided tour of a working coffee farm.

Head back to Medellín for a free day in the city. Then catch a flight to Santa Marta, enjoying sunset on the beach with fresh fruit juice vendors and a crowd of local families. You'll make it to Tayrona National Park the next day, where you'll spend the remainder of the trip hiking through virgin forest, swimming and sunbathing on sandy white beaches, snorkeling in crystal-blue waters, visiting cultural landmarks like the village of Minca and the Pueblito Ruins—and spotting a wide variety of flora and fauna (look out for crocodiles!)—along the way. Learn more

Map

Map of 13 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 13 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas