Fifteen days in Colombia is enough time to see three important cities, along with at least one of the country's famed natural areas. A popular choice is to combine Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena with either Tayrona National Park or the Zona Cafetera (Coffee Country). You can also trade time in one of the cities for an island experience on the Caribbean Coast, a trek in the Andes, or whitewater rafting on the Río Verde. Read more about your options for a 15-day trip below.

Itinerary #1: Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, & Tayrona Park

Journey across Colombia's cities from north to south, and visit a number of beautiful beaches and national parks, all on this two-week tour around Colombia.

Sightseeing in the historic center of Bogotá
Sightseeing in the historic center of Bogotá
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 Tayrona National Park - Pueblito Ruins Tayrona Park
Day 4 Tayrona National Park - Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 5 Cartagena Landmarks - Bazurto Market Cartagena
Day 6 Rosario Islands Day Trip Cartagena
Day 7 Flight to Medellín (Optional City Tour) Medellín
Day 8 Guatapé Day-Trip Medellín
Day 9 Flight to Bogotá Bogotá
Day 10 Bogotá City Tour Bogotá
Day 11 Take a Food Tour of the Mercado de Paloquemao Bogotá
Day 12 Flight to Cali Cali
Day 13 Salsa Dancing in Cali Cali
Day 14 Cali Free Day Cali
Day 15 Depart Cali  


Begin the trip on Colombia's northern Caribbean coast in the historic city of Santa Marta. You'll have time to explore Tayrona National Park, wedged between the turquoise sea and rugged mountains, before moving onto the walled city of Cartagena de Indias. Take a tour of the city, stopping to taste local fruits in Bazurto Market, then day-trip by boat to the Rosario Islands for fun in the sun and time to relax on the sand. On day seven, catch a flight to Medellín. On a guided tour, you'll see the iconic bronze sculptures at Botero Square and stroll through the sprawling Botanical Garden

Detour to Guatapé and visit a coffee farm to learn how your morning cup is made before taking another flight to the capital city of Bogotá. You'll tour the city, pausing at the 16th-century Plaza de Bolivár square, taking some time to explore the Gold Museum, home to the largest collection of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts in the world, and going on a food-focused excursion to the Mercado de Paloquemao. You'll finish the trip in Cali with a salsa dancing class and night on the club scene, followed by a free day for hiking and sightseeing. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Colombian Cities Highlights & Zona Cafetera Trek 

Soak up Colombian culture and drink coffee to your heart's content on this diverse itinerary that takes travelers to lively cities, quiet farms, and rugged volcanoes.

Early morning at Los Nevados National Park
Early morning at Los Nevados National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá Bogotá
Day 2 Take a Food Tour of the Mercado de Paloquemao Bogotá
Day 3 Zipaquira Salt Cathedral & Village Day-Trip Bogotá
Day 4 Explore Bogotá (free day) Bogotá
Day 5 Bogotá - Transfer to Zona Cafetera - Coffee Finca Pereira
Day 6 Trek in the Valle de Cocora (Day 1) On Trek
Day 7 Trek in the Valle de Cocora (Day 2) On Trek
Day 8 Trek to Refugio Ecológico La Pastora On Trek
Day 9 Trek to El Cedral Wildlife Sanctuary Otún Quimbaya
Day 10 Birding - Visit Manizales Manizales
Day 11 Nevado del Ruiz - Birding Manizales
Day 12 Flight to Medellín (Optional City Tour) Medellín
Day 13 Pablo Escobar Tour Medellín
Day 14 Guatapé Day-Trip Medellín
Day 15 Depart Medellín  


The journey begins in Bogotá. After seeing the sights and going on a food tour of the Mercado de Paloquemao, you'll day-trip to Zipaquira Salt Cathedral on day three. Spend another day in the capital city before transferring to Zona Cafetera, Colombia's coffee-growing region, where you'll tour a working coffee farm.

Next, set off on a four-day trek through Valle de Cocora and the central Andes. You'll overnight at Refugio Ecológico La Pastora and visit the Otún Quimbaya wildlife sanctuary, then go on a birdwatching tour before transferring to Manizales and going for a dip in the Termales El Otoño thermal pools.

During the last part of the trip, you'll look for more exotic birds, like the golden-breasted puffleg, the rainbow-bearded thornbill, and the shining sunbeam, on a birding tour near the stratovolcano of Nevado del Ruiz. Finish up the trip with a flight to Medellín. After covering the standard sightseeing circuit, you'll go on a thematic tour highlighting the activities and life of Pablo Escobar, the city's most notorious drug lord. Day-trip to the colorful village of Guatapé before heading back to the city to catch a flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Culinary Colombia

This culinary tour around Colombia features cooking classes, gourmet tours, and other cuisine-related adventures, geared to food-minded travelers.

Tropical fruits for sale at a street stall
Tropical fruits for sale at a Colombian street food stall
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá Bogotá
Day 2 Take a Food Tour of the Mercado de Paloquemao Bogotá
Day 3 Ajiaco Cooking Lesson in Bogotá Bogotá
Day 4 Flight to Medellín (Optional City Tour) Medellín
Day 5 Coffee Finca Day-Trip Medellín
Day 6 Full Day trip to Jardín Medellín
Day 7 Flight to Santa Marta - Transfer to Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 8 Tour of Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 9 Free Day Near Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 10 Tayrona National Park - Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 11 Cartagena Walking Tour - Cooking Class Cartagena
Day 12 La Boquilla Fishing Trip Cartagena
Day 13 Chocolate Workshop and Afternoon Rum Tasting Cartagena
Day 14 Kayaking Around Barú Island Cartagena
Day 15 Depart Cartagena  


Jump right into this food-focused tour in Bogotá with a visit to the open-air market of Mercado de Paloquemao, where you'll sample tropical fruits and traditional street food-style dishes. On day three, you'll go to the restaurant at the Escuela Taller, where a chef will teach you how to make ajiaco (a rich soup of potatoes, chicken, and corn with rice and avocado).

Then it's off to Medellín for a sightseeing tour and dinner out on the town. Day-trip to a working coffee farm the following day, then take another day to visit the village of Jardín, surrounded by coffee and banana plantations.

On the second week of the trip, fly to Santa Marta and spend a couple of days exploring beautiful Tayrona National Park (a word to the wise: pack a picnic!) By day ten, you'll head back to civilization, transferring to Cartagena. After a walking tour around the historic walled city, you'll take another cooking class, this time specializing in Caribbean cuisine.

Learn about local seafood on a side trip to the fishing village of La Boquilla, then return to the big city for a chocolate workshop and an afternoon rum tasting. Finish the trip with a kayaking adventure around Barú Island. Take one last night for ceviche and cocktails in Cartagena before flying out the next day. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Coffee, Whitewater Rafting, & Island Adventure

You don't have to choose between rivers and the ocean — or between coffee plantations and colonial cities — on an ambitious trip plan that takes you around to Colombia's highlights.

A coffee plantation near Manizales
A coffee plantation near Manizales
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Zona Cafetera - Coffee Finca Pereira
Day 2 Hiking in Valle de Cocora - Explore Salento Pereira
Day 3 Horseback Riding in Zona Cafetera Salento
Day 4 Zona Cafetera - Transfer to Medellín Medellín
Day 5 Medellín City Tour Medellín
Day 6 Guatapé Day-Trip Medellín
Day 7 Río Verde Rio Verde Campsite
Day 8 Río Verde (Day 2) - Transfer to Medellín Medellín
Day 9 Pablo Escobar Tour Medellín
Day 10 Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 11 Cartagena Walking Tour - Cooking Class Cartagena
Day 12 Rosario Islands Day Trip Cartagena
Day 13 Day Trip to Palenque Cartagena
Day 14 Kayaking Around Barú Island Cartagena
Day 15 Depart Cartagena  


Bypass the big cities and head straight to the Zona Cafetera to begin this caffeine-fueled adventure. You'll visit a coffee finca (farm) on the first day, overnighting in Pereira. Then go hiking and horseback riding in the Valle de Cocora and take some time to explore the town of Salento. On day four, move onto Medellín for a city tour, an evening on the culinary circuit, and a day trip to Guatapé, where you'll have the option to climb to the top of El Peñol (La Piedra Rock), a natural granite landmark with 740 steps and a shrine to the Virgin Mary. 

On the second part of the trip, you'll embark on a whitewater rafting trip down the Río Verde river. Camp under the stars and enjoy the great outdoors before heading back to Medellín for a Pablo Escobar-focused tour and a night on the town.

On day ten, transfer to Cartagena. Discover the city's turbulent history on a walking tour of its colorful streets, stopping to take a cooking class in a local home. You'll day-trip to the Rosario Islands for swimming and sunbathing on white sandy beaches, then spend a day kayaking around Barú Island. Have drinks by Cartagena's old ramparts at night before catching a flight out the next day. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Summit to the Sea - Andes Trek & Caribbean Coast

Trek through the Andes, hit the restaurant scene in Medellín, boat around islands off the coast of Cartagena: this busy itinerary has something for everyone.

Beach and forest in Tayrona National Park
Beach and forest in Tayrona National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Medellín Medellín
Day 2 Medellín City Tour Medellín
Day 3 Flight to Zona Cafetera - Coffee Finca Pereira
Day 4 Manizales - Río Blanco Nature Reserve Manizales
Day 5 Los Nevados Trek (Day 1) On Trek
Day 6 Los Nevados Trek (Day 2) On Trek
Day 7 Los Nevados Trek (Day 3) - Transfer to Salento Salento
Day 8 Flight to Santa Marta - Transfer to Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 9 Tour of Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 10 Tayrona National Park - Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 11 Explore Cartagena Cartagena
Day 12 Cartagena - San Bernardo Islands Isla Mucura
Day 13 Múcura Highlights Isla Mucura
Day 14 San Bernardo Islands - Cartagena Cartagena
Day 15 Depart Cartagena  


Touch down in Medellín. You'll be based in the city for the first two days, getting to know a few things about Colombian history, culture, and cuisine before jetting off to the country's coffee-growing region. Visit a working coffee farm and overnight in Pereira before the next day's trip to Manizales and the Río Blanco Nature Reserve. Here, you'll spot a few of the region's 2,000 bird species, including toucans, rusty-faced parrots, and owls.

Gear up for a three-day trek through Los Nevados National Park, where you'll pass one of the country's only remaining glaciers and see Colombia’s national bird, the Andean condor, flying high overhead. Transfer to the town of Salento, where you'll spend the night and begin the second half of the trip.

On day eight, fly to Santa Marta, the jumping-off point for Tayrona National Park. You'll have three days in the park for hiking, swimming, and wildlife spotting before you move onto Cartagena. Spend a day exploring the fascinating walled city, then side-trip to the San Bernardo Islands. You'll spend the night on Múcura Island, one of several small islands in an archipelago off the Caribbean coast. Swim, snorkel, and relax on the white sand, then take a boat tour around the area before returning to Cartagena for one last day and night in the seaside city. Learn more

More Great 15-Day Colombia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Colombia trip? Check out these other 15-day Colombia itineraries, ranging from active, to cultural, to luxury, or family-friendly trips.

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Map

Map of 15 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 15 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas