Colombia offers vibrant cities, coffee-covered mountains, and warm Caribbean seas that families will love. Get a taste for all three on this two-week tour, starting with the big-city attractions of Bogotá. Next, fly to the UNESCO-listed Zona Cafetera, where you can discover how coffee and cacao are grown. Continue to the Caribbean coast to chill out on beautiful beaches around Santa Marta and Isla Barú, do some gentle hiking in Tayrona National Park, and experience the vibrant culture of Cartagena.


  • See the world's tallest palm trees in the Valle de Cocora
  • Learn more about Colombian coffee and chocolate
  • Catch the rhythm during an Afro-Caribbean drumming workshop
  • Go snorkeling or kayaking in the warm waters of Isla Barú

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá Bogotá
Day 2 Half-Day City Tour, Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Guatavita Lake Bogotá
Day 3 Transfer to Armenia & the Zona Cafetera Armenia
Day 4 Valle de Cocora Walk, Salento & Coffee Farm Visit Armenia
Day 5 Cacao Farm Tour, Free Time at Hacienda Bambusa  Armenia
Day 6 Transfer to Santa Marta, Half-Day City Tour Santa Marta
Day 7 Tayrona National Park Tour & Hike Santa Marta
Day 8 Free Time in Santa Marta Santa Marta
Day 9 Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 10 Half-Day City Tour, Chocolate Tasting Cartagena
Day 11 Drum & Music Workshop, Private Cooking Class Cartagena
Day 12 Transfer to Isla Barú via Bird Sanctuary Isla Barú
Day 13 Free Day on Isla Barú Isla Barú
Day 14 Transfer to Cartagena & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá

Get to know colorful Bogotá
Welcome to Bogotá! Upon arrival, you'll be picked up at El Dorado Airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on how you and the kids are feeling, you might want to rest at your hotel or head out to explore at a leisurely pace. To get an overview of the city's scale and skyline, climb to the top of Cerro Monserrate, or for a relaxing walk, head to Parque Simón Bolívar to explore its lakes, gardens, and paths. Feeling hungry? Visit Paloquemao Market, where you can join locals buying fruits and vegetables and local dishes such as empanadas, ajiaco (chicken and potato soup), and crispy cheese buñuelos.

Day 2: Half-Day City Tour, Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Guatavita Lake

Kids will love the underground Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

Get to know Bogotá better today on a half-day tour in the morning. Start with a stroll around the Paloquemao fruit market, where kids will love sampling the tasty tropical fruit on offer. Nothing defines a city better than its markets, and you'll brush shoulders with locals and get a taste of everyday Bogotá's life as you hop from stall to stall. Continue to the Candelaria neighborhood to pass modern buildings beside colorful street art murals, and see original colonial-era houses. Finish the tour with a fun cable car ride up to the viewpoint of Monserrate, where there are some of the finest views of Bogotá. 

In the afternoon, head out of the city for some completely different attractions. First, visit the fascinating Catedral de Sal ("Salt Cathedral") in the town of Zipaquirá, 1.5 hours from Bogotá. Descend 590 feet (180 m) underground into a mine to find this engineering marvel, whose illuminated stonework and sculpting is a spectacular sight.

After, visit the mythical Guatavita Lake, a site of extreme importance to the Muisca people. Here, new caciques (chiefs) were initiated in a ritual that involved dumping gold into the center of the lake. This ritual convinced the Spanish that Guatavita might be the legendary El Dorado, prompting them to try to drain the lake in an attempt to get the gold they believed was there. 

Day 3: Transfer to Armenia & the Zona Cafetera

Fly to Armenia, a gateway to Colombia's Zona Cafetera
Leave the city behind today as you fly to Armenia. Here, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel, where you and your kids can rest after the journey. Armenia, west of the capital, is in the heart of Colombia's UNESCO-listed Zona Cafetera ("Coffee Zone"), where the majority of Colombian coffee is produced. There are lots of things for travelers of all ages to enjoy here, from coffee tasting (for the grown-ups) to stunning walks and hikes, seeing the tallest palm trees in the world, and eating delicious, fresh food made with local ingredients.

Day 4: Valle de Cocora Walk, Salento & Coffee Farm Visit

Hike through the otherworldly Valle de Cocora

Enjoy an immersive introduction to Colombian nature today with a visit to the Valle de Cocora, home to the tallest palm trees in the world. From the entrance of the valley, walk as far as you like on a custom excursion that suits your kids' needs and energy levels. A walk of around an hour is usually sufficient for seeing the beauty of the valley and to take pictures of the wax palms, which can grow to a whopping 200 feet (60 m). You and your kids will be amazed by these incredible trees and the verdant landscape in which they grow.

Continue on to Salento, a coffee-producing town where there's an amazing view from an observatory at the top of a hill. Then, head to a traditional coffee farm for a tour and a coffee tasting. Adults and teens can indulge in the world-class brews while younger kids will have fun exploring the rural setting of the family-owned farm.  

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Day 5: Cacao Farm Tour, Free Time at Hacienda Bambusa 

See where and how cacao is grown

While your kids might have skipped the coffee-tasting experience yesterday, they're sure to enjoy a visit to a cacao farm today, to see another crop produced in this region. Take a one-hour walk through a plantation, learning more about the process from cacao pod to chocolate treats.

In the afternoon, spend some free time exploring the beautiful working farm on which you're staying, at the Hotel Hacienda Bambusa. The hotel has bikes that you can use to get around the farm, or you can opt to walk. If your kids (or you!) need a break, you could just stay around the pool and relax. The hacienda is an oasis of peace and nature, surrounded by the towering Andes mountains.

Day 6: Transfer to Santa Marta, Half-Day City Tour

Enjoy a complete change of scene at Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast

Swap the mountains for the ocean today as you fly to Santa Marta, a city on Colombia's Caribbean coast. You'll immediately feel the change in pace, atmosphere, and climate here. Depending on how you and your kids are feeling, you can choose to relax and enjoy the afternoon on the beach today, or head out on a city tour. The port of Santa Marta was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia, and there are interesting sights to see. 

Start the tour at Quinta San Pedro Alejandrino, the sugar cane farm where liberator Simón Bolívar spent his final days and died in December 1830. There's a museum here where you can learn more about his life, times, and revolutionary actions. Then, visit Santa Marta's historic city center, taking time to check out one of the oldest churches in Colombia, the Santa Marta Cathedral, as well as the Tayrona Gold Museum, the Parque Simón Bolívar, the oceanside Esplanade, and more.

Day 7: Tayrona National Park Tour & Hike

Kids can look out for cool wildlife in Tayrona National Park

East of Santa Marta lies the Tayrona National Park, a coastal park that stretches into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Known for its pristine coastline, diverse ecosystems, and magnificent flora and fauna, this piece of natural paradise is a must-visit for nature-loving families. 

Hike in the tropical foothills near Playa Cañaveral, at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Then visit the exotic beaches of Arrecifes and La Piscina, the latter being an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling. Continue to Cabo San Juan and enjoy the white-sand bay surrounded by large volcanic rocks. On the way, your guide will point out the local flora and fauna, and keen-eyed young nature lovers might spot howler monkeys, poison dart frogs, and iguanas.

Day 8: Free Time in Santa Marta

Spend time playing and relaxing at the beach

Today is yours to relax and do whatever you and your kids need at this point in your journey. Enjoy spending lazy time in your hotel or at the beach. In the afternoon, you could swap the beach for the pool, and the grown-ups could recharge at the spa. Don't miss one of the area's famous sunsets, which you can watch while sipping on cocktails and kid-friendly mocktails. 

Day 9: Transfer to Cartagena

Welcome to colorful Cartagena!

Travel west along the coast today to Cartagena, a journey of about four hours. Enjoy the coastal views before arriving in one of Colombia's most exciting cities. You will have ample opportunity to explore this city in the coming days, so take time to relax at your hotel after your arrival, and make sure everyone is recharged.

If you want to get out and experience the city in the evening, a dinner reservation can be made for you at one of Cartagena's finest restaurants, Candé. It offers great Caribbean food, local dancing, and a convivial atmosphere the whole family can enjoy.

Day 10: Half-Day City Tour, Chocolate Tasting

Tour Cartagena's old walled area

Get to know Cartagena better today, starting with a half-day tour. Visit the hilltop La Popa Monastery, where you can appreciate some of the best views in the city, then head to the 16th-century Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, whose fortress walls once protected the city from pirate attacks. Your next stop will be the Walled City to see the Bóvedas (vaults), where you'll learn about their fascinating history and browse local arts and crafts. Continue the tour by walking through the Old City, where you'll pass beautiful houses, plazas, and churches, then check out the trendy area of Getsemaní to see its colorful graffiti art.

After, treat the kids to a delicious, educational chocolate experience. Sweet or a little bit bitter, hot chocolate is drunk in almost every Colombian household, for breakfast or as a morning or afternoon snack. The warm climate and the freshness of what comes out of the earth are imprinted on Colombian chocolate. Learn how to better appreciate its distinct flavor as you sample different varieties and a selection of sweet treats.

Day 11: Drum & Music Workshop, Private Cooking Class

Drums and Music Workshop
Let kids find their own beat in today's drum workshop

Kids love to make music and (let's face it) a bit of noise, and they'll get to do both this morning during a fun drumming and music workshop with the Batambora Drum Workshop School. Led by a group of young people from the seaside suburb of La Boquilla's Afro community, the activity starts with some musical theory, followed by a drum performance. All ages will have fun connecting with the rhythms of Afro-Colombian folk music, such as cumbia, mapalé, and champeta, as they follow their own beats on the traditional drums. 

After the music workshop, get involved in a different kind of creative expression: a family cooking class inspired by the diversity of flavors and cultures on the Caribbean coast. You'll have the chance to interact with the chef and learn about the aromas, recipes, ingredients, and local flavors that create delicious Colombian dishes. Kids will love getting their hands dirty and be proud of the tasty dishes they help create. Following the class, sit down to enjoy a three-course lunch prepared by you.

Day 12: Transfer to Isla Barú via Bird Sanctuary

Kids will love the birds at the National Colombian Aviary

Get out of the city today and head to Isla Barú, about one hour's drive from Cartagena. Your first stop is the wonderful National Colombian Aviary, one of the best bird sanctuaries in the region, with hundreds of bird species you will only see in Colombia. Everyone in the family will love the colorful, quirky inhabitants of the aviary, from iridescent hummingbirds to giant toucans.

Continue to your accommodation on Isla Barú, a resort designed to seamlessly blend into nature. Relax on the white sands surrounded by turquoise sea or at the resort's freshwater pool. Extra activities can also be booked at the resort, such as snorkeling or kayaking.

Day 13: Free Day on Isla Barú

Relax and enjoy the sea on Isla Barú

Today you can make the most of the sea and beaches of Isla Barú. You can snorkel or dive, go swimming, enjoy the sea and the waves, go kayaking, or just relax and spend time in nature. Parents who need a break can be pampered at the spa while the kids join one of the resort activities. At dusk, grab some cocktails and fresh fruit juices to watch the sun go down on your last full day in Colombia. 

Day 14: Transfer to Cartagena & Depart

Goodbye, beautiful Colombia!

It's time to leave Isla Barú and Colombia. Depending on your flight departure time, there may be the chance for one last morning swim or beach walk. A driver will pick you up from your hotel to drive you about 1.5 hours to the airport. Hasta pronto!

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Looking for more inspiration for your family trip to Colombia? Check out these other Colombia itineraries, explore other ways to spend two weeks in Colombia with your family, or discover the best time to visit Colombia.


Map of Colombia's Cities, Mountains & Coast for Families - 14 Days
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