Families are sure to love the mix of culture and coastlines on this seven-day tour of Caribbean Colombia. Discover colorful colonial architecture and learn about the swashbuckling history of Cartagena, then get hands-on with a drums workshop and chocolate-tasting experience. Venture deep into the untouched paradise of Tayrona National Park to swim and snorkel off unspoiled beaches, and head inland to discover the lush mountains and coffee farms around Minca.


  • Immerse your entire family in authentic Colombian culture in Cartagena
  • Discover Caribbean rhythms with a family drum and dance workshop
  • Explore the National Colombian Aviary, home to hundreds of bird species
  • Swim, snorkel, and relax on unspoiled beaches in Tayrona National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cartagena Cartagena
Day 2 City Tour of Cartagena, Chocolate Tasting Cartagena
Day 3 Drums & Music Workshop, Bird Sanctuary Cartagena
Day 4 Transfer to Santa Marta Santa Marta
Day 5 Tayrona National Park Adventure Santa Marta
Day 6 Minca Tour & Coffee Farm Santa Marta
Day 7 Transfer to Cartagena, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cartagena

Welcome to Cartagena!

Welcome to Cartagena! You and your family will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, drop off your luggage and enjoy your first evening in this colorful jewel of Colombia's Caribbean coast. Put on some walking shoes and take your family on an afternoon stroll around the city to get your bearings and lose yourself in its historic streets.

In the evening, discover Cartagena's thriving culinary scene, choosing from casual cafés frequented by locals to upscale restaurants by some of Latin America's most famous chefs. Head to Candé for great Caribbean food, a sample of local dances, and a family atmosphere—the perfect spot to celebrate your first night in the country.

Day 2: City Tour of Cartagena, Chocolate Tasting

The Old City of Cartagena, with endless streets of beautiful colonial architecture

After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will pick you up for a four-hour tour of Cartagena. Take in the best views in the city at La Popa Monastery, then head to Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a mighty fort built to protect the thriving port from pirate attacks. Your next stop will be the Walled City, where you will see the Bóvedas, another example of military architecture and fascinating history.

The tour continues through the Old City, where you will see beautiful houses, squares, and churches. You will also visit the Getsemaní neighborhood and see its vibrant graffiti art. After a morning of walking, put your feet up and re-energize as you learn about the history of one of Colombia's most famous exports. Discover how the rich Colombian soil produces some of the most renowned chocolate and cacao in the world, and satisfy sweet tooths with a delicious chocolate-tasting experience. 

Day 3: Drums & Music Workshop, Bird Sanctuary

Discover Colombia's incredible birdlife at the Isla Barú aviary

The team of Batambora Drum Workshop School invites the whole family to live an extraordinary musical experience today. Led by a group of young people from nearby La Boquilla's Afro community, Batambora aims to preserve and celebrate the cultural traditions of African heritage in the Caribbean. Kids will love connecting with the local rhythms of Afro-Colombian folk music, such as cumbia, mapalé, and champeta, and finding their own beats on the traditional drums.  

In the afternoon, visit Barú Island, where the National Colombian Aviary is located. This is one of the best bird sanctuaries in the region, with hundreds of avian species that you will only see in Colombia. Task the kids with spotting some of the highlights—like iridescent hummingbirds, colorful toucans, and giant Andean condors. After the drive back to town, the rest of the day is at your leisure to explore more of Cartagena. In the evening, consider visiting Carmen, where you'll find kid-friendly contemporary cuisine with an emphasis on Colombian flavors.
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Day 4: Transfer to Santa Marta

Santa Marta boasts ocean views and traditional colonial architecture
Sweeping beaches in Santa Marta

It's so long to Cartagena today as you travel by private transfer to Santa Marta. The drive takes about four hours, but if the kids get antsy, you can stop on the way for lunch in Barranquilla, the largest city on the northern Caribbean coast and the main industrial, educational, and tech hub of Caribbean Colombia. 

Upon arrival, the rest of the day is at your leisure. Kids might want to spend the rest of the afternoon around the pool or at the beach, but there's also plenty to explore around town. The port of Santa Marta enjoys the distinction of being the first Spanish settlement in Colombia, and the historic downtown has been restored and is worth a visit. Nearby, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, and the gateway to postcard-worthy Tayrona National Natural Park, on the palm-fringed Caribbean coast, which you'll venture into on tomorrow's adventure.

Day 5: Tayrona National Park Adventure

Snorkeling in Tayrona National Park

Pack your swimsuits and hiking shoes and meet your guide early in the morning for today's full-day tour of Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (Tayrona National Park). This protected area is known for having some of the most pristine coastal landscapes in the entire country. Start with a hike in the tropical foothills near Playa Cañaveral, at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and keep a lookout for the park's plentiful wildlife. Keen-eyed children might spot poison dart frogs, iguanas, and the adorable endemic cotton-top tamarin.

Then it's time to cool down with some beach time. For families who love to swim, the exotic beach of Arrecifes will be a hit, while La Piscina is an ideal spot for snorkeling. Continue to Cabo San Juan and enjoy the bay of white sand surrounded by large volcanic rocks, where you can while away the afternoon in paradise before a transfer back to your hotel in time for dinner.

Day 6: Minca Tour & Coffee Farm

Coffee Tour with local farmers
Head into the lush mountains around Minca on today's day trip

Your guide will meet you at your hotel this morning for a day trip to Minca, a mountain village located on the coastal hillside. Make sure to pack an extra layer, as this area is known for its refreshing, cooler temperatures. Tucked away in the Sierra Nevada mountains, remote Minca is seemingly a world away from the bustling city of Santa Marta. Your tour starts working coffee farms in the region. After learning about the production process and enjoying a taste of organic coffee, you'll visit the beautiful Marinka waterfalls, where kids can go for a swim.

Enjoy some free time and have lunch on your own before you embark on an afternoon walking tour of Minca's pretty town center. In the afternoon, your driver will take you back to Santa Marta, where you can spend the final evening of your trip watching one of the coast's famous sunsets and enjoying some local Caribbean-influenced fare.

Day 7: Transfer to Cartagena, Depart

Depart Colombia
Depart Colombia

It's time to say goodbye to Colombia. When the time comes, your driver will pick you up and transfer you back to Cartagena's airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Colombia Itineraries

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


Map of Family Trip to Caribbean Colombia: Cartagena & Santa Marta - 7 Days
Map of Family Trip to Caribbean Colombia: Cartagena & Santa Marta - 7 Days