Perfect for adventurous kids and aspiring explorers, this 10-day expedition showcases Colombia's incredible diversity—with lots of fun and fascinating excursion along the way. Get active with hiking and tubing adventures, chill out away from the crowds on Caribbean coast beaches, go horseback riding and stargazing in the desert, tour impressive archaeological parks to learn more about Colombia's ancient history, and much more.


  • Take a tubing trip down the gentle waters of the Río Don Diego
  • Relax on the white-sand Caribbean beaches of Tayrona National Park
  • Go horseback riding and stargazing in the Tatacoa Desert
  • Discover mysterious tombs and megaliths in the jungles of San Agustín

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá Bogotá
Day 2 Bogota Fruit Tasting, Museums Tour & Monserrate Hill  Bogotá
Day 3 Transfer to Santa Marta, Optional City Tour Santa Marta
Day 4 Transfer to Tayrona National Park, Río Don Diego Tubing Trip Tayrona 
Day 5 Hiking in Tayrona National Park  Tayrona 
Day 6 Transfer to Villavieja, Desert Stargazing Experience Villavieja
Day 7 Day Trip into the Tatacoa Desert: Horseback Ride, Boat Trip & Sunset Walk Villavieja
Day 8 Transfer to Tierradentro, Tour Tierradentro Archaeolgical Park Tierradentro
Day 9 Transfer to San Agustín, Optional Coffee Farm Tour San Agustín
Day 10 Explore the San Agustín Archaeological Park & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá

Welcome to Bogotá!

Welcome to Bogotá! Your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring Colombia's capital city. You and your kids might be tired after your journey, so you could opt for a relaxing walk in Parque Simón Bolívar to explore its lakes, gardens, and paths. If you're hungry, head to 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: Bogota Fruit Tasting, Museums Tour & Monserrate Hill 

Sample the incredible fresh fruit of Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao

Get the day off to a fresh, tasty start on a fruit-focused walking tour, which is sure to please hungry kids with a sweet tooth. Colombia's fruits come in a variety of colors, sizes, and flavors. A private guide will walk you through some of the food stalls at the Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao while sharing the history of the market and introducing you to local vendors. Taste 15 different fruits, three shots of fresh juice, and other Colombian snacks throughout the tour.

Curious minds will enjoy the next activity, a visit to two of Bogotá's best museums. Start at the Gold Museum, which has an impressive collection of pre-Columbian gold from the country's Indigenous communities. Next, check out the Botero Museum, which houses a collection of over 200 works that were donated to the city by the renowned Colombian sculptor and painter Fernando Botero. Kids are sure to be amused by the cartoon-like figures that Botero portrays.

In the afternoon, you'll experience the best views of Bogotá in adventurous style when you travel up Monserrate Hill by cable car. Soar above the city to arrive at a plateau 10,341 feet (3,152 m) above sea level. Here, you can visit the Monserrate Sanctuary, a whitewashed Catholic church completed in 1657.

Day 3: Transfer to Santa Marta, Optional City Tour

The distinct culture of Caribbean Colombia awaits in Santa Marta

This morning, leave the big city behind as you transfer to Santa Marta, a city due north of Bogotá on the Caribbean coast. You'll immediately feel the change in pace, atmosphere, and climate here. Your family has a few active days ahead of you, so make the most of some downtime after arrival today by heading to one of Santa Marta's beautiful beaches.

If the kids are feeling antsy for more discovery, you could also set out on a guided walking tour of Santa Marta. Founded in 1525, this is the oldest city in Colombia, and its cathedral (the foundations of which date to 1531) is one of the oldest on the continent. You'll visit other major landmarks, including Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the hacienda where Simón Bolívar, the great liberator and Venezuelan president, spent his last days. Other stops include Santa Marta's historic center and the coastal viewpoint in the adjacent fishing village of Taganga.

Day 4: Transfer to Tayrona National Park, Río Don Diego Tubing Trip

Go tubing on the Río Don Diego 

East of Santa Marta is 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. This morning you'll be transferred from Santa Marta to Tayrona, a drive of approximately 1.5 hours. Drop off your bags and make sure to pick out everyone's bathing suits as your next adventure is a relaxing inner-tube ride along the lazy Río Don Diego, which runs down from the Sierra Nevadas to the ocean.

This fun route meanders at a manageable pace, with a hilly green rainforest lining both sides of the river. You'll hear howler monkeys and spot a variety of birds and butterflies as you glimpse the snowy Sierra Nevada peaks in the distance. Take the opportunity to enjoy a short walk along a trail to spot more animals, and check out Taironaka, where you can see terraces where the Indigenous Tayrona people built their homes. The river ends at a beautiful white-sand beach on the Caribbean Sea. Relax on the sand, dip your toes in the clear waters, and enjoy the views.

Plan your trip to Colombia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Hiking in Tayrona National Park

Lush jungle, white beaches, and diverse wildlife in Tayrona National Park.
Lush jungle, white beaches, and diverse wildlife in Tayrona National Park

Spend more time exploring Tayrona today. Make sure everyone's wearing a pair of comfortable shoes, as you'll be doing some walking. From the entrance to the park at El Zaino, walk along the Sendero 9 Piedras (Trail of the 9 Stones), which takes about one hour. Keen-eyed kids will enjoy spotting some of the park's wildlife along the way, like howler monkeys, poison dart frogs, and monkeys.

As you hike, discover fascinating stories about the local Indigenous people. After Spanish persecution, they hid in various places in the Sierra Nevada mountains, giving rise to the four Indigenous ethnic groups that prevail today around here (Koguis, Wiwas, Arhuacos, and Kankuamos). After your walk, spend the rest of the day enjoying the gorgeous beaches of Tayrona—choosing your own stretch of white sand to relax and play on. 

Day 6: Transfer to Villavieja, Desert Stargazing Experience

Kids can live out their Wild West fantasies around Villavieja

You'll travel inland again today, flying from Santa Marta to Neiva in south-central Colombia. From there, transfer overland to Villavieja, a town that serves as the gateway to the vast Tatacoa Desert, which you'll be exploring in the coming days. After all this travel and activity, spend some time resting at your hotel to make sure everyone's batteries are recharged for tonight's memorable excursion.

Due to the absence of light pollution and its proximity to the equator, the sky in the Tatacoa Desert is extraordinarily clear, making it an ideal place for astronomical observation. As darkness falls, the whole family is invited to relax in the desert, lying on the floor to look up at the sky while listening to an interesting talk on astronomy. Science and space-loving kids will be fascinated by the crystal clear views of planets, galaxies, and stars they'll see from the observatory's telescopes and will have the chance to capture incredible photos as the perfect memento.

Day 7: Day Trip into the Tatacoa Desert: Horseback Ride, Boat Trip & Sunset Walk

Start today's adventure with a horseback ride through the desert

Embark on an adventurous guided tour in the Tatacoa Desert today, taking a tuk-tuk from Villavieja to the entrance of the desert. From there, saddle up for a two-hour horseback ride through the remarkable landscape, admiring the tropical dry forest and learning about the vegetation. Continue to a mineral water pool where the kids can enjoy a refreshing dip in the middle of this arid desert.

After a break for lunch and a quick rest, set out to explore the Río Magdalena by boat, accompanied by a local who will share some of his fishing secrets. Afterward, a guided walk will take you through some of the most colorful parts of the desert as they are set ablaze by the sunset. Your guide will point out the whimsical natural formations formed from water and wind, including the Cathedrals, the Tower, the Wishing Tree, and the Labyrinths. At the end of the day, the family can do some more stargazing from a scenic viewpoint, where parents can sip some local cactus wine while kids keep an eye out for shooting stars.

Day 8: Transfer to Tierradentro, Tour Tierradentro Archaeolgical Park

Ancient burial chamber, Tierradentro
Adventurous kids will love channeling Indiana Jones as they explore ancient burial chambers

This morning you'll be transferred overland to Tierradentro, an area southwest of Neiva that contains some incredible archaeological attractions. After your arrival, head out into the UNESCO-listed Tierradentro Archaeological Park. This consists of an ethnographic museum devoted to the Indigenous Nasa culture, an archaeological museum, and 162 hypogea (underground temples/tombs) decorated with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and geometric paintings. Together with San Agustín (which you will visit tomorrow), this area comprises one of the largest necropolises in the world and the largest in South America.

The main circuit around the park consists of a 3.7-mile (6 km) hike to the Alto de Segovia and Alto del Duende, which takes around three hours. Depending on how much time and energy you and your kids have, you can add on a 3.7-mile (6 km) hike to El Aguacate Hill, where you can see more hypogea and an impressive panoramic view over the Cauca Mountains. If you want to see more but don't have as much time or stamina, visit La Pirámide Hill, a 1.2-mile (2 km) walk that takes just under one hour and offers a spectacular view of the park. 

Day 9: Transfer to San Agustín, Optional Coffe Farm Tour

San Agustín is known for its archaeological treasures and lush coffee farms

Continue your journey south today with a private overland transfer to San Agustín. This was once the home of a mysterious community, which left its legacy in hundreds of enigmatic monoliths. But it is also known for its mild subtropical climate at 5,577 feet (1,700 m) above sea level and its spectacular landscapes in the heart of the Colombian Andes, where one of the country's best coffee varieties is produced. After your arrival, you'll have time to explore San Agustín independently.

You can take it easy, as you'll have a full day of touring the area tomorrow, or opt for a relaxed tour of a local organic coffee farm. Meet the farmer and follow him through the fields as you discover the bean-to-cup process. Kids can help pick the colorful coffee fruit, while parents can re-energize with a cup of outstanding, mountain-grown coffee.

Day 10: Explore the San Agustín Archaeological Park, Depart

Pre-Columbian rainforest statue, San Agustín
A Pre-Columbian rainforest statue in San Agustín

Plan a late departure from San Agustín, and you can fit in some final sightseeing activities before your trip comes to an end. This morning, visit the impressive San Agustín Archaeological Park on a half-day tour. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a number of pre-Columbian statues and artifacts, so there's plenty to see. Start with a visit to the archaeological museum, followed by a walk in the park, where kids can let their imaginations run wild as they discover the gigantic stone idols and sacred tombs that peek out from the rainforest.

You could also opt to tour San Agustín on horseback to see the area's archaeological wonders from a different perspective. Paired with a gentle mount suited to each family member's abilities, you'll be led by an expert local guide who will take you along a circuit around four archaeological sites in the area. Ride across rural landscapes to incredible stone carvings and archaeological mounds, and make sure to stop for one final epic family photo op. When the time comes, you'll bid Colombia farewell and meet your driver for the transfer to the airport. Safe travels!

More Great Colombia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your family trip to Colombia? Check out these other Colombia itineraries, explore other ways to spend 10 days in Colombia, or discover the best time to visit Colombia.


Map of Ultimate Colombia Family Adventure: Archaeology, Deserts, Beaches & Jungles - 10 Days
Map of Ultimate Colombia Family Adventure: Archaeology, Deserts, Beaches & Jungles - 10 Days