Colombia is world-renowned for its coffee, and most travelers want to spend at least a day or two getting to know the region where this delicacy is grown and produced. Although a single overnight is enough to get a glimpse at the Zona Cafetera, an in-depth visit of up to five days can be even more rewarding. That way, you won’t just see the plantations that take the world’s favorite drink from bean to cup—you’ll also be able to spend the night on a coffee farm, hike the verdant hills, and meet the people who make the magic happen.
Colombia Travel Insights
Wondering where to go in Colombia?
Colombia's great diversity offers an endless list of travel possibilities. In addition to the beautiful (yet popular) coastal city of Cartagena, there is a wide range of amazing and unique places to visit:
- Beautiful beaches: San Andrés and Providencia, the Rosario Islands (near Cartagena), The Tayrona Park
- Colonial towns: Villa de Leyva, Barichara, Salento
- Coffee region: Cocora and the beautiful 'coffee triangle' region of Colombia
- Ethnic villages: The Lost City, Guajira
- Arid deserts: Guajira and the Tatacoa Desert
- Tropical rainforests: The Amazons and the Pacific
- Modern cities: Bogotá, Medellín and Cali
- Snowy mountains: El Cocuy and Los Nevados National Park
As an international hub, Bogotá remains the first point of contact for many travelers to Colombia, and it’s worth spending two or three days exploring the country's dynamic capital city. If you’re coming here only as a stop on the way to another Colombian locale, you may only have 24 hours to fill. But if you have the time and interest, this city and its surroundings reward leisurely visits of up to five days with interesting day trips outside the city.
Cartagena is the sum of its incredible parts: colonial and modern architecture, vibrant nightlife and cultural festivals, magnificent beaches, and outstanding gastronomic offerings. This six-day tour exposes you to some of the best sights, sounds, and experiences of the Caribbean city, from its dreamy beaches to local cuisine that you can learn to cook for yourself, and much more.
This journey begins in Bogotá, a melting pot of people from around the country. You'll then head to a nearby small town to witness a spectacular salt cathedral, one of Colombia's most visited attractions. Afterward, head east to the Coffee Region where you'll tour small towns, visit a coffee farm, and see the tallest wax palm trees in the world. The adventure continues in Medellín, Tayrona National Park, and Cartagena.
Discover the hidden wonders of Colombia on this excursion through two of its historic cities. Travel to Medellín, capital of the Antioquia province, and see with your own eyes how the once-controversial city has transformed through its rich Paisa culture. You'll then explore Cartagena—the jewel of the Caribbean ocean—for the second half of the trip and experience the nearby beaches and islands first-hand.
This high-end itinerary covers a great deal of the country's territory, from its main cities to some off-the-beaten-path natural wonders. The adventure begins in Bogotá and its surroundings, then takes you deep into the heart of the mighty Amazon River, where you'll have a series of unforgettable days exploring the jungle via foot, canoe and small boats. Afterwards, you'll fly to Medellín to enjoy the city's history and vibrant modern culture before leaving for the Pacific Coast— a dense rainforest where you'll visit tiny villages and partake in a variety of activities including hiking and soaking in hot springs.
Learn all about Colombian coffee and enjoy some of the most exclusive coffee in the world on this six-day tour. You can look forward to many coffee tastings and visits to local Colombian coffee farms where you will interact with local farmers and coffee experts from around the country.
Explore some of the best destinations along Colombia's northern coast on this 7-day adventure that combines a fast-paced urban adventure with the relaxing allure of a tropical island retreat. Tour the colorful Caribbean jewel of Cartegena, then head to a personalized island escape where you can recharge. For travelers who can't choose between an active trip and a secluded getaway, this itinerary offers the best of both worlds.
Interested in seeing the very best cities and unforgettable natural scenery in the beautiful country of Colombia? Begin your trip in Medellín, a city nestled in the Andes mountains, and then head to Cartagena, the jewel of the Caribbean, with its colorful and vibrant culture. Enjoy a night at an island escape before topping it all off with a visit Bogotá, the cultural and culinary hub of Colombia.
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.
In a 12-day trip, you can comfortably combine the cultural highlights of Colombia's cities with exploration in national parks. Strike your perfect balance with the itineraries below. Tour Medellín, Bogotá, and Tayrona National Park, or divide your time between the Amazon and the Andes. Check out wildlife sanctuaries and indigenous villages, discover the beaches and history of the Caribbean coast, or get off the beaten path in Santander, a true adventure hub.
Taking an 11-day trip means you can spend multiple days in each of Colombia's diverse cities—Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena— and add one of the country's beloved natural areas, all without rushing. Or do a deep dive into one region, like the Caribbean coast: start with two days of exploring Tayrona National Park, then base yourself in Cartagena for kayaking, sailing, and island-hopping excursions. See more options for your trip below, including cultural activities, archeological sites, and Andean treks.
Perfect for first-timers, this action-packed itinerary starts with a few days in the cosmopolitan capital of Bogotá. Along the route, you'll visit Spanish colonial towns like Villa de Leyva and Barichara. Next is a few days in the up-and-coming city of Medellín.
Start your highlights tour in Bogotá, Colombia's Andean capital. From there, head to the Cocora Valley, where you'll sleep in a typical hacienda and tour a working coffee farm. Feel the country moving ahead in vibrant Medellin and experience the contrast between the city's modern downtown and traditional surrounding villages. End your trip in romantic, colonial Cartagena, enjoying a cocktail on the famous wall surrounding the old city.
On this multifaceted, 11-day tour, you’ll explore the Caribbean region of Colombia and its biodiverse landscapes. The trip begins in Cartagena, a vibrant port city with a rich history and plenty of sites to see. Then, you’re off to Santa Marta and Minca for four, full days of birding among the various ecosystems. The trip concludes in Tayrona Park, with its beautiful beaches and cultural excursions among the natives.
During this 16-day tour through Colombia, you’ll visit some of the best-known–and some lesser-known–parts of the country. The trip takes you from the capital, Bogotá, to the Archaeological Region in the southwest. You’ll also head into the coffee-growing region to tour a farm and say in a hacienda. Then, you’ll fly over deep valleys and high Andean mountain peaks to arrive at vibrant Cartagena, one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in South America.
With nine days, it's possible to visit four of Colombia's regions and major cities, especially if you fly into one hub and out of another. You can start in Bogotá, make your way to the lush Zona Cafetera, and head north to Medellín, departing from Cartagena. Of course, you can always opt for a slower-paced trip that takes you off the beaten path: visit colonial villages like Villa de Leyva, spot wildlife in remote national parks, or lounge on the Rosario Islands off the Caribbean coast.
Colombia is renowned for its historic cities and dramatic landscapes. With an eight-day trip, you can split your time between urban and natural worlds, especially if you stick to one region. Pair charming Cartagena with scenic spots along the Caribbean Coast, visit the rainbow-hued Caño Cristales after exploring Bogotá, or spend half your trip surrounded by art in Medelliín and the other half trekking in Coffee Country. Options abound—see more unique itinerary ideas below.
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.
This active, 13-day adventure is designed for those who want to experience Colombia’s vast, cultural interior. Start off in Colombia’s second-largest city, Medellín, with a scenic gondola and its year-round spring-like weather. Next, you'll head to Cali, the salsa capital of the world, and Popayán, with its stunning Baroque architecture. Finally, you’ll explore archaeological parks in San Agustín and Tierradentro, while finishing the trip in the Tatacoa Desert.
Six days is plenty of time to explore two major cities or regions in Colombia. Choose the bustling capital of Bogotá, the rebirth of now-charming Medellín, or the adventurous port town of Cartagena. If you enjoy birding, go deep into the jungle in Santa Marta among the Sierra Nevada range. For beach lovers, there’s island-hopping from San Andrés to Providencia, while coffee aficionados can relish a stay on a coffee finca.
Pair Cartagena's colonial walled city on the northern coast with the nearby Caribbean Islands for the ultimate culture and beach adventure. Start with a tour of Cartagena's colorful streets, lined with palaces, churches, and galleries. Then take a day trip to the Rosario Islands to relax on white-sand beaches. Spend your last night in Cartagena's Old Town, soaking in the fairy-tale romance from one of the city's rooftop bars.
During this eight-day trip to Colombia, plan to visit some of the best-known parts of the country. First, stroll the capital city of Bogotá before heading to the small, colorful town of Villa de Leyva. Then, visit a coffee farm in Armenia and learn all about the crop. The journey ends with a tour of the historic shipping port of Cartagena, where you can enjoy excellent food and vibrant nightlife.
Visit Colombia's cities, countryside, and coast on this comprehensive tour. Visit charming colonial towns like Barichara and Villa de Leyva, the modern metropolitan city of Medellín, and the colorful village of Guatape. Visit a working coffee farm and learn the entire process that goes into your morning cup. Once you reach the coast, you'll spend a few days exploring Cartagena and swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Rosario Islands.
This classic Colombia itinerary starts in Bogotá and then travels north to the Caribbean. Along the route, you'll visit famous salt mines and charming colonial towns like Barichara and Villa de Leyva, with a couple of days to explore the modern metropolitan city of Medellín. Once you reach the coast, you'll spend a few days exploring Cartagena before relaxing on the pristine beaches of the San Bernardo Islands.
Perfect for first-timers, this classic Colombian itinerary starts in the cosmopolitan capital of Bogotá and then travels north to the Caribbean Sea. Along the route, you'll visit the rolling green hills and colorful colonial houses of the coffee region. Once you reach the coast, you'll spend a few days exploring Tayrona National Park before heading to the romantic inner-walled city of Cartagena and jetting off to the San Bernardo Islands.
This high-end itinerary starts in the capital of Bogotá before heading deep into the heart of the mighty Amazon River—from here, you'll head out on a series of unforgettable days via foot, canoe and other small boats. Then, fly to Medellín to explore the history and vibrant modern culture of the city before flying to the Pacific Coast, a dense rainforest where you'll explore tiny villages and partake in a variety of activities including hiking and soaking in hot springs.
Colombia's wild and undiscovered region of Chocó on the Pacific coast takes center stage in this 13-day itinerary. The adventure starts in the country's capital city and nearby national parks. From there, visit Medellín, take in the dazzling views from a hike around lakeside Guatapé, and taste Colombia's coffee at the source. End in Nuquí, a dense rainforest where you'll spend three days exploring tiny villages and partaking in outdoor activities.
This active Colombian adventure includes three days of trekking in the snowy mountains of Los Nevados National Park, which sprawls across 143,000 acres of the Colombian Andes. Enjoy hiking through a unique high-elevation ecosystem, where rare species of flora and fauna thrive. You will also have time to explore the charming colonial town of Salento, the coffee region hub of Manizales, and the revitalized city of Medellín—the best of both worlds.
The core of this adventure includes three days of trekking in the high, snowy mountains of Los Nevados National Park. With ancient ancestral pathways, your journey passes through an extraordinary ecosystem with rare species of flora and fauna that rely on the snow for preservation. You will land in the up-and-coming city of Medellín, along with taking a day trip to a coffee farm to close out your Colombian exploration.
This 15-day itinerary explores the diverse Caribbean coast of Colombia, from the sand dunes of La Guajira desert to the mountain village of Minca. Start in Cartagena, with its charming streets and markets, before a tubing excursion on a jungle river in Palomino. Next, you'll hike through Tayrona National Park. Your adventure finishes back in Cartagena and ends with a relaxing day trip to the beaches of the Rosario Islands.
This festive itinerary begins in Bogotá, where you'll discover museum, restaurants, and nightlife. Next, jet over to Medellín to explore historical sights and see the Christmas lights. From there, drive to the Zona Cafetera to tour the coffee fields and stay on a farm. On your last leg, ring in the New Year in Cartagena and snorkel in Tayrona National Park.
This urban-meets-outdoorsy Colombian itinerary is jam-packed with sightseeing and excursions. The 16-day trip starts in the capital of Bogotá, then heads north for a challenging hike in the heart of Iguaque Sanctuary, and a cycling tour through along the Suarez River. From there, you will fly to the Caribbean Coast and spend time exploring a stunning national park, followed by birding in Minca. You will end your adventure in romantic Cartagena, with a relaxing trip to Múcura Island.
Tucked neatly in a valley at the base of towering Andean mountains, Medellín is a city where the scent of freshly-cooked empanadas wafts down palm tree-lined streets, where graffiti art transforms neighborhoods into open-air museums and where the peaks that overlook the city offer a lush, flowery landscape and impeccable views from above.
This two-week cultural adventure is perfect for travelers who don’t mind skipping the Amazon, Pacific, or the Caribbean and want to get to the heart of Colombia's interior. Start the trip with plenty of time to explore the vibrant capital of Bogotá, and then travel north to the famous salt mines and one of the most well-preserved cobblestoned towns in the country, Villa de Leyva. You’ll then swing over to the striking metropolis of Medellín, throwing in day-trips to lakeside Guatapé and a working coffee farm before heading to Cali, the salsa capital of the world, and ending your journey in the “white city’ of Popayán.
Discover Colombia's southern region on this two-week adventure, covering major highlights of the country from the capital city of Bogotá to the Pre-Columbian idols of San Agustín and to the well-preserved colonial town of Popayán. It's an itinerary fit for active travelers, history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife aficionados, and anyone with a thirst for adventure. You'll even have an opportunity to shake your hips to the sultry rhythms of Colombia's lifeblood: salsa music.
This well-rounded tour perfectly combines cultural and historical exploration with adventure in eight days. Immerse yourself in the bustling and vibrant barrios of Bogotá, trek through the white and gray landscape of Los Hoyos in the Tatacoa Desert, and dive into the pre-Colombian past with sightings of ancient monuments in San Agustín. You'll also meander the charming stone streets in colonial Popayán before capping off your stay with a salsa lesson in colorful Cali.
This nine-day adventure features the flat plains of Colombia's Llanos Orientales, the alpine tundra of the páramo, and colonial villages in the Andean highlands. Starting and ending your stay in the capital city of Bogotá, you'll alternate your time between venturing off the beaten path to traditional "fincas" of the Colombian savannah in search of native wildlife and wandering the charming streets of picturesque Spanish-era towns. You'll meet locals in Yopal, safari in Encanto de Guanapalo, hike the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes, and visit a 17th-century convent in Villa de Leyva.
Discover Colombia's Cauca Valley on this nine-day adventure. Start in modern Cali of the region to take in the food and art scene, and hike the Andes in the Los Farallones area. Along the way, you'll spend three nights on Gorgona Island off Colombia's Pacific Coast where you'll trek through the jungle and snorkel inviting coastal waters.
These twin islands off the coast of Nicaragua actually belong to Colombia, making it a multi-cultural beach trip like no other. Start in San Andrés, the more developed of the two isles, where you'll have time to experience Raizal culture before heading to Providencia for three days of hiking, diving, and slow island life. Finish back in San Andrés for one more Caribbean sunset and a reggae show.
Start your fast-paced tour in the cosmopolitan capital of Bogotá, where you can explore street art, museums, and restaurants. Then you're off to the hip metropolis of Medellín and Cali, known as the World Capital of Salsa. Santa Marta and a visit to a coffee farm in the Andes are next. End your trip with the beaches of Tayrona National Park and yet another vibrant city scene in beautiful Cartagena.
This fun itinerary hits the highlights along Colombia’s northern coast, balancing colonial history, beaches, hiking, and relaxation. Wander Cartagena's pretty Old Town and take a speedboat to the Rosario Islands. Drive to Barranquilla, where a raging carnival celebration is held each year. You'll also spend two active days exploring Tayrona National Park and visit a coffee farm in the rolling hills of Minca.
This diverse, action-packed itinerary covers a lot of Colombian ground in two weeks. The trip starts on the northern Caribbean Coast with time to explore Tayrona's beautiful national park, sandwiched between the turquoise sea and rugged mountains. From here, you'll visit Colombia's carnival city, Barranquilla, and spend a few days in the stunning inner-walled city of Cartagena before taking a flight to Cali, the salsa capital of the world.
This adventurous 7-day itinerary starts in the exciting capital of Bogotá before delving into the Amazon rainforest (by charter plane) to get to one of the hardest-to-reach places in the country. This wild location will be your home for the next three nights, and the itinerary combines hiking and boating around two dramatic canyons, plenty of wildlife viewing, and interactions with two local tribes. Return to "civilization" and spend your last night in Villavicencio dancing alongside Colombian cowboys.
The Spaniards came to Colombia in the early 16th century with dreams of gold and visions of El Dorado. After the new country won its independence from Spain in 1819, the colonialists were finished, but they left behind a legacy that's still seen today in Colombia's many well-preserved colonial towns. This article lists the most unique throughout the nation.
Five days in Colombia is enough to visit one major city and explore the surrounding area. Enjoy the best of Cartagena with a city tour, a private boat trip to nearby Rosario Island, and tasting menus at the city's best restaurants. Or, combine the charm of Bogotá with two nights in the Amazon rainforest, where you'll sleep in hammocks and explore via canoe. Learn about these options and more below.
This outdoorsy adventure highlights some of Colombia's most fascinating and unique landscapes in the Amazon region. Start off by exploring Bogotá's arts and culture scene before flying south to Leticia; from here, you'll head out on two unforgettable days via foot, canoe and other small boats in Colombia, and across the border in Peru and Brazil. At night, you'll sleep in hammocks with mosquito nets in order to fully experience the rainforest.
Experience a taste of Colombian culture on this 5-day trip to the Coffee Triangle. You'll go to the heart of the country's coffee region in charming Salento for an overnight at a working farm and hike through the picturesque green mountains of the Cocora Valley (and the famous wax palms). Then, head to Manizales, the most adventurous of the three cities that make up Colombia's coffee triangle, where you'll visit the Rio Blanco Nature reserve. Like the coffee this region is known for, this trip is designed to awaken all of your senses.
This 12-day trip highlights four of Colombia's most exciting cities—perfect for travelers who love urban energy and culture. Start off with tours in Bogotá and Medellín, two cities with their own treasures to discover, then head north to Cartagena for colonial romance, art galleries, and rooftop bars. End your trip with two nights on the San Bernardo Islands, including picture-perfect Isla Múcura.
With this outdoorsy, yet culturally rich 8-day tour, you'll explore the historic and cosmopolitan side of Bogotá before heading north through the scenic Colombian highlands towards two of the country's most photogenic cobblestoned towns. Here, you’ll visit the underground salt mines, hike the Iguaque Lagoon, bike the Suarez Canyon, and finally explore the Spanish Colonial wonder that is Barichara — oozing with charm — before flying back to the capital's buzzing restaurants and nightlife.