Colombia's Coffee region is full of great accommodation options, from haciendas on coffee plantations to small hostels and boutique hotels in towns and cities. Use this list to find the best places to stay after a long day of biking, hiking and coffee tasting.
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
One of Colombia’s greatest appeals is its diversity of indigenous peoples. From the Arhuaco of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to the Zenú of the Golfo de Morrosquillo, Colombia’s 87 native tribes represent an indigenous heritage as rich as anywhere in the Americas. While some groups are not receptive to outsiders, others welcome visitors. The following five pueblos indígenas provide an immensely rewarding way of experiencing Colombia at its most unique and intriguing.
Cartagena is one of South America’s most enchanting colonial cities, and one its best places to eat, with seafood featuring prominently on many menus. The culinary scene has blossomed here in the last decade, with plenty of options that cater to all palates and budgets, from no-frills food carts to some of the most lauded restaurants in the country. Use this guide to find your way to the best eateries this city can offer.
The mountains and valleys outside Medellín, in the department of Antioquia, offer a variety of excellent attractions and great day trips. These include the well-preserved colonial town of Santa Fé de Antioquia to the west, fragrant flower farms to the east, and the lush Coffee Triangle of Juan Valdez fame to the south. The following top 5 sites and activities make great add-ons to your city exploration.
This 14-day itinerary is perfect for serious bird watchers who dream of visiting some of the best bird watching sites in the Colombia. The journey includes excursions in the Choco-Western Andes transition, where nearly all the birds are endemic or near-endemic and the mystical and biologically unique Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – an evolutionary island of biodiversity where you have the chance to view over 20 endemic birds. In addition to excellent birding sites, you'll experience life in rural Colombia and travel across stunning landscapes from the sea to the soaring Andes mountains.
City slickers who like to hoof it will love this weeklong itinerary in Colombia spotlighting two of Latin America’s most exciting (and mountainous) hubs. The trip starts in the sophisticated capital of Bogotá where you'll have time to soak in the culture, restaurants and nightlife. From here, take a day-trip to the highlands to visit the region's salt mines. Next, it's a flight to Medellín, the scenic metropolis in the midst of a transformation after a turbulent past. With year-round spring temps and a free metrocable, there's plenty to see and do. Take a hike in lakeside Guatapé to round out this fun adventure.
With miles of white sand beaches, dense jungle and waves crashing into enormous boulders, Parque Nacional Tayrona is one of the most visually stunning natural reserves in Colombia. Days can be spent swimming in the sea and exploring the jungle, and there are opportunities to meet the indigenous Kogi people who call this place their home. Use this expert guide to help you get the most from one of Colombia's true natural wonders.
Colombia is a nation of vibrant cities, sleepy pueblos, and extraordinary landscapes: this action-packed 7-day tour gives you a taste of the true diversity of this country. Within the span of a week you'll visit the superb museums of Bogotá, savor freshly roasted coffee near Salento and gaze at the sea from Cartagena's glorious ramparts.
Planning a trip to Colombia can be exhilarating as you dream of the adventures ahead, but it also raises lots of questions - about the costs, visas, language, packing and more. If you are headed to Colombia for the first time, this article is a good place to start your research and learn some basic facts about travel in the country.
You’ll likely hear about Cartagena long before you arrive. While the main attraction is the historic Old Town — packed with wonderfully preserved mansions and churches — Cartagena is much more than its colorful streets: it has highrise developments, long stretches of coast, offshore reefs and vibrant neighborhoods where locals express themselves through dance, food, and art. Here's our expert guide to help you navigate this romantic and high-energy Caribbean city.
Planning to spend 2 weeks in Colombia? This amount of time opens up a wide range of possibilities to explore multiple areas of Colombia at a leisurely pace. You can visit a number of the highlights including Cartagena’s glorious Old Town, the stunning museums of Bogotá and quaint towns in the Coffee Country, plus a few off-the-beaten-path and adventure destinations.
Wedged into a narrow valley framed by Andean mountains, Colombia’s second-largest city boasts a setting to delight the senses. From a cable car ride into edgy Barrio Santo Domingo to a sensational night of salsa, there’s an astounding array of fantastic things to see and experience. Here are the best things not to be missed.
Medellín. Locals call it the city of the eternal spring. The capital of Colombia’s Antioquia Department is second only to Bogotá in terms of size, but there are just as many opportunities for culture and adventure as there are in the nation’s capital. Use this guide to help you navigate your way into the city and find the best Medellín has to offer.
Colombia offers excellent biking opportunities for both beginners and seasoned riders. The steep mountain paved roads are terrific for road bikers and have bred world-class racers. For mountain bikers, there is endless scope for easy country trails and gut-wrenching mountain single tracks. This guide will help you get around Colombia on two wheels.
Cartagena’s cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and bougainvillea-covered balconies are simply magic. But there is much to Cartagena than just its romantic Old City. This list offers a number of great options, from exploring old forts, to eating great seafood and lazing on white sand beaches.
If you have 10 days in Colombia you can visit two or three areas of the country, thanks to low cost airfares that can jet you quickly between different regions. Enjoy the country's dynamic urban centers, get out in the countryside for hikes, visit a coffee plantation and sunbathe on the Caribbean coast, these are just a few of the things you can pack in during your 10-day stay.
Colombia offers exciting sights and activities that can be enjoyed by parents and kids alike. From fascinating museums such as the Museo de Oro in Bogotá, to parks, city tours, horse riding and snorkeling, there is always something for your little ones to enjoy. This article covers the best sights and activities for families.
This adventurous two-week itinerary covers major highlights along Colombia's stunning and diverse Caribbean coast with plenty of opportunities to get in the water. You'll start off in the sophisticated colonial city of Cartagena with a speedboat trip to Rosario Islands and then head east for Santa Marta. You'll then travel by 4x4 to the lesser-visited La Guajira Peninsula for remote sun-soaked dunes and indigenous tribes. Circle back around to tube down the Rio Don Diego, and then spend a few days hiking around Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, surrounded by tropical rainforests and one of the few coral reefs in Colombia. Sprinkle in sailing, fishing, and a range of water activities before ending the trip back in Cartagena for a walking tour of the city's hipster neighborhood, Getsemani.
The romantic city of Cartagena, white-sand Caribbean beaches, beautiful Coffee Country and sizzling salsa dancing combine to make Colombia a wonderful honeymoon destination. This list covers some of the top destinations to consider when making plans for your post-nuptial getaway.
This outdoorsy, action-packed itinerary hits the crown jewels near two of Colombia's most exciting cities. Start off in up-and-coming Medellín before driving to the "coffee triangle" where you'll stay in a traditional ranch in the Andes. From here, embark on a three-day hike through some of the last surviving snowcapped peaks in the tropics before rafting in two of Colombia's major rivers. Next, you'll head north to the Caribbean coast for white sand beaches, sailing, and a chance to scuba dive in one of the few coral reefs in Colombia. Finish off the two-week adventure with time to explore the romantic cobbled alleys of Cartagena's Old Town.
Bogotá has two faces. It is both a bewildering urban sprawl across a South American massif, and a hodgepodge of quaint, colonial-era villages merged together over the centuries. The Colombian capital has an enormous variety of activities and historic sites but requires good insight to navigate the intertwining fabric – use these expert tips to get the most out of your visit.
Bogotá is home to dozens of locally-owned hotels, many with a boutique quality and personal service that makes them great choices compared to some of the larger chain hotels. The following list includes stylish places that emphasize high-end design, theme-hotels and backpackers favorites that have hosted travelers for decades.
Superb natural and historic destinations surround Bogotá, enough to keep visitors busy for several days. For travelers keen on the outdoors, high altitude air, hikes of varying difficulty and some culture beyond Bogotá, here are a few ideas for day trips around the Colombian capital.
Get ready for the wild and remote region of Chocó on Colombia's lesser-visited Pacific coast, which is the crux of this 7-day itinerary. The trip starts with a flight to Nuqui in a dense rainforest where you'll spend three days exploring tiny villages and partaking in a variety of activities like canoe rides, hiking, cooking with locals, whale watching, and soaking in hot springs. End the trip in one of Latin America's most exciting cities (Medellín) and then visit a nearby coffee farm to round out this awesome Colombian adventure.
Enjoy the natural beauty of Colombia on this 7-day itinerary which takes you through the mountains and valleys of Colombia's famous coffee region. You'll undertake a multi-day trek in the Andes, relax in the peaceful city of Manizales, and then finish with some urban culture and great museums in the city of Medellin.
Take advantage of the ample time off work in late December and travel to a place that knows how to do the holidays. This fun and festive 7-day Latin American adventure starts in the up-and-coming city of Medellín. With hip restaurants, art galleries, and eternal spring-like temperatures, this city goes bonkers with Christmas lights. From here, you'll head to lakeside Guatapé for hiking, visit a coffee farm, and then fly to Cartagena -- a fairy-tale city that draws a vibrant international crowd. Reserve early and get a seat at one of the city's best rooftop bars overlooking stunning colonial architecture and the Caribbean Sea -- what a way to start the new year!
This 7-day land and sea adventure covers all the highlights along Colombia's northern coast. You'll experience the culture and fairy-tale romance of Cartagena's Old Town, explore the beautiful Tayrona National Park, hike through mountainous jungles, go birdwatching, visit a coffee farm, and finish your trip with a relaxing trip to the Rosario Islands by private speedboat.
On this fun and fast-paced 7-day tour, you'll experience two of Latin America’s most exciting cities, stay overnight on a working coffee farm, and hike the Andean foothills. The trip starts in Medellín, the scenic metropolis fast on the rise after a turbulent past. You’ll then head into the heart of Colombia's coffee triangle, where you’ll explore the charming town of Salento and tour a working finca (coffee farm) — an industry that has embraced tourism with open arms. You’ll also hike the jaw-dropping green mountains in Valle de Cocora before finishing the trip in Colombia’s sophisticated urban capital.
On this culturally rich 7-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, bike the Suarez Canyon, and finally explore the Spanish Colonial wonder that is Barichara — oozing with charm — before heading back to the capital's exciting restaurants and nightlife.
Steamy Cali is where salsa clubs boom long after midnight and welcoming locals can be found dancing in parks — this is the salsa capital of the world. Beyond salsa, the city has historic neighborhoods, excellent hiking, delectable street food and more. This guide shows off 9 of the best things to do in Cali.
Bogotá is a pulsating South American metropolis where well-preserved colonial-era neighborhoods mix with 21st-century glass and steel. While its impressive museums and architecture rank high on the list of things to see, the best experiences will be your own exploration of historic neighborhoods on bike or foot. Let this guide direct you toward the best Bogotá has to offer.
Coffee tasting tours and visits to coffee farms rank high in any visit to this region. But Colombia's Coffee Region also offers a number of exciting activities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking. When it's time to slow down you can relax in thermal baths. This list highlights the best things to do in the caffeine capital of Colombia.
Colombia's coffee region set amidst the rugged hills between Medellin, Cali and Ibague produces some of the finest coffee in the world. Besides learning how the coffee is made, you can experience stunning national parks, vibrant cities, and quiet pueblos. We're spilling the beans with some expert tips on getting around the region and the best places to visit.
Colombia's Coffee Region is dotted with small pueblos where life has changed little over the past century. Towns like Salento, Pijao, and Filandia still retain the same colonial air of yesteryear, when coffee farmers brought their product to market along old country roads. This list includes the best towns to visit, plus vibrant cities and also backcountry areas where you can experience Colombia's stunning landscapes.
Exploring an area as vast as the Colombian Amazonas might seem daunting, but almost everything that this wild region offers can be experienced in one week from the main town of Leticia. Here’s a 7-day itinerary that stitches together the best wildlife viewing and interactions with indigenous culture, the region’s two principal draws.
Most travelers to Colombia visit two or three of its big cities and the popular Caribbean Coast, but Colombia is much more than its popular sights and cities. If you’re looking to truly experience the country's unique blend of culture and landscape, here’s a list of places to help you get off-the-beaten-path and discover its more hidden gems.
Planning to spend a week in Colombia? Seven days is enough time for a solid exploration of one region, or you can divide your time between two cities. Where you go depends on your interests. Historic Cartagena and the beautiful Caribbean coast remain the most popular short trip. Bogotá and Medellín both offer excellent urban adventures, with side trips to quaint villages and coffee farms.
A great trip to Colombia requires at least five days to get a taste of one big city and its surrounding areas. The more days you can add the more opportunities to explore different pockets of the country - eight or nine days is enough for two or three regions. With two weeks you could tour the walled city of Cartagena, visit the capital Bogotá, explore the Amazon and do some activities along the way, including scuba diving or mountain biking. This article breaks down the possible itineraries, ranging from three to 14 days.
A visit to El Chocó on the Pacific coast opens up adventurous opportunities to explore the jungle, go whale watching or scuba diving. You can also just enjoy the sea view from your hammock, gazing across a Pacific Ocean that looks very different from the one many know on the West Coast of North America. The following areas of El Chocó covered here are located in the area around Nuquí and Bahía Solano.
This 10-day excursion is perfect for an adventurous visitor seeking full immersion into Colombia's landscape and culture. Travel between colorful cities and tropical island retreats, mountain biking some parts in between. Along the way you'll discover colorful art, high peaks, soaring palm trees and delectable coffee. Cap your journey with salsa lessons in romantic Cartagena.
This 10-day trip provides an intimate glimpse into the wild heart of Colombia. On this trip, you'll explore the bustling metropolis of Medellín, experience traditional farm life of Manizales, relax in the tropical beauty of the Pacific Coast, and go whale watching off the shores of the Tribugá Gulf. While this is an active trip, the schedule allows for plenty of down time to relax or explore on your own.
Enjoy the beautiful coffee region of Colombia with a 3-day hike through a forest of local palms. With 3 snowy peaks that rise higher than 4,800 meters above sea level, Los Nevados National Park extends over 58,300 hectares (more than 143,000 acres, or about as big as the city of Chicago) in the central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes. This region has an extraordinary ecosystem of flora and fauna because of the high elevation. Perpetual snow provides water here, which is essential to the preservation of life. This trek is great for adventurers looking to enjoy the great outdoors.
Cerro Kennedy is an important mountain located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, with the highest point being at an altitude of 3,100 meters above sea level. Covered by a cloud forest, it is home to hundreds of endemic and migratory birds. From the top of this important mountain, you can get an excellent view of the snowy peaks of Bolivar, Colon, Santa Marta and all the mountains that form the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Ciudad Perdida (or the "Lost City") is located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a mountain range close to the Caribbean sea. Here, you’ll discover the past life of local indigenous people with their wooden houses and stone structures, including terraces and stairways.
In the morning, you'll follow the footsteps of famous pirates and discover the "Pearl of the Caribbean", a city rich in culture, diversity, exotic and heritage. Come evening, you'll journey to a local fishing village for a short canoe ride at sunset with great birdwatching as you're surrounded by nature.
An active 8-day adventure along the northern coast of Colombia. You'll visit the beautiful Tayrona National Park, hike through the jungle, go birdwatching, and finish your trip with a relaxing trip to the Rosario Islands by private speedboat. This trip works especially well if you're flying in and out of Cartagena.
This tour takes you off the beaten path and truly epitomizes the diversity that runs through Colombia and its people. Colombia's mountains, jungles, Caribbean beaches, Spanish colonial architecture, rural and indigenous cultures combine to offer a quite unforgettable tour in one of the world's great (and yet uncharted) destinations.
Explore Cartagena’s colonial architecture by foot, partake in its rich culinary scene, and meet the local characters for an authentic glimpse into Colombia’s Caribbean culture. Cartagena’s old town is like an outdoor museum, whose stories will be told by an experienced local guide.
Kids love Cartagena. And why wouldn’t they? As a former playground for pirates, the city has plenty to offer for active families that love to explore around. Here’s an idea for the perfect family break in Cartagena for you and your little ones.
Colombia is one of the world’s best bird-watching destinations, containing more bird species — roughly 1,950 — than any other country on the planet. On top of that, 79 species are endemic to Colombia. Here is a list of the top 5 places to go birdwatching in Colombia.