Colombia's Department of Santander is the perfect destination for thrill-seekers, history buffs and lovers of nature. In one day you can paraglide over canyons, climb through water-filled caverns, visit a traditional coffee farm, and relax in historic towns that time seems to have forgotten. This exciting 12-day itinerary weaves through cities, villages and nature reserves to bring you the best activities that this off-the-beaten-path destination can offer.
Colombia 12-Day Tours & Itineraries
With 12 days, first-time travelers to Colombia can visit all of the country's best-known regions at an easy pace. Starting in Bogotá, work your way north through Medellín, Zona Cafetera and Tayrona Park before catching your flight home from Cartagena. If staying active and discovering hidden gems is more your style, head to the Santander area for a range of thrilling activities, including Colombia's best paragliding. If you want sun, sand and vibrant beach culture, the many towns and sandy stretches of the northern Caribbean coast have plenty to keep you busy.
See our itineraries below or read our guide to the best 12-day trips in Colombia.
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This 12-day adventure will take you through the best of Colombia. You'll travel from Bogotá to the Amazon, the rolling hills of the Zona Cafetera (coffee region), the beaches of Tayrona National Park, and the colonial fortress city of Cartagena. The most exciting part of your trip? A visit to the little-known region of Guaviare, with its mixture of jungle, indigenous communities, red rivers, and ancient rock art that dates back 20,000 years.
This robust 12-day itinerary eliminates the hard choices travelers often face regarding a visit to a country as diverse as Colombia. The journey begins by enjoying Bogotá's Spanish colonial plazas and pulsing nightlife. Then jet to the heart of Colombia's Zona Cafetera for an overnight stay on a working coffee farm. Then it's off to the reinvented city of Medellín and its rising culinary and art scene. End the trip on the Caribbean coast where you'll explore the beaches and mountains of Tayrona National Park and the narrow streets of Cartagena's walled city.
This 12-day itinerary is for those eager for some aquatic adventure. It covers major highlights along Colombia's Caribbean coast and affords plenty of opportunities to dive, snorkel, swim, and frolick in the water. You'll begin in the colonial city of Cartagena, then head east to the Santa Marta. Afterward, take a 4x4 to the remote Guajira Peninsula, home of the northernmost point in South America. Circle back to Santa Marta and enjoy a few days hiking around Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona.
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 itinerary, you'll see the best of Colombia in 12 days. Begin on the Caribbean coast with a visit to Tayrona National Park, where you'll snorkel and hike to your heart's content. From there, hop a flight to the Coffee Region for mountain biking, birdwatching in sub-Andean forests, and a tour of a working coffee farm. End your journey in colonial Popayán and Tierradentro, an archeological site famous for its underground burial chambers.
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.
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.
Travelers who like to be on the move can check off three cities on this whirlwind 12-day tour starting with Bogotá's Spanish colonial sites and buzzing nightlife. You'll then fly to Medellín — a city with a rising culinary and art scene, as well as constant spring-like weather. Take a couple of days to experience the excitement of whitewater rafting on the Rio Verde before heading to the Caribbean Coast. You'll spend a couple of days exploring Tayrona National Park before ending the trip exploring Cartagena's inner-walled city and taking a day trip to explore the nearby Rosario Islands.