Make The Most of Your Time in Colombia

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Street scene in the historic old city of Cartagena
How Many Days Should You Spend in Colombia?

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.

5 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

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.

The view of Bogotá
Map of 6 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itineraries
6 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itineraries

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.

Discover Colombia with your family
Map of 1 Week in Colombia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Colombia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

Colombia holds plenty of solid itinerary options for families with a week to spend. Combine city exploration with a visit to coffee country, check out the Caribbean coast, or head to the more remote southern reaches—wherever you decide to go, all three of these curated options are perfect for kids and parents alike.

Beach at Tayrona National Park
Map of 7 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
7 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

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.

Wax palms in the Cocora Valley
Map of 8 Days in Colombia - 6 Unique Itineraries
8 Days in Colombia - 6 Unique Itineraries

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.

Zona Cafetera
Map of 9 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itineraries
9 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itineraries

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.

Hike through the Valle de Cocora in Colombia's Coffee Triangle.
Map of 10 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itineraries
10 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itineraries

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.

Discover Colombia with your family
Map of 10 Days in Colombia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Colombia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days, your family can easily combine three or more areas of Colombia thanks to an inexpensive domestic air service. And with so much diversity—from the Amazon and the Andes to cosmopolitan cities and quaint colonial pueblos—there are plenty of options for a tailor-made stay.

Early morning in Los Nevados National Park, Colombia
Map of 11 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
11 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

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.

Coffee and banana plantations in Colombia
Map of 12 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
12 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

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.

Plaza de Bolivár in Bogotá, Colombia
Map of 13 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
13 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

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.

Boat on Palomino Beach
Map of 2 Weeks in Colombia - 4 Unique Itineraries
2 Weeks in Colombia - 4 Unique Itineraries

Planning to spend two 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.

The Rosario Islands off the coast of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Map of 15 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
15 Days in Colombia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

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.

Cartagena
How Many Days Should You Spend in Cartagena?

To visit Cartagena is to step back in time to the days of conquistadores and colonialists. Even in a mere 24 hours you could experience this spirit on a tour of Cartagena's historic Walled City, plus enjoy a carriage ride along its cobbled streets. With a couple days you could laze on white-sand beaches and tour its famous castles, and with close to a week there are options for day trips to gorgeous Caribbean islands and protected national parks. Keep reading for all the details.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Bogotá?
How Many Days Should You Spend in Bogotá?

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.

colombia
How Many Days Should You Spend in Medellín?

Medellín, the capital of Colombia's Antioquia region, is perfect for a quick vacation—you can see the highlights, like Plaza Botero and the hip El Poblado neighborhood, in just 24 hours. Come for two or three days and you can visit museums and botanical parks plus ride a gondola high into the hillside comunas. With 4-5 days the entire region opens up for a trip to the colorful country town of Guatapé to see its famous granite monolith, El Peñol.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Colombia's Coffee Region?
How Many Days Should You Spend in Colombia's Coffee Region?

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.