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9 Best Places to Visit in Colombia

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View of The Rock of Guatapé in Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia.

The Rock of Guatapé in Medellin, Colombia.

The nine must-see places in Colombia embody diverse wonders that can take you from golden Caribbean coastline to lush Andean slopes, colorful colonial Spanish towns to exciting ruins hidden in the jungle.

During your custom trip to Colombia, the timeless splendor of cultural heritage and daily life will surpass your expectations as you enjoy the flowers in the Eternal Spring or cruise the waters of the Amazon River in search of secluded wildlife. From cobbled lanes to coffee plantations, you can bask in a welcoming ambiance.

Discover where you can visit when exploring Colombia as you combine famous cities with lesser-known regions to enjoy the full depth of the country.

Overview

  1. 1. Medellin
  2. 2. Bogota
  3. 3. Cartagena
  4. 4. Eje Cafetero
  5. 5. Popayan
  6. 6. San Agustin
  7. 7. Cali
  8. 8. Villa de Leyva
  9. 9. Leticia
  10. Book for the Best Places in Colombia

1. Medellin

 Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Gardens in Medellin, Colombia.

Botanical Gardens in Medellin, Colombia.

Medellin tends to capture the heart of visitors with innovative art, culture, and perspective accentuated by the surrounding lush landscape.

Libraries, vibrant murals, famous sculptures, and an escalator that connects the central plaza to the terraced suburbs create an air of mystique as you engage with local culture to learn more about how a city once known for its complicated history has become a trendy destination, with bustling restaurants, boutique shops, and luxury accommodations.

From the palace of culture to the winding skyline of moving cable cars, Medellin is unlike any other city.

Highlights: Antioquia Museum | Arví Park | Parque Biblioteca España Santo domingo Savio | Museo Casa de la Memoria | Salsa dancing and walking tours

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

2. Bogota

Cable car to Cerro de Monserrate in Bogota, Colombia.

Cerro de Monserrate in Bogota, Colombia.

As the capital of Colombia, Bogota is an exciting city that combines contemporary innovation with the preserved artistry of colonial architecture.

From the exciting Plaza de Bolivar to the cobbled lanes of the historic center, the glinting artifacts on display in the Gold Museum to the mouthwatering flavors of restaurants headed by renowned chefs, Bogota provides visitors with a special introduction to Colombia’s contemporary urban sophistication.

Find houses over 300 years old, grand cathedrals that capture the essence of the past, and a gorgeous view of the Andes mountains from the top of Cerro de Monserrate as you embrace the city’s layers.

Highlights: Plaza de Bolivar | Gold Museum | Cerro de Monserrate | La Candelaria | Museo de Botero

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

3. Cartagena

Colonial architecture in Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena is more than a beach destination and reflects the best-preserved Spanish colonial city in the Americas. The colorful architecture lines cobbled lanes within the dramatic walls that continue to wrap around the historic center.

Every step can take you back in time within the labyrinth of churches, plazas, and tangled lanes that eventually open to the more contemporary oceanfront. Enjoy access to the golden coastline or nearby islands that celebrate the warm waters, pristine sands, and stunning marine life as you find the ambiance of the city hard to resist.

Highlights: Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas | Rosario Islands | Palace of the Inquisition Cartagena Historical Museum | Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa | Monumento Torre del Reloj

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

4. Eje Cafetero

Cocora Valley in the Quindío Department of Colombia.

Cocora Valley, Colombia.

The coffee-growing region of Colombia is more than just a place to sample the local brew or visit established organic plantations. It also demonstrates the natural grandeur of the scenery in the subtropical Andes.

Popular towns like Salento and Armenia can open to panoramic views of the valley, while guides happily explain how the cherry on the coffee plant eventually becomes a coffee bean in need of roasting. Storybook whitewashed cottages and charming balconies in town can give way to expansive rows of crops, all within sight of the stunning Andean peaks.

Highlights: Colombian coffee tours | Cocora Valley | Los Nevados National Park | Manizales | Salento

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

5. Popayan

Fine cuisine in Colombia.

Popayan, Colombia.

Popayan is peaceful and ethereal as it glows against lush surroundings with whitewashed walls and elegant architecture. The delicious cuisine celebrates local ingredients taken from the nearby lakes, mountains, and valleys for a sensational combination of flavors, textures, and colors perfect for satisfying all your senses.

Snowcapped volcanic peaks loom high above the cityscape and whispers of pre-Colombian pyramids circle the surrounding slopes. From the clock tower to the Mosquera Museum, you can explore the art and traditions of the greater region as you settle into the beauty of local life.

Highlights: Old Town tours | Purace National Park | Bicycle tours in the countryside | Museo de Historia Natural | El Morro de Tulcán

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

6. San Agustin

Colonial Church in San Agustin, Colombia

San Agustin, Colombia.

San Agustin is a place of mystery and exciting discovery in the secluded reaches of the Andean landscape.

The archeological park contains hundreds of pre-Colombian statues, as well as burial mounds, connected to a civilization about which very little is known.

Explore the rushing curtain of Bordones Waterfall, visit the narrowest canyon in the country at the Magdalena Strait, or travel by horseback to visit the unique statues and colorful patterns of the La Pelota.

Highlights: Parque Arqueológico De San Agustin | Magdalena Strait | Salto del Mortiño | La Pelota | Archaeological Park Alto Idols

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

7. Cali

View of Valle del Cauca in Cali, Colombia.

Valle del Cauca in Cali, Colombia.

Cali is a culturally vibrant city famous for the rhythms that created salsa. With a zest for life’s simple pleasures, emphasized by the beautiful architecture, you can easily become enamored with the electrifying ambiance that filters from the restaurants and bars into the streets.

The distinctive Afro-Colombian heritage permeates the neighborhoods to create a harmonious connection between cuisine and art, history and heritage. Sample the remarkable flavors of local dishes, embrace the charming banks of the Cali River, or wander beneath the colonial-era buildings that have become national monuments to experience a city that dances to its own beat.

Highlights: Salsa dancing | Río Cali | Capilla La Ermita | Barrio San Antonio | Culinary tours

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

8. Villa de Leyva

Casa Terracota in Villa de Leyva, Colombia.

Villa de Leyva, Colombia.

Villa de Leyva is the town where time has stopped and history comes to life. With the past still alive in the architecture and huge central plaza, the designs capture the Spanish colonial aesthetic, combined with the Moorish influences of the Old World.

The baroque touches of the 17th-century church create a layered opulence in view of the surrounding soaring Andean peaks. With ancient fossils in the museum and access to the unique blue pools of the nearby desert, Villa de Leyva is a truly unique wonder in a country of unforgettable places.

Highlights: Casa Terracota | Paramo Iguaque | Fibas Desert Garden | Museo Luis Alberto Acuña | Instituto Von Humboldt

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

9. Leticia

Canoe in the Amazon Rainforest in Leticia, Colombia.

Leticia, Colombia.

Leticia acts as the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest in Colombia and practically grows out of the dense jungle terrain. The streets edge the winding banks of the Amazon River and the town borders neighboring Brazil and Peru.

Boats travel deep into the rich forest as you search for wildlife unlike anywhere else in the world or embrace the wonders of the unparalleled ecosystem on a guided hike.

Culture remains prevalent, with indigenous communities interested in sharing their experiences and traditions, while the protected landscape provides space for over 860 bird species and approximately 6,800 types of plants for a quintessential immersion into the Amazon.

Highlights: Parque Santander | Parque Mundo Amazónico | Reserva Victoria Regia | Reserva Natural Omagua | Museo Etnográfico del Banco de la República

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Book for the Best Places in Colombia

Sculpture in Plaza Botero, Medellin, Colombia

Plaza Botero in Medellin, Colombia.

The wonders of Colombia can exude a surreal dream or an enchanting reality. Whether looking for adventure in the Andes or relaxation along the Caribbean coast, the possibilities are endless.

With Colonial towns, coffee estates, and hidden pre-Colombian ruins, you can capture the spirit of the nation as you explore the diversity of culture, cuisine, and landscapes scattered across the country on our Colombia Vacations & Tours.

Speak with a Colombia travel specialist to plan your custom trip to Colombia or call 1-888-265-9707 to chat with a Zicasso Travel Care Specialist.

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