Top 10 Not-to-be-Missed Travel Experiences in Colombia

Imagine exotic fruit that run rampant in ancient rainforests, and untouched mountains that quietly beckon avid explorers. Welcome to Colombia, where the only risk is wanting to stay.


Photo © iStock/andresr

1. Colombian Amazon

Take a boat trip down one of the world’s longest rivers and discover an immense jungle with the richest biodiversity on Earth. Let the pure air and simple way of life of the local ethnic tribes inspire you to appreciate the wonders of Mother Nature.

Puerto Narino, Colombian Amazon. Photo credit: Gregg Bleakney

2. The Coffee Zone

Grand adventures await in the lush coffee region. Explore a coffee farm, breathe in crisp mountain air and hike through the spectacular Cocora Valley. When you’re tired, amble through colonial streets, people-watching in quaint plazas, while drinking locally produced coffee.

Coffee farmer, Zona Cafetera. Photo credit: Gregg Bleakney

3. La Ciudad Perdida Trek (Lost City Trek)

This 4/5/6-day trek will take you into a jungle that possesses the ruins and legends of the famous Tayrona Indigenous tribe. Experience nature in its purest form as you traverse ancient footpaths to climb deeper and higher into the majestic Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

4. Villa de Leyva

Preserved for over 400 years, this historical town flawlessly conjures up images of men with top hats helping long-skirted ladies down from horse and carriages that wait patiently on cobbled streets.

Famous for its Kite Festival that takes place every August, don’t miss the phallic-shaped statues in El Infiernito archaeological site too.

5. Salsa dancing

Losing the rhythm, stepping on toes, and awkward movements are all part of the salsa-learning process.

But don’t despair! Be patient and practice; you’ll not be at a loss for a partner as Colombians appreciate dancing as if their life depended on it.

Energetic, expressive, and fun, salsa is one of the best ways to experience the spirit of Colombia.

6. Tayrona National Park

Hikers in Tayrona National Park. Photo credit: iStock

Revel in a natural park where tropical forests race to embrace the Caribbean Sea, creating a serene paradise that’s only interrupted by the shrieking of moneys and birds.

For the fit and adventurous, enter via Calabazo and climb to the ancient ruins of Pueblito – a once-thriving community of the Tayrona tribe.

7. Popayán

Preserved colonial architecture and traditional gastronomy forged the fundamental character of this 16th-century town.

The often-called Ciudad Blanca, “White City” due to the prominent whitewashed walls, is famous for its elaborate Easter processions and remains a unique window into Colombia’s rich cultural heritage.

8. Diving in Colombia

Perfectly sandwiched between two oceans, with islands and reefs easily accessible, diving in Colombia grants close encounters with an abundance of marine life. within a wide range of diving conditions.

Thanks to the wide range of diving conditions and dive sites, there are plenty to satisfy divers of all levels and abilities.

9. Paragliding

With perfect year-round weather conditions, the department of Santander is Colombia’s paragliding capital.

Float liesurely over Bucaramanga, or for the maximum adrenaline rush, organize a flight from San Gil for a panoramic view of the stunning Chicamocha Canyon. Paragliding close to Medellín is also a great option. 

10. Surfing

Surfing in Colombia suits all levels of expertise. The Northern Caribbean coast, with its mild currents, is great for beginners, as well as those wanting easy access to surf beaches and amenities. For a much wilder adventure, the Pacific coast offers the best surfing in the country. Getting there is half the fun.

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  • Rodrigo said

    If you like adventures and saving money as well, I would recommend crossing from Colombia to Panama through the Darien Gap. Since there are no roads, the most common way to do this trip is by flying. However, you can also cross it by boats and through small villages along the coast.

    I actually wrote an article about how to do this trip if anyone is interested! -

  • Gerry said

    Just did one month in Colombia Jan. 2018. Usually hate big cities but loved Bogota. Also liked and recommend Medellin, Jardin, Filandia, Salento, Villa de Leyva, they are must sees. Did not do the coastal towns.

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