What to visit in Colombia. The essentials.

The route we have made in Colombia

What to visit in Colombia, they ask us many times. Colombia is one of the countries in South America where we have been living with our van the longest. More than a year in total.

Before arriving in Colombia, everyone warned us: Beware of Colombia. They will fall in love. So it was. Just entering, from the first day, the joy and kindness of the Colombian people trapped us completely.

The tourist motto of this country already announces: Colombia, the danger is that you want to stay. And it can not be more successful.

“Well may, go ahead!” the baker shouts with an immense smile, offering lots of sweets, pandebono, yucca bread, cheese bread and other ideal delights to be taken accompanied by a “rich tintico”, the tinto, as the coffee is called here. And it was also here that we learned to drink coffee without sugar. It’s sooo tasty!

Enjoying a tinto with almojábanas

And if the beautiful people in this country add to the number of places worth knowing, you will need at least one year like us to travel it!

What to visit in Colombia, well ?! Quiet! We are going to make the task easier for you, and we have made this selection of what we consider the must-see of Colombia. There it goes!

WHAT TO VISIT IN COLOMBIA

One of the places that most tourist visits receives Colombia, is Cartagena de Indias. And it does not surprise me. It is a beautiful enclave, with long beaches and a white city surrounded by walls and street life that makes it an ideal place to walk and enjoy the good weather you usually do in Cartagena.

If you are thinking of visiting the Colombian Caribbean, and your route begins in Cartagena, these are the must-see attractions that we want to recommend:

What to visit in THE COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN

The classic route through the Colombian Caribbean is CARTAGENA – SANTA MARTA (TAYRONA PARK). To make this route we recommend you to have a minimum of 5 to 7 days, to be able to enjoy the places well.

If you have more time and want to visit more places in the surroundings, CABO DE LA VELA, LOST CITY, RINCÓN DEL MAR and ARBOLETES are our favorites.

 CARTAGENA

The walled historic center of Cartagena, a world heritage site since 1984, with the fort of San Felipe and the Getsemaní neighborhood, with beautiful narrow streets full of services and restaurants, are some of the main tourist attractions of the city.

View of Cartagena from the Castillo de San Felipe

Historical center of Cartagena de Indias

From the port of Cartagena, there are also daily tours to various destinations, among which Rosario Island and Isla Barú stand out, with a stop to eat in a typical white sand beach with a very quiet snorkel in crystal clear waters.

Isla Barú

Snorkel en isla Barú

SANTA MARTA and PARQUE TAYRONA

In Santa Marta, every day there are tours to the Tayrona National Park. Before going, we recommend that you visit their website here, to check the entrance prices, and above all, to know if the park is open, since annually, there are a few days that close it for maintenance and cleaning. From April 1, 2017 the yellow fever vaccine is mandatory to access the park.

CABO DE LA VELA

To get to the northernmost point of this country, we went with a tour from Santa Marta. There are several companies that are dedicated to making this route. We did night in Cabo de la Vela, and another night in Punta Gallinas. A surprising and indispensable route if you want to know more about the Guayus that live in this area. A sample of a totally different Colombia!

CIUDAD PERDIDA

One of the best trekkings in Colombia, without a doubt. A walk of 3-5 days, depending on how fast you want to do it, for some beautiful places, full of history and ancestral cultures. If you want to see the video that we did explaining this trek, you can see it here or in the photo.

RINCÓN DEL MAR

If you are one of those who like the beach, but calmly and without large numbers of people, and even be able to bathe only in a few hours or days of the week, Rincón del Mar is the place. The sunsets on the beach are spectacular. The small hotels and hostels that are on the beach have hammocks and tables in the same sand.

Rincón del mar

It remains an unknown place for many, so the atmosphere is calm, at the rhythm of reggae by tourists who usually visit the place. The weekend becomes more moved by the local people who listen in the main square reguetón at full volume, that’s always the case. But for us it was one of the best places in the Colombian Caribbean. To get there you have to go to San Onofre, and from there, there are taxis and taxis that go to Rincón.

ARBOLETES

Typical village of the Colombian Caribbean, with relaxed atmosphere and beach, and with little international tourism yet. There are several accommodation options and without a doubt, its main attraction is the mud volcano, which is also free entry. The sensation of bathing in these “waters” is indescribable. Weightlessness and the feeling of peace and tranquility is assured. And in the end you have a skin so smooth that you take off a few years of blow. We loved it! You can see the full experience by clicking here.

Volcano of mud of Arboletes

What to visit in MEDELLÍN and SURROUNDINGS

What to visit in Colombia? Medellín is one of the most interesting cities in Colombia. It is a modern city, easy to travel and with an endless offer.

Walking it with the metro or the metrocable from the air is beautiful. And if we have in mind to visit this exciting city and we have free time, the surroundings are very attractive too!

Our recommendation is: GUATAPÉ and PEÑÓL DE GUATAPÉ, JERICÓ and SANTA FÉ DE ANTIOQUIA.

WHAT TO VISIT IN MEDELLÍN

The most modern and cosmopolitan city of Colombia is, without a doubt, Medellín. With the metro and the metrocable to be able to travel all the points of the city, it is a place with many corners and activities of tourist interest.

From the main square and the Botero museum, the botanical garden, or the park of lights, are only a small part of this interesting and unstoppable city.

WHERE TO TAKE A GOOD COFFEE IN MEDELLÍN

Our favorite place in Medellin is in the Laureles neighborhood, at the ESTADIO subway stop. There is the CARRERA 70, one of the busiest streets in the neighborhood, full of bars, restaurants and nightclubs that never seem to rest. There is a cafeteria called EL BUHO CAFÉ, on the corner of Calle 47, and there we tried the coffee from the SAN CAFEL brand. It is a small production coffee made in San Rafael, near Medellin, which we were lucky enough to be able to visit the place, and certify with our own eyes the quality and love with which Uriel and his colleagues work this coffee. If you have the possibility, we recommend it. It shows the love with which this coffee has been treated!

GUATAPÉ and PEÑOL DE GUATAPÉ

One of the must-see is this beautiful corner. The town of Guatapé is picturesque, quiet and with a lot of choice for restoration, which is filled on Sundays with tourists to explore its colorful streets. And just before reaching Guatapé, there is the Peñol, this mountain where they dedicated themselves to inserting more than 700 steps to reach the top. An excursion that is very worthwhile. The views are impressive.

Vista del Peñol and its more than 700 steps

The beautiful views from the Peñol de Guatapé

JERICÓ

A small town that fell in love with the coffee axis of Medellín. It is a religious pilgrimage destination, but here you can also taste good coffee, and climb the cable car to the top of the village. The essence of Colombia in a small town. The place where the typical Colombian bag was born: El Carriel.

The town of Jericó

A street of the town of Jericó

SANTA FÉ DE ANTIOQUIA

A city of cobbled streets that hosts a large number of tourists on weekends, willing to visit and let themselves fall in love with architecture and gastronomy. Santa Fé de Antioquia was for years the capital of the region of Antioquia, but later, Medellín snatched the capital from it. Visiting the Casa Solariega, the Juan de Corral Museum or tasting some of the wines produced in these lands are some of the most outstanding attractions. For more information, we recommend you visit the Santa Fé website.

What to visit in the EJE CAFETERO DE COLOMBIA

Ruta por el eje cafetero de colombia

What to visit in Colombia? The coffee axis is one of the must-see in this country. The 4 places that we liked most of the Colombian coffee axis are AGUADAS, SALAMINA, FILANDIA and SALENTO. All this route and the surrounding villages are beautiful, with green landscapes full of coffee plantations everywhere.

SALENTO

It is one of the best known places of the coffee axis of Colombia. This small town of typical colorful and stone low houses is famous for being one of the busiest and most visited tourist spot. In addition, it is famous because it is where the Cocora Valley is located, the valley that houses the wax palms, the national tree of Colombia, and they are the tallest palms of its kind.

Hugging a wax palm, in the Cocora Valley

FILANDIA

Filandia is a small town that is very close to Salento, but it is quieter than its neighboring town. Filandia still preserves the spirit of a coffee-growing town and a tradition of artisan baskets, but without being as touristy as Salento. The surroundings and the viewpoints overlooking the entire valley from the village are beautiful.

AGUADAS

 

This curious Colombian town, climbed on top of a mountain, is a labyrinth of steep, picturesque streets.

This is where the legendary Aguadas hat is made, and there are still many artisans who manufacture it in the traditional way. You can visit the workshops where they are manufactured.

If you go up to the top of the town, in the viewpoint, there is a heart attack swing! : D Here we share the video we did about Aguadas, hopefully you like it!

SALAMINA

Another tourist spot highlighted by its paisa architecture, its cozy square and its steep streets with typical colorful balconies. Together with the coffee culture they make a walk through this city a tourist attraction in itself. If you are planning to visit this enclave, we recommend the Colombia travel website.

WHAT TO VISIT IN BOGOTÁ AND SURROUNDINGS

Bogotá

The capital of Colombia is a mega city that hides treasures for lovers of big cities. We are not enthusiastic about such urban places, but we are going to highlight the two corners that captivated us. The first is a walk through the old and historic part of the city.

Plaza de armas de Bogotá

And the second place that we liked most about Bogotá is the Montserrate hill. It is open 365 days a year and can be climbed with funicular, cable car or walking. You can consult the official website of the hill of Montserrate for any information of the place.

Cerro de Montserrate de Bogotá, Colombia

Enjoying with the family of Colombia

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira

 

What to visit in Colombia? If you have a day off and you are in Bogotá, visiting the cathedral of Sal de Zipaquirá is a very good idea.

Have you ever visited a cathedral inside a salt mine? Until that day, it also seemed unusual to us. That’s why this place impressed us. It is a unique enclave. We write this text about our passage through the salt cathedral, which we share here.

And if you want to see inside how is the salt cathedral of Zipaquirá, here we leave the video!

Chicamocha National park

 

At 7 hours from Bogotá and 1 hour from Bucaramanga, the Chicamocha National Park is one of the tourist places par excellence of the department of Santander.

The star place to fly in paragliding. Every day there is activity from the top of this canyon to fly over the Chicamocha river and its places. If you want to see what awaits you in this place in Colombia, here we leave the video we did.

Paragliding in the Chicamocha Canyon

In addition, the park offers a lot of tourist activities, such as a cable car, a water park, zip lines, animal parks … On the web you will find all the information with the times and location. We recommend it

One of the vertigo attractions of P.N. Chicamocha

SUR DE COLOMBIA

What to visit in Colombia? For the south of Colombia is the great forgotten for tourists and travelers who do not travel the van, and it is a shame, because it is also a region with much charm and much to discover.

We recommend these 4 destinations, but if you have more time, do not hesitate to ask the Pasuza population, always willing to help and recommend places in their beautiful department of Nariño.

IPIALES

If we enter Colombia through the border with Ecuador, Ipiales is the first town we come across. A few kilometers away we have a must see for believers, and also for those who love places with special charm: The Sanctuary of Las Lajas.

Entrada de Colombia desde la frontera de Ecuador

The Sanctuary of Las Lajas, located in the river Guáitara, is a Neo-Gothic building that has become a place of pilgrimage and one of the most touristic spots in the south of the country.

It is located 6 kilometers from Ipiales, and only 10 kilometers from the border with Ecuador. It is reached quietly from Ipiales in a short taxi ride.

Sanctuary of Las Lajas, Ipiales, Colombia

PASTO

With beautiful natural places, this friendly city captivated us by the human quality of its inhabitants. We have left here great people and friends who make the world a more beautiful place.

Enjoying the surroundings of Pasto with Silvana and Christian

The city is pleasant to walk on a walk, with its alley of craftsmen, in the main square of Pasto and its parks.

But above all, what we liked the most are all the towns and villages around, such as the route that surrounds the Galeras volcano, passing through the town of Sandoná, where there are many craftsmen who still make these hats that we bought during our time there .

LAGOON LA COCHA

This lagoon of Quechua name, “Cocha” means “Lagoon”, is a large reservoir of glacial origin.

It is a wetland of great national and international importance, which is within the protection of the RAMSAR Convention, both for its importance as a water resource and for the large number and variety of birds that inhabit this beautiful place.

Walking in one of the rafts offered is a pleasure that transports our imagination to other places in Europe that we have visited. We leave you the video that we made in our visit to La Cocha.

SAN AGUSTÍN

This small town in the department of Huila, is famous for its archaeological park, one of the most important in the country and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. It is the largest necropolis in the world.

Many of the statues that were found in this area, are still exposed in the same place where they were discovered. They are sculptures in stone that remember human faces with cerimonial masks.

In the forest of statues, you can see up to 35 sculptures in a tour of ecological trails.

One of the sculptures of the Archaeological Park of San Agustín

POPAYÁN

The white city of Colombia for excellence: Popayán.

It is one of the cities with the largest and best preserved historic center in the Americas, with a total of 236 blocks of historic downtown.

It is a very pleasant city, with many services and activities, and with a stable temperature that helps life on the street is always very active.

With Victor and Victoria, the Extraterrestrial Quartet traveling the streets of Popayán with music

A city where everyone who travels in a van, we like to stop.

So to the question of What to visit in Colombia, we always stay thinking and we never know very well what to highlight. So between tinto and tinto, we hope that these recommendations will serve you to enjoy this land so rich in human quality.

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One response to “What to visit in Colombia. The essentials.”

  1. Pepe Yanes

    Información muy útil. Me lo apunto todo.
    Abrazo

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