The 10 Best Places to Visit in Colombia
I am sure you have heard of Colombia and the famous places that it has to offer. You might be wondering what are the best places to visit in Colombia, but I'll tell you that there are lots of great options! This blog post will give you a list of 10 fantastic places that every tourist should go see before they leave this amazing country.
Table of Contents
Why visit Colombia?
The reason you should visit Colombia is that it has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for ancient ruins, a beautiful beach to relax on, or an adventure in the jungle, Colombia has it all! The people are incredibly kind and welcoming, the scenery is beautiful, there's a great nightlife scene, and the food is delicious.
If the above didn't convince you, then let's talk about food. Colombian food is full of flavor, which you are bound to notice as soon as your plane lands. The most popular dish is the Bandeja Paisa, which is a plate of rice, beans, meat, avocado, and chorizo. If you are looking for something sweeter, try the arepas. They are made from corn flour and can be filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables. No matter what you choose to eat, you are sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds!
In each of the following 10 best places to visit in the country, you'll find something to pleasantly surprise you.
Guatape is a very famous town that has been named by National Geographic as one of the prettiest places in Latin America. The colorful homes have been painted with incredible murals, and they line up along the ridge on top of a hill. It's also known for its amazing church, which you can go see for free!
If you are looking to take some amazing photos then I encourage you to visit El Peñón in Columbia. This place definitely offers some incredible views. You can walk along narrow paths on top of the monolith or even drive up if you don't feel like walking all day long. The Cliffs of Guatapé are a rock formation that borders a lake. It was created 70 million years ago along the Antioquia Rock Base. The monolith, which is two-thirds of its height below ground, is more than 200 meters high and can be seen for miles around. Visitors may climb to the top of the rock via a stairway on one side, which leads to 649 steps. Just make sure not to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
2. Cartagena de Indias
If you're looking for a place that is home to beautiful beaches, gorgeous old-world colonial architecture, and friendly people then Cartagena is your destination. The old town is filled with small cobblestone streets and historic churches that will have you falling in love from the moment you arrive.
The current city was founded on June 1, 1533, as Cartagena de Indias. However, indigenous people have inhabited the area around Cartagena Bay for 4000 BC. Cartagena served an important role in Spanish administration and growth during the colonial period. Cartagena was a flourishing seaport and thriving center of political, religious, and economic activity during the colonial era. The city's medieval walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
When you visit Cartagena, don't miss out on seeing the beautiful San Felipe de Barajas Castle. This is one of the best castles in all of Latin America, and it has tons of history attached to its walls!
Medellín, which was once called "the most dangerous city on the planet," has made significant efforts to overcome its reputation as a haven for criminals, violence, and drug trafficking. The city was praised as "the most innovative city in the world" in 2013, and it started with the introduction of public transportation.
Pablo Escobar, the 1980s drug kingpin dubbed "the King of Cocaine," has left an imprint on Medellín that is difficult to miss. It would be foolhardy to overlook his importance to the city. Although there are Escobar excursions, they are not recommended by locals who want to forget the city's violent history. They're fascinating, but other trips also cover similar subjects in greater detail.
Medellín is by far the most modern city in Colombia. It's also known for being a major hub of culture, so if you are looking to learn about Colombian history or explore their cuisine this would be an excellent place to visit!
The "City of Eternal Spring," as Colombia's residents call it owing to its temperate climate, has become a travel hotspot for exquisite dining, great nightlife, and one of the best coffee spots in the world.
4. Islas del Rosario
If you love the ocean and snorkeling/diving, Islas del Rosario would be an amazing stop on your journey in Colombia. This archipelago of islands offers lots of great things to see. Some of the most famous personalities own private islands in the Rosario Islands archipelago. Notable ones are Pablo Escobar and Shakira.
The archipelago was designated a Natural National Park due to the need to preserve and protect the coral reefs and their adjacent ecosystems, such as seagrass and mangroves, as well as numerous species of seaweed and animals that live there.
The most famous island is called Cayo Bolivar. It is a large landmass that has been turned into an ecological park with lots of trails to explore. If you are interested in learning more about Colombia's culture, history, and natural beauty then this would be the perfect place for your trip!
5. Playa Blanca
Playa Blanca is a great place with lots of fun activities like surfing, snorkeling, and even parasailing! It's also home to some beautiful white sand beaches that you can relax on all day long. This beach offers plenty of activities from the Plankton tours to the Isla Fuerte boat tour.
If you are looking to rest your head, then I recommend staying at one of the many hostels in Playa Blanca. You can also stay on nearby Isla Baru and take a boat over during the day for some fun activities!
Another unique activity is horseback riding along the beach to get an up-close view of all the islands that make up Colombia's archipelago. It really does give you a great perspective about how small we humans actually are compared to nature.
Playa Blanca has lots of natural beauty. There is always something exciting going on here, which makes it perfect for travelers who love adventure!
The capital city of Colombia, Bogotá, is located in the Central Highlands region at an average elevation of 2,640 meters above sea level. It is the third-highest capital in South America and the world after Quito and La Paz.
Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia, and it's also where you will find most of the restaurants, museums, and bars. This city is sure to catch your attention right off the bat, because it's a modern metropolis that has been built on top of steep hillsides. It offers lots of museums, parks, nightlife, and restaurants that you will want to spend a lot of time at.
Some of the best things to see in Bogotá are The Gold Museum, Botero Museum, and Monserrate Mountain. In addition, Bogotá's most historic and beautiful district, La Candelaria, is like taking a walk through the Spanish Colonial period. Almost every structure has a wooden balcony that looks out onto busy thoroughfares with intricately painted big doors and entries. Another great way to visit the city is by taking one of the free walking tours that will take you way back into the history of Colombia.
7. Tayrona National Park
This is another natural attraction in Colombia that offers some pretty incredible views from the beach! There are lots of trails throughout this park, so it's definitely worth exploring for a few days if you have the chance. This is a gorgeous park with lots of stunning beaches and jungle trails. You can go swimming, snorkeling, or even take an overnight hike! There are also some great natural pools that you can explore as well.
The best part about this park is that it's full of history from the Taironas who lived in and around these parts.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore Colombia's history in this park, which is why it makes for a great destination if you want to learn more about the country's past!
8. Tatacoa Desert
This dessert is unlike anything I've ever seen before. The red landscape looks like something out of an alien planet, so if you are looking for something unique to photograph you should check this place out!
The best way to explore this desert is by going on a tour. You will go through the different ecosystems and see all of its unique plants, flowers, and cacti. It's really incredible how much life you can find in such a dry place!
Since it gets so hot here during the day I would recommend staying out of the sun from 11 am to about two in the afternoon.
9. San Andres and Providencia
Located in the Caribbean, San Andres and Providencia are known for their white sands beaches and turquoise waters.
This is a great place if you want to get away from Colombia's crowded cities and relax on the beach. San Andres and Providencia are home to lots of beautiful islands that you could easily spend weeks exploring! They offer some fantastic scuba diving, snorkeling, and lots of other water activities to keep you busy.
You can also visit the famous underwater sculpture park which is one of the most unique attractions in Colombia.
If you're looking for a serene beach getaway then this is a great place to visit!
Cali is the third-largest city in the country, and it is known as the "Salsa capital" due to its amazing street dance parties that last until the morning.
Cali offers some of the best restaurants in Colombia and also one of the most vibrant city centers. The people here are nice, and it's very easy to meet other travelers as well. If you want an evening filled with entertainment then look no further than Cali.
Cali Fair is without a doubt the event that draws the most visitors and tourists to this area. The fair has been held annually since 1957, between the 25th and 30th of December. The Bullfighting, the Crowning of the Beauty Queen from the Comunas, the Streets of the Fair, and a big concert are among the most popular festivals.
Since this is a very important city you will find lots of museums that are filled with art and history. Some of the most famous ones include Museo del Oro and Cali Art Museum. This city is also known as the home to some of the biggest rivals of Pablo Escobar, the Cali cartel.
Where to stay in Colombia?
You can check out hotels, hostels and more for stay below.
Colombia is a country with diverse landscapes, cultures, and climates. If you are thinking of visiting the region to see some of its most beautiful places or if you are already in Colombia but want to explore more, then this list will be helpful for your travels. Which place on our list do you think would be interesting to visit? What other natural landmarks should we add to this post?