Colombia is a tropical country with an intriguing history, diverse cultural imprint, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cities.
Whether you seek an adventurous outdoor excursion or a more leisurely cultural experience, there is something special for every type of traveler. From the Caribbean coast to the Andes Mountains, you can hike a mountain, spot wildlife, or lay on the beach all day long.
And, fortunately for you, our travel experts have done the hard work for you. We’ll show you their top picks for must-visit places in Colombia, why we love each one, and more. Let us be your guide!
15 of the Best Places in Colombia
From soaring mountain peaks to tranquil Caribbean coastlines and hundreds of attractions in between, check out our list of the best places to visit in Colombia!
Bogotá is Colombia’s capital city and the largest in the country with loads of history and cultural attractions balanced by modern shopping venues and nightlife.
The historic center is Bogotá’s oldest section and home to some of the best museums, churches, and monuments. Be sure to check out the Gold Museum and Cerro Monserrate, take a cable car over the city, or try your luck at the race track.
Read Next: Is Bogotá Safe to Visit in 2023?
2. Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park, or Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, is one of Colombia’s most beautiful, captivating places. Set along the Caribbean coast, this park features white-sand beaches and lush jungle trails.
You can also visit ancient ruins in the park, swim in its crystal-clear waters, or get some rest and relaxation in a hammock under the palms.
Medellín is one of Colombia’s most vibrant cities with colorful street art, lively festivals, and stunning mountain views. You can also tour various museums, galleries, restaurants, and nightlife spots.
Nature lovers can explore the botanical gardens, or take a cable car to the top of one of its many mountains. If you’re in the mood to learn and love science, visit Parque Explora for some interactive science exhibits.
Cartagena is the epitome of Caribbean vibes. The coastal city is famous for its gorgeous colonial architecture, colorful buildings, and classic cobblestone streets.
You can explore the old city, visit surrounding beaches, or take a day trip to one of the many nearby islands. When evening hits, the nightlife comes alive in strings of bars and restaurants.
Read Next: Is Cartagena Safe to Visit in 2023?
5. Salt Cathedral
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is a must-see. This underground cathedral is carved out of the salt mines and features impressive architecture, religious artwork, and a lake!
To get the most out of your visit, start with the guided tour of the cathedral. Ask your guide about other nearby attractions and the best times to visit. Make sure you set aside time to bask in the serenity here.
6. Valle del Cocora
Valle del Cocora is a stunning valley located near the city of Salento in Colombia. It’s known for its towering wax palm trees, the tallest of their kind in the world.
Visitors enjoy trekking through the valley, taking a jeep tour, spotting some wildlife, and even taking a horseback ride through the scene. As part of Los Nevados National Park, it’s a haven for hikers but there’s plenty to do in the area for everyone.
7. Parque de la 93
93rd Street Park is a famous destination in the heart of Bogota. Whether you’re up for a day of shopping and fine dining or looking for the hottest nightlife, Parque de la 93 is the place to be.
It’s also a key spot for hosting special events, especially around the holidays. If you’re looking to go clubbing, eat at highly-ranked restaurants, or shop til you drop, you can’t miss out on visiting this popular, bustling area.
8. Museo Nacional de Colombia
Another popular spot in downtown Bogota is the National Museum of Colombia. Its exhibits are vast and varied, featuring art from all over Latin America and historical artifacts from pre-Colombian civilizations.
This museum is the oldest in South America, making it one of the best stops for history and art buffs.
Since 1823, the National Museum of Colombia has served as an archive and window into the country’s history. It’s the place to go to learn more about Colombian history and art.
9. Castle San Felipe de Barajas
The Castle of San Felipe de Barajas is an impressive fortress built in 1536 and located in Cartagena. This site is one of the most popular stops in the country, thanks in large part to the views.
You can capture phenomenal shots of the Caribbean Sea and a glimpse into colonial Colombia. The fortress itself is such a wondrous sight, built by African slave labor under the rule of the Spanish.
The Spanish colonists used the fortress in various battles, and it’s interesting to step into such a controversial, storied sight. Make sure to use the audio guide when there, as it’s beneficial for understanding the comprehensive story behind the fortress.
10. Botero Museum
Botero Museum is one of the best places to visit in Colombia if you’re interested in international art pieces. It’s worth a visit, especially if you love Miro, Picasso, or Degas.
The museum also contains the most extensive collection of Botero’s sculptures and paintings, showcasing his signature style and his use of exaggerated forms. It’s also near other famed sites like Luis Ángel Arango Library and the Gold Museum of Bogotá.
11. Las Lajas Sanctuary
It’s easy to spend a full day at Las Lajas Sanctuary. This stunning location is a neo-gothic basilica located in the south of Colombia, and it’s set on the Guáitara River.
The beauty of this sanctuary will leave you speechless as it stands tall and majestic despite being built almost a hundred years ago.
The inside of the church is also remarkable and peaceful, with stained-glass windows and intricate sculptures. Be sure to take a boat ride along the river and visit the nearby waterfalls.
12. Rosario Islands
Rosario is a group of islands located off the coast of Colombia’s Caribbean Sea. This archipelago features crystal-clear water and incredible coral reefs.
It’s ideal for people who love water sports and want an awesome snorkeling adventure. Anglers can also fish in these waters.
If you’d rather relax and take in the scenery, there’s plenty of beachfront space to lounge in the sun, read a book, or just be at peace. When you feel the need to move, explore the lush mangroves.
13. Los Colorados Flora and Fauna Sanctuary
Another top destination in Colombia is Los Colorados Flora and Fauna Sanctuary. This park covers over 25,000 hectares of land with a range of landscapes.
You can wade through tropical forests and wetland areas or take in the wide, rolling savannas. Wildlife lovers will appreciate the opportunity to explore a diverse animal and plant population.
The sanctuary protects many animal species, including howler monkeys, jaguars, macaws, and sloths.
It’s also one of the few places to see the endangered spectacled bear. In addition, the sanctuary also offers great opportunities for bird watching and exploration of the incredible mangrove swamps.
14. Lake Guatavita
If you want to get away from the busy cities and attractions, head to Lake Guatavita in the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes. Visitors can also explore the nearby hot springs for a unique and relaxing side trip.
You might want to hire a tour guide for this 19.8 hectares of pure, natural beauty. Not only can they help you navigate the area, but they will also provide insight into the history and cultural significance.
15. Parque Arqueológico De San Agustin
Parque Arqueológico De San Agustin is a UNESCO world heritage site located in southern Colombia. The park features several archaeological sites with displays featuring artifacts from early civilizations.
Among the attractions, you’ll find Latin America’s largest collection of religious monuments. It’s a special place to visit for people interested in the region’s religious and cultural history. You can even see pre-colonial carvings and sculptures.
Things to Consider
Planning a trip to Colombia requires some research to ensure you get the most out of your trip. Some of the key considerations include:
- Research the best time of year to visit. Columbia’s climate can vary greatly from north to south, and you’ll want to ensure that your travel plans consider the weather.
- Monitor the safety alerts. Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution when traveling in Colombia. The country is generally considered safe, but it’s best to keep your wits about you and use common sense when traveling in unfamiliar areas.
- Check out the currency exchange rate. The value of the Colombian peso can change quickly, and you want to be prepared for the fluctuations to ensure you have enough cash on hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have questions about visiting Colombia? These questions and answers might clear things up:
Which part of Colombia should I visit?
It all depends on what type of experience you’re looking for. For a city experience with fine dining, luxury accommodations, and fine dining, head to Bogotá.
Explorers and nature lovers might prefer to visit the Colombian Amazon rainforest. Those craving a beach getaway should consider the coastal city of Cartagena.
What is the most beautiful part of Colombia?
There are stunning sites to explore throughout the entire country of Colombia. However, many people particularly enjoy Tayrona National Natural Park for its lush rainforest, Cocora Valley for its majestic mountain views, and Cartagena or Santa Marta for their incredible beaches.
What is the safest place to visit in Colombia?
Cartagena is the safest place to visit in Colombia. People often consider it safer because of the relatively low crime rate and heavy police force.
What are two famous places in Colombia?
Cartagena and Medellin are the two most famous places for visitors in Colombia due to their natural beauty. Bogotá is also extremely popular as a cultural and historical site with modern features and impressive nightlife.
How many days in Colombia is enough?
The number of days you’ll need in Colombia will depend on where you plan to go and what activities you’d like to do. For example, if you just want to relax along the beaches in Cartagena, you should be satisfied with four or five days.
However, if you want to explore several areas, you should plan on at least a full week or two weeks if you can manage it.
So, What Are the Best Places to Visit in Colombia?
Colombia is a vibrant country with strong historical and cultural experiences for locals and visitors alike. You can easily spend weeks or months there and still find something new every day.
This country has it all, including the Caribbean coast, majestic rainforests, ancient archaeological sites, and vibrant cities and towns. So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!