There are so many things to do in Colombia, which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Latin America.
In this country you will find Natural Parks, bird watching (there are more than 1,954 species of birds), archaeological sites, a variety of aquatic plants, some of the best beaches, spectacular rivers, moors, museums full of history, snowy mountains, colonial architecture, traditional festivals, mountainous and jungle landscapes… And much more!
Among the most visited places in Colombia, are: San Andres (in the Caribbean Sea), Villa de Leyva, Lost City, Caño Cristales, the Walled City of Cartagena, Cocora Valley, Solano Bay and Tayrona Park (just to mention a few).
This time we are going to focus on some places that you definitely have to experience for yourself the next time you go to Colombia. Obviously, many will be left out because the list would be almost endless, but here we will show you an excellent taste of everything there is to enjoy in this beautiful South American country.
These are the most touristic places in Colombia:
The Colombian capital is a must-see destination for places like La Candelaria, which is a neighborhood of colonial architecture full of history. El Chorro de Quevedo is one of the most visited spots in the center.
Don’t forget to climb the Cerro de Monserrate for a spectacular panoramic view of the capital.
Other sites that deserve to be known are: Gold Museum, Usaquen, Zona T, Plaza Bolivar and La Calera.
The main tourist sites in the “city of the eternal spring” include: the Museum of Antioquia, the Pueblito Paisa, the visit to the commune 13 and the pink zone of El Poblado. Other plans are to ride the subway, metro cable…and streetcar!
Go for a walk through the traditional downtown streets, such as Junín and La Playa.
While in Medellín, you can easily go to beautiful towns such as Santa Fe de Antioquia, Jardín and Jericó.
In the month of August, don’t miss the Flower Fair! It has spectacular events such as the Silleteros Parade, the antique car show, concerts, “tablados”, orchid exhibitions, among others.
It is known as “the most beautiful bay in America”. It is characterized for having some of the best beaches in the Colombian Caribbean. Its historic center with colonial houses, will allow you to see indigenous handicrafts, gold and the general beauty of the oldest city in Colombia.
Tayrona National Natural Park
It is a natural park located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (capital of the department of Magdalena). It is inhabited by different indigenous communities and is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Ciudad perdida is one of the most popular tourist attractions.
Sea and water sports lovers should definitely go to San Andres. You will be amazed by the white sandy beach and its “seven colored” sea (known for its different shades of blue).
If you go to the island, remember to go around it in one of the golf carts that you can rent there.
On your way through the “heroic city”, go and enjoy the magical walled city that is a World Heritage Site. Additionally, you have to go to the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the Rosario Islands (with beaches of crystal clear water and white sand) and stroll along the bay of Cartagena.
You may be wondering if it is safe to go to Cartagena, read our content to find out.
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It is known as the salsa capital of the world. So if you like this music, do not hesitate to go and witness the spectacular salsa shows offered in places like Carpa Delirio.
While in Cali, you should take the opportunity to visit the monument to Christ the Redeemer, the Sugar Cane Museum and the El Descanso Forest.
As its name indicates, it is Colombia’s coffee-growing land par excellence. Includes the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío.
When you are in Quindío, you must go to the Cocora Valley, Panaca and the Coffee Park. Don’t miss wonderful towns like Salento, Finlandia and Quimbaya.
In Risaralda, go and enjoy the spectacular hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal.
One of the most recommended tourist sites in southern Colombia is the department of Amazonas (whose capital is Leticia). It is an ideal plan to do with the family because of the different attractions that all visitors have at their disposal.
This majestic land is better known as “the lungs of the world” because of the importance it represents for the preservation of the ecosystem.
Before planning your trip to the Amazon, you must take into account that one of the fundamental requirements is to be vaccinated against yellow fever, at least 10 days in advance.
Nuquí and Bahía Solano
These two paradisiacal places located on the Colombian Pacific Coast (department of Chocó), not only will allow you to enjoy the sea, but from there you can see humpback whales and a great diversity of bird species.
These sites are recognized for promoting ecotourism. In addition to the beaches, you can hike through the rainforest.
Find out where the best the best in Colombia in our blog.
Places less visited in Colombia, but which are a real jewel:
An excellent plan to do in Colombia is to visit the Caño Cristales River, which is located in the municipality of La Macarena, in the department of Meta.
It is the most beautiful river in the whole world, yes, just as you read it!
From the first moment you step on the Sierra de la Macarena (which is the site of the river) you will be left with your mouth open, stunned by the majesty that will be in front of your eyes. Three of Colombia’s six natural regions converge here: the Amazon, the Orinoco and the Andes. The surroundings of this place, where crystalline waters prevail, are home to an unparalleled biodiversity, due to the fact that there are more than 1592 species of flora and 772 species of fauna.
Being on the banks of the river (ideally on a guided tour), you will be able to appreciate aquatic plants, natural pools, waterfalls and white stones. In addition, you will marvel at the different colors projected by the river water, as you will see pink, red, fuchsia, violet and green.
Manaure salt mines
Manaure is a municipality that belongs to the department of La Guajira, in the north of Colombia. While there, a visit to the salt mines is a must, as they are the largest sodium chloride mines in the country.
The Manaure Salt Flats are located at a distance of 63 kilometers from Riohacha (one hour and thirty minutes by car), which is the capital of Guajira and the approximate area of the site is about 4,200 hectares.
When you arrive at the site, you will be left open-mouthed by the dazzling scenery in front of you. And no wonder, since you will see mountains of salt, which in turn are reflected in water wells. A landscape like this is not found anywhere else in Colombia, and for that reason, it is extremely authentic and special.
Villa de Leyva
This dazzling municipality is part of the department of Boyacá.
It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country for its spectacular colonial architecture, where most of its streets are cobblestone. Its main square is huge and was declared a national monument.
If you plan to make your trip in August, you will be fascinated by the famous Festival of Wind and Kites, which takes place in the city.
The Sanctuary of Las Lajas
Located in Ipiales (Nariño), it is a monumental basilica that is among the most beautiful in the world. As a curious fact, we tell you that it is built over an abyss in the Guáitara River Canyon.
This municipality is located in Santander and, among other things, is well known for the majesty of its landscapes, where extreme outdoor sports are practiced.
If adventure is your thing and you like to mix it with nature, this will undoubtedly be your ideal place to visit on vacation. We tell you this because in San Gil you can practice adventure sports, for example:
- Rafting on the Fonce and Chicamocha rivers.
- Bungee Jumping.
If extreme sports are not your thing, you can also enjoy San Gil in other ways. There are beautiful places to visit, such as: the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (in the main park), the Padlocks Bridge, El Gallineral Park (the only National Natural Park in the middle of the city center in Colombia), La Libertad Park, among others.
It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in Colombia and is located in the department of Santander. It is characterized by its cobblestone streets and colonial style architecture. Just walking through the cobblestone streets of the town and enjoying the scenery will leave you full.
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral
Located in the department of Cundinamarca, it is an imposing construction sculpted in stone where you will be approximately 180 meters underground. It is a completely authentic place that you will not find anywhere else in the world, which makes it even more special.
Inside the enclosure you will marvel at its artistic display, especially of salt and marble sculptures in an environment where religious overtones prevail. Additionally, as you walk through the cathedral, you will feel the aroma of salt as you breathe and the pleasant sensation it produces in your airways.
The Salt Cathedral is an absolute Colombian architectural jewel!
What is most representative of the Amazon?
The Amazon is home to the largest tropical forest in the world and is recognized for its great variety of biodiversity of flora and fauna. Among others, you will be able to meet pink dolphins.
How far is San Gil from Bucaramanga?
The approximate travel time by car is 2 hours.
What is Caño Cristales?
It is the most beautiful river in the world. There, you will be able to appreciate aquatic plants, natural pools, waterfalls and white stones. In addition, you will marvel at the different colors projected by the river water, as you will see pink, red, fuchsia, violet and green.
What is the attraction of the Manaure salt mines in La Guajira?
You will see mountains of salt, which in turn are reflected in water wells. A landscape like this is not found anywhere else in Colombia and, for that reason, it is extremely authentic and special.
What extreme sports can be practiced in San Gil (Santander)?
In San Gil you can practice: Rafting, Paragliding, Kayaking, Bungee Jumping, Rappel, Hiking, among other sports.
When is the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral open?
The opening hours of the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá are from Sunday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.