There are so many incredible places to visit in Colombia!
If you’re going to be visiting soon, here’s a list of must-do’s when visiting Colombia!
Related Read: Undiscovered EcoTourism Destinations In Colombia
Top attractions to visit in Colombia
1. Cabo de la Vela
Welcome to the “Wild West” of Colombia. Cabo de la Vela is the home of the Wayuu and a truly unique and wonderful place to visit. Here the desert meets the sea. Spend your days hiking to wild and unique beaches. Spend your evenings in a chinchorro (a large, comfortable hammock with a built-in cover, made by local Wayuu women) under the stars. Eat fresh lobster and fish caught daily. Greet the goats, iguanas, lizards and crabs as you explore the beaches of Ojo de Agua, Pilon de Azucar and the rocky cliffs overlooking the vast Caribbean Ocean on the northern edge of the South American continent.
Cabo de la Vela is one of those places in Colombia that are worth the trip.
2. Bahia Aguacate
Literally “Avocado Bay”, this gem of a destination is truly where the jungle meets the sea. The Bahia Aguacate is surrounded by palm trees and lush tropical forests and offers breathtaking sea views with rugged rocky outcrops against the backdrop of brilliant blue water and blue skies. Bahia Aguacate is a breathtaking hour’s walk from Capurgana, a small fishing village with a vibrant nightlife on the weekends.
A short boat ride from Capurgana is La Miel, the first successful European settlement on the American mainland (1510). From there, take a 30-minute hike to the border back into Colombia to the quaint beach town of Sapzurro. This corner of the continent is only accessible by plane or speedboat, so this place has retained its rugged beauty.
If you want to feel the sun, swim in crystal blue waters and just want to hear the sounds of the waves and the sea breeze, Bahia Aguacate is the destination for you!
3. Mesa de Los Santos
Mesa de los Santos, “The Plateau of the Saints”, is located in the state or “Departamento” of Santander, about an hour south of Bucaramanga, and was once the home of the Guanes. It is rich in history, culture and beauty. The mesa collides with the Chicamocha Canyon, the largest canyon in Colombia.
Walking along the mesa is like traveling back in time. Pre-Columbian petroglyphs, caving and breathtaking views. One can almost imagine what it would feel like to live here between the colorful sand and rocks, the breathtaking blue sky and the yawning gorges, as the Guans once did. Climb what is perhaps the best place in the world – La Mojarra – and enjoy the cutest pineapple you’ve ever had, or just experience one of the most amazing topographies in Colombia.
Whatever you bring to Colombia, you must visit Mesa de Los Santos!
Another great place in Colombia with a beach.
Palomino is a secluded beach whose deltas are two large and beautiful rivers full of wildlife, a unique mountain range that reflects the morning sun. All of this and more can be found in Palomino! You can find peace and relaxation in a sleepy town northeast of Santa Marta.
Plan a day trip to hike halfway up the Sierra Nevada and float down the lazy Palomino River to the Caribbean Ocean. Stay at one of the all-inclusive beachfront accommodations and enjoy night walks on the beach where the sand “sparkles” with static electricity with every step! Or just enjoy the solitude and sunshine on the beach.
If you want to get away from it all, Palomino is the perfect place in Colombia to refresh your body and soul!
Barichara is by far one of the most charming small towns or “pueblos” in Colombia. Barichara’s whitewashed buildings with traditional rock zocalos or baseboards are located in the Santander region and are a step back in time.
Men in traditional dress linger on park benches while children walk home from school and enjoy afternoon ice cream. Barichara, originally called “Barachalá” by the native Guane, means “a good place to rest” – an appropriate description of this beautiful city. Do not miss the “Camino Real Guane”, a path from Barichara to the very small pueblo of Guane.
In this case, the trip is the destination as the views are amazing and the stone path is filled with ancient fossils. The “Hormigas Culonas” or Big Booty Ants, a delicacy of the region, also live in Barichara. These ants are raised on site and pan-fried, as a snack, on steak, in a delicious sauce, or in any way. If you want to experience a small colonial Colombian pueblo with lots of character, don’t miss Barichara!
6. Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena de Indias, or Cartagena for short, is located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for its preserved inner city, the “Ciudad Amurallada” or walled city. With horse-drawn carriages, colonial architecture, international cuisine and boutique hotels, Cartagena draws tourists from all over the world.
Historically, Cartagena was the main Spanish port in South America, where all gold was stored and later shipped to Spain. This helped fortify the city and prevented invasion by both official and unofficial English and French attacks. Today, the city walls welcome countless national and international tourists, making them the most popular travel destination in Colombia. If you want unmatched history, Caribbean flair, and an assortment of flavors, Cartagena Travel!
7. Coffee triangle
When you think of Colombia, two words usually come to mind: coffee and the other “C” word.
The best coffee in the world is grown, handpicked, washed, roasted and packaged here – from huge mass production companies to small family businesses. The Coffee Triangle or “Eje Cafetero” is a large area that covers central Colombia. Here the Andes offer the best topography for growing the many Arabica coffees. Enjoy a cultural coffee tour or take a tour of a large direct export company, both of which take a different look at the coffee business.
Countless hundred-year-old haciendas characterize the landscape and the hills are lush with coffee, guayacan, mandarin and plantain trees. Starting from the northernmost point from Manizales to Pereira and then east to Armenia, the region is home to many localized customs, traditions and peoples.
Call to all coffee lovers! The coffee triangle is waiting for you! Don’t keep it waiting long!
8. Valle de Cocora
Wax palms, check. Breathtaking views, check out. Tourist trap, check it out.
Valle de Cocora doesn’t have to be a tourist trap to be fair, but it is definitely a must-see in Colombia. Because of this, it attracts large flocks of national and international tourists who want to see the Colombian national tree and the tallest palm trees in the world.
The best time to visit Salento, the jumping-off point into the valley, is during the week. However, if you are a professional people watcher or enjoy shopping for artisan souvenirs in artisan souvenirs, Sunday is the day you need to show up.
The valley is best to climb and start early enough so as not to miss the jeeps return to town. Once you get to the top, head north and head down the Valle de las Palmas or Valley of the Palms. As the name suggests, most of the wax palms are located here. The hike is great and offers breathtaking views of the entire valley. It’s best to do this when the sun is about to set. The wax palms shimmer and rustle in the wind. A river flows through the valley and provides a refreshing cold in the heat of the valley.
Truly a unique place with an even more unique flora.
9. Santiago de Cali
Santiago de Cali, or Cali for short, is the third largest city in Colombia and is located comfortably in the Valle del Cauca, the largest valley in Colombia.
The Feria de Cali, held the last week of each year, is the city’s main tourist attraction, with salsa concerts and “rumba” or parties taking center stage. Bullfights, parades and other shows round off the festival. The nightlife in Cali is world famous and the main reason to come.
If you’re a salsa fan, interested in taking lessons from world champions, or hanging out in a legendary salsa club, Cali is for you. Each day of the week features one or two or more clubs with booming sound systems playing salsa, reggeaton, merengue, and even champeta.
Cali is also a great base from which to visit Lake Calima, the top kite and windsurfing destination in Colombia, and other points in the south such as Popayan, San Augustin and Pasto.
With a tropical heat of the day and a cool night breeze, it’s a party paradise.
10. Termales Santa Rosa del Cabal
The unique geography of Colombia offers many hot springs and this is beyond the best places in Colombia to have a hot spring experience. Termales Santa Rosa del Cabal are actually two locations: a private one with a hotel and another for day users.
Both get all their water from thermal springs high up in the mountains, where the water temperature is a scorching 88 ° C. The hot cascade then turns into an ice cold waterfall and is then directed to the baths. There is a private bathroom on site for up to four people and an outdoor shower for those staying in the original part of the hotel.
The hottest section of the main pool borders the waterfall at 37 ° C. Pools further away from the waterfall get progressively cooler. Next to the “coolest” pool is an ice cold waterfall, a nice place to cool off and increase blood flow after soaking in the warmth of the thermals.
Termales Santa Rosa del Cabal is a perfect way to add some relaxation to your Colombia trip. It offers a full-service food area, plenty of space to move around and numerous pools with healing thermal water.