Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Colombia


Colombia, the republic of Colombia, is a unitary constitutional republic comprising 32 departments. It is situated in northwestern South America. Colombia is the 26th largest in South America after Argentina, Brazil and Peru. Colombia is an exotic country. Multicultural population, a heterogeneous culture, and many interesting tourist attractions can be found in this beautiful country. Fifty things that you can enjoy along with your family in Colombia are listed below:

1. Bogota

Bogota is the one of the most popular cities of Colombia; it is the capital city of Colombia. Here you will find various green open space are arranged neatly, beautiful and well maintained giving a unique feature to the city of Bogota and its people. It is considered as one of the most beautiful cities of the world, it is basically constructed keeping in mind, the concept of human (ecological and economic perspective). The city of Bogotá also hosts many internationally renowned events for example the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival (largest one on Earth) and “Rock al Parque”, a concert featuring rock stars from around the globe. The city has plenty of things to do and see.

2. Cartagena

Cartagena is one of the well known cities of Columbia; and loved by every traveler. You will find this beautiful city of Cartagena located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. Cartagena is also famous as a favorite beach resort town in northern Colombia and is the fifth largest city of the country. The city is situated toward 658 km north of Bogota. You will actually fall in love with the beauty of this place. It is a place considered quite nice for a vacation. Beautiful beach with bright blue sea and colonial-style buildings of Spain, become the main attraction of the city.

3. Cali

Cali is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. It is situated on the Cauca Valley towards the west of the Cauca River and to the east of the Western Mountain Range quite close to the hills known as Farallones de Cali. It is the 3rd largest city of the country. Cali is country’s hub for sugar and coffee industry. Visit Cali if you want to enjoy tremendous nightlife in the salsotecas, and are known as the salsa capital of Latin America. Cali has so much to offers such as the historical areas with cultural variety and other attractions.

4. Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is town referred as a colonial period town to be fond on a short distance from the country’s capital Bogotá. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations of Colombia. It’s also a famous weekend excursion, on weekends you will witness here that the streets, restaurants, places to stay and shops are fully crowded. Here will find some of the finest the well maintained art museums around the centre of town and the charming Parroquial de Villa de Leyva with the wonderful mountain backdrop makes the town a really attractive destination.

5. San Agustin

Although San Agustin is a little town of Colombia but it is an extremely popular tourist destination at the same time. The town total population is around 18,000 people with spectacular scenery, great music and home to a key archeological area in South America. San Agustin Park in Colombia is a UNESCO’S World Heritage Place; travel to San Agustin is surely worth it. This place especially attracts visitors who are interested in History, archeology, natural parks, adventure or cultural places.

6. San Andres

San Andres Island is some of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. You will find this island around 700 km from the Colombian mainland. It is considered as place with perfect beaches, excellent water-sports, diving and ecotourism. Your first sight of San Andres Island is the sea of seven colors, home to many-hued fish and coral, working their magic on the visitor. After an afternoon on the beach, night falls and the air is alive with music and dancing. Visit this island for an ultimate fun.

7. Medellin

Medellin is considered to be one of the most favorite cities of Colombia among tourist. This city of Colombia is simply amazing. The culture in the city will astound you as everyone is friendly and willing to help. You can paraglide over the city to get great views of the mountains and after landing take a gander at the gorgeous botanical gardens. Medellin is also the city where the famous artist Botero was born. You can explore both the Botero Plaza and the museum in the center of the city. You will surely love the Medellin nightlife, which is full of fun especially the salsa dance.

8. Pueblo Hunting

It is said that no trip to Colombia is complete without visiting the country side and see the small pueblos (towns). Quite close to Medellin you will find some great ones to see in Guatape, Jardin, and Santa Fe, among others. Most Colombian families head into fincas (country houses) during vacations and unlimited weekends. This is a great way to get the real taste of Colombia! One unique thing that you can do is visit the coffee region. The cities you want to visit are Manizales or Salento which are roughly 5.5 hours away and 1.5 hours away from Medellin by bus, respectively.

9. Parque Nacional Tayrona

The Parque Nacional Tayrona is considered one of the spectacular places to visit in Colombia and if you are looking for beaches and beautiful scenery then you should not miss this place. This place of Colombia is blessed with extreme wonderful natural beauty which includes the white sand beaches, beautiful palm trees and towering rocks. It has managed to attract travelers from around the world that come to lounge in the sand and hike in the jungle.

10. Valle de Cocora

Visit Valle de Cocora for an ultimate outdoor experience on tour to Colombia. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country which is the home of the country’s famous wax palms. The area is well known for its rolling hills covered in greenery and the palms, which tower above the valley. The best way to see the hills is on foot or on horseback. Don’t forget bring your cameras to capture the mist that rolls over the hills.

11. Ciudad perdida

Another most fascinating city of Colombia is the Ciudad perdida which is also refereed as the lost city. It is a must visit for those who fancy an adventure Not for the fainthearted, it’ll take a 5-6 day trek to reach the city, but what awaits you there is well worth the effort. On your way through the 20km, you will witness some of the finest rivers, see indigenous villages and their inhabitants and see some amazing sights, culminating in reaching the magnificent remains of Ciudad Perdida.

12. Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest approximately occupies one billion acres and includes areas in Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru. The Amazon Rainforest allegedly produces around 20% of the World’s oxygen and also containing half the world’s animal, plant and insect species. Is it is widely believed that your trip to Colombia is incomplete without venturing into this truly awesome place, it is recommended to take guided tours to full explore the area. If you head to Leticia (the capital of the Amazonas region in Colombia), you’ll find a number of jungle lodges to stay in and also a variety of tours and excursions to give you a true taste of the Rainforest in all its spectacular glory.

13. Mompox (Mompos)

Another of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites due to the well preserved colonial architecture to be found in Mompox, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. It really is the town that time forgot; located on an island in the middle of the Magdalena River and with no bridge across, it’ll take some effort to reach but you’ll find its well worth the effort.

14. Armenia

Armenia, Colombia is the capital of the Quidio section in Colombia and has an entire population of 300,000. The city of Armenia has been referred to as a wonder city, and the major reason being, the speed with which it is developing. The economy of this city is primarily based on coffee, bananas and plantains. The city of Armenia has gone through substantial damaged by an earthquake which struck in 1999. There is a river which flows near Armenia through a valley.

15. Barranquilla

Barranquilla is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Colombia. The city is the location of this world well known festival that is celebrated by a lot of Colombians and also tourist from different parts of the world. It is a four day long festival includes educational activities like dances and parades in colorful costumes. The carnival is held every year in March. During this tome true spirit of Barranquilla, Colombia comes out through a variety of cultural expressions.

16. Bucaramanga

Bucaramanga another fascinating tourist attraction of located at the northeastern side of Colombia. It is also referred as the “Ciudad de los Parques” that is “The City of the Parks”. The city was said to be established during the year 1622 and the modern city is developed around the old colonial town. Once here, you can witness the strikingly beautiful landscapes, and ancient towns that make the trip to Bucaramanga worthwhile. Bucaramanga is the capital of Santander Department in Colombia with a population of about 1 million. Besides its immense natural beauty, the thriving city of Bucaramanga, Colombia offers various modern facilities that the traveler usually looks for.

17. Ibague

Ibague is the capital of Tolima Department in central Andean Region in Colombia and one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. It was discovered during the year 1550 and has a population of concerning half a million. The fertile inhabited areas of Ibague produce tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, cacao and rice. Because of its appropriate location on the road of “La Línea” which links the inter-Andean valleys of Magdalena and Cauca rivers Ibague, Colombia is a major commercial and transportation center in the country.

18. Malpelo Island

Malpelo Island is another most interesting tourist attraction to visit in Columbia. It is located approximately around 270 miles from the West of Colombia. Although a tiny cut off island but has lot of things to offer and today it has become major tourist attractions because of its foreign place and a number of uncommon species which inhabit the place like seabirds, endemic species of lizards and land crabs and different other creatures. It is considered one of the best places for tourist to enjoy with the beauty of the nature.

19. Palmira

Palmira is one of the major tourist destinations of the country of Colombia. The country of Columbia is situated towards the northwestern region of South America. The city of Palmira, Colombia is the large size city in the Valle del Cauca department. It is also a municipality and is the biggest non-capital city. Palmira, Colombia is also very popular as the ‘agricultural capital of Colombia’ and is the twentieth biggest city in the country.

20. Santa Marta

Santa Marta was discovered during the year 1525 by Rodrigo de Bastidas. It’s a beautiful and safe bay on the Atlantic Coast, one of the top tourist attractions of the country. The capital of the department of Magdalena, Santa Marta is indeed one of the most-visited and most favorite tourist destinations in the country, major reason being its colonial buildings, its hotel infrastructure, picturesque landscape, white-sand beaches, and nearby national parks like the Tayrona Park and the majestic Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta.

21. Popayan

The literal meaning of the name of Popayan is two villages with straw roofs which has an Indian origin. The city was taken by Spanish conqueror Sebastian de Belalcázar on 1537. The city was considered to be a major hub because of its deliberate position to Quito, Lima and Cartagena. Popayán, Colombia was a most important transfer point for gold and riches to Spain. While taking the Popayan Tours you can visit splendid, museums, colonial bridges and churches. But in the earthquake of 1983 a big part of the city was shattered and later all it was repaired and rebuilt. Popayán, Colombia also has a pre-Hispanic pyramid which is known as El Morro del Tulcán.

22. Tulua

Tulua is another most prominent tourist attraction of Columbia. It was discovered around 1741 by Juan de Lemos y Aguirre. The name Tulua means Tierra Fácil or Easy Land. One of its major attractions lies in its delicious food and salsa dancing. It is well known throughout branch of South America and Columbia as a center of salsa. It is also popular as Corazón Del Valle which means Valley’s Heart or Core and La Villa de Céspedes. The second name means the Town of Céspedes which is named after the naturalist Juan María Céspedes.

23. Barrancabermeja

Barrancabermeja is another interesting tourist attraction of Colombia. It was discovered during the year 1536 with a small completion. This Columbian striking place was selected as a city during 1922 and become a major tourist attraction of the country. It was incorporated after oil was discovered and the foundation of the first extraction wells by the Tropical Oil Company. The origin of the name Barrancabermeja comes from the explorer Gonzalo Jiménez de Quezada. He described that the area near the river featured ‘unas Barrancas Bermejas’ or ‘reddish ravines’. The oil refinery was taken over by Ecopetrol in 1951.

24. Gold Museum in Bogota

The Gold Museum which is located in Bogota is one of the most significant tourist attractions of Colombia. Once you visit this place you will notice that its concept is same as the one in Cartagena but a lot bigger with far more in-depth history and information. This is a must-see if you want a sense of deep Colombian history and what existed in terms of culture and advanced civilization, before the Spanish arrived. You will surely love the beautiful ornaments that gave a strong sense for the people that lived here originally.

25. Medellin Botanical Garden

The Medellin Botanical Garden is one of them most popular tourist attractions of Colombia. The garden is almost 40 acres of outdoor space dedicated to orchids, plants, botany and nature in general. Here you will find some of the best and huge wealth of flora native to Colombia, this botanical garden offers approximately 5000 individual plants with contributions from more than 1000 different species. The Medellin Botanical Garden is a must visit site on your to Medellin.

26. Orquideorama

the Orquideorama structure resembles a bouquet of giant wooden flowers that stretch more than fifty feet into the air forming a large canopy for patrons to enjoy, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions of this country. The main motive behind the design was to blend architecture with the natural world so that the space would fit perfectly within its attachment to the existing Medellin Botanical Gardens.

27. festival of flowers

Once here you should not miss the opportunity to attend this festival of flowers. The country of Colombia offers a number of best and unique fairs and festivals and this festival of flowers is not exception. Cultural, sporting, and social activities are held all week long — based on the theme of flowers. This festival of Flowers is held in the city of Medellin during the month of august every year. Medellin is called the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its lively beauty and climate, ideal for growing flowers. The most spectacular event of the week is the parade of Silleteros — country men and women who carry hundreds of pounds of flowers on their backs to honor the old tradition of how flowers were transported before cars.

28. Santa fe de Antioquia

Santa fe de Antioquia is said to have been discovered during 1541, it is situated 75 km from Medellin on the road to the sea. It is considered as one of the best conserved Colonial populations of the country. The Cathedral, La Ermita, El Cabildo, La Casa Negra, the city museum, and the Western Bridge are the biggest attractions of this place. The PUENTE DE OCCIDENTE is a phenomenal work of engineering, constructed over a century ago with brick towers that sustain the hanging bridge which was built using wood and steel ropes. Today this bridge is famous “Historical National Monument.”

29. Manizales

Manizales is one of the most important University Centers of the country. Manizales is the capital of the department that boasts having José María Osorio, Joaquín Arango among others as its first founders. It is indeed one of the most famous places to visit in Colombia. The municipal territory is recognized as one of the strong-holds of the Central Andes Range — forming an irregular topographic system.

30. Ciudad Perdida

Ciudad Perdida is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of the country which is situated in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta; the Lost City is one of the most interesting archeological places in Latin America. It is considered a result of the enormous engineering and agricultural knowledge of the Tayrona Indians known as “Buritica 200″ or “The Lost City.” It’s a complex of terraces and mud streets that communicated it between other villages — retention walls, water deposits, a complex sewer system and aqueduct and more. It is an extremely popular historical monument of the country.

31. Parque Explora

Parque Explora which is also known as the Explore Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the country. It is a natural sciences center to be found in Medellin which opened quite recently to the public during the year 2008. With over 70,000 square feet of indoor space and 50,000 square feet of outdoor activities, this futuristic looking series of red buildings entertains thousands of people and families every week with its educational based scientific displays, aquarium, reptile and insect collection and more.

32. San Gil

San Gil is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country and also famously referred as the adventure sport capital of Colombia and it is indeed one of the best places in the world to get your adrenaline pumping. In this breathtaking, dry and mountainous landscape you can go white water rafting, paragliding, caving, canyoning, abseiling, bungee jumping, kayaking and a whole lot more! This city has a lot to offer to its visitors and visiting this place is surely worth it.

33. Gorgona Island

Gorgona Island is one of the most interesting tourist attractions of the country. Rising out of Colombia´s remote pacific waters like a Noah´s Ark of the tropics, this attracting Island of Colombia is well known for its copious wildlife. In the waters surrounding this eco-paradise are endangered sea turtles, manta rays, hammerhead sharks and humpback whales. Include this island on your tour to Colombia for an ultimate thrilled journey.

34. Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral is one of the extremely popular tourist attractions of Colombia. This Roman Catholic Church is constructed within the burrow and warren of a salt mine just in the vicinity of Zipaquira town. The place has immense architectural details coupled with numbers of ancient religious symbolizations that make it much more special and sacred. It is also referred as Salt Cathedral as one way of luring more tourists and visitors to go and check out the place. Catholic devotees hear mass every Sunday with the cathedral housing more or less 3,000 guests.

35. Biblioteca España

Biblioteca España is located at the top of the mountain in Medellin is one of the spectacular tourist attraction of Colombia. Biblioteca España or Spain Library is a well known place in Medellin. The ultra modern designed black library is located in the northern part of the city in a neighborhood called Santo Domingo Savio. Much like a volcano rises from the earth as it emerges in birth, so too does the Biblioteca España.

36. San Ignacio square

San Ignacio square is considered as one of the city’s oldest squares, it has been a historical centerpiece to Medellin for numerous decades. The square itself is flanked by other historical buildings such as the San Ignacio Church & Cloister as well as the San Ignacio Building belonging to the University of Antioquia. The square, framed and lined by its centuries-old ceiba (silk/cotton) trees, is a center for business, cultural & recreational activities.

37. The Coffee Triangle

Colombia is the most renowned coffee producer in the entire world and in the Colombian Coffee Triangle coffee is not just a hot drink but considered a culture and livelihood. A tour through this region takes you through stunning green countryside, where you will get the opportunity to go on a coffee farm tour, horse ride and hike though the Cocora Valley, full of the tallest palm trees in the world.

38. Monteria

Monteria was founded and settled by Spanish explorers, the city has been referred as the Pearl of River Sinu or La Perla del Sinu by the local people. It is one of the most significant cites of the country and probably one of the most diverse cities in the country in terms of culture and economic activity. It is said that Monteria’s unique vibe is a result of the blend between Spanish settlers, African plantation workers, Zenu Indians and Arab migrants. This blend led to the emergence of a national icon, the Vueltiao hat and local Porro folklore music.

39. Melgar

The country of Colombia has plenty of beautiful places to offer and the city of Melgar is no exception. Many tourists are perhaps more recognizable with the city of Bogota simply because it is the biggest, the most populous and the highest profiled city in Colombia. on the other hand, numerous of Bogota residents favor spending weekend vacations in the quieter, warmer and more picturesque city of Melgar.

40. the Santo Domingo Church

This is one of the famous religious temples in the town of Cartagena, and a well known tourist attractions of the country. It was produced by a well known artist of Colombia, Fernando Botero and can be found just across the Santo Domingo Square. If you want to catch a glimpse of both art and religion, the Santo Domingo Church is a must. Visit this famous church of Colombia which is immensely popular.

41. The Bocagrande

It is popularly said that the visit to Cartagena Old Town will never be complete without stopping at the BIG MOUTH, one of Bocagrande’s well known attractions. Here you will find a wide variety of things to buy and a lot of shopping malls, art galleries, restaurants, resorts and beautiful beaches. The Bocagrande is located quite close to the Cartagena bay and area’s central district, the Avenida San Martin. Traveling to the shore of the Caribbean is just 7 minutes away by boat. The beaches of Bocagrande are just perfect for ultimate enjoyment and surely will give an almost Caribbean feel.

42. Pereira

Pereira is a well known tourist attraction of the country. Coffee drinkers from around the world – from North America to Europe – will readily associate good coffee with Colombia. On the other hand, only a select number of those millions of coffee specialists know that the best Colombian coffee actually originates from the region around the city of Pereira. Pereira is one of the most prominent cities of Colombia. The city’s considered location in the center of the coffee growing region is well known among the locals and also with the tourist.

43. Valledupar

Another fascinating city of Colombia which is equally loved by tourist is Valledupar. It is situated amidst the mountains of Serrania Del Perija and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the country. The city stretches out to the margin of the Cesar River and Guatapuri River. It is also referred to as Valle de Upar or “Valley of Upar” in honor of Cacique Upar, an Amerindian cacique that ruled the valley. The famous attraction of the culture of this city is the Vallenato Legend Festival which is hosted in this city, and is very popular among the locals as well as the visitors. The city is considered as the cradle of vallenato music and this form is a representative of the Colombian culture.

44. Manizales

Manizales is one of the popular cities of the country situated towards the central Columbia. It is also the capital of Department of Caldas and a part of the region of Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis which is quite close to the Nevado Del Ruiz volcano. It is constructed in a mountain region with a number of steep slopes and ridgelines. Manizales is also well combined with seismic instability of the area and requires architectural adaptations and public works too for making the city a safer place to stay. In this city of Manizales you will find numerous coffee plantations in the fertile lands.

45. Leticia

Leticia can be described as a city which is positioned in ‘Republic of Colombia’. It is also the capital of ‘department’ of ‘Amazonas’. Also, it’s the southernmost town lying in Colombia; along with being the one and only most important port along the river. Leticia stands at 96 meters over sea level; with average temperature of around 27 degree C. This place has been shipping point of Colombia since long; thanks to tropical fishes which are used for aquarium trade.

46. Neiva

Neiva is one of the most significant cities located towards the southern part of Colombia due to its strategically geographical location. You will find it situated in South Central Columbia in the Valley of the Magdalena River. Neiva is the home of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Neiva. The city of Colombia offers some of the finest cultural festivities which are enjoyed by both locals as well as visitors. As per the culture of this place, during the last two weeks of June and early July, the San Pedro festivities are celebrated here. During this cultural festival, there are daily parades through the downtown area and showing of a folk dance called as Sanjuanero.

47. Villavicencio

Villavicencio is one of the famous cities of Colombia it is the capital of the Department of Meta. This city is also often locally referred to as “Villavo.” It is located at a distance of only 75 km from Bogota. Villavicencio is situated by the Guatiquia River which borders the city in the North direction. Here, the Eastern Plains start and a major part of the city’s urban region is in a flat terrain. Villavicencio is located on the historical path from the Colombian interior to the vast savannas that is situated between the Andes range and the Amazon rainforest.

48. Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park

The Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the country. It is said that that park took more than 10 years to complete its construction, but definitely was worth the wait. It is considered an ideal place for family pick inking. This beautiful park has trees, a lake where you can rent boats, running and cycling trails, playgrounds, and more. It also has amphitheaters for musicians, theater, and other outdoor entertainment.

49. Quindio

Quindio is one of the most fascinating cities of Colombia. It is one of the youngest departments of the country and has its economic and agricultural base in coffee. It is considered a good place for spending ones vacation. The people from this region are known for their warmth and generosity. The mountains here are dotted with coffee plantations and various other agricultural items– beautiful landscape. Quindio stands out for its traditional Antioquía architecture.

50. Isla Gorgona

Isla Gorgona is one of the most beautiful and sought after tourist destination of Colombia. This former prison island in the Pacific Ocean is now a nature reserve open to visitors who wish to tour the prison ruins, see abundant wildlife, including monkeys, snakes, whales and sea turtles, or dive off the island. This place of Colombia majorly attracts those who love adventure.

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