Travel Colombia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Destinations

It's not a surprise that Colombia has become one of our favorite countries for many reasons. We spent four glorious months living and traveling here, which was ample time for us to travel Colombia slowly and enjoy numerous places.  There were some destinations that we didn't like, while there were others, we loved and returned a second time. Thus, we share our views of Colombia with a detailed guide with three different itineraries and information about where to go, what to do, and our top choices of where to stay and eat.

Travel Colombia

We recognize that most vacations are only two weeks. We assure you, this is not enough time to enjoy even the top locations to travel Colombia.  If you are fortunate, you can stretch it to up to three weeks.  This guide will allow you to plan a two week holiday,to get a taste of its diversity AND we feel confident you will need to come back (or hopefully stay longer ) and see more.

Travel Colombia

What You Need to Know About Colombia before you arrive

There are many misconceptions and surprises about Colombia, here are 15 things you need to know before traveling to Colombia.

Travel Colombia: How to get around 

Thanks to easy to plan, comfortable and well-priced bus services, it's easier than ever to travel independently around Colombia, if you have the time. Be prepared for some long windy Colombian roads to navigate around the mountains however, you will see some of the most spectacular views from the road.

Flights In Colombia

Travel Colombia

Viva Colombia – Is the low-cost airline – We've spent $40-$50US for flights to avoid some of our travels that  requires 15 hours of bus time. Warning: This discount airline charges for EVERYTHING(even carry on bags) so be sure to add up all the extra charges to determine whether this is your best option. Avianca – the national carrier often has sales and competitively priced or better priced domestic flights with Via Colombia, so check all your options.

Bus Service in Colombia: 

Travel Colombia

Where to find bus information:

Numerous bus lines operate nationally or regionally across Colombia.  All cities and towns have a bus terminal where several different companies have service desks that offer varying bus service options and schedules. In the main cities, you can Google the terminal to find the bus companies, schedules, and pricing as it varies in each terminal varies. It is not required to book seats in advance, unless for major Colombian holidays. Often, weekends are very busy as Colombian families travel during this time of the week.

Bus pricing and features:

Bus services are reasonably priced and quite comfortable all over Colombia. They vary from larger coach-lines with A/C, reclining chairs and bathrooms to minivans that carry 12-14 passengers. The bus type varies depending on the schedule and the destination. Be prepared with a sweater for heavily air-conditioned buses and a set of earphones for loud Colombian music.

Travel Colombia: What kind of experience are you looking for?

Every traveler is different: some travelers want more of the outdoors and hike to the Lost City; some travelers want to experience more of the city life and others would be happy to get a cross section of regions.  Here are three sample itineraries, customized according to your preferences.

Travel Colombia: Three Sample Itineraries

Day 1 - Bogotá

Day 2- Bogotá and Zipaquirá

Day 3 - Cartagena

Day 4 - Cartagena and Day Trips

Day 5 – Travel to Tayrona National Park

Day 6 – Tayrona National Park – and departure

Day 7 - Minca: Spend the day relaxing here

Day 8 - Travel day to Medellín

Day 9 - Medellín

Day 10 - Day trip to Guatapé

Day 11 - Day trip to Cocoa farm

Day 12 - Travel to Cali

Day 13 - Cali

Day 14: Travel back to Bogotá

Day 1 - Bogotá

Day 2- Bogotá and Zipaquirá

Day 3 - Cartagena

Day 4 - Cartagena and Day Trips

Day 5 – Travel to Tayrona National Park

Day 6 - Explore more of Tayrona

Day 7, 8 and 9 - Lost City Trek – The Ciudad Perdida

Day 10 - Final day of the Trek and Departure

Day 11 - Rest day in Minca

Day 12 - Travel day to Medellín

Day 13 - Day trip to Guatapé

Day 14 - Medellín

Day 15 - Travel back to Bogotá

Day 1 - Bogotá

Day 2- Bogotá and Zipaquirá

Day 3 - Travel day to Medellín

Day 4 - Medellín

Day 5 - Day trip to Guatapé

Day 6 - Travel to Jardín

Day 7 - Jardín

Day 8 - Travel to Salento (Coffee Zone)

Day 9 - Salento

Day 10 - Travel and stay in Cali

Day 11 – Travel & stay in Popayán

Day 12 – Travel & stay in San Agustín

Day 13 - Day trip to San Agustín Archeological sites

Day 14 - Travel back to Popayán, then bus to Cali

Day 15 – Fly out of Cali – fly back to Bogotá

Looking for more information to travel Colombia? We would love to help you discover more details about this incredible country we have grown to love! ​For more top destinations in Colombia to discover you can find them here! 

Have you found a place you want to share with our community? Please comment below. 

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About the Author Dorene

Dorene is a marketing consultant and freelance writer. She quit her 20-year career in marketing to redesign her career and lifestyle on her own terms by living location independent. Now with her husband Troy, she helps people who want to redefine their midlife and make conscious changes at TravelLifeX. She also trains & coaches travel and hospitality clients to improve their marketing at