2 Weeks in Colombia: 3 Colombia Itineraries to the Best Destinations

It's no surprise that Colombia has become a top travel destination in the world. Its a country in transformation which makes it an exciting time to discover it. We've made Colombia our home base the last three years and traveled extensively throughout it and developed 3 Colombia itineraries to enjoy your 2 weeks in Colombia and to help you choose where you want to go, what you want to do including suggestions on where to stay and eat and some tips on how to plan your trip.

Views above the big rock in Guatape one of the best places to enjoy for 2 weeks in Colombia

Even though most vacations in North America are two weeks, you will still have enough time to explore sections of the country for a glorious 2 weeks in Colombia. It will be enough time for you to wet your appetite to explore and experience it again, but first some important tips to know before you arrive. 

views above Medellin - one of the best places to visit during 2 weeks in Colombia

Colombia Travel Tips Before You Arrive

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

 How to get around Colombia

Thanks to easy-to-plan, comfortable, and well-priced bus services, and flights, it's easier than ever to travel independently around Colombia.  Flights are reasonable, and by road, be prepared for some long windy Colombian roads that navigate around the mountains where you will see some of the most spectacular views in the country. 

Domestic Flights in Colombia

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Viva Air is Colombia's low-cost airline and a good choice for inexpensive travel between cities. It will save you time if your Colombia vacation is limited. Keep in mind to check the fine print for baggage allowances and requirements (such as printing your boarding pass in advance) these extra charges can add up. Book at least 2 weeks in advance to get the best pricing. Avianca is Colombia's national carrier and often has super promo fairs if you book ahead. If you are in Colombia, book in Colombian pesos to get even better fares. Latam is another option for domestic flights around the country.  Depending on where you are traveling there is also smaller domestic flights out of Medellin's inner city airport with airlines such as ADAEasyfly and Satena

Buses in Colombia 

bus service in Medellin - the best way to spend 2 weeks in Colombia

Where to find bus Colombia 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. Usually it is not required to book seats in advance, however weekends and  major Colombian holidays (like Easter, Christmas until January 15th) are busy. Its wonderful to see Colombian's discovering their own country after years of war and limited ability to travel around their country.  

Buses in Colombia- Features and Pricing 

Bus services are reasonably priced and quite comfortable for travel all over Colombia. Options vary from larger coach-lines with A/C, reclining chairs and bathrooms, minivans that carry 12-14 passengers to cars. The bus type varies depending on the schedule and the destination, just inquire at any bus terminal.  Note that buses tend to be heavily airconditioned, so bring a jacket, and be prepared for music playing or movies at above average volumes! Long trips include a stop for dinner (like Medellin to Bogota) and there are always food vendors who jump on the journey and sell empanadas, sweets, icecream and anything you can imagine.

Colombia Itineraries: What 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.  We've put together three comprehensive itineraries, customized according to your preferences.

 Choose Your Colombia Itinerary 2 Weeks

Itinerary 1: A Taste of Multi-Regions

Major city attractions including Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and Cali. Visit the Tayrona National Park and wander through some of the best historical towns.

Itinerary 2: Colombia Highlights and Outdoor Adventures

Highlights of Bogotá and Medellín. Outdoor adventures on the Caribbean Coast and hike the Lost City.

Itinerary 3: A Taste of Central Colombia and the South

Highlights of Bogotá, Medellín and the southern region. Includes nature, colonial towns, and historical sites.

Itinerary 1: A Taste of the Multi-Regions

Includes major city attractions of Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and Cali. Visit Tayrona National Park and wander through some of the best historical towns.

Day 1: Bogotá

  • Visiting the capital city of Bogotá is a must. It's historical, gritty, eclectic and interesting. It is also enormous with its 10 million residents making it difficult to get around and there isn't good local transport. We definitely recommend doing local tours. 

What to do in Bogota:

visit Bogota for 2 weeks in Colombia

One of the many cool Candelaria streets

Wander around the Historic La Candelaria district – Bogota's old town is fantastic and home to the city's most impressive Spanish colonial architecture, political history and stunning grafitti. Check out this half day tour by car 

Visit the Gold Museum – Even if you aren't a museum person, The Gold Museum should be the one to visit. View over 55,000 pieces of gold jewelery, handicrafts and tools made by Colombia's hispanic cultures including the Teyrona people that buried gold within underground in the Lost City in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Visit the Botero Museum – Colombia's loved and renowned contemporary artist features his painting and major works here.  (Note that in Medellín, you can view his sculptures at Plaza Botero in the central district).  Looking for a good day tour? Check out prices and availability here

visit the gold museum for the 2 weeks in Colombia itinerary

Other recommended tours of Bogota definitely include a grafitti tour of the streets like this one. Check this street art tour for prices and availability

If you are in Bogotá on Sunday, you must take in Cicloviá. From 7am-2pm the road is closed for cars – and open for runners, bikers, walkers and dogs. It gives you a new perspective of the city and 2 Million residents get outdoors to enjoy the roads every Sunday!  If you aren't in Bogota on Sunday we love this option to explore the city because its so much easier to get around this mega-city by bike with this tour

Cyclovia in Bogota on sundays one of the best things to do during 2 weeks in Colombia

Where to Stay In Bogota

There are many great places to stay in Bogotá. Some of the popular neighborhoods include Candelaria, Chapinero and Zona Rosa. 

Some of our recommended places to stay:

Each of these offer different pricng and comfort options in the best neighborhorhoods of the city. 

AK  Hostel 82 - Chapinero Check availability and latest pricing

The Click Clack Hotel  - Chapinero Check availability and latest pricing

Selina - La Candelaria  Check availability and latest pricing

Hotel Bogota Virrey - Zona Rosa Check availability and latest pricing

one of the places to stay in Bogota

Great place to stay in Bogota the AK Hostel 82 

Day 2: Bogotá morning - afternoon in Zipaquirá

Things to do in Bogota 

Enjoy awe-inspiring views of Bogotá by visiting the Guadalupe Hill (3300 meters) or Montserrat (3100 meters) to get the best focal point of the city.

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Looking down at Montserrat from Guadalupe Hill

Bogotá has the best foodie scenes in all of Colombia. Take in a local food tour, and definitely check out how the coffee and cafe scene is evolving. This food feast and coffee workshop may do the trick. Check here for prices and availability.

Leave the city for a half-day to visit the delightful colonial town of Zipaquirá. Visit the Salt Cathedral in this city, a cathedral 200m underground made of interlocking tunnels with 14 chapels and three shrines. Depending on traffic it's a 1hour drive from Bogotá.  Check out the Salt Cathedral Tour for prices and availability

Check out this video below  to see why Zipaquira is worth a visit. 

2 weeks in Colombia - itinerary for the salt cathedral of Zipaquira

Day 3: Cartagena

How to get there:

Take a night bus from the main terminal (plenty of different options) or to save time, fly to Cartagena.

What to do:  

- Take a historical walking tour around the Old walled City and the historical neighborhood of Getsemani. Our favorite part of Cartagena is the area of Getsemani - a regentrified area outside the wall known for the area where the workers of the walled city once lived. 

2 weeks in Colombia visit the walled city of Cartagena

The Gates of the walled city of Cartagena

- Wander inside the many cathedrals and museums inside the wall.

2 weeks in Colombia - one of the many amazing buildings in the walled city of Cartagena

Some of the beautiful architecture inside the walled city

- Walk on the beach and people watch in the Boca Grande district.

- Saunter the streets of Getsemani and admire the architecture and street graffiti.

2 weeks in Colombia - the neighborhood of Getsemani

Some of the interesting grafitti in Getsemani 

- Take a break at the Plaza Bolívar or Plaza in front of Iglesia de la Trinidad in Getsemani.  Oh! What about this economical sunset yacht tour? Check out prices and availability

-Enjoy an arepa and a beer and watch a soccer match on the plaza, kids play or in the evening an outdoor movie – all in front of the church.

2 weeks in Colombia local life in Getsemani

Kids playing in the square in  the Getsemani neighborhood in Cartagena

- Watch the sunset looking over the Caribbean sea from the wall of the old city, take a beer and sit on the edge. Many local kids and families will join you.  Here is a great city tour to see it all ! Check here for prices and availability.

  • Watch nighttime entertainment including dancing, music and stop for a drink at the Plaza Santa Domingo.

Where to Stay in Cartagena:

  • One option is trying to find a reasonable priced Airbnb in the old town (there are just a few options.)
  • We prefer staying in Getsemani – more of a local experience without breaking your wallet.
  • Recommended places to stay: 

We stayed at Hotel Marlin in Getsemani – excellent location, clean, budget priced, with a New Orleans feel (small rooms, traffic on weekends on this main street make it noisy, but we were right in the middle of the action).  Check availability and latest prices

Hotel Casa Carmen -Getsemani - Check availability and latest pricing

The Beach Hotel - For a special treat, this place is located on a strip of land across from Cartagena only reached by boat. Check out this incredible location, availability and latest pricing.

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Day 4: Cartagena and Day Trips to Playa Blanca or Isla Rosario

You need a beach day in Cartagena, why visit this Caribbean if you don't spend a day at the beach! The best beaches aren't in the city, but an hour boat ride out of town. 

How to Book a Tour to the Beaches: 

Walk to the pier at El Muelle de la Bodeguita, across the street from the old town. Go to any of the office windows and book a day trip. We went to the Rosario Islands.This is a one-hour boat ride – to enjoy your option swimming, snorkeling, diving, hiking, lunch, then return. Unlike in Cartagena, the waters here are pristine, clear and blue, and  it's the best place to swim in the area.  Check out this option to get to Rosario islands - prices and availability here.

2 weeks in Colombia the Rosario islands outside Cartagena

The beaches at the Rosario Islands

Day 5: Travel to Tayrona National Park

How to get there:

When in Cartagena your hotel can help you arrange transport to Tayrona.or you can head to the bus terminal to choose a carrier. The bus trip is around 4-5 hours Where (depending on stops).

Where to Stay near Tayrona National Park

 There are a number of very interesting accommodations closer to Santa Marta. Check out these two interesting places (plan to spend alot more to stay near the park- but these places are worth it!) These cool eco hostals are just 2km away from the park. 

Eco hostal Yuluka Check this cool stay!

Hostal Monte Verde Check here for prices and availability

What to do in Tayrona National Park 

Wander all day in the park, run, swim, hike and relax.

2weeks in Colombia - an itinerary including the amazing Tayrona National Park

Day 6: Tayrona National Park and departure

Spend the day visiting many of the beach areas within the park.

Walk the trails and witness some of the most amazing diverse views! Check out our video on our day trip to Tayrona.

 Reach the main gates in the afternoon to catch a cab or bus to Santa Marta (approx. 2 hours) then take a cab to Minca

(45 minutes up above the Sierra Nevada Mountains.)

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Day 7:  Minca: Spend the day relaxing here

We loved Minca! It's an eclectic, energetic town with lots to do. Find out how to get there, what do to, where to stay, and where to eat. Everything you need to know is in this post about Minca.

Minca, one of the best places to visit during 2 weeks in Colombia

Day 8: Travel day down to Santa Marta then onto Medellín

Travel Colombia requires a stop in Medellín. It's not only a beautiful city, going through massive transformation, the Paisa culture (people of Antioquia are different than the rest of the country.

How to get there:

After you arrive in Santa Marta, Take a bus to Medellín (16hrs) or take a flight to Medellín (less than 2 hrs) Take a cab into the city (roughly 45-50 minutes into town).  To determine how much you should pay for cab fare, try this app. for any city you travel. Medellín is very easy to travel around with its efficient metro system, Metro de Medellin.

Where to stay:  

Most visitors typically head in El Poblado during their first visit to Medellín. It is a tourist-friendly area with plenty of locations. We recommend for cost, convenience, and service: The Grand Hostel in El Poblado. This is a place with friendly and attentive staff (operated by a lovely Lady Lucy and her dog Lucas), with both private and dorm rooms, and proximity to the El Poblado Metro station. Check prices and availability here.

2weeks in Colombia stay in Medellin at the grand hostel

A few of our other favorite spots to stay in Medellin. 

The Art hotel - In Poblado - Modern, funky near many restaurants just outside of Parque lleras. Check out this hotel for prices and availability or try the Las Rosas Boutique hotel it will be in a less action packed area than the Art Hotel. Check prices and availability here.     

Laureles neighborhood - another cool neighborhood - we recommend Hotel Asurias - Check prices and availability here.  Another option is Las Rosa Boutique hotel We

Envigado is the city right beside Medellin and is a great place to stay as its less expensive and literally at the door step of Medellin with a more local flavor. This is close to the Colombia Immersion Spanish school, a school that has a more community and local approach to learning.  and set in a local neighborhood, which is a perfect place to appreciate a local community and practice your Spanish. A few options to stay in Envigado include:  The Arame hotel Check prices and availability here.   There are al numerous Airbnbs in the area. 

Day 9: Medellín

What to do in Medellin: 

Get your bearings with a Walking Tour around the city. This will give you the perspective of what to see and do for your visit, and learn some history and travel tips.

A must see is the Comuna 13 district. Get inspired by witnessing how the city is transforming into a very livable and innovative place. Learn about  the struggles of the past and the growing optimism for the future.  Check here for tour prices and availability

The Comuna 13 Escalator some of the best things to see in 2 weeks in Colombia

Escalator #6 in Comuna 13

Hike up to the mountains and find waterfalls and chill in one of the most beautiful natural spots so close to the city.

Waterfalls outside of Medellin some of the best things to see during 2 weeks in Colombia

Arriving at the first waterfall into our hike.

Visit the Plaza Botero in order to see the sculptures of Medellín's living legend and shop along the plaza.  Check out this great private city tour to take in all the sites including downtown, and Parque Arvi.  Check prices and availability here

The botero statue -some of the best things to see in 2 weeks in Colombia

Take the cable car up to Parque Arvi and walk through the parks and forests.  check out this private city tour to do all this - prices and availability here

The city of Medellin- best place to visit for 2 weeks in Colombia

Visit the Minorista market downtown to savor the best variety of exotic fruits you have ever seen!

the minorista market - the best place to visit during 2 weeks in Colombia

Watch a Colombian football (soccer) game and witness some of the most passionate fans ever! Check out the video from our first Colombian Football game.

Take in one of many museums like the Museum of Antioquia or our favorite the Casa de Memoria.

On Sundays get some exercise at Cicloviá – from 7 am to 1 pm. Avenue Poblado is closed to vehicles and open for cycling, running, and dog walking or just plain walking. This event is perfect for a great day of exercise, followed with a refreshing drink at one of many juice stands along the way.

Coffee! Enjoy the many café options around the city especially in El Poblado or take inThe Street food tour Medellín is an excellent way to start your stay. Check out the video of our food tour of Medellín

Day 10: Day trip to Guatapé

This is one of our favorite day trips (or  overnight if you can spare the time). For details how to get there, and what to do you can find out all about the coolest colorful town of Guatapé here.

You have to visit Guatape - perfect for 2 weeks of itinerary

Day 11: Day trip to Cocoa farm – Stay in Medellín overnight

What to do:

Stay in Medellín and book a day tour to see and participate in a chocolate workshop at a cocoa farm.

The Palenque tours offer an incredible tour of a Cocao farm where you find out how farmers have gotten past the dark days of the war and now have a thriving chocolate business.

We captured the story of this Cocao farm and how it's changed from the dark past of the Colombian war. 

Palenque also offers excellent coffee tours in this area (you don't need to be in the coffee zone to see and taste good coffee).

Day 12: Travel to Cali

With this trip to Cali, you will cover off all major cities in Colombia.  There is a lot to see in Medellín and you may opt to stay and explore more.

Cali, however, will give you a different perspective on Colombia. It is also a city in massive transformation after the dark days of the Cali cartel were over.  The city is renewing and renovating with parks, restaurants and social projects.  Not to mention it's the home and birthplace of SALSA!

How to get there

Your best option is flying. Otherwise, it's an 8-10 hour drive. If you are on a limited vacation period, taking the plane is your best bet.

Travel within Cali: Taxis are everywhere and economical as there are metered taxis. However, we didn't take a bus, which is called the Mio – similar to the Transmilenio in Bogotá. It's reasonably priced and efficient (although it can get very crowded during rush hour). Uber runs a low cost and efficient service in Cali as well as in Bogotá and Medellín.  

Where to stay

We recommend Casa Miraflores, which is one of the coolest/most comfortable hostels we have ever stayed in. It's a massive Spanish-style home that offers breakfast, with two full kitchens to use, funky lounging areas and comfortable private and dorm rooms.  Check prices and availability here

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Day 13: Enjoy Cali

What to do:  

We recommend a city tour to allow you to get a first comprehensive impression of Cali. It's a great overview of popular neighborhoods, as well as the downtown area.

Views of Cali Colombia -included in a 2 weeks in Colombia itinerary

Cristo Rey is a Christ statue located high above the city, with numerous parks and urban projects underway. Check out this well-priced extensive 3 hour tour of Cali to check all the sights and sounds and get a flavor for the city. Check prices and availability here.

2 weeks in colombia - the Cristo rey statue in Cali

Of course, Salsa Dancing is a good reason to come to Cali and included here is a good directory of where to find the best clubs, schools and events. 

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Day 14: Travel back to Bogotá

Fly back home via Medellín or Bogotá depending on your airline.

Sadly, your trip may be over at this point, but if you still have time, we have two other itineraries below that offer a few different options for destinations if you can spare the time.

Itinerary 1: A Taste of Multi-Regions

Major city attractions in Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and Cali. Visit the Tayrona National Park and wander through some colonial towns.

Itinerary 2: Colombia Highlights and Outdoor Adventures

Highlights of Bogotá and Medellín. Outdoor adventures on the north coast and hiking the Lost City: The Ciudad Perdida.

Itinerary 3: A Taste of Central Colombia and more of the South

Highlights of Bogotá, Medellín and more time in the south. This itinerary includes nature, colonial towns, and historical sites.

Itinerary 2: Colombia Highlights and Outdoor Adventures Highlights of Bogotá and Medellín. Outdoor adventures on the north coast and hiking the Lost City: The Ciudad Perdida.

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

Itinerary 3: A Taste of Central Colombia and more of the South Highlights of Bogotá, Medellín and more time in the south. This itinerary includes nature, colonial towns, and historical sites.

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 TravelLifeMedia.com