Steeped in history, brimming with culture, and flourishing with biodiversity, Colombia is a true jewel in South America’s crown. From the Andean peaks to the Caribbean coastline, the Amazon rainforest to the bustling cities, there’s something for every traveler. Let’s embark on an unforgettable journey to discover Colombia’s top 10 must-visit places.
As Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá is a melting pot of the country’s rich history and modern culture. Start your journey in La Candelaria, the city’s historic heart, where cobblestone streets meet colorful colonial architecture. Don’t forget to visit the world-renowned Gold Museum , which houses over 30,000 gold artifacts from ancient civilizations.
Nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring” for its pleasant year-round weather, Medellín is a city that has transformed itself in recent decades. The Comuna 13 tour is a must, offering a view into the resilience and creativity of its inhabitants.
With its vibrant colonial architecture, historical forts, and beautiful beaches, Cartagena is the epitome of Caribbean charm. Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, visit the imposing San Felipe Castle or simply relax on the beautiful beaches.
- Tayrona National Park
A paradise for nature lovers, Tayrona National Park offers stunning beaches, dense tropical jungles, and an abundance of wildlife. Whether you’re hiking, bird-watching, or just soaking in the views, Tayrona is a must-visit.
- Salento and the Cocora Valley
Home to Colombia’s national tree, the Wax Palm, the Cocora Valley is an absolute visual treat. Take a jeep ride from the colorful town of Salento to the valley and enjoy the hiking trails through this unique landscape.
- San Agustín Archaeological Park
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, San Agustín Archaeological Park is home to the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in South America, making it a must-visit for history and archaeology enthusiasts.
Known as the ‘White City’ due to its whitewashed colonial buildings, Popayán is a city steeped in history and tradition. Visit during Holy Week to witness one of the most traditional Easter processions in the world.
- Rosario Islands
A short boat ride from Cartagena, the Rosario Islands are a group of private islands, each with their unique charm. Snorkel in the clear Caribbean waters, sunbathe on the white sand beaches, or explore the rich coral reefs.
This small town near Medellín is famous for its colorful zocalos (baseboards) and the monolithic rock, El Peñol. Climb the 740 steps for a breathtaking view of the surrounding lakes and islands.
- The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)
For the adventurous, a multi-day hike to Ciudad Perdida, the archaeological site of an ancient city in Sierra Nevada, is a rewarding experience. The city predates Machu Picchu by 650 years and provides a peek into the country’s rich pre-colonial history.
From vibrant cities to stunning natural landscapes, Colombia offers an experience like no other. As a country that’s risen above its troubled past, it welcomes visitors with open arms and an infectious joy for life. So pack your bags, and come experience the magic of Colombia!
As an avid traveler and professional travel writer for over a decade, I have been fortunate enough to explore the nooks and crannies of many countries. Today, I’m sharing my insight into one of South America’s most vibrant and diverse nations, Colombia. Having spent a significant amount of time here, I can safely say that the following destinations are a must-visit for any avid globe-trotter.