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20 Things to Add to Your Colombia Bucket List

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Welcome to a country full of color and flavor! There is such a variety of things to do in Colombia, and great places to see.


From picturesque historical centers to Caribbean beaches, and valleys of palm trees to mud volcanoes, we promise you won't be bored in this South American paradise. Here are 20 great things to do in Colombia to add to your bucket list.


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Things to Do in Colombia #1: Playa Blanca, Isla Baru

The North of Colombia is scattered with some of the most beautiful beaches, and while most of them aren't located in Cartagena, there are plenty that are just around the corner.


One of the most beautiful beaches is located on Isla Baru, which is just 45 minutes away from the city, and easy to get to. Playa Blanca features gorgeous turquoise waters, fresh seafood, and colorful hostels right on the sand.

playa blanca isla baru drone

Playa Blanca is one of the most beautiful beaches in Cartagena.

This is perfect for a day trip from Cartagena or even for an entire night!


Here are some excursions that visit Playa Blanca:

Want to learn more? Don't miss out on our complete guide!


Things to Do in Colombia #2: Ciudad Amurallada, Cartagena

Cartagena is hands down the most beautiful city in Colombia, and in all of South America! While there are so many great places to explore in and outside of the center, one that you'll need to add to your bucket list is the historical center.


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Also known as "Ciudad Amurallada", the center of Cartagena is characterized by beautiful architecture, vibrant colors, and flowers everywhere. This is a great place to soak in the true beauty of Colombia, as well as for some great restaurants and shopping. 

Centro Historico Cartagena

Grab a seat outdoors for lunch and you can watch the amazing street performers, while sitting in the sunshine, and having some of the most delicious seafood.


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Things to Do in Colombia #3: Comuna 13, Medellin

Comuna 13 is one of most colorful spots in Colombia, and the best place you need to see in Medellin. This once deadly and poverty filled area, has now been brought back to life with a splash of color.


Comuna 13 not only has changed the vibes from scary to vibrant, but they have been able to bring so much money into the neighborhood! Now you can find brightly colored murals, a neon museum, cute coffee shops, local hand-made souvenirs, and young street dancers.

Comuna 13, Medellin, best things to do in Colombia
Comuna 13, Medellin, best things to do in Colombia
Comuna 13, Medellin, best things to do in Colombia

Comuna 13 has had a transition from being one of the deadliest neighborhoods in the world, to the most colorful.

Although the main tourist area of Comuna 13 is bursting with color, we also found a rainbow staircase on a side street on our way to the main area. Nothing like a colorfully painted set of stairs to brighten up your day!


Looking to learn more about Comuna 13? We have a full Comuna 13 travel guide explaining the history, how to get there, and what to expect. 


Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

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Things to Do in Colombia Pin
Things to Do in Colombia Pin

Things to Do in Colombia #4: Totumo Volcano

Just an hour away from Cartagena, this is a great day trip from the city. Totumo Volcano was without-a-doubt, one of the most unique experience that we have ever had. Climb up to the top and you can actually immerse yourself inside to have a mud bath!

Totumo Volcano

You can let the mud harden for your own spa experience, and wash off in the warm waters of the lake right next to this small volcano.


Take a tour to Totumo Volcano:

Want to know more about this experience? Check out our Totumo Travel Guide below!

Have you ever wanted to get up close to a volcano? Well at volcano el Totumo, not only can you get up close, but you can actually go inside! This isn't any old volcano, but it is a mud volcano!That's right. This volcano has thick mud with healing powers that

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Things to Do in Colombia #5: Cascada Marinka

If you like chasing waterfalls like we do, then you will definitely want to add this to your Colombian bucket list. Just one hour outside of Santa Marta, you will find a set of two waterfalls that are tucked right into the lush greenery of Minca


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The higher one will give you incredible views, and it even has a small zipline across it! The lower one also leads to a natural pool where you can relax with the sounds of nature. Lastly, there's a cool restaurant in between the two, with giant nets where you can relax and hang over the falls.

Cascada Marinka

Take a tour to experience Marinka Waterfalls:

Things to Do in Colombia #6: Laguna Guatavita

Laguna Guatavita is a crater lake boasting turquoise waters, and towering green hills around it. This lagoon is not only beautiful, but it is special because of its history. Head to Laguna Guatavita as a day trip from Bogota, to learn about the story, and to admire its beauty from above.

Guatavita Lake, things to do in Colombia

Here are a few tours to visit Guatavita from Bogota:

For details of how to get here, what to expect, and more, have a look at our complete guide:


Things to Do in Colombia #7: Salinas de Galerazamba

Have you ever seen pink waters? Well while you're on your visit to the Totumo Volcano, make sure that you stop over at Salinas de Galerazamba! These salt ponds have a bright pink hue, and are a great day trip from Cartagena or Barranquilla.


Please Note: The waters vary in color, and are only pink at certain times. Make sure to check before visiting.


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Things to Do in Colombia #8: Caño Cristales

This is one of the coolest things to add to your Colombian bucket list! Also known as the "river of five colors", Caño Cristales is a rainbow river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta. It gets it peculiar color from a mixture of things such as a rare red plant, black rocks, green algae, blue water and yellow sand.


Excursions to visit take a few days! Here are some different options that you can choose from:

Don't want to take a 3-4 day excursion? You can go on your own by flying to Villavicencio, and then getting a charter plane to La Macarena, where you can then hire a local to take you for a bit less.

Search for a flight to Villavicencio:

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Things to Do in Colombia #9: Taganga

Only a 15-minutes bus away from Santa Marta, you will find a small beach town. Taganga, was one of our favorite areas of Colombia. because of the stunning views above it, and for  its amazing sunsets. This lovely spot is also the host for numerous restaurants, souvenir shops, and water activities.


If you are into sunrises and sunsets, you should definitely consider visiting this place. Watching the sun melt into the ocean is one of the best things to do in Santa Marta, Colombia and its surroundings. Taganga is also where you can catch the boat to one of our favorite beaches in Colombia! Keep reading to find out all about it.

Taganga
Taganga, Santa Marta, Colombia

Taganga is a beautiful place to visit while in Santa Marta.


Things to Do in Colombia #10: Playa Cabo San Juan del Guia

Parque Tayrona is one of the most important parks in all Colombia, and one of the reasons is because it's full of beautiful landscapes in it. Tayrona has a mix of beaches and jungles all stretched along one huge trail. Head on this long journey and it will take you through several spots that will blow your mind.

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Cabo San Juan de Guia is the beach all the way at the end. Although it's quite the hike, it's one of the most stunning beaches in Colombia, and definitely worth spending the night. You will find tons of locals camping here, but if you want to do a day trip, you can catch a boat to and from Taganga!

Playa San Juan del Guia


Want to learn more about this rare beach? Check out our Cabo San Juan del Guia Travel Guide for everything you need to know before visiting.


Things to Do in Colombia #11: Sierra Minca

We found this place when we went to Cascada de Marinka. We were recommended by locals to visit this hostel-resort, and it did not disappoint! Not only you can stay a night here, but you can actually get a day pass to enjoy all that it has to offer.


Sierra Minca offers amenities such as a heated pool, colorful swings, and giant nets where you can just hang out, while enjoying a typical cup of Colombian coffee. They also have two giant hands facing up, where you can lay down for a super instagrammable shot.

Sierra Minca

A day pass costs just 15,000 cop ($4,50 USD), and it's a great way to spend a relaxing day. To learn more about this gorgeous place, you can check out the full Minca Travel Guide for what we wrote about this area.


Things to Do in Colombia #12: Piedra del Peñol

This is one of the most famous landmarks of Colombia, and is also the true claim to fame for Guatape. Piedra del Peñol is a giant rock that you can see from miles away.

Piedra del Peñol, things to do in Colombia
Piedra del Peñol, things to do in Colombia
Piedra del Peñol, Guatape Colombia

Piedra del Peñol is one of the most famous landmarks in Colombia.

You can actually climb to the top by going up 659 steps. Once you reach the top you will be welcomed with  the most spectacular views of the stunning archipelago that surrounds the area. Want to know more? Check out our full article below.

Piedra del Peñol is the number one reason why people visit Guatape, Colombia. This massive rock gets all the attention from both tourists and locals.The reason is quite simple, the views you get from here are just breathtaking. After you walk up the over 700 steps, you will get incredible

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Things to Do in Colombia #13: Valle Cocora

This is one of the most striking landscapes in Colombia, as it features a large green valley with tall towering palm trees. Located in Salento, Quindio, the Cocora Valley has a 6.4 mile loop trail in which you can explore the beauty of the whole area. Some other fun activities in the area are horseback riding, and visiting the coffee farms, which you can do on the various tours offered there.


Take a tour to Cocora Valley:

Things to Do in Colombia #14: Sanctuary of Las Lajas

This is one of the Colombian bucket list items that is a bit off the beaten path, but unlike any other sanctuary you've seen before!


Located all the way in the south of the country, Las Lajas towers high, and sits on a 130 foot tall bridge. This is one of the most stunning architectural designs in the world, and well worth the visit if you are in Colombia.


If you'd like to visit the closest airport to fly to is San Luis, which is just 11 km away, Pasto, which is 73.5 km away, or Tumaco, which is 175 km away.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can put from "your city" to "Colombia". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport in the area to fly. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for your destination!

If you happen to be flying into one of the further airports, we suggest renting a car to visit.

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Things to Do in Colombia #15: Susa Stone

Located just two hours from Bogota, the town of Susa features a beautiful lake, and a giant stone. Hike up to the Susa stone, and you will have some seriously stunning views of the nature around you. Not to mention, it's a pretty cool spot for an Instagrammable photo!


Things to Do in Colombia #16: Las Isla Rosarios

One of the most beautiful parts of Colombia is the surrounding islands. There are a total of 28 Rosario Islands, and one is more beautiful than the next. If you'd like to visit these islands there are plenty of options by boat from Cartagena.


Some islands are tiny with local communities. some with luxurious beaches, and some are simply floating resorts in themselves! Make sure to add Rosario Islands to your Colombian Bucket list.

islas rosarios. things to do in Colombia

Islas Rosarios are some of the most beautiful islands to visit in Colombia.

Take a tour to Islas Rosarios:

Things to Do in Colombia #17: Salto Tequendama

This waterfall is located just outside the center of Bogota, and is definitely worth adding to your Colombian bucket list! Here you can find a museum with a large platform to enjoy the views of the dramatic falls. 

Cascada Tequendama Bogota, best things to do in Colombia
Cascada Tequendama Bogota, best things to do in Colombia
Cascada Tequendama Bogota, best things to do in Colombia

There are also plenty of small restaurants right next to it, to enjoy the panorama of the waterfall, river, and clouds passing closely by. 


Take a tour to Tequendama Falls from Bogota:


Want to learn more about how to get here on your own and what to expect? Take a look at our Tequendama Falls Travel Guide.



Things to Do in Colombia #18: Guatape

The entire town of Guatape is bursting with color, and as far as cities go, this is definitely one of the most colorful ones in Colombia

Guatape, things to do in Colombia
Plazoleta de Guatape, things to do in Colombia
view of Guatape, things to do in Colombia

Guatape is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Colomba.

Not only is Guatape great to visit for Piedra del Peñol, but the archipelago is drop dead gorgeous. The streets are colorful, the souvenirs are super cute, and the local coffee shops are all amazing. Make sure to add this colorful city to your bucket list, and  read about all the reasons you should visit Guatape, Colombia on our full Guatape Travel Guide.

Guatape is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia, and the most colorful places we've ever been to! This gorgeous archipelago consists of hundreds of islets, a cute colorful town, and one of the biggest wonders of the country. Here is everything you need to know about visiting Guatape, Colombia.*Please

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Here are some popular tours from Medellin to Guatape:


Things to Do in Colombia #19: Catedral de Sal

This Roman Catholic Cathedral is unlike any that you have probably been to before. It has actually been built inside of a tunnel of an underground salt mine! Loacted 190 meters deep, the Catedral de Sal is covered completely in salt, making it a must-see if you are in Bogota.

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La Catedral de Sal is located in the small town of Zipaquira. You can get there by bus from Terminal Norte in the North of the city of Bogota.


Here are some popular tours that visit Zipaquira from Bogota:


Things to Do in Colombia #20: San Andres

Want stunning turquoise waters and small island vibes? Well San Andres has some of the best beaches in Colombia! This is definitely a place you will want to add to your Colombian bucket list.


Located in the Caribbean, you'll need to fly here. You can get here from either mainland Colombia, or from Miami.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can out from "your city" to "Colombia". This way you can see which is the cheapest way to get there. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for getting to San Andres.

Search for a flight to San Andres:

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The country of Colombia is full of color and adventure. We spent two weeks there, and could easily spend a few more!


Want to plan your trip but don't know where to start? Leave the hard stuff for us! We're here to plan your perfect trip around Colombia, and have you save money and time in the process! Take a look at some of our travel planning packages or inquire with us so that we can customize a special package for you.


Not only do we know the best things to do in Colombia, but we've found some great hidden gems, amazing restaurants, and budget friendly places to stay. Not ready to book yet? You can also check some of the other guides we have for your trip inspiration.


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