Things to do in Colombia

Things to do in  Colombia

Welcome to Colombia

From the Caribbean coast and the peaks of the Andes to the relics of ancient pre-Columbian civilizations and freshly roasted coffee, Colombia epitomizes South America.

Top 15 attractions in Colombia

Rosario Islands (Islas del Rosario)

The Rosario Islands(Islas del Rosario) are a highlight of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, famous for their vibrant marine life, pristine white beaches, and sun-soaked beach resorts. A cluster of 28 idyllic islands dotted offshore of the port city of Cartagena, this archipelago sits atop the world’s third-largest barrier reef and makes up Islas del Rosario National Park.More

Guatapé (Pueblo de Zócalos)

On the shores of the Guatapé Dam and surrounded by lush islands, the 19th-century town of Guatapé is one of Colombia’s most photographed sites. It’s not hard to see why—the town’s brightly painted buildings and serene natural setting make for some stunning shots.More

Totumo Mud Volcano (El Totumo)

Totumo Volcano (El Totumo) ranks among Cartagena’s most popular day trips. A small volcanic caldera has become a top attraction—a naturally heated bath of grayish brown silt. After bobbing around in the soupy mix, head to the lagoon next door to wash off the mineral-rich mud, thought to have therapeutic properties.More

Mt. Monserrate (Cerro de Monserrate)

Towering 10,341 feet (3,152 meters) tall at the edge of Bogotá, forested Mt. Monserrate (Cerro de Monserrate) can be spotted from across the city. Set like a pearl on the summit is the Monserrate Sanctuary, a 17th-century church whose shrine is a major pilgrimage place for Colombian Catholics.More

Plaza de Bolivar

Bogotá’s main square is built on a grand scale, from a landmark statue of Simón Bolívar to the 16th-century La Catedral Primada. In between is a colorful crowd of vendors, travelers, and downtown workers. A starting point for exploring the historic La Candelaria neighborhood, the Plaza de Bolivar is a key stop for visitors to Bogotá.More

Pueblito Paisa

A short train ride from the skyscrapers and international art galleries of modern Medellín’s El Centro is Pueblito Paisa, a monument to Colombia’s colonial past. The little village (pueblito) is a re-creation featuring traditional white-washed houses, a picture-perfect central plaza, and spectacular views of Medellín’s surrounding mountains.More

La Candelaria (Historic Old Town)

The graceful and carefully planned Spanish colonial city center, known as La Candelaria, is the oldest part of Bogotá, Colombia. Now a vibrant hub of activity for young artists, bohemian university students, and hip indie businesses, La Candelaria centers on Plazuela del Chorro del Quevedo, the spot where the city was founded in 1537.More

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral (Catedral de Sal)

This spacious cathedral is carved into a warren of salt mines 600 feet (183 mt) below the ground. Venture into the Salt Cathedral to see chapels and altars carved directly into solid rock, learn about the mine’s history, and see intricate statues in chapels representing the Stations of the Cross.More

Cocora Valley (Valle de Cocora)

The Cocora Valley (Valle de Cocora) is like a postcard-perfect version of rural Colombia, with lush rolling hills, mist-capped mountains and tall, slender palm trees. Tucked into foothills at the heart of the country’s UNESCO-listed “Coffee Cultural Landscape,” the serene valley makes a worthy detour from nearby Salento.More

Old Town Cartagena

With brightly-colored buildings, colonial landmarks, and bougainvillea-covered balconies, Old Town Cartagena is known for its beauty and its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Highlights include the leafy Plaza de Bolivar, the striking Clock Tower (Torre del Reloj), and the Gold Museum (Museo de Oro).More

Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)

Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) is one of the city’s most popular attractions. It sparkles with more than 55,000 priceless archaeological and artistic treasures. Only a fraction can be displayed at any one time, laid out to tell tales of pre-Colombian mining, manufacturing, and metallurgy of pre-Hispanic Colombians.More

Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)

Deep within the Sierra Nevada, the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida is an indigenous archaeological site accessible only via a challenging multi-day trek through the surrounding jungle. Prepare to wade through waterfalls and climb more than 1,000 stone steps to reach the secluded ruins, where you’re rewarded with panoramic views.More

San Felipe de Barajas Castle (Castillo San Felipe de Barajas)

Some historians say that if it weren’t for San Felipe de Barajas Castle (Castillo San Felipe de Barajas), South America would now speak English. The 14th-century fortress protected the coastal city of Cartagena from English invasion, allowing the Spanish to maintain their rule. Besides the role it plays in Colombia’s history, the castle attracts visitors with its panoramic harbor views.More

Tayrona National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona)

Ruins, reefs, mangroves, and beaches make up the 37,000-acre Tayrona National Park, one of Colombia’s most popular ecotourism destinations. Visit to hike along the coast, relax on the beaches, snorkel among the coral reefs, or simply disconnect from daily life.More

Bogotá Mint Museum (Museo Casa de la Moneda)

Now a museum dedicated to currency, the Bogota Mint Museum traces its origins back to the 1620s, when the Spanish king ordered gold coins to be minted en masse. Today it's a great place to not only see cool coins, many of which are centuries old, but to also learn about the history of Colombia from the 17th century until the modern age.More

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All about Colombia

Local Currency
Colombian Peso (COP)
Time Zone
COT (UTC -5)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is Colombia famous for?

As well as coffee and salsa dancing, Colombia is famous for its diverse natural landscapes, which range from tropical beaches of the Caribbean coast to the lush greenery of the Coffee Triangle. The most famous cities are Medellin and Cartagena. Top natural attractions include Tayrona National Park and the Lost City.

What activities do people do in Colombia?

Colombia offers a wealth of activities, including snorkeling and swimming in Tayrona National Park and the Rosario Islands; hiking through the Corcoran Valley or to the Lost City; exploring the colonial architecture of Bogota and Cartagena; white-water rafting in San Gil; and mud-bathing in the Totumo Volcano.

Is Colombia really that dangerous?

No and yes. Unlike in the past, Colombia is now safe for travelers to visit. Little crime is reported in major tourist hot spots such as Caratgena, the Caribbean Coast, and Coffee Zone. However, parts of Bogota and Medellin do see high crime rates, so keep alert, especially at night.

What are two major tourist attractions in Colombia?

When it comes to cities, Colombia’s two major tourist attractions are Cartagena—close to Tayrona National Park and the Lost City—and Medellin, which also serves as a convenient getaway to Guatape and its famous Penon de Guatape, plus the Coffee Zone and Corcoran Valley.

What do families in Colombia do for fun?

Colombia’s Caribbean Coast is best for families. Spend time exploring the colorful city of Cartagena before enjoying fun in the sun at the Rosario Islands or San Andres Island, which is a short flight from the mainland—its sandy beaches, calm seas, and relaxed atmosphere are ideal for kids.

What should I see in Colombia?

Colombia’s must-see sights span jungles, rivers, mountains, and beaches—don’t miss the unspoiled beaches of Tayrona National Park; colorful Cartagena Old Town; recently transformed Medellin; Corcoran Valley in the Coffee Zone; mountain paradise of Minca; street art of capital city of Bogota; and a jungle-clad hike to the Lost City.

Frequently Asked Questions