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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 10 attractions in Colombia

#1

Guatapé (Pueblo de Zócalos)

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Hidden among the mountains about 50 miles (80 km) from Medellin is the beautiful town of Guatapé. Founded in 1811, this town is now situated on the reservoir of a hydro-electric dam that was built in the late 1960s, when more than 7.5 square miles (2,000 hectares) were flooded to create the dam. The incredible beauty of the reservoir and the views of the lush vegetation on the lake are unforgettable. Ferries on the lake take visitors to recreational areas on nearby islands and to see Pablo Escobar’s former mansion. The boardwalk by the water fills with vendors selling regional food and crafts. The town is famous for zócalos, decorative tiles along the lower part of the facades of the buildings in the historic center. These tiles in bright colors and patterns are connected to life in the community, telling the history of the town and the beliefs of the people.More
#2

Mt. Monserrate (Cerro de Monserrate)

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Mists permitting, you’ll be able to see the gleaming white Basílica del Señor de Monserrate high above the city, beckoning from the thickly forested mountains that form Bogota’s spectacular backdrop. Originally built as a monastery in 1657, it is no wonder that this glorious spot has been a site of pilgrimage ever since. The original stone path marked by statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross still leads from the colonial Candelaria district up to the sanctuary. It is a steep climb to a chilly 3152m (10,339ft) still used by pilgrims (and exercise buffs), particularly on weekends and religious holidays. Most tourists take advantage of either the funicular, a steeply pitched train, or teleferico, a cable car system, which both make the trip inexpensively throughout the day. If you do choose to walk, note that there have been muggings, so it might not be the best choice if you’re alone with an expensive camera.More
#3

Totumo Mud Volcano (El Totumo)

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Take the wooden steps up the 15-meter mud mound that is Totumo Volcano (Volcán de Lodo El Totumo) then look down to be greeted by a mud bath big enough to fit dozens of bathers. A popular day trip from Cartagena, it's said that the volcano goes hundreds of meters deep, but when you dip into the warm mud you'll find that it's so dense it's impossible to do anything but bob about at the top. While wallowing, it’s possible to pay one of the attendants for a personal massage. Legend has it that Totumo Volcano used to spew out fire and lava, but a local priest, believing such hellfire to be the work of the devil, used holy water to turn it all to mud. After the bath, everyone heads to the next-door lagoon to wash off the gloop, which local women will help you wash off with buckets of water, for a small fee, if you wish.More
#4

Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)

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The Lost City, or Ciudad Perdida, is the archaeological site of an ancient indigenous city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Thought to have been a commercial center for trade around 700 A.D., its population probably ranged between 1,400 and 3,000 inhabitants. Hidden in the jungle for over a thousand years, the Lost City was found in 1972 when treasure hunters followed a series of stone steps leading up to an abandoned city. The Lost City is open to visitors, but the trip is not for the faint of heart. The nearly 30 mile trek takes visitors through farmland and jungle on an unforgettable six-day journey. Part of the adventure includes trekking over mountains filled with exotic plants and animals, climbing stone paths through dense jungle, bathing in waterfalls and sleeping in indigenous villages. Upon arriving at Lost City, climb more than 1,000 stone steps to the top of the site for incredible views of the surrounding mountains and jungle.More
#6

Plaza de Bolivar

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Enormous and austere, Bogota’s broad, bricked central plaza was designed in 1553 to be the gathering place for tens of thousands at the hub of the federal government. Once known simply as the Plaza Mayor (Main Plaza) and serving as home to the city market, the plaza is a classic example of monumental Spanish civil engineering. Some of Bogota's most important edifices sit in the area: the soaring neoclassical national cathedral; the appropriately federalist capitol building; French neoclassical Edificio Liévano, seat of city government; and the ultra-modern stylized arches of the imposing Palace of Justice, most recently rebuilt after a 1985 terrorist attack. At the center of it all is the statue of Simón Bolívar, erected in 1846 to honor the man who liberated so much of South America from the Spanish.More
#7

Cat Park (Parque del Gato de Tejada)

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The brainchild of local painter and sculptor Hernando Tejada, the aptly named Cat Park (Parque del Gato) started life in 1996, when a giant bronze sculpture, El Gato Rio (The River Cat) was erected along the banks of the Cali River. The impressive sculpture was created in Bogota and transported to Cali—no easy feat as the huge cat measures around 3.5 meters in height and weighs about three tons—and became the centerpiece of the newly renovated parklands stretching along the riverfront. The River Cat was so popular, it was soon joined by more feline friends and today a series of 15 smaller cats can be found in the park, including a fiberglass cat model and colorful sculptures by local artists like Alejandro Valencia Tejada, Mario Gordillo, Nadin Ospina, Omar Rayo and Maripaz Jaramillo.More
#8

Baru Island

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A verdant peninsula jutting out below Cartagena and lapped by the glass-clear waters of the Caribbean, Baru Island has long been touted as one of Colombia’s most serene beach resorts and deservedly so. The aptly named Playa Blanca is the undeniable highlight, an expanse of powder-white sands, where you can sip cocktails and tuck into fresh seafood on the beach, enjoy water sports like jet-skiing and speed-boating, or while away the afternoon swimming and snorkelling. Baru Island is also the gateway to the Rosario Islands National Park, a cluster of islands renowned for their colorful corals and a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkelling.More
#9

Old Town Cartagena

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A leisurely walk through the narrow streets of Old Town Cartagena, with bougainvillea spilling off second-floor balconies and brightly painted Colonial houses, invites visitors to escape into the past. The bustle of daily life mixes with the historical architecture of this walled city by the ocean. In addition to the beautiful boutique stores, numerous restaurants, and colorful street vendors, there are many treasures to see around town and just outside the city walls. The leafy Plaza de Bolivar serves as a good place to start a tour in Cartagena and to see some of the local culture and buy fruit from the colorfully dressed women known as palanqueras. Next to the plaza, the free Gold Museum (Museo de Oro) displays pieces that tell the history of the Zenú indigenous tribe. The nearby Palace of the Inquisition (Palacio de la Inquisición) provides a rather gruesome look at Colombia’s past and the Spanish Inquisition -- some of the torture devices used on the accused are on display.More
#10

La Candelaria (Historic Old Town)

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You might want to start your exploration at tiny Plazuela Del Chorro Del Quevedo, where this city was supposedly founded in 1537, by Spanish Conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada. (Of course it is much, much older; Jimenez merely renamed the ancient indigenous town of Bacata “Bogota.”) However, this plaza—now the epicenter of Bogota’s hipster scene, with plenty of tattoos, Chucks, handmade jewelry and fire dancers—doesn’t really get going until dusk. Be sure to stop into one of the cool little cafes for the Candelaria’s signature beverage, a traditional Andean canelazo, made with sugarcane liquor, cinnamon and panela sugar, served steaming hot for the chill altitude. But begin instead at sprawling Plaza Bolivar, surrounded by picturesque streets lined with more tejas-topped adobes, interspersed with the city’s finest museums, coolest casas cultural, and most ornate churches.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Cartagena

How to Spend 3 Days in Cartagena

How to Spend 3 Days in Medellín

How to Spend 3 Days in Medellín

Top activities in Colombia

Excursion to the Rosario Islands

Excursion to the Rosario Islands

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134
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US$ 88.54
Private City Tour of Cartagena

Private City Tour of Cartagena

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US$ 133.34
Sibarita Master Dinner with Wine

Sibarita Master Dinner with Wine

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US$ 57.00
Totumo volcano + Galerazamba

Totumo volcano + Galerazamba

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55
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US$ 36.00
Pablo and Comuna 13 with Cable Car

Pablo and Comuna 13 with Cable Car

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87
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US$ 79.56
Freedom Tour of Palenque

Freedom Tour of Palenque

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US$ 96.00
Playa Blanca Complete!

Playa Blanca Complete!

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124
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US$ 35.00
Street Food Tour of Cartagena

Street Food Tour of Cartagena

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34
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US$ 54.00
Cartagena City Shore Excursion

Cartagena City Shore Excursion

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7
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US$ 100.00
Half day private Medellin city tour

Special Offer

Half day private Medellin city tour

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32
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US$ 51.30
US$ 54.00  US$ 2.70 savings
City Tour of Cartagena for Cruises

City Tour of Cartagena for Cruises

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US$ 85.00
Complete Pack: Pablo Escobar Tour & The New Medellin Including Comuna 13

Special Offer

Complete Pack: Pablo Escobar Tour & The New Medellin Including Comuna 13

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US$ 75.05
US$ 79.00  US$ 3.95 savings
Island Tour in Colon with Lunch

Island Tour in Colon with Lunch

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4
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US$ 93.00
Bogotá Bike Tour

Bogotá Bike Tour

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2027
From
US$ 20.00

Recent reviews from experiences in Colombia

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Hit all the spots with a knowledgeable guide
Angela_P, Jan 2021
Private City Tour of Cartagena
My husband and I did the afternoon tour with Nico who brought us to see the entrance to el reloj, walk through the graffiti streets of Getsemani, and the major attractions like the convent of la Popa and el castillo de san felipe.
star-4
Hitting the Cultural & Historical Highlights of Cartegena
Angela_P, Jan 2021
Private City Tour of Cartagena
Nico did a fine job of explaining each spot (in english) so we understood the importance of each landmark.
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A unique, authentic Colombian experience!
DevinC, Dec 2020
Totumo volcano + Galerazamba
It was a great and affordable way to get out of Cartagena for a while to see more of the country!
star-4
Ciudad Perdida, a great adventure. My advice, just do it.
Michael_D, Dec 2020
Walk for 4 days to Ciudad Perdida, Santa Marta
As young aspirants to see and do the 'so much' of our planet they seemed to love spending time chatting with me about places on Earth that had felt my feet and known my tears at the sheer beauty we have around us.
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Excellent Experience!
sandra_p, Nov 2020
Half Day Bike Tour in Medellin
He also has good recommendations on places to visit or restaurants to patronize.
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Best Horseback Riding Experience
Michael_L, Oct 2020
Horseback Riding Tour in Beach of Cartagena
This is a spectacular experience and if you love horses and open air activities I highly recommend it.
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Great tour
EatPrayGreg, Jul 2020
The Dark Days: Pablo Escobar and The New Medellin Tour
Really got to see the sites regarding this unique time in Colombian history.
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Such a unique experience
Taylor_B, Feb 2020
Full-Day Mud Volcano and Indigena's Town (Galerazamba) from Cartagena
Great way to see some of colombia outside the city.
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Good service
ashleysalisbury, Jan 2020
Cartagena Airport Pick-Up Transfer
My driver brought his son with him who was able to tell me about the city and Colombian life in English.
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Great combined tour
Luiz B, Dec 2019
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita from Bogota (Private Tour)
If you plan to visit Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, one of the top attractions in Colombia, this is great combined trip, which also includes the Lake Guatavita.
star-5
Daniel was the BEST Tour Guide for Private Comuna 13 Tour
k c, Dec 2019
Private Comuna 13 tour (cable car & escalators)
He is very fluent in Spanish AND English.
star-5
Worth it!
Global312983, Jun 2019
Bogota City Tour with Gold Museum and Optional Monserrate
Got to see so many historical aspects of Bogota.
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This tour was awesome, our guide...
Melanie L, Aug 2017
Zipaquirá Tour Including The Salt Cathedral, Independence Square and The Main Squares
This tour was awesome, our guide Kelly was a young lady full of knowledge with perfect English!
star-5
This tour was an incredible way to...
HT, Mar 2018
Waterfall La Chorrera de Choachí Hike Tour + Optional Lunch
This tour was an incredible way to see Colombia's natural beauty.
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This is a great tour for anyone...
HT, Mar 2018
La Candelaria, Mount Monserrate and Museo del Oro in One Day in Bogota
This is a great tour for anyone wanting to visit some of the must see sights in Bogota.
star-5
Best food we had on our entire trip...
tyhinkle, Dec 2017
La Macarena Gourmet Tour in Bogotá
Great conversation with great English.
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Our English tour guide Neutalya was...
Christopher K, Sep 2016
Private Tour of Lake Guatavitá from Bogotá
Our English tour guide Neutalya was very knowledgeable about Colombia and the Guatavita area.
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This ended up being the highlight of...
Jenlaforce, Dec 2016
3-Day Biking and Hiking; Nature, Coffee, Culture and Cocora Valley from Pereira
Met many lovely people and had a chance to see and experience things we could not have on our own.
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Alex is a top notch English/Spanish...
Albert P, Feb 2017
Jardín Coffee Lovers Private Tour with Waterfall Option from Medellín
the drive to it is spectacular and u really get to see Medellin countryside..
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If you want to see and taste the...
frabusin, Jan 2016
Medellín Local Market Places
If you want to see and taste the fresh produce in Medellin, take this tour!

Frequently Asked Questions