Logo Pelecanus

13 Reasons Why You Should Travel To Colombia In 2024

Collage of the most representative tourist attractions of Colombia

Updated on 04/15/2024

Dear reader,
I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

You’re going to travel to Colombia and they say “Are you crazy, isn’t it dangerous?” Relax, I understand. We’ve all heard those stories, but let me tell you something: Colombia is a diamond in the rough waiting to be discovered.

  • Why go: For everything! From its nature to its diverse culture, Colombia is a planet of mountains, beaches, jungles and a rich land of pure ecosystem diversity.
  • The reality: Millions of tourists have visited Colombia in recent years and have fallen in love. Of course, with all that natural beauty and exotic wildlife, there hasn’t been the first visitor to say otherwise.
  • Security situation: Better than you think. By the way, I’ve written an article about the security situation in Colombia and what it means for travelers, so check it out.

Here are 13 reasons that will motivate you to visit the country:

Colombia is a center of diversity

Perhaps you didn’t know it, but Colombia is famous worldwide for its blend of cultures. Although it may sound like a cliché, it’s absolutely true. Let me tell you why Colombia is a unique country:

  • Diverse Heritage: From indigenous and African ancestors to Spanish colonists and Amerindian tribes, Colombia has it all.
  • Incredibly Friendly People: Colombians are globally known for their warmth and hospitality towards foreigners, almost idolizing them. They make you feel at home instantly.
  • Pride in Culture: Colombia’s identity is strongly tied to its ethnic diversity. Here, traditions and culture are treasures that are truly cherished and preserved.

Colombia is no longer a danger zone

Yes, Colombia had its complicated times with drug trafficking and internal conflicts, but it has changed a lot nowadays! Let me tell you the latest:

  • Movie-like History: Of course, the country had drug cartels, guerrillas, and paramilitary wars. The most violent period in Colombia occurred in the mid-20th century, with the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar playing a prominent role. But that’s all in the past now.
  • A New Chapter: Since the 2016 Peace Agreement between the government and the FARC guerrilla group, Colombia has made a complete turnaround. Violence has decreased, and consequently, the tourist vibe in the country is entirely different.
  • Rising Security: Kidnappings have reduced by over 90% since 2000, and crime rates keep dropping. Now, Colombia welcomes over 5 million tourists every year. That speaks volumes!
  • Tourism Hurdles: Like anywhere else, as a tourist, you need to be aware of scams and thefts, but nothing that can’t be managed with common sense. Moreover, the national police and the tourism industry strive to make Colombia a safer destination.

So, get rid of your fears and embark today on a memorable journey to the South American gem!

Natural Beauty and Spectacular Landscapes of Colombia

Did you know that Colombia is a unique place in South America? It has coastlines on two oceans: the Atlantic and the Pacific. Just imagine this:

  • Caribbean and Peaceful Beaches: a combination you won’t find elsewhere.
  • Breathtaking Nature: Colombia has 6 natural regions – Caribbean, Pacific, Orinoquía, Amazonia, Andina, and Insular – where you’ll find biomes and all kinds of ecosystems, from tropical rainforests to deserts, as well as impressive mountains and vast plains.
  • Super Biodiverse! After Brazil, Colombia is the biodiversity champion. We’re talking about a place where you can find 10% of all plant and animal species in the world.

Now, if you enjoy going out with your binoculars and getting lost in nature, Colombia is your paradise:

  • Birdwatcher’s Paradise: More than 1,900 bird species fly through Colombian territory. Yes, it’s the number one country in the world!
  • Hummingbirds, Tanagers, and Parrots: You’ll only find some unique species here; there are over 1,900 bird species, of which 82 are endemic, meaning you’ll only find them in Colombia.

Planning your next vacation? Colombia offers you:

  • Impressive Andes: The longest mountain ranges on the planet are in Colombia, with mountain chains ranging from humid forests and moors to snow-capped peaks that touch the sky, offering movie-like views.
  • Volcanoes and Island Beaches: A surreal contrast to explore if you’re adventurous.
  • World-Renowned Coffee: Visit the Coffee Axis, a coffee-producing region where you can learn about the cultivation and production process of coffee, as well as enjoy breathtaking landscapes.

Colombia has hundreds of beaches and more!

  • Imagine having over 300 beaches to explore between the Pacific and the Caribbean. Looking for a relaxing day or a tropical adventure? Colombia has it all.
  • Rosario Islands: Lose yourself in their tropical beaches or white sandy beaches overlooking turquoise lagoons on the Caribbean coast near Cartagena. Simply a dream.
  • Providencia and Santa Catalina: If you’re looking for a nature escape under the sun, these tropical islands are synonymous with pure summer vacations in the Caribbean.
  • Tayrona Park: If you’re an adventurous tourist, this is the ideal place to camp on jungle beaches while admiring the natural landscapes of the Colombian Caribbean.

Tayrona National Park is of marvelous beauty

It’s a hidden gem just 35 km from Santa Marta. This place is not just a park; it’s considered one of the most important ecological reserves in South America, boasting natural beauty, abundant flora and fauna, pristine beaches, archaeological remains, waterfalls, and streams.

River and sea in Tayrona Park

This park is so perfect that it’s actually one of the most visited natural parks in Colombia, with over 400,000 tourists a year, thanks to its impressive natural richness. Let me tell you what you’re missing if you don’t visit it:

  • Spectacular Nature: We’re talking about one of the most stunning parks in South America. Why? Because its biodiversity is on another level.
  • Animals Everywhere: Imagine encountering over 108 species of mammals like monkeys, birds, bats, and even reptiles as you explore natural reserves.
  • Under the Sea: With 110 types of coral and 401 fish species, snorkeling here is on another level.
  • Green Life: More than 770 plant species await you on its 12,000 hectares of land (not to mention the 3,000 hectares of ocean that this park has).
  • Movie-like Beaches: Among tropical jungles and wildlife, the beaches are postcard-perfect. Palm trees, sparkling lagoons, and no urbanization in sight.
  • Active Adventure: In Tayrona Park, you can also snorkel, take a relaxing dip, or hike the trails that lead you to hidden secrets within the park, including pristine paradise beaches.

We recommend planning your trip in the low season (February to November) and arriving early at the park. Tayrona National Park is home to many indigenous tribes, so please treat it with respect and do not litter.

In Colombia, you’ll find outdoor adventures and lots of adrenaline

  • Pedal Adventure: Explore Colombia by bike. You’ll pedal through the coffee country while making stops at local farms to taste the best coffee in the world, from bean to cup.
  • Climbing and Hiking: Dare to climb near the rocks of Suesca or walk among the towering wax palms over 80 meters tall in the Cocora Valley. There are many incredible trails to explore.
  • Flight with Views: Take a paragliding leap over Medellín and be amazed by the aerial views of the city and its green surroundings.
  • Dream Diving: If you’re into water activities, you’ll also find options to dive and explore the incredible marine life in exotic diving destinations.
Adventure in the Amazon Jungle of Colombia

And if you want to take your adventure to the next level:

  • Amazing Amazon: Fly to Leticia and immerse yourself in the Amazon jungle. It’s a wild experience that will allow you to see pink dolphins, piranhas, and explore indigenous cultures.
  • El Cocuy Challenges You: If you’re into extreme sports, El Cocuy is your destination. Snow-capped mountains up to 5,000 meters (17,000 feet) await you for hiking, climbing, and camping. But remember, always with caution and a professional guide!

Colombia remains largely untouched for emerging tourism

Let’s spice up your Instagram feed with something from Colombia! Forget about the same old vacations and check this out:

  • Open doors! Since 2016, Colombia has been saying “hello!” to all visitors. Gone are those days of inaccessibility due to conflict. Now it’s all about exploring the unexplored.
  • Remote places are more instagrammable: While everyone else is going to the same old places, Colombia offers you secret landscapes that even the locals themselves don’t know exist. Beaches where there are no footprints in the sand and seeing parts of the Amazon from a plane, can you imagine the photos?
  • The Andes live: Formerly, the Andes were mountainous landscapes only to be seen in photos, but now, thanks to the offer and innovation of the new tourism agencies, you can be part of that postcard in one of its fantastic snow-capped peaks like the Nevado del Huila.
  • Out of the ordinary: Although many stay in the cities, there is a whole world in the most remote areas, as many are untouched and ready to be discovered by the most adventurous travelers.

The fact that Colombia remains largely untouched by emerging tourism protects its biodiversity and scenic beauty. So hurry and book your flight today, before this wonderful country becomes the next Paris or the new Rome.

Colombia offers excellent food

If you’re a fan of coffee (and delicious food), let me tell you why Colombia is your dream destination:

A select coffee from the Coffee Triangle in Colombia.
  • Next-Level Coffee: Colombia is in the top 3 worldwide coffee exporters. Imagine waking up in Quindío, where every day is a new adventure among coffee plantations and tastings of the finest flavors.
  • El Huila: This department not only offers top-quality coffee but also has quality beer that you can’t miss.
  • Fruits You Didn’t Know You Needed: From the colorful dragon fruit (pitahaya) to the exotic guava, sapote, and delicious lulo. Get ready for a flavor festival when you see these fruits and many others displayed on the market shelves!

And speaking of eating:

  • Fusion of Flavors: While walking the streets of Colombia, you’ll find empanadas, ceviches, fish soups, and coconut dishes. Each bite is an experience since street food in each region is different, and you’ll always find new proposals.
  • For All Tastes: It doesn’t matter if you’re a backpacker, vegan, or if you have a demanding palate and are looking for luxury, there’s plenty of regional food waiting for you here.

Discover the Lost City of Colombia

Do you like mystery and history? Then let me tell you about the Lost City.

This site is a hidden treasure in Colombia that has recently become the center of attention, thanks to the country’s tourism boom.

  • What Is the Lost City?: Also known as Teyuna, it’s in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the Colombian Caribbean and is thought to date back to the 9th century. Just imagine! It has over 1300 years of history.
  • Did You Know…? The Kogui tribe, natives of the area, always knew about this place. They say that before the Spanish arrived, nearly 8,000 people lived there. So, whether it’s a “Lost City” depends on who you ask.
  • For Adventurers: If you’re into adventure and don’t mind getting a little dirty, this place with its ancient terraces and slopes is waiting for you to explore, where you’ll face a minimum 4-day hike through the Sierra Nevada.

Visit the Famous Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá near Bogotá

Can you imagine a cathedral underground, entirely made of salt? Well, it exists! And it’s in Colombia, in the historic city of Zipaquirá, near Bogotá. It’s so perfect that it’s actually considered one of the 7 wonders of Colombia.

Let me quickly tell you about this unique place that seems like it’s straight out of a movie:

  • What Is It?: A cathedral 180 meters (yes, 600 feet!) underground, in a former salt mine. It started receiving visitors in 1954, carved by the same miners who worked there.
  • The Experience: You’ll walk through dark tunnels that smell of sulfur as you gradually advance towards the center of the earth. Suddenly, the path opens up, and you’re greeted by impressive Catholic sculptures, all made of salt!
  • What You’ll See: At the end of the tour, a basilica dome awaits you with a spectacular chandelier and purple lights that create a magical atmosphere, illuminating a giant cross from floor to ceiling.
  • Every year, almost 600,000 people from all over the world and of all beliefs visit this place.
  • It’s a meeting point for many Catholics, especially at Easter and Christmas times, but the truth is, no matter what you believe, this place will leave you speechless.

So, if you’re looking for something completely out of the ordinary, the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral should be on your list.

Bogotá is a lively city full of culture and energy.

Bogotá is the capital of the country, and of course, I’ll tell you why you should be packing for this destination:

  • Rola Culture: From trendy coffee shops to high-end restaurants and boutique hotels. Art, fashion, Bogotá has it all! And strolling, whether on foot or by bike, is a joy.
  • For Partygoers: Andrés Carne de Res in Chía (yes, a bit outside of Bogotá, but worth every kilometer) is a crazy place. It’s a site full of Colombian decorations, with a lot of Latin vibe, where you can enjoy the best traditional Colombian food with all kinds of cocktails. And dancing, yes, get ready to not stop!
  • What Vibe Does Bogotá Have?: It’s a city of contrasts. On one hand, you have the modernity of skyscrapers and shopping centers. On the other, the charm of the old in neighborhoods like La Candelaria. The markets, churches, and cathedrals with all kinds of styles give it that special touch. Truly, Bogotá is a complete experience in itself.

Additionally, you should definitely check out my travel guide to Bogotá.

Medellín is the city of eternal spring.

Medellín, also known as the “city of eternal spring,” is a place you must see! Let me explain quickly in 5 arguments:

  • Perfect Climate: Medellín enjoys an average annual temperature of 22°C (72°F), with days that can reach up to 30°C (86°F). Almost perfect weather, which is why it’s the preferred city for many tourists.
  • From Zero to Everything: Forget about its dark past related to drugs and crime. Medellín reinvented itself in an incredible way and even won the title of “Most Innovative City in the World” in 2013. Talk about a radical change!
  • Innovation and Culture: Nowadays, Medellín is all about art and culture with its museums and places like Comuna 13. And don’t miss its cable car network; it’s also an architectural wonder that deserves all the applause.
  • Nightlife: Visit the El Poblado neighborhood. Live music venues and nightclubs make Medellín one of the best cities in Latin America for a lively nightlife.
  • Warm People: The people are warm and welcoming. Don’t be surprised, as you’ll often hear a “Hello, welcome to our city.”

Visit our Medellín travel guide where you’ll find our best tourist recommendations.

Cartagena is the pearl of the Caribbean

Cartagena is a beautiful coastal city in an authentic time capsule:

  • History to the top: It used to be the largest slave trading port in America, but today, Cartagena is one of the most beautiful colonial jewels in Latin America, where you can observe the foundations of a European military fortress from the 16th century.

Incredible Tourist Vibe:

Hungry?: The street stalls are full of delicious options like patacones, carimañolas, or arepas de huevo. For culture lovers, here’s a unique mix you won’t find elsewhere.

Aesthetic Photos: The street art and colorful flowers cascading from the balconies will give you content for days. Plus, the beaches and resorts are the most popular in the country. Cartagena truly has it all. That’s why it’s considered the jewel of the Colombian Caribbean.

I also wrote a blog about the best luxury and boutique hotels in Cartagena with a detailed description, so I recommend reading it if this city is on your plans.

All this and much more awaits you in one of the truly divine and emerging tourist destinations in the modern world. This amazing country deserves at least one visit in a lifetime!

More Colombia Travel Tips


About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

youtube Facebook Instagram Pinterest Tiktok