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99 Must-See Destinations that Will Make You Fall in Love with Colombia

Desierto de la Tatacoa in Huila

Updated on 05/28/2024

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!

In 2017, Lonely Planet, renowned for its extensive travel guides, ranked Colombia as the second-best country to visit, just after Canada. This recognition highlights Colombia’s remarkable tourism transformation following over a decade of significant improvements and the end of a long period of internal conflict.

In this blog, we will take you on a tour of 99 places across Colombia, visiting every department. From idyllic beaches to lush national parks brimming with forests and biodiversity, you’ll discover culinary delights, stunning architecture, vibrant festivals, and rich culture that will make you fall in love with Colombia.

Political Map of Colombia
Milenioscuro, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Content

Bogotá D.C , Capital District

  • The capital of Colombia, Bogotá, carries the history of colonization, first by indigenous tribes and later by Spanish settlers. As the economic, political, and tourist hub of this beautiful country, Bogotá has much to offer.
  • Tourism: La Candelaria is the city’s heart, home to the historic center, various museums, hotels, and attractions that will amaze you.

Here are some must-see places in Bogotá:

Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)

You can’t miss the world’s largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold artifacts.

  • A time capsule: With over 55,000 historical national treasures, in this museum you will find more than 30,000 pieces of gold that will take you back to the pre-Colombian and colonial eras.
  • Don’t miss it: For the best experience, opt for a guided tour to learn about the life and key figures of the indigenous tribes.

If you’re hungry for more history, check out our comprehensive guide to museums in Colombia.

Monserrate

The main tourist attraction in Bogotá, Monserrate Hill, offers:

  • Two ways up: A 1,605-step hike or a relaxing cable car ride if you want to relax and still enjoy the panoramic views.
  • Cathedral : At the top, a cathedral awaits with breathtaking mountain views. Visit on weekdays to avoid the Sunday crowds.
  • Along the way: Don’t miss the craft shops and local restaurants along the way.

Watch the following video if you want to know more about the place and my experience.

Colón Theater (Teatro Colón)

The oldest opera house in South America, inaugurated in 1892.

  • Musical center: This is not only an architectural icon but also home to the Bogotá Symphony Orchestra.
  • Not to be missed in Bogota: This must-see venue, inspired by the Paris Opera, is one of Colombia’s seven wonders.
Colon Theater Bogota inside

Amazonas, Leticia

  • Ecosystems: Nature and beautiful landscapes abound in this department, from jungles to mangroves, swamps, and mountain refuges.
  • Known as the “Lungs of the World,” the Amazon houses around 6 million square kilometers of rainforest that absorb millions of tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Also check out our Amazon travel guide. Now, I recommend you some places that you can’t leave out of your visit to the Amazon.

Sloth and tourist in Amazonas Colombia

Amacayacú National Park

Part of Colombia’s National Parks network, this park in the Amazonian Trapezium is a biodiversity hotspot.

Activities and Services

  • Birdwatching
  • Amazon River tours
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife photography.
  • Accommodation.

Chiribiquete National Park

  • Flight over the jungle: The largest tropical rainforest in America, best seen from a helicopter.
  • Colombian wonder: Travelers call it Colombia’s ultimate wonder due to its unparalleled natural beauty and cultural significance.
  • Maloca del Jaguar: More than nature, it is a cultural journey. Here there are cave paintings dedicated to the jaguar, a powerful symbol of fertility and strength. It is so special that several tribes consider it sacred.

Puerto Nariño

  • Pure nature: A charming Amazonian village 2-3 hours from Leticia, known for its lush nature and colorful wooden buildings.
  • Tourism infrastructure: The area offers a range of accommodations and restaurants serving local, Peruvian, and Brazilian cuisine. You really find everything close at hand.

Antioquia, Medellín

  • Paisa culture to the fullest: Throughout Antioquia, you will be immersed in different activities related to traditions, history and nature.
  • Medellín: The capital is not only promising, it is the most innovative city in the country and the second most populated in Colombia with more than 2 million 500 thousand inhabitants.
  • Modernity and history: Today it shines for its modernity and for being one of the most popular and cultural destinations in Colombia. This innovative city is one of the largest in Colombia and works every day to overcome its violent past and renew its image to tourists.

For more insights, check out our Medellín travel guide. Meanwhile, here are some recommendations:

Jardín

  • Romantic Destination: Each year, hundreds of tourists visit Jardín, one of the most beautiful and romantic towns in Antioquia.
  • Heritage: As part of Colombia’s network of 17 Heritage Towns, you’ll fall in love with Jardín’s colorful architecture and surrounding nature.

For more on this stunning town, watch my experience here:

Guatapé

  • Color and Tradition: Known as the most colorful town in Colombia, Guatapé boasts colonial architecture and the famous El Peñol rock.
  • El Peñol: Climb the 650 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of the Guatapé reservoir and its surroundings.
El Peñol Stone Colombia

Támesis

  • Activities: Támesis offers hiking, mountaineering, bird watching, and organic chocolate making, thanks to its natural wealth.
  • Unexplored Travel: This hidden gem provides an impressive view of the Cauca River valley, almost untouched by tourists.

Arauca, Arauca

  • Cattle Raising: Located in the Llanos, Arauca is perfect for savoring traditional Colombian beef dishes with sides like potatoes, yuca, and plantains.
  • World-Class Cacao: Arauca’s cacao, renowned for its fine aroma, is among the best in the world.

Here are some must-visit spots in Arauca:

José Antonio Páez International Bridge

It may seem absurd for me to recommend you to visit a bridge, but this bridge is very important because it is a connection between Colombia and the neighboring country Venezuela.

  • Trade route: It is currently the most important route for the trade of oil and many other commercial goods. This is crucial for the development of the department.
  • Border crossing: If you wish you can enjoy the sunsets from the bridge and cross to taste some Venezuelan cuisine.

Malecón

  • After crossing the José Antonio Páez Bridge, take a walk along the path that borders Arauca. Here, you can spot the islets once inhabited by indigenous tribes.
  • I recommend hiring a private guide to learn in detail about the life and significance of the indigenous groups in the department.

Forúm Los Libertadores

  • Cultural Venue: Ideal for events and celebrations, this place is perfect if you enjoy vibrant crowds. Its unique shell-shaped structure is a highlight.
  • Monument to Joropo: Dedicated to the most popular dance of the plains, this monument offers insights into the dance’s history and makes for great photos.

Mangas de Coleo

  • Sports and culture: Because the llanera culture is rooted in the department, you should be part of one of the best work in the Llanera culture, the coleo. This activity is of great importance in this region.
  • The coleo is considered a sport and is famous in the department, it consists of a person riding a horse chasing bulls, the main objective is to knock down the bull by pulling it by the tail. The most interesting thing is to see the excitement that the sport produces in the fans.

Atlántico, Barranquilla

  • Barranquilla, Pure Joy: Famous worldwide for its carnival, Barranquilla is the perfect destination for a cultural, festive, and hospitable experience.
  • Unmissable Carnival: You can’t miss the Barranquilla Carnival. Plan your visit with local tourism authorities for a seamless experience, including transportation to the parade. The carnival draws tourists who then explore other attractions in the department.
  • Explore Beyond: While Barranquilla is the heart of Atlántico, there’s much more to discover. From ancient pre-Columbian sites and historic colonial landmarks to modern tourist spots, the region is rich in variety.

Museo del Caribe

The Museo del Caribe is Colombia’s first regional museum, focusing on the Atlantic coast.

It brings visitors closer to the cultural, natural, and sociocultural history of the Colombian Caribbean.

Exhibits and Themes:

  • Music and festivals.
  • Literature, especially the works of Gabriel García Márquez.
  • Indigenous culture.
  • Regional nature.

Castillo de Salgar

Built in 1848 to control smuggling, this fortification now showcases the history of Spanish settlers.

  • Historical Significance: Over the years, it has served as a control and defense point, prison, and school, among other roles.
  • Caribbean Views: Its seaside location offers stunning sunset views and breezy walks.

Carnaval de Barranquilla

  • Colombia’s largest carnival is a time to enjoy local hospitality, Caribbean cuisine, music, traditional dances, and parades.
  • When is it Celebrated? Held annually from February to March, it’s a must-see.
parade barranquilla carnival Colombia

Safety Tips: Be mindful of your belongings, as crowds can be tricky. It’s a wild, unforgettable experience—learn more on my blog.

Bolívar, Cartagena de Indias

Bolívar is known for its modern charm, surprising tourists with its diversity and natural beauty. But there’s so much more to explore:

  • Stroll Through the Historic Center, Cartagena surrounded by centuries-old walls, tells stories of the past. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see.
  • Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas: Discover this impressive 17th-century military fortress.
  • Art in Gold and Metal: From the India Catalina statue to the Old Shoes monument, each landmark has its own story. At night, the city comes alive with music and festivals.
  • Caribbean Flavors and Sunshine: Indulge in local cuisine at numerous restaurants and relax in hotels offering everything from luxury to local charm by the Caribbean Sea.
  • Preferred Destination: Cartagena is the go-to spot for both locals and tourists for events like weddings and other special celebrations, thanks to its vibrant Caribbean atmosphere.

Here are some places you shouldn’t miss during your visit to the Bolívar department:

Landscape of Historical Center Cartagena Colombia

Santa Cruz de Mompox

  • Santa Cruz de Mompox is a heritage town in Colombia, rich in history and culture dating back to the Spanish colonization of the 1500s.
  • Religious Tourism: This town is perfect for religious tourism, boasting numerous basilicas and historic architecture scattered throughout.

If you’re interested in exploring other heritage towns in Colombia, check out my blog where I delve into their unique characteristics and the reasons behind their heritage status.

San Basilio de Palenque

  • San Basilio de Palenque, known as the first free town in the Americas, was founded by Africans who escaped slavery during colonization.
  • This town is famous for its vibrant culinary scene. Here, you’ll see Afro-Colombian women dancing and preparing traditional dishes with African influences.

San Jacinto

San Jacinto is renowned for its traditional hammock craftsmanship. This town offers a variety of intricately woven crafts that reflect Colombian culture and indigenous heritage.

It’s a must-visit for those looking to pick up unique souvenirs from Colombia.

Boyacá and Tunja

  • Boyacá is Colombia’s top religious tourism destination, offering not only historic cathedrals but also diverse Andean forest ecosystems and rich cultural experiences.
  • While vast and potentially time-consuming to explore, Boyacá is worth adding to your travel itinerary to discover another facet of Colombian culture.
  • Tunja, the capital of Boyacá, is steeped in history, especially as a focal point of Colombia’s independence. The city features a variety of tourist infrastructure and historic architecture.

Here are some must-visit places in Boyacá. For more detailed information, be sure to check out my Boyacá travel guide.

Villa de Leyva

  • Founded in 1572, Villa de Leyva captivates visitors with its cobblestone streets and whitewashed houses. The Plaza Mayor, one of the largest in Latin America, transports you to another era.
  • Heart of the Town: Plaza Mayor isn’t just the city’s heart but also the perfect gathering spot to admire colonial architecture and take a breather.
  • You must explore the religious art at the Museo del Carmen, the fossils at the Museo Paleontológico, and the incredible Casa Terracota. Don’t miss the natural beauty surrounding the city, such as the Iguaque National Natural Park.

For more detailed insights, check out my Villa de Leyva travel guide.

Couple at Terracota House in Villa de Leyva Colombia

Playa Blanca

  • Playa Blanca, nestled by the shores of Lake Tota, is a natural beach with a Caribbean ambiance, offering clear waters for bathing. However, be prepared for the chilly temperature, though the light hues ranging from green to blue add to its charm.
  • This tourist attraction is ideal for family or friends’ outings, boasting a spectacular breeze and atmosphere. Undoubtedly, it’s one of Boyacá department’s most renowned destinations.

Caldas, Manizales

  • Breathtaking Nature: Explore snow-capped peaks, forests, mountains, and valleys. Thanks to its location, this department is a treasure trove of diverse climates and mountainous terrain.
  • Manizales, nicknamed “The City of Open Doors,” for its residents’ hospitality towards visitors and its beautiful coffee landscapes.
  • It’s also part of Colombia’s famous Coffee Triangle, where you can delve into coffee farms and learn about the cultivation process.

Below, you’ll find my recommendations for some must-visit places in Caldas department.

Nevado del Ruiz

  • The Ruiz Volcano is renowned in Colombia. The journey may be long, but reaching the summit of the snow-capped peak, where temperatures can drop to -3°C, is worth it.
  • Make sure to capture panoramic views of the Andes mountain range with its glaciers and lagoons as you trek along the trails if you’re a trekking and mountaineering enthusiast.
  • During the hike, you’ll witness the marvels of nature, surrounded by ecosystems like moors, swamps, and lagoons.

City of Manizales

  • As the capital, Manizales has much to offer in terms of tourism. I recommend visiting the city in January, during the Manizales Fair, a vibrant cultural celebration with colorful parades and gastronomy.
  • The city can be bustling with people, so consider whether you enjoy visiting crowded places or prefer a quieter experience.
  • Aside from its cultural and historical offerings, the city is home to various universities and educational centers.

Salamina

  • Salamina is a charming destination with colorful houses and wooden balconies lining cobbled streets, each corner steeped in colonial history.
  • The Plaza de Bolívar and the San Félix church provide perfect backdrops for capturing photos with their neo-Gothic architecture. It’s like a spiritual oasis amidst beauty.
  • Scenic Views and Coffee: Head up to Alto de la Cruz for panoramic views of the coffee axis. And if you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’re in the right place! Here, you’ll find coffee plantations and can uncover the secrets of select organic coffee.
Heritage Towns Colombia Guide

Caquetá, Florencia

  • Outdoor Activities: This destination offers birdwatching, hiking, or canyoning in some of the Amazonian reserves in the region.
  • Explore the Orteguaza River: From Puerto Arango, near Florencia, embark on ferry excursions along the impressive Orteguaza River.
  • River Highlights: Ideal for birdwatching, with rapids in the Orteguaza tributaries perfect for rafting. You can also admire ancient cave paintings in the area.

Below, you’ll find my recommendations for must-visit places in the Caquetá department.

Florencia

  • Explore the Capital: The department’s capital has much to offer in terms of tourism. Here, you can visit monuments, museums, parks, and cultural centers.
  • Flavors and Architecture: Don’t forget to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream sold in the main square while learning more about the city’s architecture and history.

As I mentioned before, I visited this amazing city. If you want to learn more about my experience, I’ll leave a video below where I explain my journey and stay in Florencia.

Caquetá Museum, Pride of Colombia

This museum houses over 200 commemorative pieces reflecting Caquetá’s history, including photographs and collections of artworks from different periods, reflecting the culture and heritage of the region.

What You’ll Find:

  • Outdoor hall with old photos and collections.
  • Ethnic hall featuring pieces from ancient indigenous tribes of the region.
  • Colonization hall with artifacts from the colonial era.
  • I recommend visiting to learn more about this spectacular department.

Las Dalias-Cañon del Niño Natural Reserve

This plan is for nature lovers and hikers. In Cañon del Niño, you’ll find a rocky formation from which minerals emerge. You can appreciate the formation and bathe in the nearby waterfall.

Activities:

  • Flora and fauna observation.
  • Mineral observation.
  • Cave exploration.
  • Hiking.
  • Swimming in natural waterfalls.

Casanare, Yopal

  • Open to Tourism: The Llanos of Casanare, a tourist destination that has warmly welcomed me and which I now call my second home in Colombia.
  • Llanera Experience: The capital, Yopal, offers a variety of nature and a warm climate. Here, you’ll find cattle ranches and farms that make your stay an authentic llanera experience.
  • Livestock Farming: The characteristic of this tourist destination is cattle breeding, which significantly contributes to the country’s economy and culture. So, expect to eat a lot of beef every day.

Below, you’ll find my recommendations for must-visit places in the Casanare department.

El Encanto de Guanapalo Natural Reserve

If you want to experience llanera adventure, this is the place to be.

  • The El Encanto Natural Reserve offers a safari experience where you can observe regional bird and animal species such as capybaras or deer. You’ll also learn about cattle breeding.
  • Great for Photos: This plan is recommended for photographers and tourists who want to be surrounded by animals common in this region like capybaras or deer.
  • Typical Cuisine: You can taste typical llanera beef, known for its exquisite flavor that will make you want to come back just for this dish.

I invite you to delve into my experience in the Reserve in the following video.

La Aurora Natural Reserve

In this reserve, you can enjoy nature-filled excursions, perfect for a day with family or friends, ideal for disconnecting from reality. If you wish to stay overnight, good accommodation with included services is offered.

Activities and Services:

  • Ecological hikes.
  • Llanero safari.
  • Horseback riding.
  • Accommodation.
  • Music, dance, and gastronomy.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Choose between rooms or hammocks.

For more information on accommodation in the area or nearby, I invite you to read my blog about ecolodges in Colombia.

San Miguel de Farallones

Here’s another ecological plan that can be very fun and liberating. This ecological reserve offers the best views with mountains surrounded by native forests and a mild climate in this region of Casanare.

Activities:

  • Horseback riding.
  • Hiking and trekking.
  • Flora and fauna observation.
  • Gastronomic tastings.

I invite you to learn more about the Llanos and be part of my experience in the department.

Cauca, Popayán

  • Nature: Cauca stands out for its impressive forest reserves rich in biodiversity, perfect places where you can reconnect with nature.
  • The White City: It earns its nickname because much of its architecture is painted white. Popayán is one of Colombia’s oldest cities, its richness evident in religious traditions and throughout the city.
  • Stay alert: Despite being a popular tourist destination, there are still security issues, making tourists’ stay a bit challenging.
Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption Popayan Colombia

Below, you will find my recommendation of some places that can not miss on your visit to the department of Cauca.

Puracé National Park

This volcanic chain with several sulfuric springs offers the best of landscapes. Puracé National Park features lagoons, forests, and highlands where you can hike.

In addition to witnessing various landscapes, you’ll have the opportunity to get close to several bird species like the incredible Andean Condor and other mammals.

Activities

  • Hiking.
  • Walks.
  • Bathing in thermal springs.
  • Photography.
  • Flora and fauna observation.
  • Tourism with indigenous communities.

Gorgona Island

  • Gorgona Island served as a prison in the 1960s, bringing great torment to Colombian prisoners.
  • Nowadays, it’s a natural park where you can engage in adventure activities like sport fishing, snorkeling, diving, and more. But, I won’t spoil it further.

I invite you to learn more about the interesting islands Colombia offers in the link.

Cesar, Valledupar

  • The Cesar department houses the “Creative City of Music,” better known as Valledupar, the capital of the department.
  • Valledupar: Here, you’ll find the best of Colombia’s representative musical genre, “Vallenato.” Additionally, it’s one of the most important destinations in the country to celebrate Easter Week.
City of Valledupar Colombia

Below, you’ll find my recommendation of some places that should not be missed during your visit to the Cesar department.

La Mina Resort

  • Located 40 km from the department’s capital, Valledupar, La Mina Resort is a natural pool. The Badillo River flows through gigantic rocks, which you can walk through.
  • It’s an excellent place to take a refreshing swim and enjoy a family day while observing birds and trying traditional food.

Los Besotes Ecopark

This incredible park offers a variety of trails for your enjoyment. Some trails lead to viewpoints, forests, and observatories, while others lead to hills, waterfalls, and streams.

Activities

  • Bird watching.
  • Flora and fauna sighting.
  • Hiking.
  • Camping.

Give yourself the chance to be surrounded by pure nature and disconnect from everyday life.

Chocó, Quibdó

  • Unparalleled Nature: Here lies most of the country’s wetlands. Perfect if you’re seeking tranquility and direct contact with pristine environments.
  • Quibdó: The capital, known for its wood industry and mining, faces the challenge of illegal mines and increasing pollution. However, there is hope for future improvements to preserve its natural and cultural richness.

Below, I provide my recommendation of some places that should not be missed during your visit to the Chocó department.

Sapzurro

  • This small town with around 500 inhabitants is located on the border with Panama.
  • Within the town is Sapzurro Bay, a beach that offers water sports like snorkeling and diving. The marine landscapes are beautiful, and there’s truly a perfect breeze where you should spend your summer.

If you love beaches and want to discover more places like Sapzurro in Colombia, I invite you to read my blog about beaches in Colombia.

Nuquí

This incredible beach offers a variety of landscapes and relaxation you won’t forget.

  • Artisanal fishing, ecotourism, and trekking: It’s one of the most recommended unexplored destinations, especially if you enjoy artisanal fishing, ecotourism, and hiking through forests.
  • Natural baths: There are also streams that flow into the sea, where you can cool off in the warm waters of waterfalls.
  • Unlike several municipalities in the department, the beach atmosphere is completely different; yes, there’s commerce, but you’ll find rest, sea, and adventure activities like surfing.

My trip to Nuquí was very enriching, and I had a magnificent experience with the people and a pleasant stay.

landscape of beach in Nuqui Chocó

Bahía Solano

Another beach in Chocó that offers the best experience on the Pacific coast. One of the most requested activities in the destination is whale watching; it’s truly a pleasant experience, and I recommend visiting the place if you ever have the chance.

Córdoba, Montería

Córdoba is a department full of culture and tradition, as well as history. It’s renowned for ecological tourism, meaning the department hosts beaches, rivers, and parks with beautiful landscapes for your enjoyment.

Below, I provide my recommendation of some places that should not be missed during your visit to the Córdoba department.

Paramillo National Natural Park

This park is perfect for connecting with nature and enjoying the biodiversity offered by the Caribbean region. Within the park, you can enjoy:

  • Natural trails.
  • Waterfalls.
  • Lagoons.
  • Flora and fauna sighting (blue and yellow beaked curassows, guans, and others).

Montería

  • The capital of the Córdoba department can be explored on foot, by car, or bicycle; the tours you can take in the city will leave you wanting more.
  • Since it’s the capital, it has more commerce and also offers a variety of cathedrals, restaurants, history centers, and nightlife.

Lorica

Lorica had a significant relationship with the development of the department because it received several passengers and goods, both national and international, which made the city more commercial and, well, it expanded to other cities in the department.

  • You must visit the Municipal Palace and the Cathedral with its symmetrical facade of different architectural styles that are “Instagrammable” places.
  • The Afife Matuk building, of Syrian-Lebanese influence, is also a point of interest on the banks of the Sinú River. If you want to learn more about Córdoba and its surroundings, I invite you to visit this important city.

Cundinamarca, Bogotá

  • Bogotá, the heart of Colombia: In the third most populous department, Bogotá not only facilitates travel between cities but also offers incredible outdoor activities if you enjoy nature.
  • Cundinamarca, economic hub: Key for its central position in Colombia, its diverse economic activity drives and connects with other sectors of the country.
  • Climate diversity: Explore its municipalities and experience rapid climate changes, from the cool of Bogotá to the warmth of Villeta or La Vega.

Below you’ll find my recommendation of some places that should not be missed on your visit to the department of Cundinamarca.

Laguna de Guatavita

I invite you to discover a very popular legend in Colombia, the legend of “El Dorado,” which basically refers to the coronation ceremonies of the Muisca kings when they were covered in gold in these places.

In fact, the Spanish conquistadors attempted to drain it to try to extract all the gold and other treasures that the indigenous people might have hidden in this lagoon and its surroundings.

Because in this emerald green water lagoon unfolds the myth, and you cannot miss visiting it.

Activities

  • Hiking.
  • Boat ride.
  • Sport fishing.
  • Camping.
Laguna de Guatavita Bogotá

La Chorrera de Choachí

This beautiful waterfall located in the municipality of Choachí will amaze you with its height of 590 meters and is the tallest in Colombia. Parque Aventura La Chorrera welcomes you with open arms to enjoy forest hikes, horseback riding, spelunking, and rappelling.

Suesca

  • Extreme climbing park: Just 1 hour from Bogotá, find the largest climbing park in Colombia. Ideal for adrenaline enthusiasts, you’ll find routes of high difficulty climbing due to the impressive height of its rocks.
  • Exciting activities: Beyond climbing, immerse yourself in nature with hikes, mountain biking, bungee jumping, and rappelling.

Guainía, Inírida

  • Adventure and nature: Guainía offers you the best of both worlds, standing out for its impressive Estrella Fluvial del Oriente reserve. Considered the largest river and ecological reserve in the world.
  • Inírida: The capital, founded by indigenous ancestors and whose name means “little mirror of the sun” in the “puinave” language, a traditional indigenous language of the Amazon. This city is small but welcoming. A place worth visiting if you want to experience or at least learn about local life.

Next, I give you my recommendation of some places that should not be missed on your visit to the department of Guainía.

Cerros de Mavecure

In this set of mountains, you find 3 different hills, Mono, Pajarito, and Mavecure. The hills can only be visited by river, while:

  • You observe the landscape.
  • Appreciate the jungle.
  • Get to know indigenous tribes that inhabit there and explore their customs.

Laguna de Las Brujas

Ah, the place of pink dolphins! This incredible silent paradise welcomes you so that with your family or friends you can surround yourself with beautiful creatures and a variety of plant species, also, if you are adventurous, you can practice water skiing.

Ecotourism Trail Flor de Inírida

  • Flor de Inírida: This flower is popular in the region for its intense red color, which blooms only in sandy areas near the Inírida and Guainía rivers. Be sure to take a photo when you visit this place.
  • What can you do? You can explore multiple environments such as trails, rock paths, parks, and lakes. Also, you can observe the variety of birds that inhabit this place.

Guaviare, San José del Guaviare

This department remains largely unrecognized by locals when it comes to tourism.

  • Nature and culture converge here: In San José del Guaviare, you can explore colonial constructions, stroll through natural parks, swim in rivers, and encounter the fascinating pink dolphins.
  • San José del Guaviare offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and learn about Amazonian tribes like the Sikuani and Guayabero.
  • I invite you to read my blog on indigenous cultures in Colombia to delve deeper into these groups, which are of great importance to the country.
Puerta de Orión Rock in San josé del Guaviare Colombia
Pelecanus S.A.S

Below you will find my recommendation of some places that cannot be missed in your visit to the department of Guaviare.

Cerro Azul

  • Ancient imprints: Cerro Azul, also known as Cerro Pinturas, boasts prehistoric rock art dating back 1,000 to 12,000 years, still vibrant in red hues, depicting myths and rituals of the Carijonas Indigenous people.
  • Nature and challenge: Prepare for physical adventures amidst the flora and fauna, and if you reach the summit, a breathtaking panoramic view awaits.

Caño Sabana

  • Galactic wonders: This spot offers an ideal ecosystem for photography enthusiasts, particularly in December when the Orion constellation is visible through the “Gate of Orion.”
  • Ecological adventures: Caño Sabana surprises with its trails; though extensive, they lead to a large lake where you can peacefully conclude your excursion with a refreshing dip in natural pools.

Laguna Negra

  • The name “Laguna Negra” derives from decomposed leaves, which, when submerged, reveal a crystalline aquatic scene.
  • This place is famous for activities like fishing, snorkeling, sailing, and swimming.
  • A very curious fact is that in its waters inhabited by aggressive species like payaras, vampire-like fish measuring over a meter in length.

Huila, Neiva

  • Strategic location: Neiva, thanks to its geographical position, serves as an ideal gateway to explore the Orinoquía and Amazon regions, seamlessly connecting with Bogotá, Mocoa, Florencia, and Pasto.
  • Pure relaxation: It’s an ideal spot to enjoy ecosystems ranging from forests and páramos to rivers, while bathing in the region’s thermal waters.
  • Cultural richness: Neiva unveils the stories and traditions left by indigenous presence in the region, preserved over time and ready to be discovered by visitors.

Below, I give you my recommendation of some places that can not miss on your visit to the department of Huila.

Tatacoa Desert

  • From forest to desert: Once a thriving forest, the Tatacoa Desert now stands as Colombia’s second-largest arid zone.
  • Stargazing adventures: Besides traversing the desert, you have the opportunity to camp under the stars, refresh in nearby natural pools, and capture stunning photographs, making it an ideal spot for astrophotography.

San Agustin Archaeological Park

  • Explore and connect: San Agustín Park, a necropolis, boasts six hiking zones interconnected by stone paths, vegetation, and a tropical climate.
  • Ancestral art: Hand-carved by ancient indigenous people, the statues depict deities, beasts, and mythological gods in a wide array of styles, from abstract to realistic.
  • Historical testimony: Visiting this site puts you at the epicenter of the country’s archaeological legacy, a truly fortunate experience.
Monolith in Isnos

Nevado del Huila

  • Paradise preserved: Though glacier coverage has diminished due to global warming, Nevado del Huila remains a haven for adventure enthusiasts, boasting lagoons, streams, and rivers enriching your journey.
  • Fauna exploration: Witness rare fauna like the Andean condor, deer, and spectacled bears.
  • Important note: Ensure good physical condition for the trip, as the hike presents risks and demands, and it’s advised that individuals over 60 refrain from undertaking it.

Tierradentro Archaeological Park

  • National wonder: Tierradentro Archaeological Park is one of the 7 wonders of Colombia.
  • Subway heritage: This archaeological reserve, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, houses hypogeum or subway collective tombs carved into the rock in the fourth and eleventh centuries.
  • Ancestral art: The geometric, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic designs in the chambers tell you how these pre-Hispanic cultures lived, the best part is that they are very well preserved.

La Guajira, Riohacha

  • Challenges and Culture: La Guajira is the northernmost department of Colombia. Despite facing issues of corruption, poverty, and plummeting tourism rates, this region is the cradle of Wayúu culture, rich in traditions.
  • Indigenous Tribes: An essential part of Wayúu culture, one of the country’s most popular tribes, as they live here, offering a unique opportunity to experience their way of life.
  • Discover Riohacha: Visit Riohacha, the capital, where you can experience indigenous culture up close and support local traditions by purchasing souvenirs. It’s a small city with a warm climate.
  • Safety First: While Riohacha has much to offer, remember safety and avoid exploring alone at night.

Next, I’ll give you my recommendations for some places not to miss during your visit to La Guajira department.

Palomino

  • For adventure lovers: In Palomino, you’ll find golden beaches and can try popular sports like tubing on the Palomino River or even hiking in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
  • Easy access: Reach it easily from Riohacha or Santa Marta, both highly touristy starting points for Caribbean adventures.
  • Nature and adrenaline: From surfing beaches to river slides connecting to the Caribbean Sea, it’s a recommended destination if you’re into water sports.

I invite you to read my Palomino travel guide for more activities and prices.

Cabo de la Vela

  • Paradisiacal beaches: Cabo de la Vela boasts tranquil and paradisiacal beaches. Exercise caution due to strong waves crashing against rocks.
  • Water sports: Its privileged geographical location allows for kiteboarding, windsurfing, and surfing.
  • El Pilón de Azúcar: A rocky hill, the most iconic spot. From there, you’ll enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea and the desert with a refreshing breeze.

Punta Gallinas

  • Punta Gallinas is known as the northernmost point of South America. Here, the beauty of the desert merges with the sea and beautiful sunsets.
  • Dunas de Taroa: They resemble Arabian dunes, absolutely stunning! You can sandboard down the dunes and observe the Caribbean Sea from the dune.
  • Starry nights: Sunsets are enchanting, and thanks to its geographical location, it’s a spot where you can perfectly observe the stars and constellations at night.

I invite you to read my guide on La Guajira to get more information about the department and its tourist activities.

Punta Gallinas Beach in La Guajira Colombia

Santa Marta, Magdalena

  • Dream destination: Thanks to its capital, Santa Marta, this department receives millions of tourists every year who want to visit its beaches, mountains, vegetation, and incredible landscapes.
  • Paradisiacal beaches: This beautiful city hosts some of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches and is known for hosting weddings, parties, and other important events for locals and foreigners alike, just like Cartagena.

Next, I’ll give you my recommendations for some places not to miss during your visit to Magdalena department.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park

  • A journey through history: It was the remote home of ancient civilizations that took refuge from the conquerors in the 16th century. Imagine walking among these ruins.
  • Lost City: Before you leave, make sure to explore the Lost City Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amid ruins and nature, your visit will become an adventure full of pre-Hispanic history.

I recommend being accompanied by a guide to learn more details about the ruins of the Lost City.

Tayrona National Natural Park

  • Located on the Colombian Caribbean coast, Tayrona National Natural Park’s main tourist attraction is its beaches, some crowded, others less so.
  • Community tourism: Additionally, you can visit different trails and learn about the indigenous tribes living there, such as the Kogui or the Wiwa.
  • Sports activities: You can go diving, hiking, trekking, and take various photos at Cabo San Juan del Guía, a rocky promontory between two small “W”-shaped beaches with beautiful corals.

Learn more details about prices and information about the park in my Tayrona travel guide.

Cabins in the Tayrona National Natural Park
Pelecanus SAS

El Rodadero

  • Discover El Rodadero: Just 6 minutes from Santa Marta, El Rodadero is a natural beach resort. It’s the top choice for white sandy beaches, Caribbean landscapes, nightlife, and water activities.
  • Center of everything: Not only perfect for relaxing and enjoying nightlife, but also the most popular hotel, commercial, and tourist hub in Santa Marta, with options for everyone.
  • Important: If you enjoy mass tourism and chaos, it might be your spot. Otherwise, I advise visiting other places.

Meta, Villavicencio

  • Economic diversity: Meta department is known for cattle farming and oil extraction, contributing to its economy. It has recently seen growth in the tourism sector.
  • Cultural paradise: Besides offering gastronomic and natural richness, Meta offers you the opportunity to learn a highly sought-after Colombian dance, the joropo.
  • Villavicencio: Its capital, is a spectacular city that offers viewpoints, nature reserves, musical shows, and tasting of typical regional dishes.

Below you’ll find my recommendations for some places not to miss during your visit to Meta department.

Caño Cristales

  • Caño Cristales is the most beautiful river in Colombia, with 7 colors, basically an endemic aquatic plant of colors that grows in its waters.
  • Macarenia Clavijera: Through this endemic plant, this river displays a variety of amazing tones: yellows, blues, greens, blacks, and reds.
  • Worth it: The hike is extensive, between 2 and 6 hours, depending on the group you go with, but upon reaching the caño, you can take a refreshing swim and capture some beautiful photographs.

The color phenomenon only occurs for a few months, between June and November; however, make sure to check first to plan your trip.

Los Ocarros Biopark

Los Ocarros Biopark is a zoo housing a vast number of animals from the Colombian Orinoco region, most of them endangered or known by few people, like the giant armadillo.

Activities:

  • Explore local wildlife
  • Visit the aquarium
  • Restaurant
  • Cafeteria
  • Playground

This plan is recommended for families or groups of friends.

Puma eating in Ocarros Biopark Villavicencio Colombia

Güejar Canyon

An ideal place for rafting and enjoying the scenery. This aquatic paradise beckons adventure seekers to be part of the wonderful view of the immense canyon poised on the water and the emerald green color of the lake.

Nariño, Pasto

  • Culture and Festivity: Pasto, known as the Surprise City, shines with the Carnival of Blacks and Whites and its impressive preserved architecture. A cultural spectacle you can’t miss.
  • Local Handicrafts: It’s also renowned for its local crafts. You can take home a souvenir and support the local economy by purchasing these pieces. Each reflects the cultural richness and talent of its artisans.
  • On the other hand, the nature surrounding the department is spectacular, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching. I invite you to delve deeper into my experience in this part of Colombia.

Below, you’ll find my recommendations for some places not to miss during your visit to Nariño department.

Juanambú Canyon Park

This place is renowned as the site of the Battle of Juanambú, where General Antonio Nariño fought the Spanish army. Besides learning about the place’s history, you can engage in various activities like:

  • Rock climbing
  • Camping
  • Bungee jumping
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Canopy tours
  • Swimming

El Búho Reserve

If you wish to enjoy the landscape and connect with nature, the Reserve welcomes you to revel in the surroundings. Here, you can spot birds and explore the hidden forest.

Activities:

  • Hiking
  • Boat rides
  • Community tourism
  • Flora and fauna observation
  • Accommodation
  • Local gastronomy

Galeras Volcano Flora and Fauna Sanctuary

The Galeras Flora and Fauna Sanctuary forms a lagoon complex that sustains frailejones, grasslands, and paramos, offering diverse ecosystems worth exploring. Currently, it’s not possible to climb to the volcano’s summit.

Activities:

  • Flora and fauna observation
  • Visiting lagoons and waterfalls
  • Hiking
  • Trekking

North of Santander, San José de Cúcuta

North of Santander is a popular destination for ecotourism adventures, bustling with trade and agriculture.

  • Its cuisine is a flavor journey you must explore, from oven-roasted goats to the famous Ocaña tamales.
  • Its capital, Cúcuta, surprises with a unique blend of modern and ancient architecture, preserving historical narratives and spaces. Also known as the city of trees due to its abundant vegetation.

Below, you’ll find my recommendations for some places not to miss during your visit to North of Santander department.

Santurbán Paramo

Santurban Paramo is a vital water source sustaining over 2 million Colombians. Within this ecosystem, you can also find:

  • Plaza Lagoon: A beautiful lagoon surrounded by mountains and tropical vegetation.
  • Trails and trekking routes: Visitors can explore trails offering panoramic views and the opportunity to observe endemic and migratory birds, among other species.
  • Frailejones observation: These giant plants regulate water flow throughout the paramo and can be found throughout the area.

Pozo Azul

  • Pozo Azul is a marvelous natural spot. Located in a privileged area with beautiful landscapes, it’s ideal for relaxation and nature enjoyment.
  • A hidden paradise: Here, a massive and humid slab dominates the forest, and sunlight filters through, creating a blue hue over the crystal-clear waters you must photograph.
  • The tradition here is to make a trip in January, prepare a chicken stew, enjoy some beers with family, and take a dip in the pool.

Putumayo, Mocoa

  • Tourism Potential: Putumayo stands out for its cattle farming and natural resources that will leave you amazed. Although it had a history of violence and armed groups, it’s currently safe, and tourists choose it as a worthwhile destination to visit.
  • Mocoa, its capital, offers extensive hikes through the Amazon jungle to learn more about Colombia and its culture, as well as to enjoy adventure.

Below, I provide my recommendations for some places not to miss during your visit to Putumayo department.

Fin del Mundo Waterfalls

Fin del Mundo (End of the world) waterfall in Putumayo Colombia
  • Discover pools and waterfalls: At Fin del Mundo Waterfalls, you’ll walk along trails leading to crystalline waterfalls, surrounded by the tranquility of forests, lagoons, and caves.
  • Along the way, you’ll reach Pozo Negro, famous for its dark and deep waters.
  • Then there’s Pozo Almorzadero, a spectacle of aquatic colors where you must snap some selfies, no doubt!
  • Stone Bridge: Finally, you’ll reach a natural gem where you’ll enjoy a 70-meter-high waterfall, amidst butterflies and lush vegetation.

If you love waterfalls, discover some of the best waterfalls in Colombia.

Mocoa

  • Amazon: The department’s capital offers much more than commerce and welcoming inhabitants. It’s an Amazonian area, so you’ll get to know the customs, gastronomy, and dances of the department revolving around the jungle.
  • Culture and Adventure: Parks within the city like Santander Park or Los Mocoanitos are very representative, and if you visit them, you’ll observe the characteristic architecture of the place.

Where the Sun Hides

  • An enchanted forest: Where the Sun Hides is a place covered with forests and a varied amount of fauna and flora. The name comes from the fact that, due to the tree leaves, the sun hardly enters, making the climate milder.
  • Mohana Waterfall: An 18-meter fall, the water is refreshing, and you can take a swim. Here, you’ll enjoy nature, silence, and the sounds of the species inhabiting the area.

Quindío, Armenia

  • Coffee Capital: It’s no exaggeration to say that in Quindío, you’ll taste some of the world’s best coffee, thanks to its rich coffee tradition and impressive tourism growth.
  • Heritage and Learning: As part of the Coffee Cultural Landscape recognized by UNESCO, you’ll find fascinating places here where you can learn all about the coffee process, from harvest to cup.

Below, I give you my recommendations for some places that you must visit in the department of Quindío.

Salento

  • Salento stands out for its colorful streets and well-preserved structures from the Spanish colonization era, plus it’s a place where you’ll feel very safe.
  • Explore Further: You can’t leave without visiting the breathtaking Cocora Valley, famous for being home to the world’s tallest wax palm.

If you love the town and want to spend the night, I invite you to read my blog about the best hotels in Salento.

Also, to be part of my tour of the city and see firsthand the incredible offerings the place has, I invite you to watch the following video.

Coffee Park

Coffee Park is ideal for an afternoon adventure with your family or friends. The park’s attractions mostly involve water due to the climate, but there are also some more daring ones like roller coasters or cable car rides.

I invite you to read my blog about theme parks in Colombia so that, at some point during your visit to the country, you can take your family or friends to have a joyful time at one of these places.

Panaca

Panaca is a family-friendly theme park where many farm animals live. Inside the park, you can buy food to feed them, and they teach you how to take care of them.

Participate in activities focused on the classification, conservation, and observation of fauna and flora. I also recommend that you take the tour where you will get to know hundreds of species of endemic mushrooms that grow in this park and see the pig race.

Risaralda, Pereira

  • Coffee Department: Risaralda is a very commercial tourist destination, so the number of tourists increases every year. In addition to offering good experiences related to nature, Risaralda has the best birdwatching spots and quality coffee.
  • Pereira, its capital, was named a Cultural Heritage site because it preserves in its architecture several important historical and cultural facts about the region and Colombia.

Below, you’ll find my recommendations for some places that you must visit in the department of Risaralda.

Ukumarí Biopark

Ukumarí Biopark houses more than 30 animal species belonging to Andean forests. Ukumarí offers you a space to observe Colombian biodiversity and enjoy the natural environment if you’re looking for a good plan to disconnect from the cities.

Activities and services:

  • 4D virtual tours.
  • Aquariums.
  • Hiking.
  • Observation of flora and fauna.
  • Ancestral culture tour.
  • Souvenir shop.

Santa Rosa de Cabal

  • Thermal waters for stress relief: The town is known for its thermal waters, ideal for bringing health to your body. A plan where the main thing is to relax and enjoy a moment in peace in the water.
  • Santarrosanos sausages: If you visit the place, you can’t leave without tasting these local sausages, representative of Colombian cuisine. After the thermal baths, this snack will be excellent for you. There’s a reason they’re so popular.

I invite you to watch my video about the experience I had in Santa Rosa.

Apía

  • Birdwatching and history: Birdwatching is an activity of great importance in this municipality. The architecture will leave you amazed; it’s colorful, ancient, and tells a story, but what really impresses is how well preserved it is.
  • What to do? Besides enjoying the town, you can paraglide, ride fine paso horses, and observe the surrounding landscape.

San Andrés and Providencia, San Andrés

Since the main source of the department’s economy is tourism and commerce, if you decide to visit this magnificent place, you’ll be in good hands. Visiting the department means:

  • Being surrounded by nature.
  • Beaches with breeze and sea.
  • Boat rides and water sports.
  • Adventure activities.
  • Relaxing and drinking pure Sorrel, the refreshing cocktail made with hibiscus flower.
Aerial view of san Andrés island Colombia
8Pelecanus

Next, I give you my recommendations for some places that you must visit in the department of San Andrés and Providencia.

Islander Museum House (casa museo isleña)

This museum showcases the traditions and customs of the Caribbean region over the years. Here, you can learn more about the life of islanders, their ways of doing daily things, and their cuisine.

Morgan’s Head

  • A pirate’s head? This rock, which resembles a human head, is well known for its particular formation. Besides taking photos with this creation of nature, you can take a dip in the sea and enjoy the warm weather.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Nearby are the ruins of Morgan’s Fort, from where the famous pirate Henry Morgan defended his treasures with cannons that are still preserved.

I invite you to read my guide on Providencia to learn more about this spectacular destination and other tourist recommendations.

Johnny Cay

  • Tropical Atmosphere: Its white sandy beaches are a delight for visitors. Palm trees add a touch of the tropical and Caribbean vibe.
  • Waters and Corals: The sea surrounding Johnny Cay showcases a range of 7-color tones, just as you heard! Make sure to capture some photos.
  • Diverse Marine Fauna: Snorkeling is highly popular in these areas; you’ll observe fish, stingrays, and many marine species inhabiting its waters.

Don’t forget, if you visit the island, you must try the delicious seafood prepared by the locals.

Santander, Bucaramanga

  • Nature and More: Santander will surprise you with its natural resources. Here, you’ll find everything from rocky landscapes surrounded by forests to a wide range of outdoor adventure options. It’s a paradise for nature lovers.
  • Growth and Activities: This department has not only seen development but also offers a wide range of sports activities, particularly in nature tourism.

Below, you’ll find my recommendations for some must-visit places in Santander.

Bucaramanga

  • Known as the Beautiful City, Bucaramanga boasts greenery, numerous parks, modern architecture, and cheerful inhabitants who welcome you like family.
  • Metropolis: The city is becoming a popular venue for conventions and incentive trips due to its first-class facilities, affordable accommodations, good connectivity, excellent restaurants, and fantastic nightlife.

Quebrada las Gachas

  • Quebrada las Gachas is stunning, with small crystal-clear water holes contrasting with the red rocks where you can swim. The adventurous plan is to explore nature.
  • Top Eco-Activities: You should observe the birds in the area and, finally, slide into the water to different natural pools and jacuzzis.

San Juan de Girón

  • San Juan de Girón is another of Colombia’s Heritage Towns, where you’ll be amazed by its history and architecture reflected in its buildings, museums, and inhabitants.
  • Preserved History: You’ll notice that its cobbled streets, white facades, clay tiles, and balconies truly preserve the colonial architecture of the 17th century.

Chicamocha Canyon

  • The Canyon is a magnificent geographical wonder. Here, you can access the Chicamocha National Park, where you’ll engage in various ecotourism activities and taste gastronomy from the Boyacá and Santander departments.
  • In addition to its natural wealth, you’ll explore numerous ecological trails, as the area is home to a wide variety of bird species for your observation.
Landscape of Chicamocha Canyon Santander Colombia
Pelecanus S.A.S

Sucre, Sincelejo

  • From Sincelejo to the Sea: In Sincelejo, you can explore mountains, marshes, bays, and savannas. And yes, the blend of European, African, and American music captivates many tourists.
  • Festival of Traditions: If you truly want to experience the essence of this place, plan your visit for January. Culture, gastronomy, and history come together in a celebration you won’t want to miss.

Below, I provide my recommendations for some must-visit places in the Sucre department.

San Francisco de Asís

  • When visiting the main square of the department’s capital, Sincelejo, you can visit the spectacular cathedral, recognized and valued by Colombians and foreigners for its construction.
  • Around it, you can admire colonial houses and historic squares reflecting the rich history of the region, as well as learn about the history and traditions of Sincelejo.

Coveñas

  • Ideal for relaxation: In Coveñas, you’ll find natural pools with calm waters, perfect for a refreshing swim under the sun.
  • Authentic Coastal Experience: Not only will you enjoy the climate, but you can also opt for a braid made by coastal women.
  • Watch out for the price: Before going for this new look, make sure to confirm the price with the lady in charge, especially if you’re coming from afar, to avoid surprises.

Tolú

  • It’s time to savor exquisite seafood dishes made with shrimp, chipi chipi, snail, lobster, etc. Tolú offers gastronomic richness while you enjoy its beaches, sand, and sea.
  • The truth is that the cuisine in this place is surprisingly vast and varied, influenced by black, white, and indigenous cultures. In Tolú, the main basis of gastronomy is seafood.

Tolima, Ibagué

  • Gastronomy to Fall in Love With: Delight in some of Colombia’s most typical dishes like lechona and tamales, which originate from Tolima.
  • Dream Destination: Thanks to its diversity of soils and climates, Tolima shines as a tourist destination you can’t miss.
  • Musical City: Known as the “Musical Capital of Colombia,” in Ibagué, you can immerse yourself in experiences with authentic Colombian traditional music.

Below, I give my recommendations for some must-visit places in the Tolima department.

La Maravilla Waterfall

  • Explore Trails: Walk along trails with varying levels of difficulty that you can choose from, where you can end with a refreshing swim in the first waterfall, called “La Diosa.”
  • Unique Adventures: Get ready for rappelling, cave exploration, and the intrigue of dark tunnels. Adrenaline is guaranteed.
  • La Maravilla Waterfall: At the end of the trail, a dreamlike landscape awaits you with emerald green waters, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the silence of the forest.

Nevado del Tolima

  • Hiking: Nevado del Tolima is a volcano mainly recognized by mountaineers who practice their sport regularly. Of course, you can choose from easy walks to challenging hikes with extreme ascents.
  • Panoramas: This national park offers beautiful views of the central Andes mountain range and temperatures ranging from 10 to 18 °C during the day, to between 5 and -2 degrees at night and in the early mornings due to the phenomenon of thermal floors.
Nevado del Tolima Colombia
Pelecanus

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this natural wonder and break free from routine.

Combeima Canyon

Combeima Canyon is a destination located between 1200 and 14000 meters above sea level that offers an environment surrounded by nature like frailejones, blackberry plants, foxes, and caracaras, where you can carry out activities:

  • Horseback riding.
  • Cable car.
  • Trekking.
  • Camping.
  • Birdwatching.

The canyon offers wonderful panoramic views, and if you enjoy Instagramming, it’s ideal.

Also, if you visit in the months of February, March, and April, you can observe the caracaras, who travel from North America to Argentina, and Colombia is their stopover.

Valle del Cauca, Cali

  • Climate and Joy: Valle del Cauca and its capital Cali await you with open arms with an average temperature of 24 °C, making your stay even more special.
  • Salsa Capital: Cali is globally recognized for its vibrant rhythm and dance culture, officially being the salsa capital worldwide.
  • Learn to Dance: If you ever dreamed of dancing salsa, in Cali, you’ll find schools and workshops where you can learn everything from basic steps to complete choreographies.

Below, I give my recommendations for some must-visit places in the Valle del Cauca department.

San Cipriano

San Cipriano is known for being the second region in Colombia with the highest humidity level.

The area boasts a wide variety of vegetation and offers waterfalls and crystal-clear pools that will leave you amazed by their colors:

  • La Platina: An ideal spot for snorkeling or diving.
  • La Barbacoana: A stream with an 18-meter drop.
  • La Cascada del Amor: The final waterfall of the tour.
  • La Cascada Grande: There are areas where you might encounter snakes and other jungle wildlife.

A Guide, Please! To reach any of these destinations, ask your guide. You must go with him, no exceptions!

The most interesting part is the journey to the town. Discover it in the following video.

Bahía Málaga National Natural Park

Bahía Málaga National Natural Park is renowned for being essential for whale watching.

  • When Can You See the Whales? I recommend visiting between July and November, when the whales make their appearances. It’s a show you’ll want to capture with your camera or cherish in your memory.
  • Besides this natural spectacle, you can enjoy waterfalls and horizons that will make you fall in love and truly want to return.

Buga

  • Faith and Devotion: Buga is very famous in Colombia for its religious significance. Each year, many locals visit its main church to consecrate themselves and ask the Virgin for a blessing.
  • Historical Wealth: Additionally, the city is full of history. If you visit Buga, don’t forget to take a tour of the historic center and learn a bit more about Colombia.
Basílica menor del Señor de los Milagros de Buga in Valle del cauca Colombia

Piedemonte Adventure Park

The park offers an adventure for families or friends, with a natural pool for relaxation and activities like canopy, bungee jumping, ATV tours, and more.

Vaupés, Mitú

  • Nature and Adventure: Prepare for a stay where biodiversity and adventure are daily fare.
  • Live with Indigenous People: This department is surrounded by some of Colombia’s 25 indigenous peoples, offering stays full of nature, biodiversity, and ecological adventures.
  • Experiences in Mitú: Its capital, Mitú, though small, is packed with unique experiences like bird watching, nature immersion, and cultural exploration.
  • Living Culture: With several indigenous tribes calling it home, Mitú is a fascinating cultural and historical time capsule.

Here are my recommendations for some must-visit places in the Vaupés department

Yaigojé Apaporis Park

This park offers opportunities for observation, photography, environmental education about the region’s biodiversity, and a warm climate characteristic of the Amazon region.

Yurupary Rapids

  • Discover the Rapids: If you like history and want to learn about the indigenous tribes that inhabited the department, I recommend visiting the rapids, a rocky step where water descends, and you find tepuis, a sacred place.
  • Explore and Be Amazed: Here, you can see figures carved into stones, containing symbols of the indigenous tribes. You can visit the labyrinths and explore the area’s biodiversity.

Serranía Morroco

Serranía Morroco is a fascinating destination in Vaupés. It’s an extensive hike to the top of the mountain range, where you can see the landscape and the jungle from above.

  • Raudal del Jirijirimo: Near Serranía Morroco, this rapid is an impressive spot to photograph the power of water and natural beauty.
  • Cananarí Mouth: Another nearby point worth visiting. Here, you can enjoy the confluence of rivers and abundant endemic vegetation.

Vichada, Puerto Carreño

Puerto Carreño is a municipality in Colombia, and its department, Vichada, is also part of its plains. It’s one of the top spots with perfect weather for ecological adventures in jungles, rivers, and plains.

Here are my top recommendations to make sure you don’t miss the best of Vichada:

Puerto Carreño

  • Fishing Paradise: If sport or traditional fishing is your thing, welcome! Puerto Carreño is famous for being a top destination for fishing enthusiasts.
  • Explore and Admire: Beyond fishing, you can explore the city and its surroundings, learn about its unique architecture, and participate in many other ecotourism activities, as many locals depend on this.

El Tuparro National Park

  • Unique Landscapes: Surrounded by nature, this park is a spectacle of rocks, water, and wildlife.
  • Ideal Visit: Mark December and January on your calendar. The warm climate of these months is perfect for exploring everything the park has to offer.
  • Top Activities: From viewpoints and waterfall climbs to glamping and bathing in crystal-clear streams, there are many plans to enjoy with family.

Maipures Rapids

This rocky structure is located within El Tuparro Park. It’s ideal for enjoying a pleasant view and the strong river currents. You can camp here and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

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About Author

Frank

Frank

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!

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