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Colombia Travel Itinerary 24 Days

Colombia Travel Map

Updated on 04/04/2024

I’m Frank, the proud owner of a leading tour operator located in Bogota, committed to curating bespoke and opulent travel experiences across Colombia.

As you peruse this guide, look forward to uncovering a collection of supplementary and invaluable travel itineraries to enhance your exploration of Colombia.

Colombia Trip Summary

Day 1 – Bogota
Day 2 – Bogota
Day 3 – Bogota – Guatavita – Zipaquira – Bogota
Day 4 – Bogota – Pasto
Day 5 – Pasto – Ipiales – Pasto
Day 6 – Pasto
Day 7 – Pasto – Popayan
Day 8 – Popayan – Purace – Popayan
Day 9 – Popayan
Day 10 – Popayan – Caldas
Day 11 – Caldas – Nevado del Ruiz – Caldas
Day 12 – Caldas
Day 13 – Caldas
Day 14 – Caldas – Medellin
Day 15 – Medellin – Guatape – Medellin
Day 16 – Medellin
Day 17 – Medellin
Day 18 – Medellin – Santa Marta
Day 19 – Santa Marta – Tayrona Park – Santa Marta
Day 20 – Santa Marta – Taironaka – Santa Marta
Day 21 – Santa Marta – Cartagena
Day 22 – Cartagena – San Basilio de Palenque – Cartagena
Day 23 – Cartagena – Rosario Islands – Cartagena
Day 24 – Cartagena – Departure

Planned Places/Cities


Bogotá is Colombia’s capital and has over 10 million inhabitants. It is Colombia’s political, economic, cultural, and tourist center, accounting for most of the national GDP. It is the third-highest capital city in South America as it sits on over 2.600 meters (8.600 feet) above sea level. With average temperatures of 7°C – 20°C (45°F – 60°F), the climate varies between cold to temperate. Bogotá has an area of 1.775 km2 (685 Square miles), which is more than twice the size of Singapore. It was founded in 1.538 by the Spaniards but was already inhabited by the Pre-Muiscas. Most of the tourist attractions are in the historic center “La Candelaria”. The city’s wide cultural offer represented in museums, theaters and libraries has granted it the name of “the South American Athens”. Some important places to visit in Bogotá are Monserrate Monastery, Gold and Botero Museums, “Paloquemao” and “La Perseverancia” food markets.


The municipality of Guatavita – Cundinamarca 53 km northeast of Bogota is recognized for giving rise to the most representative legend of Colombia, one of the most important in the world and Cultural Heritage of the Nation “The story of the Legend of El Dorado”. It is the religious, cultural and ancestral capital of the Muisca people. In Guatavita there is “Guatavita the Origin of the Legend” an area of 13.8 ha, consisting of a historic center with high heritage value and a cultural and tourist development polygon on the banks of the Tominé reservoir


Zipaquirá is a historic and enchanting town located in the Cundinamarca Department of Colombia, approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of Bogotá, the capital city. This charming town is famous for its awe-inspiring underground salt cathedral and well-preserved colonial architecture.

The Salt Cathedral is the primary attraction of Zipaquirá and a marvel of engineering and faith. Carved inside the tunnels of a salt mine, the cathedral is an underground sanctuary with impressive salt sculptures, religious artwork, and an ethereal atmosphere. It is a significant pilgrimage site and a masterpiece of Colombian architecture.

Zipaquirá’s historical center features well-preserved colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, and charming squares. Visitors can stroll through the town’s quaint streets and admire its colonial architecture, including the main square, Plaza de los Comuneros.

In addition to its colonial heritage, Zipaquirá has pre-Columbian archaeological sites, such as the ancient Muisca settlement of El Abra, which offers insights into the region’s indigenous history.


Pasto is a vibrant and culturally rich city located in the southwestern region of Colombia. As the capital of the Nariño Department, it holds historical, architectural, and natural significance.

Pasto is known for its rich cultural heritage, which is influenced by a blend of indigenous, Spanish colonial, and Afro-Colombian traditions. The city’s festivals and celebrations are particularly noteworthy, with the most famous being the “Carnaval de Negros y Blancos” (Blacks and Whites Carnival), recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The city boasts impressive colonial architecture, with well-preserved churches, plazas, and historic buildings. Notable landmarks include the Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, the Juan Agustín Mora Bullring, and the Teatro Imperial.

Pasto is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the nearby Galeras Volcano, which is an active stratovolcano. The city is also situated near the Laguna de la Cocha, a picturesque lake that attracts tourists for its beauty and recreational activities.

The local gastronomy of Pasto is diverse and delicious, with dishes that reflect the region’s cultural influences. Visitors can savor traditional Colombian cuisine, as well as unique regional specialties such as “cuy” (guinea pig) and “mote de queso” (cheese soup).


Ipiales is a picturesque border town located in the Nariño Department of Colombia, near the country’s border with Ecuador. Known for its stunning architecture, religious significance, and natural beauty, Ipiales has become a popular destination for both pilgrims and tourists.

The main attraction in Ipiales is the Sanctuary of Las Lajas, a remarkable basilica built on a bridge over the Guáitara River gorge. The sanctuary’s Gothic Revival architecture and scenic location make it one of Colombia’s most awe-inspiring religious sites.

The Sanctuary of Las Lajas is a significant pilgrimage destination, attracting thousands of religious devotees each year. The site is known for its miraculous stories and is a symbol of faith and devotion for many Colombians.

Ipiales is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, including rolling hills, lush green valleys, and the dramatic Guáitara River gorge. The natural beauty of the region makes it a delightful place for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Ipiales has a rich cultural heritage, with traditions influenced by indigenous and Spanish colonial roots. The town hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year.

Due to its location near the Ecuadorian border, Ipiales serves as a gateway for travelers entering or leaving Colombia from Ecuador. Many tourists use Ipiales as a stopover on their cross-country journeys.

The Carchi River, which flows through the town, adds to Ipiales’ natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy the serene atmosphere and scenic views along the riverbanks.


Popayán, often referred to as the “White City,” is a historic and picturesque colonial town located in the southwestern part of Colombia. It is the capital of the Cauca Department and holds great cultural and architectural significance.

Popayán is renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture, characterized by whitewashed buildings, beautiful churches, and cobblestone streets. The city’s historic center has been declared a National Monument of Colombia, reflecting its architectural and cultural value.

The city has a rich cultural heritage, with a blend of indigenous, Spanish colonial, and Afro-Colombian influences. Popayán is known for its religious festivals, Semana Santa (Holy Week) being the most famous, during which the streets come alive with colorful processions and traditional celebrations.

Popayán is celebrated for its traditional cuisine, which includes dishes such as empanadas de pipián (corn turnovers with peanut sauce), tamales, and arepas de maíz (corn pancakes). The city’s culinary offerings reflect the diverse cultural influences of the region.

Popayán is situated in a region with several active volcanoes, including Puracé and Huila. The surrounding landscape features breathtaking scenery, with mountains, valleys, and fertile farmlands.

Puracé National Natural Park

Puracé National Natural Park is a breathtaking and diverse protected area located in the departments of Cauca and Huila in Colombia. Covering an extensive area of more than 83,000 hectares, the park is characterized by its stunning landscapes, unique geological features, and rich biodiversity.

At the heart of Puracé Park lies the Puracé Volcano, an active stratovolcano and one of the main attractions. The volcano’s snow-capped summit and surrounding volcanic landscapes create a dramatic and awe-inspiring sight.

The park is home to natural thermal springs, where visitors can enjoy relaxing baths amidst the lush Andean surroundings. These hot springs are known for their soothing and healing properties.

Puracé National Park encompasses diverse ecosystems, including the unique paramo, a high-altitude tropical ecosystem characterized by frailejones, a plant species endemic to the Andes.

The park boasts a rich biodiversity with a wide variety of plant and animal species. It is a haven for birdwatchers, with numerous bird species, including the Andean condor, soaring through the skies.

In addition to its birdlife, Puracé is home to various wildlife, including spectacled bears, Andean foxes, deer, and the elusive puma.

Puracé Park offers excellent opportunities for hiking and trekking, with well-marked trails leading to scenic viewpoints and the volcano’s summit.

The park’s surroundings hold significance for local indigenous communities, and it is an area of cultural importance for the Páez people, who have inhabited the region for centuries.

Puracé National Natural Park is essential for conservation efforts in Colombia, protecting unique ecosystems and providing a habitat for endangered species.

Colombia Coffee Triangle

The Colombia Coffee Triangle, also known as the Coffee Region or Zona Cafetera, is a picturesque and culturally rich area located in the central part of Colombia. It is composed of three departments: Caldas, Quindío, and Risaralda, and encompasses numerous charming towns and lush landscapes.

The Coffee Triangle is renowned for its world-class coffee production and is one of the top coffee-growing regions globally. Coffee cultivation is deeply ingrained in the region’s culture and history, and the area’s fertile volcanic soils and ideal climate create the perfect conditions for growing high-quality coffee beans.

The Coffee Triangle boasts breathtaking landscapes with rolling hills, emerald green valleys, and picturesque mountain ranges. The area is adorned with vibrant coffee plantations, colorful flower farms, and cloud forests, providing stunning views at every turn.

The region is dotted with charming colonial towns and villages, each with its unique character and architectural charm. Towns like Salento, Filandia, and Manizales feature well-preserved colonial-style buildings, cobblestone streets, and colorful facades, adding to the region’s allure.


Caldas is a department located in the central-western region of Colombia, named after Francisco José de Caldas, a prominent Colombian scientist and philosopher. With its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and historical significance, Caldas offers visitors a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.

Manizales, the capital city of Caldas, is known for its location amidst the Andes Mountains and its stunning views of the surrounding valleys. The city has a vibrant urban center, featuring a mix of colonial and modern architecture.

Caldas is part of Colombia’s renowned Coffee Triangle, and the department is home to several coffee plantations. Visitors can explore the coffee farms, learn about the coffee-making process, and taste high-quality Colombian coffee.

A portion of Los Nevados National Natural Park lies within Caldas. This protected area is characterized by snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and diverse ecosystems, attracting nature enthusiasts and hikers.

Caldas boasts several natural thermal hot springs, providing opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. The hot springs are known for their therapeutic properties.

Throughout the year, Caldas hosts various cultural festivals, celebrating traditions, music, and dance. The “Feria de Manizales” is one of the most famous events, featuring bullfighting, concerts, and parades.

The department is home to picturesque towns, such as Salamina and Filadelfia, showcasing colonial architecture and traditional charm.

Aguadas is a colorful town in Caldas, recognized for its well-preserved colonial buildings and artisan crafts.

Nevado del Ruiz

Nevado del Ruiz is a majestic stratovolcano located in the Andes Mountains of Colombia. Standing at an elevation of approximately 5,321 meters (17,457 feet), it is one of the highest and most active volcanoes in the country. The volcano is part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park and is surrounded by stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems.

Nevado del Ruiz has a history of significant volcanic activity, with eruptions dating back to prehistoric times. The most devastating eruption occurred in 1985 when an eruption triggered a massive mudflow (lahar) that resulted in the tragic Armero tragedy, claiming thousands of lives.

The volcano’s summit is capped with glaciers and snow, creating a stunning and dramatic landscape. However, due to climate change and volcanic activity, the glaciers have been receding in recent years.

The slopes of Nevado del Ruiz are characterized by diverse ecosystems, including paramo, Andean forest, and high-altitude grasslands. These ecosystems are home to a variety of plant and animal species, some of which are endemic to the Andes.

The volcano attracts hikers and mountaineers seeking challenging adventures. Ascending Nevado del Ruiz requires proper preparation, and climbers often start from the nearby town of Manizales.

Given its active nature, Nevado del Ruiz is closely monitored by scientific institutions to better understand volcanic processes and mitigate potential risks to nearby communities.

Nevado del Ruiz is part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park, a protected area renowned for its diverse landscapes, high-altitude lakes, and unique flora and fauna.

The volcano has cultural importance for indigenous communities living in the surrounding region. It is considered a sacred site by some local indigenous groups.

In light of its volcanic activity and the potential hazards it poses, safety measures and contingency plans are in place to protect nearby populations from potential eruptions.


Medellin is the most populated city after Bogotá. The city has a fortunate geographic location in the widest part of the natural region known as the Valley of Aburrá, located in the central Andes mountain range at 1.495 meters (4.905 feet) above sea level. This gives the city pleasant temperatures ranging between 14°C and 26°C (57°F to 79°F). This spring climate of the Eastern Antioquia grants the region the privilege of being the world’s second producer and exporter of flowers, that is why Medellin is known as the “city of the eternal spring” and “the mountain’s capital”.

The city has a modern infrastructure – it is the only city in Colombia with a metro transport system- and is considered the country’s innovation center. Museums, interactive parks, churches, and urban tours are among the attractions in Medellín. Some must-do activities in Medellin are the Graffiti tour in Comuna 13, visiting the Arvi Park, taking pictures in Botero Square, and exploring the Botanical Garden.


Guatapé is a picturesque and colorful town located in the Antioquia Department of Colombia, approximately 79 kilometers (49 miles) northeast of Medellín. Nestled among rolling hills and surrounded by stunning landscapes, Guatapé is renowned for its vibrant streets, unique architecture, and a mesmerizing man-made wonder that draws visitors from all over the world.

One of the main attractions of Guatapé is “La Piedra del Peñol” or “El Peñol Rock.” This massive granite monolith stands at an impressive height of about 200 meters (656 feet). Visitors can climb a staircase of 740 steps to reach the top, where they are rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the labyrinthine waterways of Guatapé’s reservoir.

Guatapé is famous for its vibrant and artistic buildings adorned with colorful bas-reliefs, known as “zócalos.” These intricately designed decorations can be found on the lower part of the houses, depicting a wide range of subjects, from daily life scenes to geometric patterns and symbols. Strolling through the town’s streets becomes an enchanting experience as the zócalos create a lively and captivating atmosphere.

The Guatapé Reservoir is a vast body of water surrounded by green hills and scattered islands. Also known as Lake Guatapé, it offers numerous opportunities for water-based activities, such as boat rides, jet skiing, kayaking, and fishing. The reservoir’s tranquility and natural beauty make it an ideal spot for relaxation and enjoying the great outdoors.

Guatapé’s waterfront promenade, known as the Malecón, runs along the edge of the reservoir. It’s a popular spot for leisurely strolls, where visitors can enjoy views of the water and the colorful houses lining the streets. The Malecón is also home to several restaurants, cafes, and handicraft shops, making it a lively and charming area to explore.

Santa Marta

Santa Marta is the capital of the department of Magdalena and is located on the Caribbean coast at just 5 meters (16 feet) above sea level. Therefore, temperatures here range between 21°C and 33 °C (70 – 91°F). The city spreads over a large area and is flanked by mountains from different sides. The immediate Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is mostly inhabited by indigenous communities and not only reaches the highest point in Colombia with the Pico Cristóbal Colón – at a height of 5,700 meters (18,700 feet)- but is also the highest coastal mountain in the world. Santa Marta is the perfect starting point for many leisure and holiday activities. Along the coast to the east, you will find Tayrona National Park, the most famous national park in Colombia. There are also wonderful beaches. Another highlight is the Lost City hidden in the Sierra, which can be visited in a 4-day trek.

Tayrona National Natural Park

Tayrona National Natural Park, often referred to as just “Tayrona Park,” is a protected area located along the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Situated in the northern part of the country, the park is renowned for its stunning coastal landscapes, biodiverse ecosystems, and cultural significance as the ancestral land of the indigenous Tayrona people.

Tayrona Park is celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty. It encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, including pristine beaches, lush rainforests, rugged mountains, and crystal-clear rivers. The park’s rich biodiversity is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.

The park is famous for its stunning beaches with white sand and turquoise waters. Some of the most popular beaches include Cabo San Juan, La Piscina, Arrecifes, and Playa Cristal. Visitors can relax on the shores, swim in the Caribbean Sea, or snorkel to explore the vibrant underwater world.

The park holds significant cultural importance as the ancestral land of the indigenous Tayrona people, who have inhabited the region for centuries. Several indigenous communities still reside within the park, maintaining their traditions, language, and connection to the land.

Within the park’s boundaries, there are various archaeological sites that bear witness to the ancient Tayrona civilization. Some of these sites include ancient terraces, ceremonial areas, and burial grounds, offering insights into the history and culture of the indigenous people who once thrived in the area.


Taironaka is an eco-hotel but also an open-air museum with different activities offered. The architecture of this eco-hotel are circular houses with stone base, raised in wood and covered by palm leaves, similar to those found, the same that, according to their size, location and constructive peculiarities, showed that they were a site perhaps intended for religious ceremonies and confirmed that it was a settlement of Tairona Indians.


Regarding tourism, Cartagena is probably the most important Colombian city after Bogota. It is the capital of the department Bolivar, on the northern coast of Colombia. It has an average temperature of 32°C (89°F), the climate is hot but breezy since it is located at sea level. There are over 500 years of history to be found here and Cartagena was also cataloged as UNESCO World Heritage in 1984. Its perfect location right on the Caribbean Sea and its beautiful colonial old town (Ciudad Amurallada) enchant national and international tourists, who also choose to arrive on cruise ships. In the historical part, you will find many sights, boutique hotels, and restaurants. The walled city is known to be a common honeymoon destination due to the romanticism of its streets and architecture. Cartagena is a city with a lot of history and fascinating places to visit, such as San Felipe de Barajas Castle and the historic center.

San Basilio de Palenque

San Basilio de Palenque is a historic and culturally significant town located in the Bolívar Department of Colombia. It holds the distinction of being the first free town in the Americas, founded by escaped African slaves in the 17th century. This unique heritage has resulted in San Basilio de Palenque being designated as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity site.

San Basilio de Palenque is deeply rooted in its African heritage, with its inhabitants being direct descendants of escaped slaves known as “palenqueros.” The town’s African influence is evident in its language, music, dance, and cultural traditions.

One of the most remarkable aspects of San Basilio de Palenque is the preservation of the Palenquero language, which is a Spanish-based Creole with strong African linguistic influences. This language has survived for centuries, reinforcing the community’s identity and heritage.

The town is known for its vibrant music and dance traditions, including traditional Afro-Colombian rhythms like “bullerengue” and “son palenquero.” These musical expressions play an essential role in preserving the community’s cultural heritage.

San Basilio de Palenque is a symbol of cultural resistance and emancipation. Its history as a place of refuge for escaped slaves highlights the resilience and bravery of the community’s ancestors.

The people of San Basilio de Palenque take great pride in their unique cultural heritage and actively work to preserve and promote their traditions for future generations.

The town has become a popular destination for cultural tourism, attracting visitors interested in learning about its rich history and experiencing its vibrant cultural expressions.

Rosario Islands

The Rosario Islands, known locally as “Islas del Rosario,” are a group of idyllic and paradisiacal islands located in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. This archipelago is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, coral reefs, and diverse marine life, making it a sought-after destination for beach lovers and snorkelers.

The Rosario Islands offer a true Caribbean paradise experience with their white sandy beaches, palm-fringed shores, and warm tropical waters. The islands are an escape from the bustling city life of Cartagena, offering a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.

The archipelago is part of the Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park, which was established to protect the valuable marine ecosystems, coral reefs, and diverse aquatic species found in the area.

The Rosario Islands are a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. The coral reefs are teeming with colorful marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and rays.

Isla Grande is the largest and most popular island in the archipelago. It offers various accommodation options, restaurants, and beach clubs, making it a convenient base for exploring the area.

The Rosario Islands are easily accessible from Cartagena, and many tour operators offer day trips and excursions to the islands.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Bogota

Arrival to Bogota

You will be picked up at the airport in Bogota and driven to your hotel.

The bilingual guide will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport.


Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Bogota.

Day 2: Bogota

Full day City tour Paloquemao, Monserrate, Museums and La Candelaria

Your first stop will be Paloquemao, an emblematic place for supplying families and businesses in Bogota. It offers with the highest quality a great variety of flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat, groceries, dairy products, herbs and much more. There, our Colombian tradition and culture is preserved and proudly represented by offering a unique sensory experience with all the colors, smells and most delicious flavors that come from all regions of Colombia. Then you will visit ‘La Candelaria’ neighborhood and the historic center of Bogotá, full of colorful colonial buildings and stone streets. During the tour you will visit The Gold Museum and the Botero Museum, both in La Candelaria. The Gold Museum is the place to discover the largest collection of pre-Hispanic goldsmithing in the world, with approximately 34,000 pieces of gold and about 25,000 objects in ceramics, stone, bone and textiles made by several Colombian indigenous cultures, this Museum close on Tuesdays. In the Botero Museum, you will find a large art collection donated by the famous local artist Fernando Botero, including 87 pieces of universal art and 123 works made by Botero himself. Pieces from international artists such as Renoir, Monet, Degas, Dalí, Pissarro, Bonnard, among others, are present in the museum.

Finally, you will visit the Sanctuary of Monserrate, which is the most iconic point of the city and the main tourist attraction. It sits at 3,150 meters (10,334 feet) above the sea level, therefore, it offers spectacular views of the city. To climb the mountain, you can take the cable car or walk along the trail.

Day 3: Bogota – Guatavita – Zipaquira – Bogota

Full day tour Guatavita Lagoon and Salt Cathedral

The Guatavita Lagoon is located approximately 90 minutes from Bogotá. This lagoon is the setting for the authentic “El Dorado Legend”. It was a sacred place for the Muiscas indigenous people and it is still used as such today. Guatavita has an altitude of 3.100 meters above sea level (10.170 feet) and an average temperature of 5 °C to 11 °C (41° F to 52 °F). To get to the lagoon you must walk a path and due to the rainfall, we recommend wearing comfortable clothes and keeping a raincoat on hand. After the visit to Guatavita you will go to the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá – the first wonder of Colombia, which is located in a salt mine 180 meters underground. It is a place regularly visited by Catholics, but its architecture and history leave all visitors astonished.

Day 4: Bogota – Pasto

Travel Day

You will travel from Bogota to San Juan de Pasto.

Half Day City Tour

San Juan de Pasto also called the “Surprise City”, also known as the theological capital of Colombia. Capital of the department of Nariño, located in the foothills of the Galeras Volcano. Sample of the culture of the city is the Carnival of Blacks and Whites, declared by Unesco in 2009, as intangible cultural heritage of humanity, in which locals and strangers enjoy a true exchange of culture, always accompanied by joy and respect, where the tourist is considered as one more Pastuso.

Day 5: Pasto – Ipiales – Pasto

Full Day Las Lajas Sanctuary and Tulcan Memorial Park

“El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de las Lajas”, or the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Las Lajas, is located a three-hour drive from Pasto. It is a Gothic church commonly referred to as “a miracle of God in the abyss”, and a jewel of engineering built in the Guáitara river canyon near Ipiales. You will take a break in “El Charco”, a special place for a typical lunch. Then, you will be transferred to the international bridge of Rumichaca and the Tulcán Memorial Park in Ecuador. This place is known for its big topiaries – 4 meters (12 feet) tall. In 1936, the Director of Tulcán municipal parks began to plant cypress and, as they grew, figures were carved out of their branches. The figures range from animals to religious figures and Inca statues.

Day 6: Pasto

Day at leisure

If you need any recommendation we will be more than happy to help you.

Day 7: Pasto – Popayan

Travel Day

Today you will travel from the Pasto to Popayan.

Half Day City Tour Popayan

During this tour you will learn about the Architectural Heritage of Popayán, visiting the Caldas Park, the Pantheon of the “Próceres”, and the “Humilladero” bridge, which was built in the XIX century as the former entrance of Popayán. Before the bridge was built, the terrain to the city center was extremely difficult to go up, so people used to climb tilted, almost in their knees. This is the reason behind the name “El humilladero” (meaning something like the humiliation place). Popayán is also famous for its religious traditions, especially during Holy Week when hundreds of parishioners come to the city. One of the most representative religious monuments in Popayán is La Ermita church. This little and antique chapel was constructed in 1546 and offers lovely views over the red-tiled roofs of the city. Among other monuments and churches, you can also visit the Museum of Religious Art.

Day 8: Popayan – Purace – Popayan

Full Day Puracé National Natural Park

The Puracé National Natural Park is a reserve of great biological value, to the point that it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1979. Puracé means “fire mountain” in the Quechua indigenous language. Four of the main rivers in Colombia have their origin in this park -Magdalena, Cauca, Patía, and Caquetá. The park is home to a volcanic complex called the Coconuco mountain range with 11 volcanoes, including Puracé (4.780 m/15.682 ft) which is the only active one. This park is a recommended ecotourism destination, as it is the habitat of the Andean Condor, a natural reserve of water, and a misty moorland. During the hike through this natural heritage site, you will visit the San Juan hot springs, the waterfalls and the San Rafael wetland.

Day 9: Popayan

Day at leisure

If you need any recommendation we will be more than happy to help you.

Day 10: Popayan – Caldas

Travel Day

Today you will travel from the Popayan to Caldas.

Half Day Coffee Tour

This coffee farm near Manizales has vast coffee fields and picturesque native trees and water springs. Here, you will be immersed in the landscape and culture of Colombian coffee, appreciating the process from the seed to the harvest by a walking tour through the plantations. You will learn about the origin, history, the different coffee varieties and qualities, as well as you will identify the aromas and features of coffee. You will have the chance to taste and see the beans with different grades of roasting to experience the different aromas, as the roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that are locked inside the coffee beans.

Day 11: Caldas – Nevado del Ruiz – Caldas

Full Day Hiking Nevado Ruiz

You will be picked up by a driver to Los Nevados National Park, approximately two hours from the hotel, upon arrival you will be accompanied during the tour by a local guide, who will take you to 4 stops where he will explain the ecosystems that you will encounter. To help you adapt to the altitude and climate you will be given a hot cup of coca tea to help you avoid altitude sickness, finally after visiting the mystical area around Los Nevados National Park and enjoying a delicious lunch, you will arrive at Tierra Viva hot springs to take a bath in hot water, where you can also find 10 species of hummingbirds that visit the feeders installed in the main garden.

Day 12: Caldas

Transfer to Nido del Condor

You will be picked up at your hotel and drive to the hotel Nido del Condor.

Day 13: Caldas

Half Day Condor’s Nest Tour

After breakfast, you will be picked up by your hotel guide and taken to your tour. You will hike for about 40 minutes to reach a local peasant house where you can drink coffee cooked on firewood, be told stories of the place and what it is like to live among the mountains and birds. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to be close to the perches where the condors nest, where if you are lucky you will be able to see the first flights of the day of these great birds. This tour has a duration of 2.5 hours with a moderate level of hiking.

Day 14: Caldas – Medellin

Travel Day

Today you will travel from the Colombian Coffee Triangle to Medellin.


Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Medellin.

Half Day Tour Comuna 13

Comuna 13, also known as San Javier, is a historically significant neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia. Situated on the western slopes of the Aburra Valley, it was once one of the most dangerous and violence-ridden areas in the city during the 1980s and 1990s, primarily due to the influence of drug cartels and guerrilla groups. However, in recent years, Comuna 13 has undergone a remarkable transformation and is now hailed as a symbol of urban renewal and positive change. The neighborhood’s turnaround can be largely attributed to various social and infrastructural initiatives implemented by the local government, community organizations, and residents themselves.
The installation of the city’s innovative Metrocable system in 2004 played a crucial role in the revitalization of Comuna 13. This cable car system connected the neighborhood to the city’s metro network, vastly improving transportation access and connectivity for its residents. Additionally, the Metrocable opened up economic opportunities by attracting tourists to the area. Comuna 13’s transformation was further supported by various urban development projects, including the construction of public escalators, brightly painted street art, and recreational spaces. These initiatives not only enhanced the neighborhood’s aesthetics but also improved safety and accessibility for residents.
Residents, along with local organizations, worked together to create spaces for cultural expression, education, and skill development. These efforts have helped foster a sense of pride and ownership among the community members. The neighborhood has become an important hub for street art and graffiti, with colorful murals adorning the walls, depicting stories of its tumultuous past and hopeful future.

Day 15: Medellin – Guatape – Medellin

Full day tour to Guatapé and El Peñol

Approximately two hours away from Medellin is Guatapé, one of the most colorful villages in the country. The town is located on the shore of an artificial water reservoir built in the 70s. One of the main attractions in the area is the big rock called “El Peñol” because it offers a beautiful view of the reservoir. However, if you want to get to the top you must climb the 740 steps. The best reward after climbing down the rock is a typical “bandeja paisa”, served in the local restaurants. Visitors in Guatapé can practice water sports, such as jet skiing, fishing, among others.

Day 16: Medellin

Day at leisure

If you need any recommendation we will be more than happy to help you.

Day 17: Medellin

Day at leisure

If you need any recommendation we will be more than happy to help you.

Day 18: Medellin – Santa Marta

Travel Day to  Santa Marta

After breakfast you will travel to Santa Marta.


Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Colombia.

Half Day Santa Marta City tour

In the Santa Marta City Tour you will enjoy an exciting tour of approximately 3 hours through the most beautiful bay of America, in which you will visit the following places: La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the Historic Center of Santa Marta, declared a National Monument in 1963; the Monument that honors the native soccer star of the Pearl of America, Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama, and Taganga, a typical fishing village. In the Gold Museum you can appreciate the exhibition of the Anthropological and Ethnological Museum of the Tayrona Culture, their beliefs, mythologies, crafts and goldsmith pieces are exposed in this place, to know and explore the legacy of the milenary culture of the Tayrona.

Day 19: Santa Marta – Tayrona Park – Santa Marta

Full Day Tayrona Park

You will be picked up at the hotel and drive to Taganga, where you will start an incredible adventure to the Tayrona Park, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, just 30 minutes from Santa Marta. Upon arrival you will take a boat to one of the busiest places in the park, Cabo San Juan. Here you will have free time to enjoy the park’s best option for swimming, hiking and, of course, relaxing in a hammock. In the afternoon you will walk to the entrance of the park, approximately 3 hours. There you will be picked up by a driver to get to your hotel.

Day 20: Santa Marta – Taironaka – Santa Marta

Full Day Tour Taironaka and Don Diego River

Your guide will pick you up to take your full day tour. In the natural reserve of Taironaka, located at km 58 of the road leading to Riohacha, it is possible to see the cultural and historical importance of the Tayrona culture. There are restored terraces where the indigenous people used to build their homes and an archeological museum with original artifacts. The area is of great importance for the Koguis, direct descendants of the Tayrona. One of the most fun activities in Taironaka is tubing down the Don Diego River.

Day 21: Cartagena

Travel Day to  Cartagena

After breakfast you will travel to Cartagena.

Half Day City Tour

You will have a 4 hour tour of the city of Cartagena, visiting the residential neighborhoods that border the Bay of Cartagena. You will visit the Monastery of San Pedro Claver and its church, built in honor of the patron saint of slaves – Pedro Claver. The church is considered a national monument and, because of its history and charm, is one of the favorite churches for weddings in Cartagena. You can also visit the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, the most important work of military engineering in the New World. This fortress was built by the Spanish during the colonial era (from 1536) to protect the city from pirates and invaders. Today it is one of the 7 wonders of Colombia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 22: Cartagena

Full Day Route Of Liberty – San Basilio de Palenque

San Basilio de Palenque is a place where music, language, medicine and other daily traditions permanently remind us of the continent that five centuries ago became the main source of slaves in the world. It is known for its mark in the history of the eighteenth century, as it was the first black slave town in America to free itself from the Spanish crown.

55 km from Cartagena, in Palenque, one of the first free towns of the continent and cradle of important boxers like Antonio Cervantes ‘Kid Pambelé’. Learn about the Afro-Caribbean history, the past, present and future of Palenque and enjoy its typical food, guided by young people from the community.

Day 23: Cartagena – Rosario Islands

Private Boat tour to Rosario Islands

The driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the pier. Where you will have a tour in a Bravo 290 through the Rosario Islands, an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea formed by 28 islands. The natural national park was created to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Caribbean coast of Colombia. From Cartagena, it takes about 45 minutes by boat. During the private boat excursion to the islands, the captain and an assistant will take care of you. Cold drinks such as champagne, beers and water, as well as delicious snacks, will be the perfect accompaniment to the views over the blue ocean. You will be able to discover the beaches and islands at your leisure or do other activities.

Day 24: Cartagena – Departure

Departure Cartagena

You will be picked up at the hotel and driven to the airport Rafael Nuñez in Cartagena

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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!

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