Pelecanus

Colombia Travel Itinerary 27 Days

Colombia Travel Map

Updated on 01/25/2024

Dear readers,

My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!

At the end of this itinerary, you will find more Colombia itineraries with different durations and also different destinations in Colombia.

We are a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia specialized in personalized travel and more than happy to organize your trip, contact us today.

Colombia Trip Summary

Day 1 – Bogota
Day 2 – Bogota
Day 3 – Bogota – Casanare
Day 4 – Casanare
Day 5 – Casanare
Day 6 – Casanare
Day 7 – Casanare – Caldas
Day 8 – Caldas
Day 9 – Caldas
Day 10 – Caldas
Day 11 – Caldas
Day 12 – Caldas – Medellin
Day 13 – Medellin
Day 14 – Medellin – Guatape – Medellin
Day 15 – Medellin – Riohacha
Day 16 – Riohacha – Cabo de la Vela
Day 17 – Cabo de la Vela – Punta Gallinas
Day 18 – Punta Gallinas – Mayapo
Day 19 – Mayapo – Santa Marta
Day 20 – Santa Marta – Tayrona Park – Santa Marta
Day 21 – Santa Marta – Taironaka – Santa Marta
Day 22 – Santa Marta – Archipelago de San Bernardo
Day 23 – Archipelago de San Bernardo
Day 24 – Archipelago de San Bernardo
Day 25 – Archipelago de San Bernardo – Cartagena
Day 26 – Cartagena
Day 27 – Cartagena – Departure

Planned Places/Cities

Bogota

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.

Casanare

Casanare is a department located in the eastern plains region of Colombia, known as the Llanos Orientales. It is a vast and diverse territory with a unique landscape, rich wildlife, and a strong cowboy culture.

Casanare is characterized by the vast and flat grasslands of the Llanos Orientales. These plains are home to expansive savannas, wetlands, and rivers, creating a diverse ecosystem that supports a wide range of plant and animal species.

The Llanos region is famous for its cowboy culture, and Casanare is no exception. Cattle ranching is a significant economic activity, and visitors can experience the traditional cowboy lifestyle, including cattle drives, rodeos, and the distinctive llanero music and dance.

Casanare boasts rich wildlife, making it a prime destination for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers. The region is home to a variety of animal species, including capybaras, anteaters, caimans, and a diverse array of birds, such as ibises, storks, and herons.

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

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

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.

Guatape

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.

La Guajira

La Guajira is a unique and captivating region located in the northernmost part of Colombia. It is a peninsula bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north and Venezuela to the east. Known for its stunning landscapes, rich indigenous culture, and distinct desert environment, La Guajira offers a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers.

La Guajira is famous for its otherworldly desert landscapes, particularly in the northernmost region known as “La Alta Guajira.” Here, you’ll find vast sand dunes, unique rock formations, and arid plains that create a mesmerizing scenery.

Punta Gallinas is the northernmost point of South America and a must-visit destination in La Guajira. This remote and isolated area boasts striking sand dunes, turquoise waters, and a stunning view of the meeting point between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Venezuela.

The Wayuu indigenous people are the primary inhabitants of La Guajira, maintaining their distinct cultural traditions, language, and clothing. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about their rich heritage, handicrafts, and unique social structure.

La Guajira is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The region is home to various bird species, including flamingos and pelicans, as well as diverse wildlife, such as iguanas and sea turtles.

A visit to the traditional Wayuu rancherías (settlements) offers a glimpse into the daily life and customs of the indigenous communities. Travelers can witness their unique housing structures called “chinchurros” and experience their warm hospitality.

Much of La Guajira remains off the beaten path, offering a sense of adventure and exploration. The region’s remoteness and untamed landscapes create a feeling of being in a world of its own.

Riohacha

Riohacha is a coastal city located in the La Guajira Department of Colombia. Situated along the Caribbean Sea, Riohacha is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and historical significance.

Riohacha boasts stunning beaches along the Caribbean coastline. Visitors can enjoy the warm waters, soft sands, and picturesque sunsets, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers and sun-seekers.

The city’s Malecón, or waterfront promenade, is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. It offers a pleasant place to stroll, take in ocean views, and enjoy the coastal breeze. The port area is also bustling with activity, reflecting the city’s maritime and fishing industry.

Like the rest of La Guajira, Riohacha is home to the indigenous Wayuu community. Visitors can experience their vibrant culture, taste traditional cuisine, and purchase intricately woven Wayuu handicrafts.

The city features some historical landmarks, including the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, a colonial-style cathedral with an iconic blue and white façade. The Almirante Padilla Square is also a central gathering place and offers a glimpse of the city’s past.

Cabo de la Vela

Cabo de la Vela is a remote and enchanting destination located on the northern coast of Colombia, in the La Guajira Department. This picturesque desert peninsula is known for its stunning landscapes, indigenous Wayuu culture, and tranquil beaches.

Cabo de la Vela is characterized by its unique desert landscapes, featuring rolling sand dunes, rugged cliffs, and pristine beaches along the Caribbean Sea. The arid scenery creates a mesmerizing and otherworldly setting.

The strong and consistent winds in Cabo de la Vela make it a popular destination for kitesurfing enthusiasts. The beach’s favorable wind conditions attract both beginners and experienced kitesurfers from around the world.

One of the iconic landmarks of Cabo de la Vela is Pilon de Azúcar, a sugarloaf-shaped hill that offers panoramic views of the surrounding desert and coastline. The hill is a popular spot to watch the sunset over the Caribbean Sea.

Cabo de la Vela is located in the heart of the Wayuu indigenous territory. Travelers can experience the Wayuu culture, visit their rancherías (settlements), and learn about their traditions, handicrafts, and way of life.

Visitors can experience the simplicity of beach camping in Cabo de la Vela by sleeping in traditional hammocks provided by the locals. Hammock camping allows travelers to connect with nature and enjoy the serene surroundings.

The region is rich in ancient rock art, with pictographs and petroglyphs found in various locations. These archaeological sites provide insights into the history and spirituality of the indigenous communities.

Cabo de la Vela’s remote location and lack of light pollution make it an ideal destination for stargazing. On clear nights, visitors can witness the brilliance of the night sky and its countless stars.

Punta Gallinas

Punta Gallinas is a remote and captivating destination located in the La Guajira Department of Colombia. Situated in the northernmost point of South America, Punta Gallinas offers a unique and untouched landscape, characterized by its vast desert plains, pristine beaches, and stunning coastal cliffs.

Punta Gallinas is known for its geographic extremes. It is the northernmost point of Colombia and South America, making it a destination with a sense of adventure and discovery.

The region is part of the Guajira Desert, a captivating arid landscape characterized by sand dunes, cacti, and rocky formations. The desert’s rugged beauty offers a stark contrast to the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Punta Gallinas is the traditional territory of the indigenous Wayuu people. Visitors have the opportunity to experience their unique culture, traditions, and artisan crafts.

The area’s scenic beauty is unmatched, with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea meeting the vastness of the desert. The sunsets and starry skies are particularly enchanting.

Punta Gallinas is relatively isolated and less visited compared to other tourist destinations in Colombia. Getting to Punta Gallinas requires a 4×4 vehicle or guided tour due to the rugged terrain.

The region is dotted with secluded and untouched beaches, offering a tranquil setting for relaxation and beachcombing. The coastal cliffs provide stunning vantage points to admire the sea and desert meeting.

The El Faro Lighthouse, perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, offers panoramic views of the surroundings and serves as a landmark in Punta Gallinas.

The area’s lagoons and wetlands are home to various bird species, including flamingos. Birdwatchers have the chance to spot these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

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

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.

Archipelago de San Bernardo

The Archipelago de San Bernardo is a beautiful collection of islands located in the Caribbean Sea, off the northern coast of Colombia. This stunning archipelago is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant marine life. Here is an overview of the Archipelago de San Bernardo:

The Archipelago de San Bernardo is a true paradise of tropical islands, with each island offering its unique charm and beauty. The archipelago is relatively less touristy than other popular destinations in the Caribbean, making it an ideal spot for travelers seeking tranquility and untouched natural beauty.

The islands are blessed with pristine beaches that boast powdery white sands and clear turquoise waters. Travelers can relax on the secluded beaches, swim in the warm Caribbean waters, and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.

The archipelago is part of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, recognized for its rich biodiversity and extensive coral reefs. Snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts can explore the vibrant marine life, including colorful fish, corals, and sea turtles.

One of the most famous islands in the archipelago is Isla Tintipán, known for its breathtaking beaches and the bioluminescent phenomenon that occurs at night, where the waters sparkle with natural light.

Several of the islands in the archipelago have been designated as ecological sanctuaries to protect the natural environment and wildlife, making it an ecologically sensitive destination.

The Archipelago de San Bernardo is home to extensive mangrove forests and lagoons, providing a habitat for various bird species and unique plant life.

Cartagena

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.

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.

Cacao Experience

Today you will dive into the world of cacao. In a 90 minutes workshop, located near El Chorro de Quevedo, you will have a sensory experience of 100% Colombian cacao. Cacao has been cultivated for years and thanks to the producers of different regions of Colombia, cacao has managed to re-emerge as an alternative and diversification of agricultural products. Colombian cacao is recognized worldwide as the best smelling cacao in the world.

Accommodation

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 – Casanare

Travel Day

Upon arrival at the airport of Yopal, your local cowboy and guide is already awaiting you. You will then drive to a Hato, deep in the Colombian Western Plains. After your arrival and having a first snack we will welcome you and you will meet your Creole Guide who will share with you the history of the herds, how they came together and formed the Natural Reserve.

Day 4: Casanare

Full Day Natural Reserve Tour

After breakfast the day starts with a “Guided Walk along the Ecological Path”, which lasts about two hours where you will be able to appreciate a small sample of the landscapes, flora and fauna that this Nature Reserve has.

After  delicious Creole lunch, you can rest in the hammocks area of the Casa del Hato. Then you will go on a “Safari Llanero” on horseback. During this tour you will be able to contemplate the beautiful ecosystems and the exuberant wildlife that this Natural Reserve possesses. You will see birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish; to finish the adventure in a magical and indescribable place where you will be able to appreciate an imposing llanero sunset.

Day 5: Casanare

Full Day Natural Reserve Tour

Early in the morning you will be able to appreciate the majestic plains sunrise, and accompanied by your guide you will have a “Milking Morning” in the corral, live this ancestral work and learn to milk a meek cow. We will return to the Hato for a typical Creole breakfast, and we will have a rest morning with a craft workshop, where we will see how the plainsman takes advantage of the resources of the Hato to make his work tools.

We start the afternoon with another delicious Creole lunch in the open air, after a short break we will go out to visit the other two herds that make up the Nature Reserve, on tours in 4×4 campers that will allow them to appreciate the landscapes and be surprised by the wildlife that can be found on these tours.

At an outdoor dinner you will enjoy the “Night of Myths, Tales and Legends” where your Guide or a Creole will tell and sing the mythical and mysterious stories of the plain looking to be part of the recovery and perpetuation of the oral tradition of our region.

Day 6: Casanare

Day at leisure

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

Day 7: Casanare – Caldas

Travel Day

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

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

Accommodation

Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Colombia.

Day 8: 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 9: 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 10: Caldas

Transfer to Nido del Condor

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

Day 11: Caldas

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 12: Caldas – Medellin

Travel Day

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

Accommodation

Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Medellin.

Day 13: Medellin

Full Day City Tour Medellin and Comuna 13

Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel to discover the charm of a city in constant evolution and development. A tour of the main sites of interest that reflects the daily life of the inhabitants, the stories of hope and change, the contrast of neighborhoods, the style of old and modern buildings, the use of new spaces, the style of churches and the artistic works of world-renowned masters.

  • Museo de Antioquia: The most important museum in Medellín, it houses paintings, drawings and sculptures by Fernando Botero.
  • Museum of Modern Art: Art and contemporary artistic practices.
  • Pueblito Paisa: definition of the Antioquian tradition that is reflected in the handicrafts gastronomy and architecture of the place; the majestic view of Medellín and the mountains that run through the Aburrá Valley.
  • 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 14: 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 15: Medellin – Riohacha

Travel Day

Today you will travel from Medellin to Riohacha.

Half Day City Tour Riohacha

After lunch your guide will pick you up in your hotel and you will visit the most important sites in Riohacha.

Day 16: Riohacha – Cabo de la Vela

Travel Day

Today you will travel from Riohacha to Cabo de la Vela.

Half Day Tour Cabo de la Vela

After arrival you will visit the rainbow point. You will experience strong winds, which cause also great swells on the shore. The tides colliding with the coastline, and the water reflecting the sun causes this optical and meteorological phenomenon. The next site is the Pilon de Azucar hill, where you can climb the hill and enjoy the panorama. Be carefull, the loose rocks are sometimes tricky to climb. The beach right next to it is also great to get washed by the strong tides. Afterwards the tour will take you back to your hotel in Cabo de la Vela.

Day 17: Cabo de la Vela – Punta Gallinas

Travel Day to Punta Gallinas

After breakfast the driver and the guide will take you to the high guajira area, where you can enjoy the unique landscapes of Portete Bay and Bahia Honda. On the way you will visit Rancheria Pusheo where you will enjoy a typical lunch, prepared by Wayuu women (local indigenous tribe). After the stop you will drive to the beautiful dunes and beaches of Taroa, the probably most impressive beach of all Colombia. At the end of the day you can enjoy a spectacular sunset at the lighthouse of Punta Gallinas and head to your posada (accommodation).

Day 18: Punta Gallinas – Mayapo

Travel Day to Mayapo

After breakfast you will be taken to La Boquita beach by boat, which is located between Punta Soldado and Punta Aguja. After this 20 minutes boat ride, the tour will continue by land in your 4×4. On your request you always can stop to take spectacular pictures. Then return to the hotel in Punta Gallinas for breakfast and head directly to the hotel in Mayapo, on the way you will make a stop to enjoy the desert and the beautiful overview.

Day 19: Mayapo – Santa Marta

Travel Day to  Santa Marta

After breakfast you will drive to Santa Marta.

Accommodation

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 20: 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 21: 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 22: Santa Marta – Archipelago de San Bernardo

Travel Day to the Archipelago de San Bernardo

After breakfast you will travel to the Archipelago de San Bernardo.

Accommodation

Here you will find the best hotel recommendations on the Archipelago de San Bernardo.

Day 23: Archipelago de San Bernardo

Day at leisure

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

Day 24: Archipelago de San Bernardo

Day at leisure

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

Day 25: Archipelago de San Bernardo – Cartagena

Travel Day to Cartagena

After breakfast you will be picked up and transfer to Cartagena.

Accommodation

Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Cartagena

Half Day City Tour

Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel for 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 26: Cartagena

Day at leisure

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

Day 27: Cartagena – Departure

Departure

Today is the last day of your trip. Depending on the hour of your flight, a car will pick you up at your hotel and bring you to the airport.

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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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