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Ideal Length of Stay in Colombia: A Comprehensive Guide

Guatapé Colombia

Updated on 03/13/2024

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!

Minimum Stay Recommendation

For international visitors, a minimum one-night stay in Colombia is essential, considering airport transfers and basic exploration. However, with a two-day stay, you can experience a city tour, shopping, nightlife, and local coffee culture.

Coffee Triangle town

Misconceptions in Online Articles

It’s common to find articles written by individuals with limited firsthand experience in Colombia, often focusing on selling standard travel packages rather than providing genuine insights.

Understanding Colombia’s Vastness and Diversity

  • Size Comparison: Colombia’s size is comparable to the combined areas of France and Germany or California and Texas, emphasizing its vastness.
  • Biodiversity: Ranking second in the world for biodiversity, Colombia offers varied regions, climates, altitudes, and access to two oceans.

Travel Considerations

  • Transport Limitations: Despite air connectivity to all major destinations, terrestrial transport is slow due to infrastructural challenges. An average speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) is typical for car travel.
  • Flight Availability: Regular flights are mostly available between major cities, affecting travel planning.
Colombian flag Cartagena Colombia

Suggested Minimum Stays for Key Destinations

A brief overview of tourist destinations with recommended minimum stays is provided below. This takes into account accessibility and the time needed to appreciate each location’s unique offerings.

Bogota – 2 Days

  • Day 1: Explore the vibrant Paloquemao market, and enjoy breathtaking views from Monserrate.
  • Day 2: Wander through La Candelaria, visit the Gold Museum, and the Botero Museum.

Medellin – 2 Days

  • Day 1: Experience Comuna 13 and take a city tour.
  • Day 2: Excursion to Guatape, known for its stunning landscapes and the famous El Peñón rock.

Cartagena – 1 Day

  • Suggested Itinerary: Explore the historic city center and its impressive fortifications, encapsulating the essence of Cartagena’s rich history.

Santa Marta – 2 Days

  • Day 1: Visit the breathtaking Tayrona National Park.
  • Day 2: Explore the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Coffee Zone – 2 Days

  • Suggested Activities: Visit a traditional coffee plantation and enjoy hiking in the Andes Mountains.

Pacific Coast Choco – 3 Days

  • Note: This region is remote; access is typically by small plane and weather conditions can be challenging.

Providencia – 3 Days

  • Travel Consideration: Travel via San Andres is required, with almost two days needed for round-trip travel.

La Guajira – 2 Days

  • Tour Highlight: A 2-day tour to the northernmost point of South America, Punta Gallinas.

Cali – 1 Day

  • Suggested Itinerary: Explore the city’s key sights in a day, though salsa dancing might require a longer stay for learning.

Narino – 2 Days

  • Day 1: Visit Pasto and explore its attractions.
  • Day 2: Travel to the Las Lajas Cathedral and consider a volcano climb.

Llanos – 2 Days

  • Suggested Activity: Experience a safari and account for travel time due to flight connections and distances.

San Agustin – 1 Day

  • Key Attraction: The archaeological park can be explored in a day, but keep in mind the limited flight connections.

Santander – 2 Days

  • Itinerary: Arrive in Bucaramanga, travel to Barichara or San Gil, and visit the Chicamocha Canyon. Depart the next day from Bucaramanga.

Villa de Leyva – 2 Days

  • Travel Time: About a 4-hour drive from Bogota. Along the way, consider visiting the Salt Cathedral and the Guatavita Lagoon.

These itineraries offer a mix of cultural, historical, natural, and adventurous experiences, showcasing the diverse beauty and heritage of Colombia. Each destination provides a unique glimpse into the country’s rich landscape and culture.

Villa de Leyva Colombia

More Colombia Travel Tips


About Author



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

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