7 Undiscovered Destinations in Colombia

Local guy standing in Cerro Guacamaya

Last updated on August 18th, 2023 at 12:12 pm

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

Why You Should Visit Colombia’s Off-the-Beaten-Track Places

Colombia is a country of amazing diversity and beauty, with something to offer for every kind of traveler. From the vibrant cities of Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena, to the stunning Caribbean coast, to the lush rainforest of the Amazon, Colombia has it all. However, there are also many places in Colombia that are less known or visited by tourists, but that are equally worth exploring. These are the off-the-beaten-track places in Colombia, where you can discover hidden gems and have unforgettable experiences.

Why are some places in Colombia off-the-beaten-track? There are several reasons for this, such as:

  • Remoteness: Some places are located in very isolated or hard-to-reach areas, where the transport options are limited or expensive.
  • Lack of infrastructure: Some places have very basic or no tourist facilities, such as hotels, restaurants, or guides. This means that travelers have to be more adventurous and self-reliant, and sometimes arrange their own accommodation or tours with local communities.
  • Security issues: Some places have a history of violence or conflict, which may deter some travelers from visiting them. However, the security situation in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, and many areas that were once considered dangerous are now safe and open for tourism.

Why should you visit these off-the-beaten-track places in Colombia? There are many benefits and advantages of visiting these places, such as:

  • Unique experiences: By visiting these places, you can have experiences that are not possible anywhere else in the world.
  • Authentic culture: By visiting these places, you can learn more about the rich and diverse culture of Colombia, and interact with local people who have preserved their traditions and customs for centuries.
  • Natural beauty: By visiting these places, you can admire some of the most stunning landscapes and wildlife that Colombia has to offer.

How to Travel to Colombia’s Undiscovered Destinations

While many travelers flock to the popular destinations such as Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and the Caribbean coast, there are many hidden gems that await the adventurous and curious travelers who want to explore the less-traveled paths of Colombia.

If you are one of those travelers who want to discover the undiscovered destinations of Colombia, here are some tips and advice on how to plan and prepare for your trip:


Colombia has a good network of domestic flights that can take you to many regions of the country in a short time. However, some of the remote and rural areas may not have airports nearby, so you will need to rely on buses, taxis, or private drivers to get there. Buses are cheap and frequent, but they can also be slow, uncomfortable, and sometimes unsafe. Taxis are more convenient and comfortable, but they can also be expensive and hard to find in some places. Private drivers are the best option if you want to have more flexibility and security, but they can also be very costly. You can also rent a car or a motorcycle if you have a valid driver’s license and insurance, but be aware that driving in Colombia can be challenging due to the traffic, road conditions, and local driving habits.


Most travelers from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Colombia for up to 90 days as tourists. However, you will need a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and you may need to show proof of onward travel or return ticket. You will also need to pay a departure tax of about $40 USD when leaving the country by air. If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for an extension at the immigration office or online before your visa expires. You can also apply for a different type of visa if you want to work, study, volunteer, or invest in Colombia.


Colombia has improved a lot in terms of security and stability in recent years, but it is still not a risk-free destination. Some areas of the country are still affected by armed conflict, drug trafficking, crime, and violence. You should always check the travel advisories from your government before traveling to Colombia, and avoid the regions that are considered unsafe or restricted. You should also exercise caution and common sense when traveling around the country, especially in big cities, public transportation, crowded places, and at night. Do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables with you, do not accept drinks or food from strangers, do not use illegal drugs or get involved in any illegal activities, and do not wander into unfamiliar or isolated areas. If you encounter any problems or emergencies, contact the local police or your embassy as soon as possible.


The official language of Colombia is Spanish, which is spoken by almost everyone in the country. However, there are also many indigenous languages spoken by different ethnic groups in some regions of the country. English is not widely spoken or understood in Colombia, especially in rural areas and small towns. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you learn some basic Spanish phrases before traveling to Colombia, or bring a phrasebook or a translation app with you. You will find that even a little Spanish can go a long way in communicating with the locals and making your trip more enjoyable and rewarding.


Colombia is a country with a rich and diverse culture that reflects its history, geography, and ethnic diversity. You will find that Colombians are generally warm, friendly, hospitable, and proud of their country. They are also very expressive, passionate, and fun-loving people who enjoy music, dancing, festivals, sports, and socializing. However, they also have their own customs, traditions, and etiquette that you should respect and follow when traveling in their country. For example, you should always greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek (depending on the gender and relationship), dress modestly and appropriately for different occasions and climates, tip generously for good service (usually 10% of the bill), avoid sensitive topics such as politics, religion, and drugs (unless initiated by the locals), and be punctual and patient (as Colombians tend to have a more relaxed attitude towards time).

As a traveler, you have a responsibility to be respectful and responsible when visiting these undiscovered destinations. You should always follow the local laws and regulations, respect the local culture and customs, protect the local environment and wildlife, and support the local economy and community. You should also be aware of the impact and influence that your presence and actions have on these places and people, and try to minimize any negative effects or consequences. By doing so, you will not only have a more authentic and meaningful trip, but you will also contribute to the preservation and development of these destinations for future generations.

7 destinations off the beaten track in Colombia

In the following we list some travel destinations, some of which we have already traveled too.

Nuquí, Chocó

Beach at Nuquí Colombia

Nuquí is located on the Pacific and is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. As part of the Chocó department, the village is 184 kilometers from Quibdó, the capital. Its economy is based on ecotourism, fishing and agriculture. Exotic fruits such as chontaduro and borojó are produced. Some of the most famous traditions are the ancestral herbal medicine and the traditional practice of midwives.

How to get to Nuquí

There are two ways to get to Nuquí:

By Air: You can arrive from the cities of Bogota, Medellin, Pereira and Quibdo. Tickets cost approximately $ 230,000 COP (approx. USD 65) in the low season and approx. $ 850,000 COP (approx. USD 237) in the high season. The flight takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes from major cities and around 15 minutes from Quibdó. All flights land at Reyes Murillo Nuqui Airport. You fly there in small planes and can see the dense jungle of the region from the air.

By sea: There is an offer from the city of Buenaventura. A small passenger boat takes you between 18 and 24 hours. There are also speedboats that take around 8 hours. The cost of these boats is approximately $ 120,000 COP per person (approximately $ 34 USD) and the speedboats are $ 200,000 COP per person (approximately $ 56 USD).

It takes around 2 hours from Bahia Solano. The price for the speedboat is $ 350,000 COP (about 98 USD).

Things to do and see in Nuquí

Whale watching
From July to November, whales from the cold Antarctic visit the Pacific coast in search of the warmth of the Pacific. You can get tours from various providers on site.

Hike to the Three Falls Waterfall in Nuquí
This hike leads into the beautiful primary and secondary jungles, where exotic flora and fauna can be seen. Best to book a tour locally.

Guachalito beach
This is the nicest beach Nuquí has ​​to offer.

This area of ​​the Pacific Ocean is perfect for diving as the water is clear. You can spot corals, turtles, starfish and other species. You need a PADI certificate as the currents in the Pacific are a bit strong and not ideal for amateurs.

It is said that Chocó has the best waves in Colombia. The best beaches are Pico de Loro and Juan Tornillo. You will hardly have to fight for the wave there either.

Nuquí has ​​not only sea but also rivers. These are perfect for kayaking.

Sport fishing
The variety of marine diversity in this area of ​​the country is impressive. So if you like fishing, we recommend the season between May and June. At this time, more species come to the coast in search of warmer waters.

Where to stay in Nuquí

El Cantil Ecolodge
This hotel offers a unique experience surrounded by natural beauty. You are between the tropical jungle and have a view of the sea. It is an environmentally friendly and sustainable hotel. There are 7 bungalows.


  • Take enough cash with you, there are no ATMs.
  • Nuquí is a wet paradise, so bring comfortable clothes and some waterproof items.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites.
  • The planes have a weight limit for baggage.
  • It is mandatory to get vaccinated against yellow fever, tetanus and flu 15 to 20 days in advance.
  • Avoid waste.

 Bahía Solano, Chocó

Drone shot of Bahía Solano

Bahía Solano is a municipality in Colombia in the Chocó department on the northern Pacific coast, 5 meters above sea level. The main economic sources are based on ecotourism, sport and fishing, small animal husbandry and agriculture. Bahia Solano is a natural treasure with a tropical, humid climate. It has a unique turtle pool where the animals are protected during the mating season so that they can be released into the sea unhindered. Bahia Solano is known for the celebrations of San Antonio de Padua on February 14th, a devout cultural festival. Offerings are made and tamunangue, a traditional dance of culture, is performed.

How to get to Bahia Solano

Airplane and sea route

By plane: You can catch a flight from the cities of Bogotá, Medellín, Pereira and Quibdó. The tickets cost approximately $ 200,000 COP (approximately USD 56). Flights to Bahia Solano do not depart daily.

By sea: To reach this tropical paradise by sea, one must use the port of Buenaventura. From there you have two options: A normal boat takes about 24 hours and costs $ 150,000 COP (about USD 52). A speedboat takes about 6 to 8 hours, depending on the sea, and costs $ 200,000 COP (about US $ 56).

Once a week there is a connection from Nuquí to Bahía Solano.

Things to do and see in Bahia Solano

Ecotourism on the Loma de la Virgen (virgin hill) path
It’s a short, 20-minute, uphill hike. On the way you will find wooden chairs on which you can rest. A visual spectacle over the beautiful bay awaits you at the top.

Chocolatal waterfall
With an approximate height of 7 meters, a depth of 3 meters and its fresh water in the middle of the jungle, you will feel like you are in a movie. It is best to organize a local guide.

Whale watching
The months of July – November are the mating months for the mammals that want to breed in the warm waters of the Pacific. Visit Sula’s website for more information.

Turtle sightings
One of the most popular times for tourists is September to January, when you can watch the turtles hatch and crawl out into the sea.

Huína beach
This is one of the most beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters and an abundance of colorful fish. Playa Huína is 25 minutes away by boat and costs $ 20,000 COP (about USD 6) one way.

Mecana beach
Mecana is a beautiful beach and is covered by large palm trees. It is also home to a freshwater river.

Utria National Natural Park
It is a park full of magic where the whales give birth to their calves, the sea in this part is very calm and the waves are gentle. The park opens its doors in a few months of the year. Visit the official website for more information.

Where to stay in Bahia Solano

El Almejal
This hotel consists of 10 wooden huts, a natural pool and a waterfall. The hotel is perfect for a quiet and relaxing stay.


  • Hire a local guide at a time.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • You should be vaccinated against yellow fever, tetanus, and flu.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites.
  • The planes have a weight limit for baggage.
  • Avoid waste.

Timbiquí, Cauca

Timbiquí is a municipality in Colombia, located in the department of Cauca on the Pacific coast. The main economic sources are fishing, agriculture, hunting, mining and the timber industry. Timbiquí is surrounded by many rivers, among which the Timbiquí, Saija and Bubuey stand out.

It is a community that has been affected by violence and is currently recovering from this situation, which also makes it one of the poorest communities in Colombia. Most of the population is Afro-Colombian. As for infrastructure, there aren’t many access roads and most of the houses are built of wood over the water. Timbiquí is the answer if you are looking for tradition, culture and lots of music because that is its legacy through time and history.

How to get to Timbiquí

The only way to get to Timbiquí is by plane. The only connection is from Cali and takes around 45 minutes. The cost is $ 200,000 COP (approximately $ 56).

Things to do and see in Timbiquí

  • Timbiquí is a municipal tourism destination.
  • Its typical food and exotic drinks make it a wonderful place.
  • There is live music most of the time, most people tell their daily experiences or what they went through in the war through songs, it is a joy to hear so many stories to the rhythm of the marimba. Some of their native rhythms are the currulao and the bunde. Its greatest national exponent is the Herencia de Timbiquí group.
  • Visit the Santa Barbara Church.


  • The planes have a weight limit for baggage.
  • Rubber boots
  • Definitely try “hace hijos”, a typical drink.

Guapi, Cauca

Guapi is a municipality that belongs to the department of Cauca, is located on the Pacific coast of Colombia and has wonderful beaches. It is known as the place where the sky meets the sea. The region is characterized by lush vegetation and is located on a bay that lies between Buenaventura and Tumaco. One of the most exotic fruits is the Naidí, which grows on a palm, you should definitely try it!

The city has been declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. One of its cultural representations is the Naidí festivities, which are celebrated between December 26th and 29th. The economic activities are fishing, agriculture, mining and, more recently, tourism. The main tourist attraction is Gorgona Island, which is 22 miles (35 km) away by boat.

Thanks to the island of Gorgona, Guapi is one of the most popular places in Cauca for tourists. This resulted in the community benefiting economically. Guapi residents are struggling to keep tourism alive by taking courses and training to provide better tourist service.

How to get to Guapi

Guapi can only be reached by plane or boat.

Airplane: There are flights from Bogotá, Cali and Popayán. Tickets cost approximately $ 200,000 COP (about USD 56) from Cali.

Boat: From Buenaventura, the trip takes about 12 hours and costs $ 150,000 COP (about USD 42).

Things to do and see in Guapi

  • Listen to the “cantadoras” who recite to the rhythm of the music of the Pacific and are the main transmitters of African heritage.
  • Visit Gorgona Island, the main attraction as it is an ecotourism center and where you can watch birds, reptiles and whales. You can also visit the old prison of Gorgona, of which only ruins remain today. You can find out more about Gorgona on our Colombian Islands blog.
  • Visit the Islote de Gorgillo, where there are many species of birds.
  • Whale watching.

Where to stay in Guapi

Hotel Los Delfines
This hotel in the center of Guapi has 22 rooms, all with air conditioning.


  • Hire a local guide at a time.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • You should be vaccinated against yellow fever, tetanus, and flu.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites.
  • The planes have a weight limit for baggage.
  • Avoid waste.

Mitú, Vaupés

Amazon Jungle

Mitu is the capital of the Vaupés department and is located in the southeastern part of Colombia on the border with Brazil. The majority of the locals are indigenous people of local ethnic groups. The main industry is fishing as well as unusual species and the cultivation of wild fruits. Most of the area has been declared an Amazon Forest Reserve.

The stone streets in Mitú are very well preserved and come from colonists. Every time you walk through the streets of Mitú you will see how modernity, indigenous and colonial architecture coexist in one place.

How to get to Mitú

There are two ways to get to Mitú: by ship and by plane. We definitely recommend the plane.

From Villavicencio a ticket costs around 290,000 COP (about 84 USD). The flight takes around 90 minutes.

Things to do and see in Mitú

The Malecon
It is a walk of a thousand meters along the banks of the Vaupés river. On this tour you will pass the small squares and ethnic kiosks of the indigenous people living in Mitú.

Bird watching
Mitú has more than 500 classified species, most of which have striking colors.

Exotic fruit gastronomy
You have to try the wonderful food of Mitú.

Visit the community of Mutuseño Urania
Mutuseño Urania is 3 miles (5 km) from the city. There you can climb the magnificent hill of Odocabeba. The lookout point is at a height of 200 meters and you have an excellent view of the entire Amazon.

Visit the Guacamayas Hill
You should urgently hire a local guide for a visit.

Caño sangre
The river shows terracotta color.

Where to stay in Mitú

Posada Turística Quenari Wii
This hotel is one of the best in Mitu. It has a very local and warm atmosphere, 24-hour service and serves a typical breakfast for the region.


  • Hire a local guide at a time.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • You should be vaccinated against yellow fever.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites.
  • The planes have a weight limit for baggage.
  • Avoid waste.
  • Take enough cash with you.

Capurganá, Chocó

Capurganá is a municipality that belongs to the Acandí municipality and is located near the border with Panama in the Urabá Gulf. It belongs to the Chocó department. The main economic source is community tourism and fishing, and some locals grow their own food. The sea in this part of the country is warm and turquoise.

The region is known for its quiet bays surrounded by very green rainforests. The Colombian Navy is also on site. However, the place is also the center of migrant flows.

How to get to Capurganá

To visit this small town, you can arrive by plane and boat.

By Air: Flights depart from the city of Medellin and are only available on Mondays and Fridays, the trip takes 2 hours and prices are around $ 200,000 COP (approx. 56 USD) each way.

Maritime: Boats depart from Obaldía port. The journey takes 45 minutes and costs approximately $ 150,000 COP (approx. 42 USD).

There are also boats that leave from Turbo and Necoclí, prices vary.

Activities and Sights in Capurganá

  • El Aguacate Bay. You can get there on a hike.
  • The pool of the gods. It is a natural formation of crystalline water in which one can swim.
  • Sightings of exotic species on the migrations.
  • Birth of sea turtles.
  • The water is crystal clear.
  • Capurganá – Sapzurro Ecotourism Trail.

Where to stay in Capurganá

Hotel Casa Costa
The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, a typical breakfast and air-conditioned rooms. It has a bar terrace. It is the preferred hotel for travelers.


  • Hire a local guide at a time.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • You should be vaccinated against yellow fever.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites.
  • The planes have a weight limit for baggage.
  • Avoid waste.
  • Take enough cash with you.

Isla Fuerte, Cordoba

The small island is located in the Gulf of Morrosquillo in Colombia and belongs to the Cordoba department, at the end of the Cartagena island system. Most of its residents are Afro-Colombians. The island is home to Colombia’s most beautiful tree, the Bonga. Most of the houses are made of wood with palm roofs.

How to  get to Isla Fuerte

The only way to get to Isla Fuerte is by sea. You have to go to Paso Nuevo. Boats leave from there. These usually leave in the morning and we recommend contacting the accommodation in advance. The drive to the island takes 30 minutes.

Things to do and see in Isla Fuerte

  • Visit the Bonga, it is the most beautiful tree in Colombia.
  • The sea at Isla Fuerte is said to have some of the best waves in Colombia.
  • Kayaking in the crystal clear sea of ​​Isla Fuerte is an adventure not to be missed.
  • Watching birds. The island is home to 83 species, making it a haven for bird watchers and wildlife lovers. Highlights include the brown booby, the red heron, and the giant North American kingfisher.
  • Isla Fuerte has 17 strategic points.

Where to stay on Isla Fuerte

Hotel Ecohouse
The hotel is of a good standard. It offers a restaurant and a bar, a terrace and 12 rooms.


  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites.
  • Avoid waste.
  • Take enough cash with you.
  • Do not climb the lighthouse of death

Activities and Tourist Destinations in Colombia

Dear reader, below you will find a list of incredible activities and tourist destinations to do in Colombia:

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