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Colombiafrank Ibagué Colombia travel guide

hotels in ibague city

Updated on 04/03/2024

Dear readers
My name is Frank and I run a tour operator in Bogota, specializing in custom-made and Colombia luxury travel.

At the end of this guide you will find a list of many other helpful travel guides for Colombia.

Why visit Ibagué?

Ibagué isn’t a popular destination compared to cities like Bogotá or Medellín, but that’s no indication of the great attractions it has to offer.

In Ibagué one can find a great variety of places to visit, enjoy a large number of natural parks and enjoy a lot of great architecture.

Another important aspect of visiting Ibagué is the warmth of the people of Tolima and the delicious gastronomy.

Facts about ibague

Ibagué is the capital of the department of Tolima with around 550,000 inhabitants who are called Ibaguereño (a). The municipality is at an average altitude of 1,285 meters above sea level.

Due to its geographical location, Ibagué has a very hot climate, with average temperatures between 19°C and 26°C, rarely falling below 16°C or exceeding 33°C.

Tourist attractions in Ibagué

These are some of the most impressive places you can visit on a trip to Ibagué, but they are not the only ones, there are many more destinations to visit.

San Jorge Botanical Garden

On the outskirts of Ibagué, you can visit the Botanical Garden, which has more than 500 plant species on 60 hectares.

There you can walk along long nature trails and see beautiful orchids, bromeliads, palm trees, heliconias and, if you’re lucky, birds.

Centennial Park

This is a park where one can learn about the culture of Tolima and some other important monuments.

In the morning, the park is frequented by athletes. If you are a sports fan this place is for you as the mayor’s office has equipped the park with some basic equipment and also it is pedestrian only accessible from some streets in front of the park.

In the afternoon and evening you can enjoy the food offered by the street vendors or the nearby restaurants.

The park has direct access to the Concha Acústica Garzón, where a very important festival is held every year.

Art Museum of Tolima

Ibagué is considered the musical capital of Colombia, but in the Art Museum you can not only enjoy the wonderful music, but also see many Colombian and even Latin American artworks.

If you are interested, you can attend some painting classes offered by the museum.

Cobeima Gorge

The Cobeima Gorge is an excellent ecotourism option. Located at the source of the Nevado del Tolima , it offers numerous activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and wildlife viewing.

If you walk the 18 kilometers of the gorge, you will reach the Los Sauces viewpoint , from where you can see the course of the Cobeima River.

Water parks

Given the high temperatures, numerous water parks have been built where you can find all kinds of slides. The water parks are an unmissable option.

Best time to visit Ibagué

Ibagué is a city with a very warm climate and has many advantages because it stays the same for most of the year.

  • From January to September, the chance of precipitation is quite low and the average temperature is 29°C.
  • From October to November, the chance of precipitation is high and the average temperature is 27°C.
  • In December, there is a medium chance of precipitation and the average temperature is 27°C.

Events not to be missed in Ibagué

Ibagué hosts many important Colombian festivals, but here are a few not to be missed. All festivals bring you into contact with Colombian culture and folklore.

National Colombian Music Festival

The festival was created to honor one of the most important duos in Colombian music history, Garzón and Collazos.

The festival was created after the first anniversary of the death of Maestro Darío Garzón (1987) and the best way to commemorate his life was through music.

The festival takes place for a whole week in March and there are about 70 musical and folkloric exhibitions with competitions such as:

  • National Duet Competition
  • National composition competition
  • Departmental competition for musical interpretation
  • Competition for children

Ibagué Folk Festival

This festival was created in 1959 with the aim of highlighting Tolima ‘s culture and honoring its traditions.

The festival begins on the San Juan holiday and ends a week later. During this week, all of Tolima dresses up and there are numerous activities such as float parades, dominations and equestrian tournaments.

Birthday Ibagué

Ibagué celebrates its birthday in style as every year on October 14 there are numerous activities organized in honor of the city.

Ibagué welcomes its visitors with numerous concerts, leisure activities and artistic shows organized throughout most of the city so that all Ibaguereños can take part in this festival.

Typical food in Ibagué

Ibagué has some delicious dishes to offer, here are a few that you won’t want to miss out on.

Lechona Tolimense

Lechona Tolimense is a mixture of a few ingredients that together make a delicious typical dish.

A whole pig is stuffed with ingredients such as peas, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and then cooked for hours. Although it sounds easy, I am sure you will fall in love with the taste.

Tamala tolimense

It’s a typical breakfast all over Colombia, but this tamal is special because it contains the following ingredients.

  • Rice
  • Peas
  • Carrot
  • Hard boiled egg

and chunks of pork, bacon, and chicken.

If you travel to Ibagué, you cannot miss this dish.


This little snack is very popular and includes

  • Achira strength
  • Fresh cottage cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Melted butter

I’m sure its taste will delight you.

Ibague Accommodation Guide

Ibagué fascinates all visitors. From its rich history to its impressive natural surroundings, it offers alternatives for every traveler profile. Combine your lodging with your plans to fully experience this city full of historical charm and natural beauty.

For more details on places to stay, check out our Ibague lodging blogs below:

How to get to Ibagué?

Since Ibagué is in the center of the country, it is very easy to get to the city. If you are coming from Bogotá, you can do the following

By plane

A flight from Bogotá to Perales National Airport takes about 56 minutes, but you can also get there via the country’s main airports.

The airlines that offer connections are as follows:

By bus

You can also go there by bus or car, but it takes about 4 hours.

How to get around in Ibagué?

The easiest way to buy tickets is through Pinbus .

By car

The following companies rent cars in Colombia:

  • hertz
  • advice
  • ABC

Getting around Ibagué

To get around Ibagué you can use public transport. This is an excellent option as there are 33 different routes that you can use to visit every corner of the city and the best part is that they only cost 50 cents.

In addition to buses, you can use taxis and platforms like Uber, however, these options are more expensive compared to buses.

Colombia Travel Guides

Here you will find travel guides for the most popular regions in Colombia, which we have put together during our extensive travels around the country.

Travel Guides to Colombia’s Small Towns

Here you will find travel guides for less popular destinations in Colombia. Some of these destinations are even real insider tips and not even known to the Colombians as travel destinations.


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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