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Known for its lively cities balanced by vibrant greenery and home to ten percent of the world’s biodiversity, Colombia is an assemblage of everything that a traveler expects from a Latin American country. A typical Colombia itinerary will meet the needs of those who enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of big cities but are still eager for adventure in nature.
Trips to Bogota and Medellin, with their old colonial buildings and cobbled streets, offer a chance to immerse in local culture and history, while hiking opportunities around these cities are a welcome relief from their urban chaos. The country is also home to centuries-old archaeological sites like those in San Agustín and Tierradentro. For rest and relaxation, look no further than scenic locations like San Andres Island. For anyone planning a vacation to this country, our guide on how many days to spend in Colombia below will come handy.
- Isabel Evans
- From England
There is no end to what is possible in Colombia. However, if you only have a few days at your disposal, it is better that you stay focused. You can easily cover the urban highlights of Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena in five days.
Those looking forward to spending eight to ten days in the country can add destinations like San Agustin and Tayrona National Park to their itinerary. While the former is known for its archaeological ruins ranging from monoliths to petroglyphs, the latter is a beautiful beach destination.
Given the range of highlights that the country has, we advise that you spend ten days in Colombia to make the most of your vacation and truly immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of the country.
Your Colombia trip can turn into a hectic affair if you try to squeeze all the highlights of the country into a five-day itinerary. Therefore, we suggest that you focus on a region and dive as deep as you can during your short stay.
You could either choose to explore the Colombian Amazon and boat through its canals or, if rest and relaxation is your priority, spend your days swimming and tanning around San Andres and Providencia Islands.
Alternatively, you can also cover the landmarks of bustling cities like Medellin and stop by a coffee plantation to sample the freshest brews in the world. If Popayan is part of your itinerary, then we suggest heading out for a hiking trip in Tierradentro, an ancient archaeological site.
A week-long Colombia trip offers more leeway to explore all that this country has to offer — which is a lot!
With more time in Colombia, you have the chance to take on the challenge of Ciudad Perdida, which translates into ‘the lost city. Starting from the city of Santa Marta and spanning between three to six days, treks through this area take you up and down terraced mountains, past the remains of settlements that are said to have come into existence in around 800 CE.
If you find time to play with, you could also visit the neighboring Tayrona National Park, known for some of the best diving spots in Colombia where sunken ships preserve the stories of pirates and coral reefs protect the coast. For city lovers, Barranquilla is just two hours away from Santa Marta and is one of the country’s major cities.
For more trip ideas check out our list of 7-day Colombia tours.
A ten-day Colombia itinerary could see you starting in Bogota, the capital of the country surrounded by Andean peaks. Bogota is the gateway to the lofty regions of Colombia, where coffee grows, and history nestles at staggering heights. However, as you have more time, you can fly out to other regions too. Once you have covered landmarks like the Gold Museum, Bogotá, and Montserrate, it is time to explore the mountainous landscape that surrounds you.
The Cocora Valley is just a seven-hour drive from Bogota and promises a unique hiking experience. Covered with forests and dotted with wax trees, this valley is a favorite among day hikers. Jump to Cali for a stopover before traveling to the ancient site of Tierradentro. This archaeological site has a network of over 100 tombs and ruins from the Pre-Columbian era which can be explored in two days. Before you leave, you can fly to Medellin from Cali to finish your trip in Colombia’s most sought-after city.
With 14 days in Colombia, you have time to combine elements of all of the above ideas. Starting your trip in Bogota, you can hop over to Medellin and visit the Cocora Valley for a day of hiking. For those interested in history, Villa de Leyva is located less than four hours away from Bogota. Its Plaza Mayor is said to be one of the largest town squares in South America and was once used as a place to execute people.
We also suggest that you do not miss out on a chance to visit the coffee haven that is Salento. Nestled between Bogota and Medellin, it takes around six hours from either city to arrive in this coffee region. Tours here will take you through plantations with the opportunity to sample a variety of blends.
With your coffee cravings satisfied, you can journey across to Santa Marta for adventure and relaxation. When you are not diving around sunken ships or hiking in the jungle, you can kick back on beaches such as Cabo San Juan or La Piscina.
Call it an end to your trip in the lively Caribbean city of Barranquilla for a splash of color, creativity, and a little dancing.