Last Updated April 26, 2022 4/26/2022

10 Best Things to Do in Colombia

Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Situated at the northern tip of South America, Columbia has a rich culture filled with progressive cities, where visitors can lounge on pristine beaches, explore national parks, or walk ancient city walls. A country that has emerged from its dark past, Colombia now shines brightly on the international stage.

From the diverse history of beautiful towns to diverse natural landscapes, Columbia is a thrilling mix of unspoiled coasts, tropical rainforests, and rich culture. Pack your bags for adventure and tick these top things to do in Colombia off your list.

YOU'RE ALL SET!

Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.

Explore Beautiful Beaches in Tayrona National Park
Tayrona

Explore Beautiful Beaches in Tayrona National Park

What Is It? Located on Columbia’s Caribbean coast, Tayrona National Park is one of the country’s most popular parks.

Why Do It? Boasting idyllic coral reefs, beautiful beaches, and sheltered bays, travelers can explore the expansive and rich mangroves and tropical jungles. Offering a wide variety of picturesque flora and fauna nestled against tranquil white sandy beaches, Tayrona National Park is beloved for its crystal clear waters and abundance of secluded spots.

Good to Know: Whether you’re pitching a tent, hiking the trails, or lounging on one of the beaches, you’re sure to be confronted with some of the richest biodiversity the country has to offer.

Explore the Walled City of Cartagena
Cartagena, Colombia

Explore the Walled City of Cartagena

What Is It? Lush plazas filled with fruit vendors and street art, Cartagena is a top travel destination in Colombia with its kaleidoscope of colors.

Why Do It? Covered with fairy-tale romance among miles of centuries-old colonial stone walls, this UNESCO World Heritage site impresses travelers with its majestic churches and quaint cobblestone streets lined with old-world decor and balconies.

Good to Know: Wandering through the maze of streets is the recommended way to get acquainted with Cartagena, where one can feel like they stepped back into another time period.

Marvel at the Museo del Oro
Museo del Oro

Marvel at the Museo del Oro

What Is It? One of the star attractions in Bogotá and South America, the Museo del Oro, or “Gold Museum,” has an extraordinary collection.

Why Do It? You can explore its collection of pre-Hispanic historic gold artifacts, which is the largest in the world with over 30,000 pieces.

Good to Know: Visitors can browse vibrant gold jewelry, masks, and ancient tools in addition to interesting thematic rooms filled with exhibits on pottery, stone, shell, and textile archaeological objects that date back to indigenous cultures.

Go Underground at the Salt Cathedral
Salt Cathedral

Go Underground at the Salt Cathedral

What Is It? Known as the Salt Cathedral, this 5th-century church is deep within salt deposits near the city of Zipaquirá, an important center for trade in salt.

Why Do It? Considered an architectural jewel, this structure is one of the most famous Catholic sanctuaries in the country.

Good to Know: Once visitors descend underground, they will discover breathtaking salt sculptures situated next to a towering 16-foot high cross at the main altar.

Visit the Tropical Islands of San Andrés
San Andrés

Visit the Tropical Islands of San Andrés

What Is It? San Andrés and its smaller sibling Providencia are two of Colombia’s most sought after island retreats.

Why Do It? Located off the Caribbean coast, visitors will find underwater caves for diving and an abundance of unforgettable day trips. One of the most popular areas around San Andrés that can be reached by boat is Johnny Cay, known as the “island of sugar” because of its pristine white sandy beaches.

Good to Know: With its mix of swaying palm trees, tasty coconuts, and freshly caught seafood, you are sure to feel like you’ve landed in paradise.

Browse Artwork in The Botero Museum
The Botero Museum

Browse Artwork in The Botero Museum

What Is It? Home to one of Latin America’s most important international art collections, The Botero Museum boasts several halls of impressive artwork.

Why Do It? You can see the likes of Picasso, Dali, Matisse, and Monet. Named after the most famous Colombian modern artist Fernando Botero, art aficionados can appreciate the museum’s collection of his robust paintings and sculptures that Botero donated himself.

Good to Know: Situated in Bogotá’s charming historic center of the city, visitors will find informative audio guides in English, French, and Spanish.

Journey to Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

Journey to Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

What Is It? A majestic fortress in the city of Cartagena, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a castle on the Hill of San Lázaro.

Why Do It? Built by the Spanish during the colonial era, its towering presence approaches the city’s landscape. Boasting a series of historical walls and formidable bunkers, the highlight of the castle is its striking grand entrance and awe-inspiring architecture.

Good to Know: Considered a fine example of Spanish military engineering, visitors can explore underground galleries and gunpowder warehouses.

Hike up Mount Monserrate
Mount Monserrate

Hike up Mount Monserrate

What Is It? Dominating the city center of Bogotá, Mount Monserrate is a landmark that rises 10,000 feet above sea level.

Why Do It? To reach the top of the mountain visitors have a variety of choices, as there is a cable car, train, and walking trails. Reaching the top is considered a rite of passage, with devout locals rising early on Sunday mornings.

Good to Know: Visitors can be zipped up quickly on the popular cable cars for a chance to soak in the magnificent panoramic views over the sprawling city and explore the grounds of the mountaintop Catholic church.

Explore the Tombs at National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro
National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro

Explore the Tombs at National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro

What Is It? Monumental statues of human figures are what set this archaeological park and UNESCO World Heritage site apart from others, as the National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro dates back to the 6th century.

Why Do It? Visitors will find huge underground tombs decorated with maintains or carvings scored into the rock and exhibit the culture of the pre-Hispanic society in the Andes.

Good to Know: With five diverse areas of the park to explore, it is one of the most popular attractions in the country.

Experience the Lost City
Ciudad Perdida

Experience the Lost City

What Is It? Translating to “Lost City,” Ciudad Perdida is an ancient city that was discovered in 1972 that lies in the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia.

Why Do It? Adventurous travelers can take the journey through the jungle to witness the 169 terraces built in the mountainside first hand and experience the unique 1,000-year-old city, an impressive 650 years older than Machu Picchu.

Good to Know: Only accessible by foot, it is considered Columbia’s most thrilling and rewarding hike.

YOU'RE ALL SET!

Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.