We spent an unforgettable 2 weeks in Colombia during our epic South American trip. Coffee, cowboys, views – what more could you want?

What to do in Colombia?

Heres a full guide and itinerary of what we would recommend you doing on your 2 week Colombian vacation.

Day 1. Start your Trip: Fly into Cartagena

The best & most affordable flights from the United States are into the beachside town of Cartagena in Colombia.

We believe Skyscanner is the best place to search for flights. You can search by the cheapest day of the month and plan your trip around that.

Day 2 – 3 The Beachside Town of Cartagena

Beach lovers will absolutely adore the town of Cartagena. It has a perfect mix of beach and gorgeous, colourful streets to explore.

The must see things to do in Cartagena are as follows:

  • Ciudad Amurallada – Cartagena is a city of walls. A fortress once protected the coty from attacks from pirates and other invaders. These days the inside of these walls are a tourist hub filled with bars, shops & hotels.

  • Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas – This castle is one of the most popular attractions in Cartagena. The castle has particularly impressive architecture and is one of the must see things in the city.
  • Playa Blanca – This beach is considered one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful beach in the Cartagena area. To visit this beach you need to take a boat to Baru island, which is located 45 minues from Cartagena’s port. Many vendors in Cartagena’s city sell day trips to this beach.

Where to Stay? There are many amazing places to stay in Cartagena. Click here for all properties available during your dates

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Day 4 Take a bus from Cartagena to Medellin

From Cartagena you will want to visit the vibrant town of Medellin, known for its past history with drug lords.

We wrote a detailed report on travelling between Cartagena to Medellin which you can use as a step by step guide.

Our guide includes bus times and whether you should select a cama or semi cama bus seat.

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Day 5 – 6 Explore the old cartel of Medellin

Once upon a time Pablo Escoba ruled the streets of Medellin. Nowadays, it is a city full of rich history which welcomes visitors, a far cry from its recent history of drugs and terror.

See our travel guide for a detailed explanation of everything there is to do in Medellin.

If you would like a quick run down here are our favourites:

  • Park Avri – A beautiful park with unbelievable forest tracks. You reach the park at the top of the mountain by a metro cable up. The cool thing about it is the cable is part of the metro system of Medellin. The views from the cable are out of this world amazing!
  • Plaza Minorista Fruit Market –  The place in Medellin to try sensationally delicious exotic fruits. If you want a local to give an explanation of the fruits of Medellin, we would recommend the exotic fruits tour for 45,000 pesos per person.
  • Lleras Park – A trendy area in the city to enjoy a beer or find a nice hipster place to eat!
  • Parque San Antonio – Here you can see the amazing sculptures of the famous Columbian artist Fernando Botero. The sculptures stand as a sign of the progression the city has made.
  • Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica – A beautiful cathedral in the centre of the city with an amazing interior.
  • Plaza Botero-  Belgium artist Botero has made some unbelieveable statues at Plaza Botero including a gothic checker board
  • Plaza Cisneros – While this area used to be dangerous and plagued with drug violence now light columns stand. They are a symbol of hope & prosperity of the city.

Aside from Park Avri & the Plaza Minorista Fruit Market, all these sites can be visited in one day on the free walking tour of Medellin.

Where to Stay? We would recommend booking something in the El Poblado area of Medellin. The area is very safe & has a great proximity to bars and restaurants.

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Day 7 Make a day trip to Guatape

The most popular day trip from Copenhagen is Guatape and not without good reason.

This super colourful town is a must do on any Colombia itinerary.

See our travel guide for a detailed explanation of everything there is to do in Guatape on a trip from Medellin.

If you would like a quick run down here are our favourites:

  • Explore the colourful streets including admiring the amazing bas-reliefs;
  • Climb the 200 metre high rock known as La Piedra to witness the ‘best view in the world’.
  • Enjoy the delicious coffee culture including making a trip to Cafe La Vina. A great coffee shop in the area

It is very easy to get transport between Medellin to Guatape. The public bus goes from the North terminal and costs 13,500 pesos a ticket ($4.4 USD).

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Day 8 Take a bus from Medellin to Salento

The next logical place to travel from Medellin is Salento, a stunning country town in Colombia, known widely for its coffee plantations.

We wrote a detailed report on travelling between Medellin to Salento which you can use as a step by step guide.

If you do not want to change bus in Armenia, there is a direct mini bus by the company Flota Occidental from Medellin to Salento.

For bus times & more information see our guide!

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Day 9 – 10 Bask in the picturesque beauty of Salento!

A total heaven for coffee & nature lovers, Salento was like heaven on earth and definitely our favourite town in Colombia.

The scenery in Salento will leave you breathless.

The town itself is filled with the most adorable houses. Find out which one to pick with our guide for where to stay in Salento.

See our travel guide for a detailed explanation of everything there is to do in Salento.

If you would like a quick run down here are our favourites:

  • Go on a coffee farm tour – There are numerous coffee farms in Salento where you can get an amazing area for around 15,000 pesos. We would recommend the Ocaso Cafe Tour as the setting is beautiful and native birds are drawn to the area.
  • Hike the Valle de Cocora – The most popular thing to do in Salento is to hike the nearby Valle de Cocora, famous for its extremely tall wax palm trees.
  • Eat Salento’s signature river trout dish – There are many different varieties to sample. It will cost you between 14,000 to 20,000 pesos depending where you go.
  • Visit a country & western Saloon style bar – Bar Danubio is a ‘gentlemens club’ (ladies are allowed in) which plays traditional Colombian country & western music.
  • Play Tejo at Los Amigos bar – Tejo, a traditional Colombian game, originated by indigenous warriors more than 450 years ago is worth trying while in Salento. The game involves trying to hit a small paper triangle with gunpowder in a clay box.
  • Go on a horse riding tour – This was probably the best part of our stay in Salento. The tour costs 45,000 pesos for 4 hours. It takes you through incredible countryside, streams and waterfalls.

Where to Stay? Salento has many great places to stay. Click here for accommodation during your dates. We stayed at Casa La Eliana a beautiful, cheap, clean and comfortable hotel.

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Day 11 Take a bus from Salento to Cali & Popayan

The next place you should visit on your epic 2 week Colombian holiday is the white city of Popayan.

We wrote a detailed report on travelling between Salento to Cali & Popayan which you can use as a step by step guide.

Day 13  Popayan

This city in Colombia is famous for its beautiful white buildings.

It is a perfect town to stop in if you are planning onward travel to Ecuador.

You only really require 1 day in Popayan to see all the city has to offer!

See our travel guide for a detailed explanation of everything there is to do in Popayan.

If you would like a quick run down here are our favourites:

  • Torre del Reloj – A gorgeous white church in the very centre of Popayan
  • Parque Caldas – Parque Caldas is a central park in Popayan particularly popular with locals. It is a great park to wander through to get a insight of local life.
  • Puente del Humilladero Bridge – This bridge is significant to Popayan as it is linked to the cities history with slavery. Once, this bridge served as an area where slaves could be bought and sold.
  • Iglesia de San Fransisco Church – One of the few buildings in the city that is not white, this yellow church is sure to impress.

Where to Stay? Popayan has many great places to stay. Click here for accommodation during your dates.

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Onward travel – Popayan to Quito

Well, there you have it – a 2 week epic holiday in Colombia.

From here, you can get a flight back to the United States or continues onwards to explore Ecuador.

We wrote a detailed report on travelling between Popayan to Quito which you can use as a step by step guide. This has been thought to be a dangerous route so pay attention to our guide!

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