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Places to Visit in Colombia


There is a wide array of places to visit in Colombia, from million-plus person cities to tranquil pueblos, and deserted beaches.

While everyone will have a different opinion, this is mine based on 18 months of living in Medellin and traveling around Colombia.


Top 5 Places to Visit in Colombia

1. Cartagena

The old, walled city center in Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and tops most traveler's lists for places to visit in Colombia.

Truly a “must-see”, walking through old Cartagena both day and night is like taking a walk back in time.

Nearby beaches allow travelers to enjoy time in the surf, watersports such as scuba diving, or to simply relax and work on their tans.

The author in Medellin

The author in Medellin

2. Medellin

The former home of Pablo EscobarMedellin rose to prominence for all the wrong reasons in the 1980s.

In the 21st century, thanks to a much-improved security situation, the city is thriving, and travelers are once again discovering the natural beauty and laid back lifestyle of the paisas.



3. Salento (Eje Cafetero)

A top contender for best-preserved pueblo in Colombia, Salento is the perfect place from which to explore Colombia's Eje Cafetero (coffee region).

Hiking and horseback riding through nearby Valle de Cocora, as well as coffee plantation tours, are a must when visiting.

Plaza Bolivar in December

Plaza Bolivar in December

4. Bogota

Colombia's sprawling capital features the historic La Candelaria district, the country's best (and biggest) gold museum, a cable car to the top of Montserrat mountain for city views, and a unique Salt Cathedral.

You'll find the greatest variety of restaurants and cuisines here, and plenty of nightlife options for the party people.

For salsa dancing, Cali is one of the best places to visit in Colombia.

For salsa dancing, Cali is one of the best places to visit in Colombia.

5. Cali

Known as the salsa dancing capital of Colombia, and by many the world, Cali features the best dance academies in the country, and options for salsa dancing every night of the week.

Cali also has Colombia's best zoo, a happening restaurant and food scene, as well as some of the country's best overall nightlife.

Honorable Mentions

The pueblo of Guatape is a few hours outside of Medellin by bus.

The pueblo of Guatape is a few hours outside of Medellin by bus.

Guatape, Jardin, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Popayan

There are countless pueblos dotting the Colombian countryside, and many of them are fine places to visit for a dose of country life.

Horses will often be seen trotting around, and city dwelling Colombians love to escape to their favorite pueblos on the weekends.

Santa Marta, Taganga, & Parque Tayrona

Santa Marta is situated on the eastern side of Colombia's Caribbean Coast, and is the perfect jumping off point for travelers planning to visit the sleepy fishing village of Taganga, or venture further to the undeveloped beaches of Parque Tayrona.


Medellin Travel GuideThe 138-page, all-original Medellín Travel Guide by David Lee is now available for Kindle and PDF.






Last Updated on November 10, 2019 by Dave Lee