Best Places to Vacation to Colombia South America

May 6 , 2024 · 9 min read
Vacation to Colombia South America

 Colombia is an amazing country in South America with so many fun places to visit on vacation. From big cities to beaches to rainforests, Colombia has it all! In this article, we’ll look at 8 of the best places for vacation to Colombia South America.

1. Cartagena

cartagena in south America

Cartagena is a very old and important city in Colombia. It has beautiful buildings from centuries ago that make it look like you stepped back in time.

1. Old Town (Ciudad Amurallada)

The Old Town is the oldest part of Cartagena. It has huge stone walls all around it, which were built a long time ago to protect the city. Walking around the Old Town is like being in another world from long ago!

2. Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

It is a giant castle fort right next to the Old Town. It was built to defend Cartagena from pirates and enemies attacking by sea. You can walk around inside the vast castle and see where the cannons used to be.

3. Bocagrande Beach

Bocagrande is a beautiful long beach right in the city of Cartagena. The sand is white, and the water is warm. It is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or just relaxing.

Cultural Experiences

Cartagena has a very lively culture with music, dancing, and great food to try. The nightlife is really fun too, with lots of restaurants, bars, and clubs in the Old Town.

Where to Stay & Eat

There are excellent boutique hotels right in the Old Town, so you can stay in one of the colonial buildings. For food, don’t miss the fresh seafood and typical Colombian dishes like arepas, empanadas, and ceviche.

Read more: South America Family Vacations

2. Medellín

Medellín in South America

A long time ago, Medellín used to have a bad reputation for crime and drugs. But today, it has transformed into an advanced, modern city that is very safe to visit.

1. Comuna 13 Street Art

Comuna 13, at times, was the most dangerous neighborhood in Medellín. But now, it has become famous for the colorful street art that is painted all over the buildings. You can take a cool graffiti tour there.

2. Plaza Botero & Museums

The Plaza Botero is an outdoor plaza with huge sculpture artworks by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Next door is the Museo de Antioquia, with more of his artwork plus other Colombian art.

3. Metrocable to Parque Arví

The Metrocable is a cable car that goes up the hills of Medellín all the way to Parque Arví, a huge nature reserve. Riding it gives you amazing views over the city below.

Food & Coffee Culture

Medellín has incredible food, from small family restaurants to fancy places. And as the “City of Eternal Spring,” it’s a great place to experience Colombia’s world-famous coffee culture.

Where to Stay & Eat Local

For a fun area to stay, check out El Poblado, which has parks, malls, and nightlife. Be sure to try local dishes like Bandeja paisa (proteins with rice, avocado, and more) and drinks like coffee or aguardiente.

3. Bogotá

Bogotá in South America

Bogotá is the capital and largest city in Colombia, South America, where you can plan your vacation. It’s a very modern, bustling place that is the cultural center of the country.

1. La Candelaria

La Candelaria is the historic heart of Bogotá. Walking around, you’ll see colorful colonial buildings, plazas, and streets from long ago.

2. Museo del Oro & Botero

The Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) has an amazing collection of gold artifacts and treasures made by indigenous Colombians centuries ago. The Museo Botero has more work by the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero.

3. Monserrate Hill

Take a cable car or hike up Monserrate Hill for incredible views overlooking all of Bogotá below. At the top, there is a church and restaurants.

Street Food

Bogotá has a huge variety of delicious street food to try, like Arepas, Empanadas, fruit salads, and Oblea (sweet wafers). Going on a street food tour is a must!

City Life

Stay in the Zona Rosa or Parque 93 neighborhoods to be close to restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Chapinero is a fun area, too, with a younger, alternative vibe.

tayrona in AmericA

4. Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes of rainforests, rivers, and ecosystems.

1. Pristine Beaches

The park has breathtaking stretches of pristine golden sand beaches like Cabo San Juan and Playa Cristal. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming.

2. Hiking

Tayrona has trails for hiking through the lush jungle to see wildlife like monkeys, exotic birds, deer, and more. Guides can teach you about the plants and animals.

3. Indigenous Cultures

Some indigenous communities still live in Tayrona, maintaining their traditional ways of life. You may be able to visit their towns and learn about their cultures.


The best way to experience Tayrona is by staying at one of the eco-lodges or camping on the beach. Most have no electricity and use natural resources carefully.

Responsible Tourism

When visiting Tayrona, be sure to practice responsible, sustainable tourism. Don’t litter, waste water, or disturb the wildlife and nature. Listen to park rules.

5. San Andrés and Providencia

san andrés and providencia in South America

One of the best vacation destinations is Colombia, South America. San Andrés and Providencia are two small islands off the coast of Nicaragua. They are true Caribbean paradise islands!

1. Snorkeling & Diving

The islands are surrounded by the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, one of the best snorkeling and diving areas in the whole Caribbean with colorful coral reefs.

2. San Andrés Beaches

The beaches all around San Andrés island are simply incredible. Some favorites are Spratt Bight and Bahía Concha, with their soft white sand and crystal waters.

3. Providencia Island

Providencia is the sleepier, more laid-back of the two islands. It has fantastic seafood, friendly locals, and the cutest colorful houses and streets.

Water Activities

In San Andrés and Providencia, you can go snorkeling, diving, sailing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing in the beautiful Caribbean waters. So many water activities!

Island Boat Tour

Among the different activities that arise in San Andres Island of Colombia, a boat trip to the lovely cays and sand bars would be absolutely one of the best things to do in this place.

Do you feel like you can’t catch all the interesting places along the coast because of the time constraints? If so, then a VIP boat tour that takes one full day, stopping at each place, is the best option for you.

Sailing is the mode of safest and cheapest navigation to the most beautiful lighthouse with crystal sand beaches, cays, and coral reefs, which run for approximately 7 hours. It includes:

All Environmental Fees

Online reservations are another advantage, as you can book and pay beforehand. It is useful with a combination of adding or subtracting a risk factor that you would otherwise have to face by meeting them, taking tours, or bargaining. This ride has it all: a predetermined price, which is nothing compared with the prices only around the La Regatta area.

Where to Stay

Stay right on one of the beautiful beaches at a beachfront hotel or resort. And be sure to eat as much fresh-caught seafood like lobster, fish, and conch as you can!


San Andrés




More secluded, quieter



Very good


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Relaxed vibe


6. The Coffee Region

UNESCO World Heritage

It is an intriguing place to plan your vacation to Colombia, South America. The Coffee Region, also called the Eje Cafetero, is an area of rolling hills and valleys in central Colombia that is famous for growing some of the world’s best coffee.

It’s so special that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site!



Coffee Farm Tours

Tour Fincas to see coffee growing and harvesting and taste it!

Valle de Cocora

Hike among the towering wax palms in this green valley

Hot Springs

Relax in the thermal pools around Santa Rosa de Cabal


Coffee Culture

By visiting Aciendas and Fincas, you can really immerse yourself in the coffee culture that is so important to this region of Colombia. Learn about the whole process from bean to cup.

Where to Stay

For an authentic experience, consider staying at a hacienda or finca instead of a hotel. You can wake up on the coffee farm and eat delicious locally-grown foods.

7. The Amazon Rainforest

For a totally unique experience in Colombia, head to the Amazon rainforest region for some incredible jungle adventures you’ll never forget!




River Cruises

Take boat tours along the Amazon River and its tributaries

Wildlife Spotting

Look for exotic animals like monkeys, caimans, toucans

Indigenous Cultures

Visit communities keeping ancient traditions alive


Lodges & Conservation

Stay at an eco-lodge or reserve that prioritizes sustainability and protecting the rainforest. Many Work with local indigenous communities.

Responsible Exploration

When exploring the Colombian Amazon, make sure to follow all guidelines to minimize your impact. Don’t take anything from the rainforest, and respect the indigenous cultures.

In a Nutshell

From the historic walled city of Cartagena to the unbelievable beauty of the Amazon, Colombia offers something for every type of traveler.

Whether you want bustling cities, stunning beaches, incredible nature, or to immerse yourself in ancient cultures – Colombia has you covered.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your dream Colombian vacation today! Just be sure to pack your sense of adventure.

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