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40 Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia (2020): What travelers love

The first time I went to Cartagena, I didn’t like the city. I didn’t know the things to do in Cartagena. I was only expecting to have my feet in the water and a Caribbean-flavoured cocktail in my hand.

What a mistake! In Cartagena, you can forget about walking on the beach in a bathing suit. With no plan B and a small budget, I got bored quickly.

However, there are many tours to enjoy the city if you organize yourself a little bit in advance. Moreover, it is also possible to escape for one or more days to the islands of Rosarios.

To help you create your itinerary, I have just written a very complete list of things to do in Cartagena. Take a look at all the activities that interest you to find out how long you should stay there.

Many booking links are to reliable local companies. Don’t hesitate to bookmark this page for your trip to Colombia 😉

There is also a list of events for each day of the week at the end of this article. Read it all the way through!

Must read: Our top-notch Cartagena travel guide

Table of contents: What to do in Cartagena, Colombia

  1. Entertainment (easy to do)
  2. Museums
  3. Free Walking Tours
  4. Paid Cultural tours
  5. Bikini trips on Rosario Islands
  6. More day trips from Cartagena
  7. Where to escape for a few days?
  8. Things to do during the week
  9. Our guidebook to create your itinerary
  10. Relax while we organize your Colombia adventure

What to do and see in the city of Cartagena, Colombia?

With its many gastronomic restaurants and colorful alleys, Cartagena is the ideal city for lovers who wish to make a comfortable stopover during their stay in Colombia.

However, it is one of the most expensive cities to visit in the country. You’ll need to dip into your pockets if you want to make the most of it.

My little piece of advice, avoid going there during the tourist season.

Fun and easy things to do in Cartagena

The tourist sites are concentrated in two-quarters of the city, the old town center, and Getsemani. They are only separated by a hundred meters. You can get around on foot. No need for a taxi!

1# Pick the best ice cream

Ice cream cartagena

Let’s start with the most important thing, food! In Cartagena, it can be very hot and there is nothing better than devouring some ice cream to cool down. 3 establishments have a good reputation. It’s up to you to decide between them!

More information (+)

  • Where: The old town center
  • Duration: Depends on the number of ice creams ingested.
  • Price $
  • More information: Paradiso | Paletteria | Tramonti

2# Book a table for a romantic dinner

Diner romantique que faire à Carthagène

Imagine gourmet dishes served away from prying eyes in a charming patio lit by a subdued light. That’s pretty good, isn’t it? A great opportunity to celebrate your trip.

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  • Where: The old center
  • Duration: Depends on you
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Service is often slow on the Caribbean coast, so be patient. Book in advance.
  • More information: Alma | Restaurant 1621 | Carmen

VIP Experience: Dinner in Cartagena’s Bay

3# Taste the flavours of the Caribbean

Caribbean meals things to do in Cartagena

In Cartagena, many renowned chefs use traditional recipes to prepare dishes that make Gordon Ramsay blush. What will be your favorite dishes?

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  • Where: The old center and Getsemani
  • Duration: Depends on you
  • Price: $$
  • Dishes you should order: Ceviche, Posta Negra, Cazuela de Mariscos
  • More information: Eater

4# Sipping delicious cocktails

Cocktail que faire à Carthagène

With this warmth and holiday atmosphere, I advise you to start the evening with a nice cocktail. Some establishments are not lacking in ingenuity to surprise your taste buds. Count 10 Euros for a good cocktail.

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  • Where: The old center
  • Duration: Before dinner
  • Price: $
  • Tips: The Alquimíco rooftop and Town House are top-notch
  • More information: Alquímico | La Baron | Town House

5# Admire the sunset in the ocean

Coucher de soleil que faire à Carthagène

If for you, the view of the sunset takes precedence over the quality of your cocktail, then go to the city wall facing the sea. There you can buy beers on the sly or order a bottle of white wine from the Cafe del Mar. An easy thing to do in Cartagena.

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  • Where: On the wall, near the Cafe del Mar
  • Duration: For the sunset
  • Price: Free – $$
  • Tips: Arrive at least 30 minutes early if you want to sit down at Cafe del Mar. Another good plan is to enjoy the rooftop of the Movitch. The view of the old town is breathtaking.
  • More information: Cafe del Mar | Movitch

Our tip: Enjoy the sunset from a Catamaran!

6# So we’re dancing… the Salsa

We suggest it for every major city in Colombia. If you come here, you have to learn some salsa steps. It’s MANDATORY. You can take some private or group lessons.

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  • Where: Crazy Salsa School | The old center
  • Duration: 1h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Beginners group is at 10:00. It’s perfect to start the day on the right foot. Closed on Sundays. Take a trip to Quiebra Canto if you’d rather watch people dance.
  • More information: Crazy Salsa

Experience at the top: Follow La Guia Cartagenera in a fiery salsa party

7# Or Champeta (but it’s even harder)

Champeta things to do in Cartagena
@ Fundacion Gabo

Champeta is a musical style invented on the Caribbean coast and strongly influenced by African culture. Cartagena was a slave port of great importance. Champeta can be danced alone or in pairs. Expect to sweat a lot!

More information (+)

  • Where: Bazurto Social Club | Getsemani
  • Duration: Evening
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Free lessons (but cover) at 10:30 pm from Wednesday to Saturday.
  • More information: Bazurto

8# Show of traditional African dances

Danse sur Plaza Bolivar
@ Young Shanahan

If you think the sunset is not going to be great because of the clouds, change your plans and head for Bolivar Square. Every night, a group of musicians and dancers come to perform for about fifteen minutes. It’s very nice!

More information (+)

  • Where: Place Bolivar | Old city center
  • Duration: 15 min
  • Price: Free, but leave a tip 🙂
  • Tips: It’s just before sunset.

9# Enjoy the bohemian atmosphere of Getsemani

Trinidad Square Cartagena
@Joe Ross

The old center is beautiful but not representative of Colombia. Stroll through the colorful streets of Getsemani if you want to escape the hordes of tourists arriving from the cruises. There is a lot of graffiti to admire and the early evening festive atmosphere is entertaining.

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  • Where: Getsemani
  • Duration: 1 – 2 h (or all night)
  • Tips: There are artists dancing in Trinidad Square from 7:00 p.m. Pass by Café Mural.

10# Take colourful pictures of the old city

Photo vieux centre que faire à Carthagène

Visit the old center! It’s the must-see of Cartagena. The problem is that everyone does the same thing. A cute alley with 195 people, that’s 194 people too many. Don’t despair, nothing is lost. If you want to take nice pictures, without having pieces of legs lying around, just get up early!

More information (+)

  • Where: The old center
  • Duration: 1 – 2h
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Be in the old center around 7:00 am and then have breakfast at La Brioche. The streets of the San Diego neighborhood are even more photogenic.

Become a star: Ideal activity for a group of friends or on honeymoon

11# Look for the monkeys in Centenario Park

Centenario Park is located between Getsemani and the old center. It is small and not very well laid out. On the other hand, there is a small colony of monkeys that settled there a few years ago. Probably capuchin explorers and chip lovers.

More information (+)

  • Where: Park Centenario | Between Getsemani and the old center
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Ask the vendors in the park where to find them

12# Admire Cartagena from La Popa

La popa things to do in Cartagena
@Manuel Castro

This convent is nicknamed “La Popa” because it is located on a hill that looks like the stern of a boat. It is the best place to admire the city of Cartagena.

More information (+)

  • Where: Convento la Popa | 15 min by taxi from the old center
  • Duration: 1 h
  • Price: $$ (Taxi + entrance)
  • Tips: Ask a taxi to take you up to the “Convento” and then wait for you to come down.
  • More information: Lonely Planet

Make it simpler: Get a ride to different places

13# Do a bit of shopping

Shopping que faire à Carthagène
@Alex W

The old center is full of small shops selling colorful swimwear or handicrafts that will fit perfectly into your living room. Make sure you leave some room in your suitcase!

More information (+)

  • Where: The old city center
  • Tips: There are some great cigars at the cava del Puro, delicious sweet pancakes under the arcades in front of the Puerta del Reloj, or OndadeMar for a bikini.
  • More information: Shopping in Cartagena

Must read: The best beaches around Cartagena

Museums in Cartagena, Colombia

Things to do in Cartagena

Don’t come to Cartagena to visit museums. You’ll find a few explanations and all of them in Spanish. There are still two places to visit if you are a fan of history (y que hablas Español).

14# Learn the history of Cartagena at the Naval Museum

Museo Naval que faire à Carthagène
@Joe Ross

During the time of colonialization, pirates have always loved Cartagena. In fact, a large majority of the assaults were ordered by other countries such as France or England (privateers). Discover the defeats and victories of this fortified city.

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  • Where: Museo Naval del Caribe | Old city center
  • Duration: 1 – 2 h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: 9 – 17h. You can pay for a guided tour
  • More information: On their Facebook page

15# Attacking Fort San Felipe

Castillo San Felipe things to do in Cartagena
@JD Lasica

Always with the idea of protecting itself from attackers, Cartagena built many forts, the most imposing being San Felipe. The walk around the fort is nice, but there are better things to do in the city. It might interest you if you have never visited this type of monument before.

More information (+)

  • Where: Castillo San Felipe | 5 min by taxi from Getsemani
  • Duration: 1 -2 h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: It’s better in the morning.
  • More information: Explanations

Get ideas: 1-week itinerary with Cartagena

The famous “free walking tours” of Cartagena, Colombia

Things to do in Cartagena

Free walking tours are organized by local agencies to help travelers discover their city when they come to visit. These tours are free of charge, however, it is strongly encouraged to leave a tip. There are also some in Medellin and Bogota.

16# Follow the colourful umbrellas in the historic center of Cartagena

Centre historique Carthagène

There are two companies known for doing free walking tours of the historical center of Cartagena. This is a good way to get to know some good tips and discover the history of the city. It’s up to you to see if you prefer yellow or red.

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  • Where: The old center
  • Duration: 2 h
  • Price: Free, but leave a tip:)
  • Tips: Grab a hat! Do it in the morning so you don’t miss the sunset. You have to book online.
  • More information: Beyond Colombia | Free Cartagena

17# Follow the colourful umbrellas in Cartagena’s artistic quarter, Getsemani

Another option to discover the cultural heritage of Cartagena is a visit to the Getsemani district. Getsemani was at the time a notoriously bad neighborhood of workers and prostitutes, then it gradually turned into a bohemian and artistic district. There is a lot of graffiti to admire.

More information (+)

  • Where: Getsemani
  • Duration: 2h
  • Price: Free, but leave a tip 🙂
  • Tips: Grab a hat! Do it in the morning so you don’t miss the sunset. You have to book online.
  • More information: Beyond Colombia | Free Cartagena

Paid cultural tours of Cartagena

Being the most visited city in Colombia, there are plenty of tours and activities to do in Cartagena. Some of them can be quite expensive. Make your choice according to your budget and your desires.

Enjoy your weekend while we add all these activities in your itinerary

18# A private tour in the city of Cartagena

Tour privé que faire à Carthagène

It’s nicer not to share the guide with other tourists. You go at your own pace, you choose what interests you and you can exchange more easily and freely. Contact Beyond Colombia directly if you want to visit the historical center of Cartagena and Getsemani. The tours are only in English or Spanish.

More information (+)

  • Where: Getsemani and the old town
  • Duration: 2 h
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: It’s more pleasant early in the morning.
  • More information: Beyond Colombia

VIP and French Experience: Sion Tour will take care of you

19# Soak up Bazurto’s open market

Food Bazurto Cartagena

For an experience rich in color and flavor, visit at least one market in Colombia. With Cartagena Insider, discover the different facets of the Bazurto market, from the creation of posters, medicinal plants, fresh fruit juices, and a delicious meal.

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  • Where: Bazurto Market | 10 min by car
  • Duration: 4 h
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Save room for lunch. It’s delicious.

We recommend: Add Bazurto Market to your itinerary (Free cancellation)

20# Bring a recipe home

Cooking lovers, I have just the thing for you. Depending on your budget, you can choose the number of dishes you wish to prepare (and eat). You can even go shopping at the market with your chef. It’s a unique opportunity to share a moment with the locals.

More information (+)

  • Where: depends on the chosen experience
  • Duration: 2 – 5 h
  • Price: $$ – $$$$
  • More information: Cartagena Connection has a list with several proposals for cooking classes.

VIP Experience: Ask Duran Duran to impress you

21# Crabs, mangroves and net throwing in La Boquilla

La boquilla que faire à Carthagène

La Boquilla is a fishing village surrounded by the city of Cartagena. In a small canoe, your fishing guide will take you into the mangroves with a long pole. The atmosphere there is both peaceful and pleasant. Your guide will teach you the local fishing techniques to catch fish and crabs in this natural environment. Trapping and netting is an art!

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  • Where: La Boquilla | 20 min by car from the old center
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Take things you’re not afraid to get wet.

Add La Boquilla to your itinerary in Colombia (free cancellation)

22# How do you like your coffee?

Coffee tasting things to do in Cartagena

Colombian coffee is known worldwide for its balance and its acid and sweet notes. Participate in a tasting workshop to discover the characteristics of Colombian coffee. Also, find out how the different preparation methods impact the final flavors in the cup. An easy thing to do in Cartagena!

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23# Do you know Gabriel Garcia Marquez?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Marquez is a famous Colombian novelist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, rewarding a singular writing style, a mixture of realism and skillful touch of surreality. The writer is much inspired by the Caribbean coast for his books. Discover his story as you wander through the alleys of Cartagena.

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  • Where: The old city center
  • Duration: 3h
  • Price: $$$

Ask Duran Duran to save you a spot on this tour

24# Cycling and eating (but not both at the same time)

Bike tour Cartagena

You burn calories, then you get them back, then you burn them again while having your hair in the wind. Free bike Tour organizes this appetizing activity to make you discover the city of Cartagena and its “street food”! Simple, interesting and delicious.

More information (+)

  • Where: Getsemani and the old city center
  • Duration: 4 h
  • Price: $$

Ask Free bike tour to save you a seat!

25# Where to ride a bike and look for film locations?

Movie and bike tour

Every year there is the Cartagena Film Festival (in March). The city has regularly been in the spotlight with films such as “Cartagena o l’homme de chevet” and “El amor en los tiempos del Colera”. A sporting apprenticeship 🙂

More information (+)

Ask Gerardo to save you a bike!

26# Make your own chocolate and take it away

Museo del chocolate

Chocolate is like a toothbrush, it can’t be shared, except maybe with your favorite granny. In Cartagena, there’s the Chocolate Museum for family fun. Let’s go, put on your apron!

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  • Where: The historic center
  • Duration: 2 h
  • Price: $$
  • More information: Choco Museo

27# With a bit of rum, it’s even better

Rhum dégustation Que faire à Carthagène

Luckily there is rum for Colombians who don’t like Aguardiente, a local alcoholic drink that is drunk in shots between two sips of beer to get it through. There are five known rums in Colombia, and one of them has received many awards. So, any ideas?

More information (+)

  • Where: El Arsenal | Getsemani
  • Duration: 1 – 2h
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: The food is also very good!
  • More information: El Arsenal Rumbox

28# Like Cousteau before you, visit the seabed

Scuba diving

The advantage of diving in the Caribbean Sea is that it’s warm enough to avoid putting on a full suit. Many boats have been sunk off Cartagena. It’s perfect for playing hide-and-seek with sharks.

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29# Like our friends the birds, fly over Cartagena

Cartagena view from the sky

Climb aboard a paratrike – a kind of three-wheeled motorcycle with a sail and a propeller – to admire the city of Cartagena and the Caribbean coast. Surprisingly, it flies very well :D.

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  • Where: Nearby La Boquilla | 20 min by taxi from the old center
  • Duration: 15 min
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: There’s also skydiving if you’re looking for more adrenaline.

Ask Fly Cartagena to save you a seat!

Things to do outside of Cartagena

Unlike Santa Marta, there is not much to do around Cartagena, apart from sunbathing on the paradise islands of San Bernardo or Rosario.

Venturing on the islas of Rosario

Things to do in Cartagena

The vast majority of the Rosario Islands are only 1 hour from Cartagena and it can be an interesting expedition if you don’t plan to visit the rest of the Caribbean coast in your Colombian itinerary.

The problem with these islands is that they can be invaded by tourists. Avoid going there on weekends and choose your tour carefully.

Let’s take a closer look.

30# The most famous beach is Isla Baru (Playa Blanca)

Isla Baru is connected to the mainland by a bridge. It is therefore possible (and recommended) to get there by road! The beach is beautiful, but there are too many people. Don’t book a tour, walk to the end of the beach and spend the night in a small hut so you can enjoy Playa Blanca at the end of the day with fewer people.

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  • Where: Playa Blanca | 45 min by car
  • Duration: 1 – 2 days
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Take the shuttle that leaves from Mamallena.

32# You can also sail around the islands on a sailboat

Catamaran things to do in Cartagena

It’s a simple and pleasant way to avoid tourists. The crew of the catamaran is taking care of its guests and offers juice at will. It’s the perfect plan to take a break between two snorkeling sessions. Lunch is included, but don’t eat too much as you risk sinking.

More information (+)

  • Where: Las Islas de Rosario |Departure from the port near the old center
  • Duration: 8 h
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Tee shirt, cap, and bikini!

Reserve your place to be aboard the catamaran (limited places)!

33# It’s even better if you rent your own boat

Location Bateau que faire à Carthagène

This is THE thing to do in Cartagena if you are traveling with a group of friends or family. Rent a boat (with captain) to explore the islands. Don’t forget to have some cold beers!

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  • Where: The boat’s waiting for you at the port, near the old town.
  • Duration: 8 h
  • Price: $$$$
  • Tips: go party on Isla Cholon for a little while if it’s the weekend.

Ask Boats4U to reserve the right boat for you.

34# Drink cocktails at a beach club

Beach club things to do in Cartagena

There are many resort hotels that organize “day passes” for those who wish to rest on a paradise island and do nothing during the day. It’s not very exciting but the scenery is splendid.

More information (+)

35# Leave for a few days on Isla Grande

Isla Grande que faire à Carthagène

I’m all for doing it right. Spend several days on the islands to really enjoy the atmosphere there. There are some beautiful (and expensive) establishments to fully appreciate the Rosarios Islands.

More information (+)

36# Tierra Bomba, it’s just 20 minutes away

Tierra bomba things to do in Cartagena

Well, technically, the island of Tierra Bomba is not part of the Rosario Reserve. Because of its proximity to the coast, the sea is more turbid than turquoise around this island. This is still a good option if you want to relax on your deckchair listening to good music.

More information (+)

  • Where: Tierra Bomba – Blue Apple Beach | 20 min by boat
  • Duration: Full day
  • Price: $$$
  • More information: Blue Apple beach

Things to do without bathing suits

Things to do in Cartagena

You can organize 2 tours that are a bit out of the ordinary to observe nature or to learn more about the African-Colombian mix.

37# San Basilio de Palenque, America’s first free slave village

Cartagena was an important slave port. Thousands of slaves passed through the city. Some – including the African king Benkos – escaped and built San Basilio de Palenque. Even today, African culture is still very much present there.

More information (+)

  • Where: San Basilio de Palenque | 2h by car
  • Duration: Full day
  • Price: $$$$
  • Tips: There is the festival in Palenque every year in October. A strong and authentic cultural moment.
  • More information: Website

Add the tour of Palenque to your itinerary in Colombia (free cancellation)

38# Thousands of birds on Isla Baru

Hummingbirds Valle de Cocora Salento

The Avario Nacional de Colombia is a huge aviary with more than 2,000 birds and 135 different species.

More information (+)

  • Where: Avario Nacional de Colombia | 1h30 by car
  • Duration: Full day
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: There’s a daily shuttle to get there | Don’t miss the 11:30 or 15:30 show
  • More informationAviary’s website

Escape to a secluded (or almost deserted) beach

Things to do in Cartagena

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, I know two places that are worth a visit.

39# The paradise islands of San Bernardo

San Bernardo islands colombia

The islands of San Bernardo are beginning to be well-known but there are still fewer people than on the Rosario Islands. Choose between Isla Mucura and Isla Tintipan to feed yourself with coconuts and fresh fish with your feet in the water.

More information (+)

40# Rincon del Mar, a little piece of paradise

Rincon del Mar (1)

Colorful little houses on the beach, sparkling blue sea, and fresh lobsters. Once in Rincon del Mar, it is difficult to leave. This is one of our favorites on the coast.

More information (+)

Things to do in Cartagena during the week

Except during the high season, there are few events at the beginning of the week (Monday and Tuesday).

I’m putting together a little list of our favorite events in Cartagena. Don’t forget to check on the social networks before going there 😉

Download our Travel Guide (free) for a complete list of events in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Cartagena.

Going out in Cartagena on Monday

  • Cocktail party at Alquimico | historic centre

Going out in Cartagena on Tuesday

  • Take a little stroll around Trinidad Square | Getsemani

Going out in Cartagena on Wednesday

Going out in Cartagena on Thursday

Thigns to do in Cartagena on Friday

Things to do in Cartagena on Saturday

  • All events on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (except pool party)

Things to do in Cartagena on Sunay

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Things to do after Cartagena

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Things to do in Cartagena (1)

46 Best Things to Do in Bogota (2020): What Travelers love (+bonus)

I wrote down a complete list of things to do in Bogota and around so that you can decide the length of your stay there.

Through this post, you will get insightful and practical information to decide what to do in Bogota. I put on the side all the useless stuff like visiting the commercial center or banal activities like eating an Ajiaco.

Use our post to create a fantastic itinerary to explore Bogota and its region.

Also, there is a bonus at the end of this post. I give you a list of things to do in Bogota for each day of the week. Don’t miss it. 😉

Must read: Our top-notch Bogota travel guide

Table of contents: Things to do in Bogota, Colombia

  1. Entertainment
  2. Free walking tour
  3. Paid Cultural tours
  4. Hikes in Bogota
  5. Museums
  6. Natural wonders around Bogota
  7. Cultural day trips
  8. Fun outdoor activities
  9. Cute colonial towns
  10. Cool events during the week
  11. How to decide among all these places?
  12. Lay back while we plan your trip

Stop being stressed and ask us to plan your trip

What to do inside Bogota, Colombia

Let’s start this post with the best tip ever.

When visiting Bogota, the best thing to do is to take an umbrella. Indeed, it’s not unusual to get the 4 seasons in one single day.

Bogota is super stretched, and it’s NOT fun to move around – traffic jams, pollution, and so on. I recommend optimizing your days. It means that you should plan your daily activities.

Also, this why it’s important to pick carefully your district.

Must Read: Where to stay in Bogota

Entertainment in Bogota, Colombia

Things to do in Bogota

1# Go to a Language Exchange event to meet locals

Colombian woman Language Exchange

Many Colombians can’t afford to travel abroad. They’re curious to meet foreigners and crave to improve their English (or French). The best events are Gringo Tuesday and Cafe Polyglot.

Information (+)

  • Where: Gringo Tuesday (Zona Rosa) & Cafe Polyglot (Candelaria)
  • Duration: 1 – 3 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Gringo Tuesday is on Tuesday from 4 pm & Cafe Polyglot on Wednesday from 5 pm
  • Contact: Gringo Tuesday & Cafe Polyglot

2# Ciclovia: Bike freely in Bogota

On Sunday, Bogotanos invade the city on their bike. It’s the exercise day of the week. Don’t hesitate to wander in parks if it’s a sunny day. Virrey Park or Simon Bolivar Park are both good options.

Information (+)

  • Where: There are more than 110 km of Ciclovia.
  • Duration: 7 am – 2 pm
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: On Sunday
  • Contact: Map here.

3# Flea market in Usaquen

USAQUEN BOGOTA

Usaquen is a lovely colonial town that has been soaked up by Bogota. It’s pleasant to have a walk around this area, especially when there is the flea market. It’s only on Sunday.

Information (+)

  • Where: In Usaquen, Carrera 5 Calle 120 | 40 min from Chapinero
  • Duration: 11 am – 4 pm
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Only on Sunday. Head up the hill to the flea market.
  • Info: Here

4# Taste delicious craft beers

National beers are very common in Colombia, but most of them are flavorless – as almost any national beers. Fortunately, various microbreweries pop up in the capital. Some of them are fantastic! Book a tour to find out these secret gems.

Information (+)

  • Where: Chapinero | 20 min from la Candelaria
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: It’s usually at the end of the afternoon.

We recommend: We loved to do it with these guys

5# Party in the Zona Rosa

Travelers speak all the time about the nightlife in Medellin, but did you know that it’s even better in Bogota? You must head to the Zona Rosa (Calle 84) or Parque 93.

Information (+)

  • Where: Zona Rosa | 40 min from La Candelaria
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting 9:00 pm.
  • Info: Here

Add it to your Colombia itinerary (Free cancellation)

6# Enjoy Chapinero, a Hipster-trendy district

Zona Rosa is fun to party at night, but if you’re looking for more underground parties, then you need to head to Chapinero. It’s my favorite district (if you know where to go).

Information (+)

  • Where: South of Chapinero | 20 min from La Candelaria
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Start at 7 pm

Add it to your Colombia itinerary (Free cancellation)

#7 Go dancing Salsa at night

It’s one of my favorite things to do in Colombia. You can dance Salsa in every big city in the country, but you have to find Salsa bars (otherwise you’ll spend the night moving your hips on Reggaeton music). We can plan salsa classes in different cities.

Information (+)

  • Where: Sandunguera (Chapinero), Quiebra canto (Centro), El Goce Pagano (Centro) and more
  • Duration: Close around 3 am on the weekend
  • Price: $ if there is a live band
  • Tips: Better to go out from Thursday to Saturday
  • Info: A full list of the bars

8# Food excursion in La Macarena

Chapinero district is for hipsters and La Macarena is the perfect neighborhood for eating in delicious (and not expensive) restaurants and visiting art galleries. I love the restaurant Anna y Otto.

Information (+)

9# Explore the art galleries in San Felipe

Art galleries things to do in Bogota

Since 2010, artists and galleries try to turn San Felipe into the new New York’s SoHo. Nowadays, there are more than 70 art spaces in this district.

Information (+)

  • Where: San Felipe, next to Quinta Camacho (Chapinero).
  • Tips: There are various events organized by Open San Felipe
  • Info: Here

10# Play Tejo, a national Colombia game

It’s one of the fun things to do in Bogota. You must throw a metal disk into a box filled with clay and hope for hearing a loud explosion. You usually drink many beers too!

Information (+)

  • Where: Club de Tejo La 76 (San Felipe) & The Bucaros (Centro)
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: More space during the day

Add it to your Colombia itinerary (Free Cancellation)

11# Horse riding from Guadalupe to Monserrate

Guadalupe and Monserrate are two of the highest points to admire the city of Bogota. Visit both throughout a relaxing horse riding trip – then come down with the cable car.

Information (+)

  • Where: Guadalupe and Monserrate (Centro)
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Guadalupe has a reputation for being dangerous. Don’t get there on your own.

Add it to your Colombia Itinerary (Free cancellation)

12# Crazy dinner at Andres Carne de Res

Andres carne de res things to do in Bogota

Many guides and blogs recommend it. It’s a restaurant-nightclub for meat lovers. There are several events while you’re eating. In the end, everyone dances. It’s typical and fun.

Information (+)

  • Where: Andres Carne de Res | Chia (1 hour from la Candelaria)
  • Duration: At night
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Book it in advance, especially on the weekend. There is a small one in Parque 93
  • Contact: Website

Make it easy: Ask these guys to take care of it

13# Admire the view from Torre Colpatria

Colpatria view things to do in Bogota
Photo taken by Biusch

It’s the fifth-tallest in South America, and you can get to the top to admire the view!

Information (+)

  • Where: Torre Colpatria, Carrera 7 No. 24 – 79 | La Macarena (10 min from La Candelaria)
  • Duration: < 1 h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Only open from Friday to Sunday. Opening hours.

14# Take the one and only Colombia’s train to get to the Salt Cathedrals

Train Sabana things to do in Bogota

It’s a fun thing to do in Bogota, especially if you travel with kids. The train stops at different places and you can decide to visit one of the two Salt Cathedrals.

Information (+)

  • Where: Departure from Station Sabana or Station Usaquen | 45 min from La Candelaria
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Only on Saturday, Sunday and public holiday (book it in advance if it’s the case). All the information here.
  • Article: Read this post

Must read: Bogota VS Cali VS Medellin VS Cartagena

Hikes and parks in Bogota

Things to do in Bogota

The Andean mountains flank the Eastside of Bogota and there are various hiking trails you can take early in the morning. Policemen watch out the paths to ensure the security, but it’s recommended not to hike alone. Bogotanos love to do it on a Sunday morning.

Take a look at this website before organizing your hike.

15# Quebrada La Vieja

Quebrada La Vieja things to do in Bogota
Photo taken by Gabrielizalo

It’s the most visited trail. There is a cool view of Bogota. Once arrived at Claro de la Luna, this path divides into 3 sections: La Virgen (easy), Cerro de la Cruz (medium), Los paramos (difficult).

Information (+)

  • Where: Departure from Carrera 7 with 71
  • Duration: 1 – 4h
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: You must first register online. Tue – Sat: 5h30 – 8h30 am; Sun: 6 – 11 am
  • Contact: Information here

16# Quebrada Las Delicias

A short hike leads to a crystalline river and a waterfall. Do not enter if you don’t see the police at the beginning of the trail.

Information (+)

  • Where: Politécnico Gran Colombia campus | South of Chapinero
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Every day: 7 – 11 am
  • Contact: More information here

17# Take the stairs up to Monserrate

Monserrate Stairs

It’s tough and you will suffer, but thousands of Colombians do it every week. Avoid going on Sunday as it’s crowded. The view from the top is great. You can also take the cable car.

Information (+)

  • Where: The steps start from the Cable car station (on your left) | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 1h to get to the top
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Get there for sunset. Mon-Sat: 6h30 – 23h30; Sun: 5h30 – 16h30.
  • Contact: Here

Free walking tour in Bogota, Colombia

Things to do in Bogota

When traveling on a shoestring budget, it’s always pleasant to know the cheapest way to visit a city. Free walking tours allow you to learn about the Culture and History of a country without spending too much money. Besides, it’s super easy to organize. You just have to show up – Although it’s better if you book it online.

18# Walking tour in La Candelaria

La Candelaria Bogota

I’m a big fan of Beyond Colombia. They offer various tours in the capital, and their local guides always bring a lot of good energy. Walk around La Candelaria to learn a bit of everything about Bogota.

Information (+)

  • Where: Departure point at the Gold museum | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip at the end
  • Tips: Every day, 10 am & 2 pm. Bring your umbrella.
  • Contact: Website

19# Taste Colombian specialties

Street food Colombia

Explore Bogota’s Downton while eating different types of street food. It’s fun and tasty.

Information (+)

  • Where: Departure point at the Gold museum | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: $ (tips + food samples)
  • Tips: Mon – Fri: 2 pm. Bring your umbrella.
  • Contact: Website

20# Understand the fu***d up socio-political situation of Colombia

War and peace things to do in Bogota

Drug traffickers, paramilitaries, power, corruption, evil politicians… Colombia never enjoyed a long period of peace. Why is it so messed up? The War and Peace tour gives you some clear insight to get a better understanding of the situation.

Information (+)

  • Where: Departure point at the Gold museum | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip at the end
  • Tips: Mon – Fri: 10 am. Bring your umbrella.
  • Contact: Website

21# Colombia is not what you think

There are tons of prejudices and wrong information about Colombia. Book a Heroe tour to be able to prove your friends back home that they’re wrong. It’s a comprehensive tour with fruit tasting and a Tejo game!

Information (+)

  • Where: Bolivar square | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3h30
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip at the end
  • Tips: Every day at 10h30 am. Yellow umbrella.
  • Contact: Website

22# Admire the street arts around La Candelaria

Free Graffiti tour things to do inBogota

Thanks to Justin Bieber, artists are nowadays allowed to express their feeling with graffiti. Learn about this not-so-funny anecdote and admire the most beautiful street arts in La Candelaria.

Information (+)

  • Where: Parque de Los Periodistas | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip at the end
  • Tips: Every day, 10 am & 2 pm. Bring your umbrella. | Look for the blue umbrella. It can be super crowded during the high season.
  • Contact: Website

Travel Stress-Free: We work with all these companies. Do we add them to your itinerary?

Paid cultural tours in Bogota, Colombia

Things to do in Bogota

Although free walking tours are an excellent way to discover Bogota, don’t hesitate to book a private tour (or a small size group) to discover the city. By doing so, you get a more personalized experience, and you help small local companies. 😉

23# Walking tour in La Candelaria

Walking tour things to do inBogota

It’s quite easy to move to the different Candelaria’s highlights, but it’s always better when you get the thrilling stories while strolling in the alleyways!

Information (+)

  • Where: La Candelaria + Monserrate
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: The gold museum is closed on Monday. Bring your umbrella.

Add it to your Colombia itinerary (Free Cancellation)

24# Graffiti tour in La Candelaria

Graffiti street bogota

The guys from the Free Bogota Graffiti Tour allow you to book a private tour. It’s quite cheap and the price is fix up to 5 people. We loved it.

Information (+)

  • Where: Parque de Los Periodistas | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Bring your umbrella
  • Contact: Website

25# Ride on a bike in the various Bogota’s districts

Bike tour things to do in Bogota

It’s one of the best things to do in Bogota if you don’t have much time. Your local guide shows you different areas of Bogota (Downtown, Teusaquillo, La Macarena), plus you visit a coffee roaster, play Tejo and taste Colombian fruits.

Information (+)

  • Where: Meeting point at Bogota Bike tour in La Candelaria
  • Duration: 4 h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Everyone can do it! Just show up at 10h30 or 13h30
  • Website

26# Coffee tasting in trendy Bogota’s cafes

Coffee tours Arte late

There are several excellent coffee tours in Bogota. It’s a unique opportunity to taste different types of coffee and learn about the various preparation methods. Plus, I always love the cozy atmosphere in Bogota’s cafes.

Information (+)

Add it to your Colombia itinerary (Free Cancellation)

27# Colombian fruit tasting

Fruit tour

There are tons of delicious and juicy fruits in Colombia – some are super weird as well. Cover your eyes, and let your 4 other senses to be amazed by this experience.

Information (+)

Add it to your Colombia Itinerary (Free Cancellation)

28# Devour Colombian street food

Street food Colombia Patacones

Colombia isn’t famous for its local food, and you’ll probably be tired of ordering rice, plantains, and chicken. Eating street foods is a great way to add diversity to your daily meals. Head to Paloquemao – largest market in Colombia – or have a look on Septimazo avenue. Read this post from our friend Karen to know more about street food.

Information (+)

  • Where: Cranky Croc | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: Don’t east before coming!
  • Booking: Food tour

We recommend this tour instead if you want to include Paloquemao

29# Buy ingredient at the market and cook with a local

Market cooking colombi

It’s one of my favorite things to do when traveling to a foreign country. Through cooking experiences, you share so much that you didn’t even need to be fluent to communicate. Bon appetite!

Information (+)

  • Where: “Near” Chapinero | 30 min from La Candelaria
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Price: $$$

Add it to your Colombia itinerary (Free cancellation)

Museums to visit in Bogota, Colombia

Things to do in Bogota

Usually, I’m quickly bored in museums. However, some of my favorite museums are in the capital, and you shouldn’t hesitate to add some to your Colombia itinerary. It’s one of the cheapest things to do in Bogota.

30# National Museum to get the full story

Museo National

I was surprised by the quality of the explanations in this museum. This old prison is an ideal stop if you want to learn about Colombia’s History.

Information (+)

  • Where: Museo Nacional | La Macarena | 15 min taxi from La Candelaria
  • Duration: 2 – 4 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Almost no English explanation, but you can book an English guide in advance. Close on Monday! Get there in the morning and head to La Macarena for lunch.
  • Contact: Information

31# Beautiful Golden artifacts

Spaniards became crazy when they saw all these amazing golden artifacts made by the indigenous. Learn about the different methods used on this metal.

Information (+)

  • Where: Museo del Oro | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: English explanations. Close on Monday
  • Contact: Website

32# Art Museums with 4 exhibitions

Mamu Bogota Botero

It’s an ideal thing to do in Bogota if you’re an art lover. There is a permanent exhibition of Botero – most famous Colombian artist – and paintings of Dali and Picasso. The building is quite small, and there is a lovely courtyard where people can rest.

Information (+)

  • Where: Mamu Museo | La Candelaria
  • Duration: 1 – 3 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: You can rent an audio guide for the Botero exhibition. Closed on Tuesday.
  • Contact: Website

Must read: Stunning day trip and multi-day trips from Bogota

Things to do outside of Bogota, Colombia

The Andean mountains surround Bogota, and there are tons of exciting day trips you can add to your Colombia itinerary. You’ll realize than you can stay over one week without being bored at all!

Stunning natural wonders you can visit from Bogota

Things to do in Bogota

Between astonishing landscapes, mighty waterfalls, and wildlife, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re a nature lover. Don’t hesitate to book a private tour to reach the different highlights faster – It takes at least one hour to get out of Bogota by public transportation.

33# The highest of Colombia’s waterfalls

With its almost 600m high, La Chorrera is an impressive waterfall you can admire from Bogota. The path is well-made, and there is a second waterfall you can admire on the way, El Chifflon.

Information (+)

  • Where: On the way to Choachi. 1h bus drive + 4 km walk to arrive at the part entrance.
  • Duration: 3h inside the park
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Avoid going there during the dry season (Dec-March).
  • More information: Here

Make it easy: Ask these guys to drive you to La Chorrera!

34# Observe colorful hummingbirds

Hummingbirds Valle de Cocora Salento

Colombia is one of the countries with the most hummingbird species in the world. Don’t hesitate to plan a trip to hummingbird observatory to admire the 18 species present in this reserve. You can also stay there overnight.

Information (+)

  • Where: Observatorio de Colibri | 45 min drive
  • Duration: 3h or the full-day pass
  • Price: $
  • Tips: You must book it in advance. 9 am – 4 pm
  • Contact: Website

35# The largest Paramo in Colombia

Paramos are a unique type of ecosystem present in 4 countries only. The paramo of Sumapaz is the largest in the world and the hike to get there isn’t too demanding. The landscapes are surreal. It will be complicated to do it on your own, book a tour.

Information (+)

Make it easy: Ask these guys to explore Sumapaz

36# Mysterious Lagoon and Paramo

Chingaza hike Bogota

The Chingaza Paramo is a bit closer to Bogota than Sumapaz, but you have to pay an entrance fee to get in. Follow your guide across beautiful sceneries made up of scared lagoons and endless valleys of Frailejones – giant plants – and observe the wildlife.

Information (+)

Make it easy: Ask these guys to explore Chingaza

37# Visit a natural reserve (and sleep in a treehouse)

Chicaque nature reserve bogota
Photo taken by Young Shanahan

Chicaque is an excellent thing to do in Bogota if you like nature, but can’t afford a tour to the paramos. There are various well-marked trails to explore the reserve and admire the wildlife.

Information (+)

  • Where: South of Bogota | 45 min
  • Duration: Day trip
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Not allowed to enter after 3 pm. You can stay overnight in a treehouse!
  • Information: Website

Make it easy: Gran Colombia drives you to Chicaque

38# The myth of the Eldorado

Guatavita lake near Bogota, Colombia
Guatavita lake near Bogota, Colombia

The Muiscas used to burry various golden artifacts during religious ceremonies. The stories also mention naked bodies covered by golden dust. Go to the Laguna Guatavita to hear the full story and admire the green lagoon.

Information (+)

  • Where: North of Bogota, 1h drive.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: It’s better if you pair it with a tour to the Salt Cathedral or when you head to Villa de Leyva. Closed on Monday.
  • Contact: Info in Spanish

Make it easy: Ask these guys to show you Guatavita and Zipaquira

Travel stress-free: Go playing tennis while we book your activities

Cultural day trips from Bogota

Things to do in Bogota

I’ve got two interesting things to do in Bogota if you want to escape the city and learn exciting facts about Colombia’s culture.

39# Go working in a coffee farm (to deserve your beverage)

Once you’ve found your favorite Bogota’s cafe, tasted various flavors and learned the different preparation methods, it’s time to visit a local coffee farm. It’s an excellent option if you don’t travel to Antioquia or the coffee region.

Information (+)

  • Where: Choachi | 1h from Bogota
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Price: $$$

Add it to your Colombia itinerary (Free cancellation)

40# A famous religious Salt Cathedral

Zipaquira is one of the most well-known things to do in Bogota, but I found it disappointing. People are everywhere, and you don’t have much information about the construction. You can take the bus to Zipaquira at Portal del Norte.

Information (+)

  • Where: Zipaquira | 1h up north from Bogota
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: The main square is lovely. You can take the train. 😉
  • Contact: Website

Make it easy: Go to Zipaquira (and Guatavita) with these guys

41# Another alternative to Zipaquira

If you absolutely want to visit a salt cathedral, but you’re allergic to people, then decide to include Nemocon instead of Zipaquira. Besides, the entrance fee is cheaper.

Information (+)

Make it easy: Ask these guys to drive you to Nemocon (and Guatavita)

Get your adrenaline fix outside of Bogota

Things to do in Bogota

I love outdoor activities! The two following places are ideal for adding some fun to your itinerary. There are day trips organized from Bogota, but I recommend staying overnight.

42# More than 500 climbing routes in Suesca

If you’re serious about outdoor rock climbing, then you probably have heard of “Roca de Suesca.” It’s a long cliff along a railway where Colombians love to practice during the weekend. You can rent the gear and take some classes.

Information (+)

We recommend: We love working with this company

43# Extreme sports activities in Tobia

You don’t have to travel to San Gil if you want to defy a mighty river and fly over canyons. Tobia is a little town with several local agencies ready to offer you canyoning, rafting, and zipline activities.

Information (+)

  • Where: Tobia | 3.5 hours from Bogota by bus
  • Duration: 1 – 3 days
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Go to Tobia on the weekend to be added to a Colombian group or privatize a tour!
  • More information: Read our top-notch Tobia travel guide

Lovely colonial towns close to Bogota

Things to do in Bogota

Being in Bogota for a couple of days can be quickly overwhelming. The best way to enjoy the capital and its region are to mix your itinerary with some lovely colonial towns.

44# Mongui and the Paramo de Oceta

Mongui is a little town outside of the beaten path, and it’s an excellent option to discover the quiet atmosphere in the villages in Boyaca. Hiking to the Paramo de Oceta is the main highlight in Mongui. It’s quite demanding 😉

Information (+)

  • Where: 5 hours from Bogota
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: It’s not mandatory to hike with a local guide to the Paramo de Oceta, but I recommend it. The trail isn’t well-marked and you help the local economy by doing so. 😉
  • More information: Here

45# The unknown town of Guaduas

Guaduas Colombia
Photo taken by Mikesokete

Come to Guaduas to get fully immersed by the everyday life of a strange and typical colonial town. Pick a lovely hotel and switch between some wandering among the white alleys and short excursions in the hilly landscapes.

Information (+)

  • Where: 3 hours from Bogota
  • Duration: 2 – 3 days
  • Tips: You can stop in Guaduas on your way to Medellin.
  • More information: Our multi-day trip post

46# A romantic getaway to Villa de Leyva

Villa De Leyva Guidebook

I love Villa de Leyva, and it’s a perfect place to end your adventure in Colombia. Stay in a lovely hotel with a SPA, stop in Guatavita, and Raquira on the way (you need to book a private vehicle to do so) and eat in delicious restaurants.

Information (+)

Travel stress-free: Hug your grandmother while we organize your stay in Bogota

Things to do in Bogota during the week

In addition to comprehensive cultural tours and museums, visiting Bogota is also an excellent opportunity to experience Colombia’s nightlife. I strongly recommend staying in Chapinero if it’s the case.

Check out the Facebook pages of the places I’ve listed below before going.

You will find the full list in our Free Colombia guidebook.

Things to do in Bogota on Monday

Things to do in Bogota on Tuesday

Things to do in Bogota on Wednesday

  • Language Exchange at Galeria 419 (Polyglot club) | 5 pm | Candelaria
  • Gay party at El Theatron (most famous electro club in Bogota) | Evening, open bar till 1 am | Chapinero
  • Salsa Live Music at Quiebra Canto | 7 pm | Candelaria

Things to in Bogota on Thursday

Things to do in Bogota on Friday

Things to do in Bogota on Saturday

  • Live Colombian music at El Sitio | Evening | Zona Rosa
  • Live music at Asilo Bar | Evening | Teusaquillo
  • DJ live at Baum | Evening | La Macarena

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Things to do after Bogota

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

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40 Best Things to Do in Medellin (2020): What Travelers Love (+bonus)

I wrote down a complete list of things to do in Medellin and around so that you can decide the length of your stay there.

Through this post, you will get insightful and practical information to decide what to do in Medellin. I put on the side all the useless stuff like visiting the commercial center or banal activities like eating a Bandeja Paisa.

Use our post to create a fantastic itinerary to explore Antioquia.

Also, there is a bonus at the end of this post. I give you a list of things to do in Medellin for each day of the week. Don’t miss it. 😉

Must read: Our top-notch Medellin Travel guide

Table of Contents: Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

  1. Entertainment
  2. Free walking tour
  3. Paid cultural tours
  4. Museums and places
  5. Hikes in Medellin
  6. Outdoor activity paradise
  7. Colonial towns
  8. Hikes around Medellin
  9. Things to do during the week
  10. Start deciding which places you visit
  11. Lay back while we do the hard job

Stop being stressed and ask us to plan your trip

What to do inside Medellin, Colombia

Let’s start with the fun things to do in Medellin. Because of its growing popularity, new local agencies offer excellent tours and cool social events are scheduled every week.

Entertainment in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

#1 Drink beers in the 3 Cordilleras factory

It’s one of my favorite places to hang out in Medellin. You pay a cheap cover to drink 5 tasty craft beers and listen to some live music.

Information (+)

  • Where: Ciudad del Rio | 10 min taxi from Poblado
  • Duration: 2-4 h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Get there early to have a table. Only on Thursday and Friday.
  • Website: 3 Cordilleras

Must read: Our Medellin Nightlife guide to party like a local

#2 Dancing Salsa

Travelers love to party in Poblado, but they miss the opportunity to learn some Salsa moves. There are free classes during the week in various bars.

Information (+)

  • Where: Son Havana (Laureles) and Social Club Academia (South of Poblado).
  • Duration: 1h
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Wed – Thu > Son Havana. Thu – Sat > Social Club. Better to arrive early
  • Website: Son Havana | Social Club

Get some fun: Explore Medellin by night with these guys

#3 Play Tejo

It’s a national game where you throw a metal disk and hope for loud explosions. You MUST drink beers. It’s a fun thing to do in Medellin and some locals are super skilled!

Information (+)

  • Where: Cancha de Tejo Polideportivo Sur (Envigado) | 25 min from Poblado
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Avoid the rush hour from 5 to 8 pm.
  • Website: You can practice with these guys!

#4 Watch a football game at the Stadium

Colombians love football. Players’ performances on the field aren’t spectacular, but the atmosphere is a lot of fun. Don’t wear the wrong colors!

Information (+)

  • Where: Estadio (Laureles) | 20 min from Poblado
  • Duration: 3h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: There is a game twice a week. Ask locals to know the dates. Buy your ticket in advance.
  • Website: none.

Get some fun: Hang out with locals before and during the game!

#5 Ciclovia on Sunday

Colombians are fond of the “Tour de France”. Every Sunday morning, they close several main roads so that inhabitants can ride -almost- all over Medellin.

Information (+)

  • Where: Avenida Poblado, from the south in Envigado until El Centro in the north
  • Duration: From 7 am to 1 pm
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Only on Sunday and Public holidays
  • Article: Ciclovia in Medellin

#6 Paragliding above Medellin

From the sky, the city of Medellin is quite impressive. Head to San Felix and pick one of the several certified companies.

Information (+)

Make it easy: Ask these guys to drive you to San Felix

#7 Horse riding in the green hills

Horse riding Medellin

Traveling is a great opportunity for experiencing new things. Ask Andres to pick you up wherever you want in Medellin and explore the surroundings on a well-trained horse.

Information (+)

  • Where: Sabaneta | 45 min away from Poblado
  • Duration: 3h
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Morning activities are always better

We recommend: Travelers love to do it with that guy!

#8 Rafting on the most beautiful Antioquia’s river

Rio Verde and Rio Samana are two beautiful rivers hidden in the hilly landscapes of Antioquia. You can pick a 1 or 2-day rafting trip. The local agency takes care of everything. I’m a big fan!

Information (+)

  • Where: San Francisco | 2-hours jeep drive from Medellin
  • Duration: 1 or 2 days
  • Price: $$$$
  • Tips: Fantastic experience. You can get there on your own to reduce the cost.
  • Booking: We always work with these guys.

Travel stress-free: Go watching a movie while we add it to your itinerary

#9 Language Exchanges: have a chat with locals

Colombian woman

I know that it is not easy to talk with locals when you don’t speak Spanish. Look on the internet the Language Exchanges events to practice and meet new people! It’s one of my favorite things to do in Medellin.

Information (+)

  • Where: There are various cafes and hostels in Laureles and Envigado. I let you my favorite places and their Facebook page. Just check the events!
  • Duration: 1 – 4 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Just show up and smile. People will come to you.
  • Facebook page: Dimeli | Cafe Ondas | Colombia Immersion | Barrio central | Wandering Paisa

#10 Mountain bikes and adrenaline rush

mOUNTAIN BIke Medellin

Ask Medellin Adventure tours to show you their favorite biking spots. Breathless landscapes and unforgettable experiences. They’ve got excellent pieces of equipment.

Information (+)

  • Where: They pick you up In Medellin or at the Jose Cordova Airport
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Book it only if you’re in an excellent physical condition
  • Website: Medellin adventure tours

Make it easy: Add it to your Colombia itinerary

Free Walking Tours in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

A free walking tour is a cheap and informative thing to do in Medellin. You join a local guide who shows you his city and give you tons of information. Then, you give a tip at the end.

I love it because it’s an excellent way to understand a city/country and get a more in-depth travel experience.

#11 Visit the center of Medellin

Real City Tours does a great job to explain to you the complicated past of Medellin while showing you the various monuments and places. Do it if you can’t afford to book a private tour.

Information (+)

  • Where: Alpujarra Metro Station | Near the center
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip
  • Tips: Book it a couple of days in advance
  • Website: Real City tour

#12 Visit the Comuna 13

The stories behind the colorful streets of Comuna 13 are super interesting, but there are too many tourists nowadays.

Information (+)

  • Where: San Javier Station| 15 min by metro from Laureles
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip
  • Tips: Pick the morning tour. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
  • Website: Zippy Tour

Must read: Pick the right district in Medellin

Paid Cultural tours in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

While Free walking tours are an excellent choice when you travel on a shoestring budget, you can’t compare it with a private tour (or at least a small group size).

Also, you don’t interact much with your environment when strolling randomly among the streets – without mentioning the fact that big Colombia cities aren’t sexy.

If you really want to learn from this trip, then booking at least one cultural tour is the thing to do in Medellin.

#13 Bike tour to visit several districts at once

Moutain bike Valle de Cocora Salento

Medellin is situated in a valley. It means the roads are mostly flat. Also, there are many cycling routes, so you won’t die hitten by a truck (hopefully).

Information (+)

  • Where: Departure from Poblado. 19 Km.
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Do it in the morning.
  • Website: Bici tour

We recommend: Travelers love to do it with that guy!

#14 Food tour to la Minorista Market

I love eating street food and fruits when I’m in Colombia. It’s even better when you do it in a massive market with hundreds of stands. There is no interest if you don’t do it with a tour.

Information (+)

  • Where: La Minorista Market | 15 min from Laureles
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Don’t eat before the tour!
  • Website: Real City Tour

# 15 Visit of a local brewery

Microbrewery are becoming a big thing in Colombia. Pay your entrance fee to get 5 samples and visit the Apostol’s Factory.

Information (+)

  • Where: Sabaneta | 30 min from Poblado
  • Duration: 3 hours.
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Every Thursday, at 6h30 pm. Better to make a reservation. Spanish only.
  • Facebook Page: Apostol

#16 La Sierra: A great alternative to Comuna 13

Be an insider and go where 99% of the tourist are not. The district of La Sierra was one of the most dangerous in Medellin. Learn its history. Fantastic view of Medellin.

Information (+)

  • Where: The tour starts in San Antonio, then you take the tramway and the cable car to get to La Sierra (30 min).
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Contact the local agency before showing up. There are many stairs.
  • Website: La Sierra Tours

#17 Visit a coffee farm

You can visit a coffee farm even if you don’t plan to visit the coffee region. Ask Andres to pick you up at your hotel then visit a Finca in Sabaneta. Andres knows tons of stuff about coffee.

Information (+)

  • Where: Andres picks you up wherever you want. The farm is in Sabaneta, a 35-min drive from Poblado.
  • Duration: 3 hours on-site.
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Do it in the morning.

We recommend : Travelers love to do it with that guy!

#18 Coffee and walking tour in La Floresta

Stroll in the district of La Floresta and Santa Lucia with your local guide and speak about coffee and architecture. You’ll visit a coffee roaster!

Information (+)

  • Where: Tour starts at La Floresta Metro Station. | 10 min taxi from Laureles.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Contact the local guide by Whatsapp first. He speaks English.
  • Facebook page: Urban coffee tour

#19 Cook delicious meals with locals

Cooking is a universal language and an excellent way to bring some delicious memories back home. Go shopping to a traditional market then cook with a lovely Colombian family.

Information (+)

#19′ Smell the colorful flowers of Santa Elena.

Santa Elena

The Flower Fair is an important event in Medellin. Each year hundreds of Silleteros parade to show their creations. Learn about their traditions in Santa Elena.

Information (+)

  • Where: Santa Elena | 45 min from Laureles
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Don’t go there if you’re not interested in flowers.
  • Website: More information here

Lovely hikes to do in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin

There are several hikes you can do to admire the city of Medellin. You can also find many hiking tips around Medellin on this post.

I don’t recommend Arvi Park (boring).

Because the most dangerous areas of Medellin are on the outskirts, you should always ask around you before hiking somewhere in the city.

#20 Sunday hike to 3 Cruces

Colombians love to hike to 3 cruces on Sunday. It’s super steep, and the view from the top is outstanding. Besides, it’s also a funny thing to do in Medellin to observe the fashion style of its inhabitants.

Information (+)

  • Where: Start from the Collegio Padre Manyanet | 20 min from Poblado
  • Duration: 1h to get to the top
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Take a bottle of water and a hat. There is no shade. Do it early morning on Sunday.
  • Website: Kinkaju organizes many hikes around Medellin

Places, museums, and gardens in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin

While there are not so many interesting museums in Medellin, some of them are worth visiting if it’s a rainy day.

You won’t find lots of content in English or French inside the museums. We know some excellent local guides if you need it.

#21 Museo del Castillo

Museo del Castillo

A wealthy Colombian, fond of the middle age, built the castle in 1930. Now, it belongs to the State. You can admire the gardens and there is a tour to contemplate the piece of arts inside.

Information (+)

  • Where: Next to Poblado
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Take the time to lay back in the garden. Visit only in Spanish
  • Website: Museo del Castillo

#22 Get to know el Señor Botero

Botero is a world-famous artist who loves to exaggerate the proportions of his subjects. Many of its sculptures are in front of the Museo de Antioquia, that you can also visit to learn more about Botero’s life.

Information (+)

  • Where: Plaza Botero | 15 min from Laureles
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Website: Museo de Antioquia

#23 Museo Moderno del Arte

Beautiful building with a small art collection, various exhibits throughout the year. It’s also a good option to watch independent movies and the view from the terrace is quite nice!

Information (+)

  • Where: Ciudad del Rio | 10 min from Poblado
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: There is an open house every last Friday of the month, at 6 pm.
  • Website: MAMM

#24 Museo de la Memoria

An instructive thing to do in Medellin to get a better understanding of the various conflicts in Colombia. Many different communication supports.

Information (+)

  • Where: In the center | 30 min from Poblado
  • Duration: There are lots of content, but your brain will probably blow up after 2 hours.
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Take a cab to get there, the neighborhood is dodgy. Go early to avoid the crowd. Spanish only.
  • Website: Museo de la Memoria

#25 Parque Explora

Parque Explora

I’m a big fan of that park/museum. You can visit the aquarium and learn in a playful way through many experiments. Perfect for families.

Information (+)

  • Where: Metro station Universidad | 20 min from Laureles.
  • Duration: You can easily stay 6h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Go early and during the week.
  • Website: Parque Explora

# 26 Jardin Botanico & butterflies

Jardin Botanico

You won’t learn a lot about flowers but it’s a lovely place to hang out for 30 min. Visit the butterfly garden and look for the iguanas. You can pair it with Parque Explora.

Information (+)

  • Where: Metro station Universidad | 20 min from Laureles.
  • Duration: 30 min
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Go early to be able to enter in the butterfly garden. Have lunch at In Situ.
  • Website: Jardin Botanico

#27 Take the Metro Cable

Cable Car

It’s not a secret, and every traveler does it. Get to Santo Domingo at sunset and admire the city by night.

Information (+)

  • Where: Metro Station Santo Domingo
  • Duration: 30 min by metro from Laureles
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Don’t wander too far away from the metro station.

Must read: Our favorite Medellin day trips

Things to do around Medellin, Colombia

The region of Antioquia offers many opportunities for day trips from Medellin.

Colonial towns in the region, with colorful wooden doors and gigantic main squares, are among the most pleasant towns in Colombia. Also, travelers who like adventure trips will be spoilt for choice.

With all our suggestions, you can easily travel for one month just in Antioquia.

Use the following information to decide your favorite things to do in this region.

Travel Stress-Free: Watch Game of Throne while we plan your trip.

Towns that offer many outdoor activities

Things to do in Medellin

There are beautiful rivers that flow through the hilly landscapes of Antioquia.

#28 Tubing in San Rafael

San Rafael

San Rafael is a little town surrounded by natural pools and waterfalls. It’s an excellent place for tubing.

Information (+)

  • Where: 3h bus drive from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Stay in San Rafael and visit Guatape on the way back.
  • Travel guide: San Rafael

#29 Canyoning in San Carlos

San Carlos is a little town that offers stunning canyoning opportunities and lovely hikes.

Information (+)

  • Where: 5 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: You can include Guatape and San Rafael in the loop.
  • Travel guide: San Carlos

#30 Tamesis, a town with a mind-blowing view

Tamesis Antioquia

You won’t meet many travelers in Tamesis despite it’s an excellent spot for extreme sports and outdoor activities.

Information (+)

  • Where: 4 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: You must stay at least one night at the Hotel Monte Magico.
  • Travel guide: Tamesis

#31 La Peña, the paradise for rock climbers

Stay at Casa en El Air hostel or at La Peña Abejorral and plan your climbing activities.

Information (+)

  • Where: 5 hours from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Book many days in advance, avoid the weekends.
  • Website: La Peña Abejorral

#32 Magical stay in Rio Claro

Rio Claro is a nature reserve with crystal-clear water and lush vegetation. The park offers various activities like tubing, zipline, and cave exploring and you can stay overnight!

Information (+)

  • Where: 4 hours from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Customer service isn’t great
  • Website: Rio Claro

Be inspired: Take a look at our Colombia itineraries

Lovely colonials towns around Medellin

Things to do in Medellin

There are many cute colonial towns in Antioquia that are perfect for a multi-day trip from Medellin. Don’t hesitate to take the Chivas (colorful buses typical from this region) to move from one town to another.

There is one thing you must keep in mind: You can’t rush if you really want to enjoy the experience.

#33 Guatape and El Peñol

Hikes around Guatape

Every traveler plans a trip to Guatape. The view from el Peñon (the rock on the picture) is fantastic, but the town is a bit overrated.

Information (+)

  • Where: 2 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: Day trip or stay overnight near the lake
  • Tips: Avoid going on a public holiday. You can continue your trip to San Rafael, it’s just 45 min away.
  • Travel guide: Guatape

Make it easy: Ask these guys to show you around if you’re in a hurry

#34 Santa Fe de Antioquia and its famous bridge

It’s a lovely colonial town with some beautiful hotels – pick one with a pool. You can learn about gold seekers and contemplate the bridge “El Puente del Occidente”.

Information (+)

  • Where: 1.5h bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: Day trips or 2 days
  • Tips: It’s not worth it if you don’t book a tour. You will miss 95% of the experience.
  • Website: More information here

#35 Horizontes, our best-kept secret

Horizontes is a tiny colonial town, up a hill, with a great view of the valley. The inhabitants all know each other and you won’t find any tourists. It’s an excellent tour if you pair it with Belmira and Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Information (+)

  • Where: 2h bus to Belmira (Terminal north) + 2 h Chiva to Horizontes.
  • Duration: Package 3 days
  • More information here

#36 Jerico, a religious colonial town

Jerico Antioquia

Jerico is a colonial town made up of colorful houses and magnificent churches. It’s ideal for staying a couple of days and be soaked by the atmosphere.

Information (+)

  • Where: 3.5 hours from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Don’t miss the Finca Ariel and the waterfall Arco Iris
  • Travel guide: Jerico

We recommend: This kick-ass tour to Finca Ariel

#37 Jardin, cowboys’ land and waterfalls

Jardin Antioquia

Jardin is a vibrant town where the inhabitants drink coffees all day on a vast and flowery main square. It offers several beautiful hikes to reach mighty waterfalls.

Information (+)

  • Where: 4 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Tips: There is a Chiva Jerico-Andes twice a day, and you can do a 2-day hike to Tamesis.
  • Travel guide: Jardin

Travel stress-free: Get more ideas for you Colombia itineraries

Hikes to plan from Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin

There are many opportunities around Medellin if you’re a mountain lover.

#38 The Paramo de Belmira

A tough 11km hike to get to the laguna and come back through the Paramo. You can hire a local guide in Belmira. Departure from town.

Information (+)

  • Where: Belmira, 2 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 7 hours hike (in total)
  • Tips: Leave super early from Medellin.
  • The trail: Wikiloc.

#39 Cerro Tusa, the biggest natural pyramid

A super steep hike to reach the super-sharp end of the mountain. The view is beautiful. You must get a bus to Venecia first, then ask for a local guide.

Information (+)

  • Where: Venecia, 2h from Medellin | Terminal South, Flota Fredonia
  • Duration: 2-3 hours to get to the top.
  • Tips: Stay overnight in Venecia. Stay in Las Palmas. Do it during the week.
  • More information: Here

#40 Multi-day hike to El Paramo del Sol

A stunning 2 or 3-days hike to get to the highest point in Antioquia. Dreamy sceneries and super cold. You can take a local guide in Urrao and get your camping gear.

Information (+)

  • Where: Urrao is 5h away from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 2 or 3-day hike
  • Tips: Be a maximum prepared and opt for the 3-day tour
  • More information: here

Things to do in Medellin for each day of the week

Medellin is a vibrant city, and you will always find something to do (if you know what to look for).

I want to give some cool weekly events you can add to your Colombia itinerary.

The schedule of the event can regularly change, so double-check on the Facebook/Instagram pages.

You can find a cheat-sheet of the weekly events (for Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, and Medellin) in our Free travel guide.

Things to do in Medellin on Monday

Things to do in Medellin on Tuesday

Things to do in Medellin on Wednesday

  • Listen to live music at Cafe Zorba (delicious pizza) | 8 pm | Poblado
  • Free Salsa Class at Son Havana | 8 pm | Laureles

Things to do in Medellin on Thursday

Things to do in Medellin on Friday

Things to do in Medellin on Saturday

  • Listen to live music at El Arranque | 8 pm | Poblado
  • Listen to live Salsa Music at Son Havana | 11 pm | Laureles
  • Electro DJ’s at Club 1984 | Ciudad del Rio
  • Language exchange and live music at Dance Free | 8 pm | Poblado

Things to do in Medellin on Sunday

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Things to do after Medellin

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

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Things to do in Medellin (1)

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Things to do in Medellin

45 Best places to visit in Colombia (2020): An Awe-Inspiring list + guides!

When I planned my first trip to Colombia, I asked Google God, “What are the best places to visit in Colombia“.

I bet you did the same.

It’s a smart reaction, after all. You’re creating your Colombia itinerary, and you want to do a pre-selection of the top destinations in Colombia.

However, there is a glitch in your plan.

We’re all different.

It means you maybe won’t like the same places as your cousin or friend – or the travel blogger who only spent 3 weeks in Colombia and wrote a “Best of Colombia” post.

I want to do things differently. You deserve it – especially if you share this article on the internet, love y’all.

I wrote down an exclusive list of all the Colombia places we have been in the last 5 years, and I regrouped them by theme.

And, there is a travel guide for (almost) each of them.

Have Fun. – Don’t forget to read our top-notch article about the mistakes to avoid when creating a Colombia itinerary.

Premium service: Let us take care of everything

Our Colombia Map of the best places to visit in Colombia

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Table of Contents: Best places to visit in Colombia

  1. The best major cities in Colombia
  2. The best beach towns in Colombia
  3. The best colonial towns in Colombia
  4. The best jungle towns in Colombia
  5. The best islands in Colombia
  6. The best outdoor activity towns in Colombia
  7. The best deserts in Colombia
  8. The best archeological sites in Colombia
  9. The best off the beaten path places in Colombia
  10. The best national park to hike in Colombia

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Major cities to visit in Colombia

Best places to visit in Colombia

Big cities in Colombia aren’t sexy. It can be loud, polluted, dirty – like every city in the world.

However, there are many reasons why you would like to include some of them in your Colombia itinerary.

  • Some local guides speak French/English
  • Local travel agencies offer kickass tours and activities
  • There are airports and principal bus terminals
  • Interesting museums to learn about Colombia history and culture
  • It’s your best chance to experience a fantastic nightlife

Read more: A local guide to explore the main Colombian cities

Let’s have a look at the best cities in Colombia depending on what you’re looking for

#1 Medellin, best city for living as a digital nomad

Many travelers stop in Medellin because they like partying in Poblado. I agree it’s fun, although there are better cities.

I’m also fond of Medellin. I lived there for 4 months, and it was fantastic. It’s “easy” to move around – except if it’s rush hour -, the weather is mild and the Paisas – Medellin’s people – are super friendly.

From Medellin, you can plan many multi-day trips to explore Antioquia and the Pacific coast.

Read more: Our Medellin travel guide

Medellin Best places to visit in Colombia

#2 Bogota, best city to learn about the Colombia culture

I know that every traveler hates Bogota, but it’s a mistake. I didn’t like it the first time – and the 2nd time. It’s because I didn’t know how to understand Bogota.

Go to Bogota if you:

Read more: Our Bogota travel guide

#3 Cali, best city for dancing Salsa

Travelers skip Cali because they think they’re going to be bored – and 99% of us dance with 2 left feet.

It’s true that if you don’t care about dancing, then you might don’t want to include it in your Colombia itinerary. However, you don’t have to dance all day long. There are many day trips to visit exciting Colombia sightseeings around the city.

  • Hike in the Western Andean mountains
  • Plan a trip to La Barra or Popayan
  • Tubing in San Cipriano
  • Kitesurfing in the Colima lagoon

Have fun at night, and explore during the day. I can’t think of a better situation.

Read more: Our Cali travel guide

Cali best places to visit in Colombia

#4 Cartagena, best romantic city in Colombia

Cartagena already has a tremendous reputation around the world and many travel websites consider it’s one of the best places to visit in Colombia. The old city center is made up of colorful facades, flowery balconies, and fantastic restaurants.

Therefore, it’s an ideal city for a honeymoon journey, but there are some inconveniences you should know.

Read more: Our Cartagena travel guide

Cartagena itinerary 1 week in Colombia

#5 Santa Marta, a touristic hub on the coast

There is 0 interest in visiting Santa Marta. However, you may have to stay there one night as it’s the easiest way to reach the Western side of the Caribbean coast.

It’s also the departure point for various excellent multi-day trips to La Guajira or the Lost City.

Read more: Our Santa Marta Travel guide

Santa Marta

#6 Pereira, a touristic hub in the Coffee Region

As Santa Marta, Pereira won’t blow your mind. However, it’s a strategical point to visit the coffee region. It’s also easy to get there as there are an airport, a major bus terminal, and AVIS Rental car company.

We’ve met one of the best local travel agencies when we were there. Thanks to them, you can plan different adventures:

  • Multi-day trips to the Paramo Los Nevados
  • Canyoning and thermal baths
  • Visit unknown-and-beautiful colonial towns

Read more: Our Pereira Travel guide

Pereira Zona Cafetera

The best beach towns to visit in Colombia

Best places to visit in Colombia

Colombia is the only country in South America with two coastlines. Therefore, there is a bunch of cool beach towns where you can relax.

#7 Capurgana & Sapzurro, visit 2 beach towns in the Darien Gap

First of all, yes, it’s safe to travel to Capurgana and Sapzurro. I know that the Darien Gap as a bad reputation because of the Colombia paramilitaries, but I stayed there for over 1 year without having any issues.

Both towns are remote, and only accessible by boat. I loved it there. There are some nice beaches, an authentic beach town atmosphere, and many half-day trip activities you can do by yourself.

Read more: Our Capurgana travel guide

Read more: Our Sapzurro travel guide

Capurgana best places to visit in Colombia

#8 Rincon del Mar, the ideal beach town

Rincon del Mar is a little hidden paradise that we must preserve. The inhabitants are the nicest people I’ve met on the coast, and it’s the most beautiful beach town in the Caribbean with its endless white-sand beach and colorful houses.

Moreover, there are plenty of activities you can organize with the locals, as snorkeling tour, bioluminescent plankton, and a trip to the San Bernardo Islands.

Read more: Our Rincon del Mar Travel guide

Rincon del mar best places to visit in Colombia

#9 Palomino, visit the most famous beach town

Nowadays, every traveler knows about Palomino – it wasn’t the case a few years ago. It’s a chill beach town with not many things to do, except tubing on the river. It’s maybe not the best option if you’re looking for a place with fewer foreigners. However, there are some nice accommodations and restaurants.

Unfortunately, the current is quite strong in this area, so you won’t be able to swim in the ocean.

Read more: Our Palomino travel guide

Palomino

#10 Dibulla, an authentic fishing town

If you want to experience living and chilling in an authentic Caribbean beach town, then you should ditch Palomino and pick Dibulla instead.

There are not many things to do around, but it’s enough to occupy you for a couple of days.

Organize a horse riding activity at sunset or an ecological hike in the Sierra Nevada, then plan a multi-day expedition to La Guajira.

Read more: Our Dibulla Travel guide

dibulla best places to visit in Colombia

#11 Thermales & Guachalito, visit the paradise on earth

The pacific coast is wild and beautiful. There is no road to get there, and you shouldn’t expect a 5-star hotel. However, it will be the perfect place for disconnecting from the modern world.

Guachalito is a magnificent black-sand beach surrounded by lush vegetation. There are few eco-lodges scattered alongside the beach, and it can be an excellent option for enjoying some slow vacation days with your loved one.

And, if you don’t have the budget for it, Termales remains an excellent choice. Take the opportunity to learn how to surf. 😉

Read more: Our Guachalito & Termales travel guide

Nuqui and Guachalito

#12 El Valle, it will be hard to say goodbye

El Valle is a small beach town on the Pacific coast, at 30 min from the Bahia Solano’s airport. There are a few restaurants, nice hostels, and guesthouses. It’s more affordable than Guachalito.

Read more: Our El Valle travel guide

El Valle Bahia Solano best places to visit in Colombia

#13 La Barra, the cheapest zone of the Pacific coast

Being quite close to Cali (3h bus + 1h boat), Juanchaco attracts many Colombian tourists, especially during the whale watching season.

Juanchaco doesn’t deserve your attention, but we really liked La Barra and its surroundings. It’s a tiny beach town, with not many things to do. Fortunately, some hotels offer some entertaining and affordable activities.

Read more: Our La Barra travel guide

La barra et bahia Malaga

The most beautiful colonial towns to visit in Colombia

Best places to visit in Colombia

Because of the reputation of Villa de Leyva or Barichara, some travelers are willing to spend a day in transportation just for staying 24 hours.

It makes no sense to me.

Colombia’s colonial towns are indeed pleasant to visit, but the genuine interest lies in the atmosphere. And, you won’t get it by flying 30 seconds around like a hummingbird.

  • There are always some cool activities to do around.
  • Try all the restaurants and decide which one is your favorite
  • Stay in a lovely guesthouse and lay back for an afternoon
  • Grab a coffee on the main square and watch bystanders

#14 Barichara, ideal for planning extreme sports activities

Many travelers consider Barichara as one of the best places to visit in Colombia.

I’ve to admit that this colonial town is super lovely and pleasant. However, it’s a bit of a headache to get there.

Add this famous Colombia destination to your itinerary if you like extreme sports activities. There are excellent local travel agencies that offer fantastic experiences like rafting, cave exploring, paragliding, canyoning.

If you’re not interested in that, pick another village.

Barichara Lieux a visiter en Colombie

#15 Villa de Leyva, my favorite romantic getaway

Villa de Leyva is a town I like to visit again and again. It’s close to Bogota and there are all the conditions needed to enjoy a fantastic stay.

  • Delicious restaurants and lovely hotels
  • Many entertaining outdoor activities: bike, vineyard, hikes
  • Massages
  • Colombia sightseeings where you can stop on the way back
  • Cool nights which is perfect for sleeping well

Villa de Leyva is one of my best places to visit in Colombia.

Read more: Our Villa de Leyva travel guide

#16 Buenavista, the best view in Colombia

Buenavista is a little colonial town nestled up a hill in the coffee region. There are two excellent coffee tours and some delicious ice-creams.

Read more: Our Buenavista travel guide

Buenavista zona Cafetera

#17 Filandia, an excellent alternative to Salento

Filandia is my favorite alternative to Salento and the atmosphere is much more authentic there. Moreover, there are some really good restaurants and cafés – Helena Dentro & Cafecultor.

From Filandia, you can easily organize a trip to Valle de Cocora or an expedition to listen to howler monkeys in the Barbas Bremen nature reserve.

Read more: Our Filandia travel guide

#18 Salento, the departure point to Valle de Cocora

Like Cartagena & Palomino, Salento is always listed in every “where to travel in Colombia” article. Nowadays, the colonial is so famous than most of the locals have run away.

There are some excellent accommodation options and the main square is the official departure to Valle de Cocora, where you can find the tallest wax palm trees in the world.

It’s also a good option if you want to get a more in-depth explanation about coffee.

Read more: Our Salento travel guide

Salento and Valle de Cocora

#19 Salamina, another secret alternative to Valle de Cocora

Salamina is a lovely colonial town, with colorful streets and carved wooden balconies.

The main Colombia highlight nearby is Valle de Samaria, another valley where you can observe the tallest wax palm trees in the world. It’s a great alternative to Valle de Cocora, and there is nobody!

Read more: Our Salamina Travel guide

Salamina coffee region Colombia

#20 Jardin, a town for drinking coffee and chasing waterfalls

While Jardin starts being famous among travelers, it’s still not invaded by foreigners.

I recommend Jardin to people who like hiking and waterfalls. There are many day-trips you can organize with excellent local agencies.

Moreover, we discovered a couple of beautiful hotels and mouth-watering restaurants.

Read more: Our Jardin Travel guide

Jardin

#21 Jerico, a religious town made up of churches and coffee farms

Jerico is nestled on the top of a green hill and offers some beautiful sceneries to visitors. Like Jardin, Jerico is situated in Antioquia – one of my most beautiful Colombia departments. I like to include both towns in the same itinerary as you can move from one to the other thanks to a Chiva – a large and colorful bus typical from there.

Read more: Our Jerico Travel guide

Jerico Antioquia best places to visit in Colombia

#22 Guatape, get to the top of a giant monolith

Guatape is the most famous day trip from Medellin. Let’s see why:

  • It’s easy to get there from Medellin by bus
  • You don’t need a guide
  • The view from El Peñol – a giant monolith nearby – is breathtaking
  • The colonial town is cute

Even if it’s straightforward to get to Guatape, you will still spend at least 4h on a bus (round trip). Therefore, I recommend staying 1 night in Guatape or heading to San Rafael and San Carlos.

Read more: Our Guatape Travel guide

Guatape

Towns surrounded by lush vegetation to visit in Colombia

Best places to go to Colombia

Colombia is not only made up of beaches, cute colonial towns, and big cities. Actually, an important part of the country is covered by thick green plants AKA jungle.

You can let your machete at home, but don’t forget your repellent.

#23 Minca, a town to visit in the middle of the Sierra Nevada

If you want to travel on the Caribbean Coast, then it’s interesting to stop a couple of days in Minca to take a break from the beaches. It’s straightforward to get there from Santa Marta.

It’s a well-known place to do some birdwatching and relax a few days in an Eco-lodge. The town itself doesn’t offer any interest. The best Colombia sightseeing is the 2-day hike to Cerro Kennedy.

Avoid the weekends as many Colombians like to get to the Pozo Azul -natural pools- and the Marinka waterfalls.

Read more: Our Minca travel guide

MINCA

#24 Paso del Mango, an excellent alternative to Minca

You won’t find many “Best places to visit in Colombia” articles mentioning Paso del Mango. It’s because only a few people know about this place.

Paso del Mango is an alternative to Minca. It’s a bit more complicated to get there, but it’s worth it as you won’t meet many other foreigners. There is an excellent hostel that offers various activities and an excellent setting.

There is a “secret” 5h hike between Minca and Paso del Mango in case you would like to visit both ;).

Read more: Our Paso del Mango travel guide

Paso del Mango best places to visit in Colombia

#25 Mocoa, A city at the border with the Amazon

Mocoa was half shattered by a terrible mudslide a few years ago, and the city is not appealing at all.

Pick your accommodation nearby the departure of the trail “Cascada fin del Mundo”. There is a bunch of superb waterfalls and the area is excellent for birdwatching.

The zone is super humid. Your clothes won’t dry.

Mocoa

#26 Leticia, the only access to the Amazon

If you want to visit the Amazon in Colombia, you must pass by Leticia. The city is vast and loud, but it’s interesting to move around as you can eat your breakfast in Colombia, have lunch in Brazil and dinner in Peru.

Most of the multi-day tours with a local agency will start from Leticia. Also, don’t hesitate to pick an eco-lodge distant from the city to immerse yourself in the wild.

There are two seasons in the Amazon:

  • December to May: the water level increases
  • June to November: the water level decreases

Read more: Our Leticia Travel guide

Leticia best places to visit in Colombia

#27 Puerto Nariño, the green lungs of the Amazon

Although Leticia can be “fun” for a couple of hours, it’s far from being the best place to visit in Colombia to embrace nature.

Take the public boat to head to Puerto Nariño, an eco-friendly town where motor vehicles are forbidden. From there, you can plan different activities to observe wildlife and visit various cultural centers.

Read more: Our Puerto Nariño Travel guide

Puerto Nariño (1)

Best islands to visit in Colombia

What to see in Colombia

We can’t create a list of the best places to visit in Colombia without mentioning some paradise islands.

#28 Archipelago de Rosario, visit the Caribbean islands near Cartagena

Beaches in Cartagena aren’t appealing at all. Fortunately, visitors can easily travel to the Rosario islands from the Walled City. I don’t recommend picking the day-trip tours selling by the hotels & street vendors. There are too many people and not enough time on the islands. The best option is to stay overnight.

Be aware that most of the Rosario Islands are invaded by tourists, especially during the high season.

  • Mamallena Shuttles to Playa Blanca
  • Public Boat to Isla Grande
  • Private transport to various upscale Eco-lodges/resorts.

Read more: Our Rosario islands Travel guide

#29 Archipelago de San Bernardo, Caribbean islands in front of Rincon del Mar

The Archipelago of San Bernardo is made up of 10 paradise islands, and there are only 2 tiny portions considered as public beaches.

Crystal-blue water, white-sand beaches, and palm trees, the setting is mind-blowing.

Pick well your accommodation as you won’t be able to wander from one place to the other, as most parts of the islands are privatized. There is a hotel or hostel for every taste.

Read more: Our San Bernardo travel guide

San Bernardo islands

#30 Isla Fuerte, an island forgotten by travelers

Most travelers are not aware of Isla Fuerte as it’s a bit isolated from the other Colombia sightseeings.

Isla Fuerte is a good choice to relax for a few days and enjoy the island vibe. There is not much to do except hang out in a nice hotel and book their different activities: Scuba diving, paddle, rafting…

Read more: Our Isla Fuerte Travel guide

#31 San Andres, A paradise island victim of mass tourism

We didn’t stop there, but from what I’ve heard, there are many hotel resorts and loud Colombians.

You should pick your accommodation nearby San Luis if you look for a better paradise island atmosphere.

There are still some excellent diving spots.

San Andres

#32 Providencia, the ideal paradise island

We chose not to stop in San Andres because we wanted to stay longer on Providencia. I assure you it’s one of the best places to visit in Colombia – if you’ve got the budget and the time for it.

You must take 2 flights to get there, so it’s not worth it to plan on staying 3 days.

I can’t imagine a better island life. Book a little guesthouse and rent a scooter to move from secluded beach to secluded beach. And don’t forget to book a scuba diving expedition and a snorkel tour to explore the mind-blowing submarine world around Providencia.

Read more: Our Providencia travel guide

Providencia

Best places to plan exciting outdoor activities

Best places to visit in Colombia

Because of the Andean mountains, there are various places where you can get some adrenaline rush. It’s affordable and safe ;).

The most commons in Colombia are:

  • Canyoning
  • Rappelling
  • Zipline
  • Rafting
  • Paragliding
  • Cave exploring

Let’s find out the best places to visit in Colombia for practicing extreme sports activities.

#33 San Gil, a town with a solid reputation for outdoor activities

Santander was the first department to develop extreme sports activities in Colombia seriously.

Many travelers go to San Gil for this reason. Everyone can show up in the city and book the tours they want for the next day. The only inconvenience is that you spend many travel hours to get to San Gil.

Usually, people like to paragliding above the Chicamocha Canyon and rafting on the Suarez river – Rapid class 4/5.

#34 Tobia, visit a 3-h getaway from Bogota

The town of Tobia is not famous enough yet to be able to plan outdoor activities during the week.

However, many Colombians from Bogota get there on weekends. You can book some affordable all included packages (rafting + rappelling) or you can ask for something more specific.

We did some excellent canyoning tours in Tobia.

Read more: Our Tobia travel guide

Tobia Best places to Colombia

#35 Paicol, an off the beaten path colonial town

Paicol is a little colonial town not “far away” from the Tatacoa desert and Tierradentro.

It’s an ideal stop to plan a few outdoor activities with the top-notch local agency present in town.

As in Tobia, there are not many visitors during the week. Therefore, it can be complicated to organize a rafting trip if you’re not a group of 4.

In any case, cave exploring, biking, and rappelling trips are always doable.

Read more: Our Paicol travel guide

#36 Tamesis, a 4h getaway from Medellin

Tamesis is an excellent pick if you want to stay in a town that nobody knows, except a few aficionados. Moreover, the landscapes around Tamesis are mind-blowing.

It’s a great spot for rappelling.

Read more: Our Tamesis travel guide

Tamesis

# 37 San Rafael, an ideal place to cool off

San Rafael is only 45 min from Guatape, but almost no travelers get there. It’s an excellent spot to swim in crystal-clear rivers.

Canyoning and tubing are the two main activities in San Rafael.

Read more: Our San Rafael travel guide

San Rafael (1)

#38 San Carlos, a paradise for canyoning lovers

San Carlos is 1h away from San Rafael and there are some excellent spots for canyoning.

I highly recommend it.

Read more: Our San Carlos travel guide

San Carlos (1)

#39 Suesca, more than 400 rock climbing routes

If you like playing Spider-pig, then you will love Suesca. Roca de Suesca is a large cliff at a 15 min walk from town. There, more than 400 routes are equipped so you can practice your climbing skills.

There are also qualified local agencies where you can rent pieces of equipment or take some lessons.

Read more: Our Suesca travel guide

Best Deserts to visit in Colombia

Best places to visit in Colombia

There are 2 deserts in Colombia. You won’t find dunes on hundred of miles, but it’s worth a visit.

Let’s have a look at the best places to visit in Colombia for kissing a cactus.

#40 La Guajira desert, visit the northernmost point of South America

La Guajira is quite a vast desert starting from Riohacha to the Venezuelan border. There are different Colombia sightseeings you can include in a tour, the 3 main ones being:

  • Cabo de la Vela
  • Punta Gallinas
  • The national park Macuira

Except for Cabo de la Vela, you need to book a tour to explore it and you will spend many hours in the jeep.

A trip to La Guajira is also an opportunity to share with the Indigenous Wayuu and live in a Rancheria (farm).

Read more: Our La Guajira travel guide

LA Guajira

#41 Tatacoa desert, a place to observe the starry sky

Frankly, I was a bit disappointed with the Tatacoa desert. The most photogenic section – Cuzco – is quite small, and a couple of hours is enough to visit it.

We heard it was fun to sleep in the desert, but most of the hotels are illegals as it’s forbidden to build constructions within the park. So, we didn’t do it and stayed in Villavieja instead.

Nevertheless, it can be a nice day trip if you pass nearby.

Read more: Our Tatacoa desert travel guide

Tatacoa desert

Best archaeological sites to visit in Colombia

Best places to visit in Colombia

Colombia isn’t like Peru, Guatemala or Mexico. You won’t find sumptuous pyramids or other mysterious constructions.

However, Colombians found many gold artifacts and proof of old civilizations, especially two crucial necropolis sites in the South of Colombia, both declared UNESCO world heritage sites.

Lots of concrete explanations are still missing.

#42 Tierradentro, visit a necropolis made up of deep underground tombs

Tens of underground vaults (5-7m deep) have been discovered in Tierradentro. You can freely move from site to site with a local guide – (Spanish only).

My favorite spot was “El Aguacate” as the view was breathtaking.

It’s a bit of a headache to get there, a mode of private transport isn’t a bad idea ;).

Read more: Our Tierradentro travel guide

Tierradentro

#43 San Agustin, a place with more than 500 giant stone statues

San Agustin is famous for its various archeological sites where you can contemplate massive stone statues of 4-5m high.

There are many lovely accommodations outside the city, and the landscape is quite lovely. Horse riding is an entertaining way to move from one site to the other.

Don’t plan only to stay 1 night as you can book many other fun experiences like rafting, birdwatching, zipline, and various cultural tours.

Read more: Our San Agustin travel guide

San agustin

Hidden gems recently open to the public

Best places to visit in Colombia

20 years ago, Colombia was really messed up because of the Guerillas and Narcotraficants. While there are still presents in some remote areas in the country, the situation has improved a LOT.

In 2016, the most prominent rebel armed group, the FARC, signed a peace agreement with the government.

Today, various incredible new-safe places start receiving tourists.

#44 La Macarena, contemplate the rainbow river

The easiest way to reach la Macarena is to take a charter with a local travel agency. They will take care of everything, from transportation to the park entrances. Moreover, if you pick the right local agency, it’s almost the same price as if you do it by yourself.

Caño Cristales is a world-famous 5-colors river you can sight from mid-June to November when the national park is open to the public. All the tours leave from La Macarena.

It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Colombia.

Read more: Our Caño Cristales travel guide

Caño-Cristales

#45 San Jose del Guaviare, our favorite off the beaten path destination

If you’re looking for a unique Colombian experience, then San Jose del Guaviare is a perfect pick.

It’s an authentic town with local farmers coming every weekend to sell their products. There are top-notch Colombia sightseeings scattered all around like rock paintings, waterfalls, colorful rivers, natural pools, birdwatching, dolphins…

You can’t move around without a means of private transportation. The easiest way is to book an all-included package – and the prices can be super interesting.

Read more: Our San Jose del Guaviare travel guide

San Jose del Guaviare

The national parks in Colombia

Best places to visit in Colombia

There are 58 protected areas in Colombia, and you can visit 29 of them. Local agencies organize day trips or multi-day hikes to explore the Paramos, contemplate beautiful rivers and so on.

We will write a more in-depth post next time, but here is a list to give you some leads:

  • Tayrona: It’s a beautiful park on the Caribbean coast. No guide mandatory.
  • Los Nevados: It’s a vast protected area with snow peaks, paramos, and the famous Valle de Cocora. Many multi-day trips. Guides are not mandatory, but I recommend taking one.
  • Purace: It’s a reserve and a volcano near Popayan.
  • Cocuy: There are 3 beautiful hikes, but you can’t sleep within the park. Guides are mandatory.
  • The Ciudad Perdida: A 4-day trek in the Sierra Nevada. A guide is mandatory.

Read more: Our Tayrona travel guide

Read more: Our Popayan travel guide.

Best places to visit in Colombia on a MAP

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

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Best places to visit in Colombia

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Best places to visit in Colombia (1)

Fun Medellin Nightlife for 2020: Best bars and clubs

There is very little good information about Medellin nightlife in Colombia. Many articles speak about the same boring bars and clubs.

Let me help you to find out the best bars, nightclubs, and neighborhoods so you can build unforgettable memories and party like a Colombian.

Medellin Nightlife: What you must know

Laureles: It’s a district “near” the center. It’s safe to party at night. Traditional loud Colombian bars and clubs and hidden salsa places.

The center: Don’t walk there at night, it’s super dodgy. However, there are a few nice parties going on.

Las Palmas: Famous district to pick a good restaurant and breathe some fresh air.

Barrio Colombia: The place to be for partying in massive night clubs while listening to Colombian music. It’s more expensive.

Poblado: The epicenter of Medellin nightlife. Lots of foreigners and locals. Tens of bars, make your choice before going or you’ll be lost. Pick this district if you want to listen to electro music.

Safety in Medellin: Take an Uber at night and don’t look for hookers or cocaine. Get more advice here.

Best tour with a hangover: Let you drive to Guatape

More tips about Medellin: Read our travel guide here.

Take a look at our table of contents to get more information and be prepared to spend a memorable nightlife in Colombia.

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Where to travel after partying in Medellin

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Download: Our map “Eat & Party in Colombia” on Mapstr with all the best restaurants, bars and clubs in Colombia.

Table of Contents: Where to go out in Medellin

  1. Why do I love Colombia nightlife
  2. Best district in Medellin for partying
  3. Selection of the best bars in Medellin
  4. Selection of the best nightclub in Medellin
  5. Where to dance salsa in Medellin
  6. Is Medellin safe at night
  7. Where to go out in Medellin during the week
  8. Start working on your itinerary
  9. Use our premium travel service

Why Colombia nightlife is so famous?

Medellin Nightlife has a tremendous reputation among travelers who visit Colombia. And, while I think the nightlife in Bogota offers more variety, I easily understand why people fall in love with this Paisa’s land – AKA People living in Medellin.

I plead guilty too.

When we created Colombia Insider, there was no doubt in my mind. We had to settle in Medellin. And, I’m glad we did it.

After a few months of living here, I realized we only knew the tip of the iceberg regarding the Medellin Nightlife.

Some of you probably think about hookers and drugs. You’re right and wrong at the same time.

Yes, there are hookers and drugs in Medellin. And some tourists only come to Colombia for these reasons. Those are idiots. It’s because of the customers that Prostitution and cocaine are a scourge for the country.

There are so many other reasons why people would enjoy partying in Colombia!

1. Colombians are fun and friendly

Colombians are so cool (+)

It’s in their blood and flesh. Italians love pasta, French are grumpy and Colombians are friendly.

Foreigners aren’t uncommon anymore. Nobody will jump on you. However, if you do the first steps, they will love to speak with you.

2. They dance Salsa, reggaeton, champeta and more

You will have so much fun dancing with them (+)

Colombians LOVE to dance. They do it since they are kids. For them, sitting at a table without doing nothing except drinking is boring.

And I couldn’t agree more.

So, put on the side your shot of aguardiente and move your hips! There is only one hitch. Besides Reggaeton, people dance by two. Have a look on Youtube or book a few dance classes to learn the basics. Then invite Colombians and ask them to teach you!

I tell you later in this article where to dance Salsa and find some free classes.

3. Colombia Nightlife is cheaper than at home

Don’t get me wrong. You could spend thousands of dollars in one night if you want it.

But, if you avoid tourist traps and luxury clubs, you should be alright.

Expenses you could expect while enjoying a fun nightlife in Colombia (+)

  • National beer in a shop (Poker, aguila, club…) : Around 3 000 COP | 1$
  • National beer in a bar or Nightclub in Colombia: Around 6 000 COP | 2$
  • Famous Artisanal beer in a shop (BBC, 3 cordilleras…): Around 6 000 COP | 2$
  • Famous Artisanal beer in a bar or Nighclub in Colombia: Around 10 000 COP | 3$
  • Good beer in a VIP nightclub: Around 15 000 COP | 5$
  • Excellent cocktail in bar & Nightclub: Around 25 000 COP | 8$
  • Cover for an event or a nightclub: 15 – 30 000 COP | 5 – 10$
  • Bottle of Rum or Aguardiente in a cheap bar: 50 – 80 000 COP | 17$ – 27$
  • Bottle of Rum or Aguardiente in a club: 100 – 200 000 COP | 33$ – 66$
  • Taxi, Uber or Beat: 6 – 15 000 COP | 2$ – 5$

Also, the prices change a lot according to the area where you decide to party.

Moreover, the budgets aren’ the same among the largest cities in Colombia.

The nightlife in Cartagena is the most expensive. Then it’s the nightlife in Bogota and Medellin. The cheaper city is Cali!

4. Colombian Women are gorgeous

You will fall in love (+)

I’m sorry girls, but it’s true.

Their long black hair is beautiful; their deep dark eyes look through your soul when they speak to you, and they know how to dance.

Add a bit of drama from the TeleNovela they like to watch and you will understand why guys fall in love with Colombian girls.

Now, let’s get into the bare bones of the topic. Here are my favorite Medellin nightlife tips.

Read more: Find the perfect district in Medellin

Where are the best areas to party in Medellin

According to what you’re looking for, you shouldn’t head to the same party spots in Medellin.

There are 5 main areas where you can enjoy the best Medellin Nightlife:

  • El Poblado
  • La 70
  • La 33
  • Barrio Colombia
  • Las Palmas

1. Poblado, la Zona Rosa de Medellin

Where to go out in El Poblado (+)

When coming for the first time to Medellin, travelers usually hang out in Poblado. There are many tourists and prices are more expensive. But, It’s where most of the clubs in Medellin are.

Besides, lots of Colombians love to go out in Poblado too. So, you won’t be only surrounded by drunk foreigners who don’t dance.

Within the Zona Rosa of Medellin – AKA Party district -, There are 3 sub-districts where you would like to get a drink and move your hips.

  • Lleras Park in Medellin: It was the place-to-be 10 years ago, but now it’s not that good. However, there are still some fun clubs around.
  • Provenza: The chic part of Poblado. It’s one street of dazzling lights and bars
  • Manila: The newest one. This part of Poblado is quiet but it’s great to have a few drinks before starting your crazy nightlife in Medellin.

2. The Street “la Setenta” – 70: Pre-party & Salsa in Medellin

Where is la Setenta in Medellin (+)

If you prefer a nightlife a bit more authentic, you should head to Laureles. Alcohol is cheap, music is loud, and there are almost no foreigners.

La 70 is a short street between the Stadium and La Universidad Pontifica.

Many bars play crossover Latin music and it’s where football fans love to celebrate their victory or drown their sorrow with a pola – Cold beer.

Moreover, there are two bars perfect to learn some new Salsa moves, Son Havana and El Tibiri.

3. The Street “Trenta y tres” – 33: Colombian Nightclubs

Once people are bored to hang out in La 70, they usually move to La 33. There are many clubs in this loooong street.

Don’t start walking around, it would be exhausting. Pick a club before and go there directly by taxi.

4. Las Palmas and Barrio Colombia: VIP Nightclubs in Medellin

Where are Las Palmas and Barrio Colombia (+)

Las Palmas is a hill located near the metro station “Expositiones”. The place is packed with VIP nightclubs, good restaurants, and hotels. The view at night is pretty cool and a cool breeze always wakes up the late partygoers.

Another famous place to party in Medellin is Barrio Colombia. Located 10min away by taxi from Poblado, this industrial zone filled with empty warehouses has been turned into an I-m-drunk-so-I-can-finally-move-my-hips spot.

Both places I great to get a fun nightlife in Medellin. But, be ready to spend a lot more and bring some girls if you wish to enter in the most famous nightclubs.

Read more: Have a look at our turnkey Colombia itineraries

Where are the best bars in Medellin

Bars in Medellin are everywhere. You can start the night in a local brewery or look on Facebook for a live band event. The BBC bars are in many areas of the city and are always a good option too.

There is no dress code and nobody will ask for your ID.

Here is a selection of my favorite bars in Medellin:

1. Bars in Laureles: Not many tourists

My favorite bars in Laureles (+)

  • Cafe Cliché is a French Cafe that organizes events from Wednesday to Saturday. Massive choice of home-made rum punches and delicious desserts | Close at midnight on weekends
  • Panorama Rooftop bar is a good pick if you want to get a drink under the stars. Prices are a bit more expensive. Close at 2 am on Weekends
  • La Abadia Gastropub will make the beer lovers happy. Their wallet too. Close at 2 am
  • Del Patio Bar is a heaven for travelers on a shoestring budget. Close at 1 am
  • Barrio Central is one of the favorite bars for the expats living in Laureles. Good music, events almost every night and a large variety of beers | Close at 2 am on weekends

2. Bars in Manila, A chill Medellin nightlife in El Poblado

My favorite bars in Manila (+)

  • 20Missions Cerveza is a vast warehouse serving 6 delicious craft beers on tap. Ribs party on Tuesdays and live music on Thursdays. Close at 2 am on weekends
  • Le rooftop of Los PatiosExcellent hostel – is a fun place to get a few drinks to meet other travelers
  • El Arranque Cafe offers a tasty range of cocktails. Besides, there is live music on weekends | Close at 2 am
  • Victoria Regia is the place to be if you want to start dancing early. Open from Wednesday to Saturday, they propose a different kind of music each day.

3. Bars near Parque Lleras, Zona Rosa del Poblado

My favorite bars near Parque Lleras (+)

  • Berlin Bar serves delicious beers. Perfect to start the evening. Close at 2 am
  • Envy rooftop is the best rooftop in Medellin. It belongs to the famous hotel The Charlee. The view is astonishing and there is even a pool you can use on Sundays for Brunch. Live Salsa music on Tuesdays. Let your flip flop at home and bring your wallet
  • La Octava bar is the place to be if you’re bored of listening to Latin music. Plus, you can jump into a giant ball pit. Close at 4 am on weekends
  • Woka Lounge is a cool place to bring a date and attempt to impress her with an expensive cocktail – I’m joking. Cool decoration and rooftop.

4. Bars in Provenza, the trendy Medellin Nightlife in El Poblado

  • El Social is one of the oldest bars in Medellin. Crossover music on three floors, it’s a cool spot to get a few cheap drinks and watch the Medellin Nightlife. Close at 2 am
  • Mad Radio has got great outdoor seating and a giant Jenga. DJ’s performs every weekend. Close at 2 am

Read more: Include Medellin in your 1-week Colombia itinerary

Best nightclubs to experience an unforgettable Medellin Nightlife

In Medellin, most of the nightclubs close at 4 am. According to the place you’re heading to, you will have to give up the flip-flop and shorts. Moreover, hype clubs won’t let you in if you’re a bunch of dudes – Like a bachelor party. Most of them charge a cover between 10 – 20 000 COP.

List of the best clubs in Medellin (+)

  • La Tienda la 70 is a typical Colombian club with dazzling lights and loud music. Buy a cheap aguardiente bottle and go with the flow | La 70
  • Club 1984 is a place where you can hear House, Techno, hip-hop with the best local, national and foreign artists. A fantastic terrace that offers a great view of the mountains of the Antioquia capital | Barrio Colombia
  • Dulce Jesus Mio hosts typical Colombian parties with aguardiente, entertainment, colorful lights, loud music | Barrio Colombia
  • Bendito Seas is a famous spot to meet cute Colombian girls (many girls night events). They organize open bar every Thursday for 50 000 COP | Parque Lleras, El Poblado
  • Calle 9+1 is a perfect spot for backpackers or people who don’t want to bother with a dress code. Cool artists and DJ’s | Parque Lleras, El Poblado
  • The Blue Bar is for old school music lovers | Parque Lleras, El Poblado
  • Babylon is another option if you’re not a big fan of Bendito Seas. Open Bar Thursday and Friday till 1 or 2 am  and lots of Colombian Women | Parque Lleras, El Poblado
  • SkyBar is a VIP club where you can learn Bachata and Kizomba on Thursdays for free | Parque Lleras, El Poblado
  • Vintrash is one of the most famous clubs in El Poblado. 2 Floors and a Rooftop. They play 2 kinds of music, Reggaeton an Electro | Provenza, El Poblado

Read more: Our method to create a stunning itinerary

How to experience a fun Salsa Night in Medellin

You won’t find many Salsa places in El Poblado. You have to get out of the “Gringo Area” to dance in the best salsa bars.

I advise you to learn the basic steps if you want to make the most of your Medellin Nightlife. Most of us don’t have the Latin beats in our blood. Hence, it’s not easy to “learn on the job”.

There are many Salsa Schools scattered in Medellin. (+)

Once you’re at ease on the dance floor, it’s time to practice in a real situation.

The best Salsa bars in Medellin

My favorite Salsa bars in Medellin (+)

  • Son Havana is a little bar located on Avenida San Juan. It can be really busy on weekends but it’s my favorite spot to dance Salsa on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Besides, they give free Salsa lessons at 8 pm. Live bands on Saturdays. Close at 3 am.
  • El Tibiri is located on La 70. Let’s be frank, this place is a small hot cave. But, the best salsa dancers love to meet there. It’s perfect to get a glimpse of the salsa nightlife in Medellin. Close at 2 am
  • El Eslabon Prendido is the place to be on a Tuesday night. Live bands. However, don’t hang out in the neighborhood. It’s sketchy. 7:30pm-2am Tue & Thu-Sat
  • Cuchitril is a perfect nightclub for going out on weekends. Live bands. Close at 3 am
  • DanceFree is Salsa School in El Poblado. There are live bands playing on Friday and Saturday nights. The place is packed with foreigners.
  • Social Club Academia is the secret spot to dance Salsa. Located within a roundabout, they offer free Salsa classes from Thursday to Saturday. It’s an open space with a continuous breeze. You have to get there to understand what I’m talking about.

Is it safe to party in Medellin at Night?

Yes, the Nightlife in Medellin is safe. But, there are a few basic rules of safety you should always follow.

I’m going to tell you how to No dar Papaya. It’s a Colombian saying more important than Yoda’s quotes.

It means “don’t give the stick to be beaten with”.

My favorite safety tips (+)

  • When coming back home at night, don’t walk. Take uber.
  • Don’t accept a glass or bottle from someone else, except if you saw other people drinking from it before
  • Don’t let your glass without surveillance. There is a drug called Scopolamine, used by thieves. It makes you gentle as a lamb, it’s perfect for robbing you.
  • Don’t take your passport, a photocopy of it is enough
  • Withdraw some cash before going out and let your credit card at home
  • If a cute girl comes to you, ask her some questions and see if she came with friends. It could be a hooker.
  • Use Uber instead of cabs at night
  • Don’t be wasted

Read more: Best tips to travel to Colombia

Where do I like to go out in Medellin during the week?

  • Monday: Getting a drink At Los Patios Hostel
  • Tuesday: Dancing salsa in Eslabon Prendido
  • Wednesday: Dancing Salsa in Son Havana or listen to some Jazz Music at Cafe Zorba
  • Thursday: Drinking some beers at the factory 3 Cordilleras or listen to live bands in La Pascasia
  • Friday: Language exchange with Colombia Immersion at Envigado then dancing salsa at El Social Club Academia
  • Saturday: It could be everywhere in the bars and nightclubs listed in this article
  • Sunday: A beer in a BBC pub

Still, keep in mind there are plenty of cool tours and activities to do in Medellin. Don’t go to bed too late ;).

Q&A to get the most of the Medellin nightlife

All the questions you asked us about the nightlife in Medellin (+)

At what time should you go out in clubs?

Some clubs will let you in for free before midnight. It can be a smart move if there is a live band or an open bar event. Otherwise, I recommend being there around 1 am. Regarding the pubs, 10 pm is fine.

Do you need girls to enter a club?

Not if you decide to go out in El Poblado or Laureles. However, fancy clubs in Barrio Colombia and Las Palmas could refuse you the entrance if they notice too much testosterone in your group.

Is there a dress code to enter in Nightclubs?

Casual clothes like jeans and tee shirts are perfect. Give up flip flops and shorts.

Are there parties going on after 4 am?

Yes, indeed. Club Seven, Club Fahrenheit and the Palmahia area in Itagui close around 7 am.

Bogota VS Medellin: Where is the better nightlife?

It’s a no brainer. The answer is Bogota. Yes, the weather in the capital is terrible. However, the large choice of events and clubs makes it a fantastic place to party.

Do I need my Passport?

Keep a photocopy of your passport in your wallet. Some clubs could ask for it before letting you in. And the police can check your ID too.

Which days are the best for enjoying the Medellin Nightlife?

Most of the nightclubs open from Thursday to Saturday. However, there are parties every day of the week if you know where to look for. Besides, Colombians love to go out when they receive their paycheck – around the fifteenth and at the end of the month.

Read more: When to travel to Medellin

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Great guide to explore Medellin by Night

Hotel or Hostel in Minca: Ideal Guide for Deciding Where To stay (2020)

Hotel and Hostels in Minca are many and scattered all over the place. You will need the best information to find your soulmate-accommodation.

Within a few years, Minca has gained a lot in popularity. Nowadays, many travelers include this little town – nestled in the Sierra Nevada – in their Colombia itinerary.

Therefore, Minca became a gold opportunity for landlords. Hostels and hotels have popped out every year since.

And, I have to admit that many of them did a great job.

Although the general vibe stays relatively the same among the different establishments – Eco-hippy-yoga-chill-peace, there are a few things you need to know before making the right decision.

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Favorite hotels and hostels in Minca (quick answer)

My favorite hostel in Minca: Casa Loma

Hostel where you could be disappointed: Casa Elemento

Best ranked hostel in Minca: Casas Viejas

Cheapest Hostel in Minca: Coco Bomgo Hostel

Best Upscale hotel in Minca: Sweet Harmony

Glamping experience in Minca: Minca Glamping

Must read: Our top-notch Minca travel guide

The things you need to know before deciding where to stay in Minca

1. Check how far is your hotel from Minca (+)

Minca is a small town, but hostels and hotels are scattered everywhere in the Sierra Nevada. It means you could have to walk 2-3 hours to reach the city center.

Most of these accommodations offer a transport solution. However, it won’t be included in the price of your stay.

In case there is only a moto-taxi going up there, you shouldn’t travel with your suitcase. Take your backpack instead.

Also, there is no moto-taxi after 6pm.

2. Are you scared of bugs? (+)

Yes, there are bugs in Minca – you’re in the jungle for god sake. You will meet them when the night is coming, on your way to the bathroom or half-dying near the lamps.

They bother but are harmless.

It’s not the case of the sandflies. I hate these little diabolic creatures. They are tiny flies that bite and let a little red dot on your skin. 100% itchy for days!

Farther you go in the mountains, more sandflies and bugs you will meet.

Take your long sleeves, socks, and repellent. Be ready to fight.

3. What kind of accommodations are you looking for in Minca? (+)

Minca offers a lot of different kind of accommodations.

The majority of the travelers are going to Minca to relax. Hence, you won’t find any party hostels.

Depending on your choice, you will live a different experience during your stay.

Ps: Stop looking for a good wifi in Minca.

  • Boutique hotel and luxury accommodations
  • Family hostels
  • Ecolodge to observe birds
  • Eco-farm to rest and eat healthily
  • Coffee and chocolate farm

According to these different criteria, let’s have a look at the hotels and hostels in Minca. Plus, I will tell you how to get there.

$ < 100 000 COP | $$ < 150 000 COP | $$$ < 300 000 COP | $$$$ > 300 000 COP | For a private room 2 people

Hotel and Hostel in Minca Center

Where to stay in Minca

1# $$ – CASA LOMA – Best hostel in Minca

Come to Casa Loma and learn how to socialize with people instead of using your phone. Surrounded by nature, the hostel Casa Loma is perfect for reading a book in a hammock before eating a delicious vegetarian dinner. Moreover, the staff is lovely! Casa Loma is one of my favorite hostels in Colombia.

How to get to Casa Loma Hostel in Minca: From the church, look for the 150 steps leading to Casa Loma.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Casa Loma Hostel in Minca

  • Drink a cocktail while watching the sunset
  • Delicious food
  • Family vibe
  • Barbecue
  • Friendly and helping staff
  • Nature – beautiful spot

The – – – | Casa Loma Hostel in Minca

  • No Internet
  • No Kitchen
  • Breakfast not included
Casa Loma hostel in Minca

2# $ – Coco Bomgo Hostel – Best value in Minca

It seems that everyone falls in love with the friendly staff of Coco Bomgo Hostel. From your arrival, they pamper you with a welcome juice, popcorn, and tips to explore Minca. Coco Bomgo Hostel is spacious, clean and perfectly located in the center of Minca.

How to get the Coco Bomgo Hostel in Minca: Walk back 50 meters from where the shuttle coming from Santa Marta dropped you – You have to cross a wood bridge – then turn right. 5 min walk.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Coco Bomgo Hostel in Minca

  • Excellent welcoming
  • Home feeling
  • Breakfast Included
  • Super Clean
  • Great Value

The – – – | Coco Bomgo Hostel in Minca

  • A bit noisy because of its localization in the center
  • No great view
Coco Bomgo - Great value hostel in Minca

Hotel and Hostel near Minca center

Where to stay in Minca

3# $$$ – Sweet Harmony – Luxury cabins

If you pick Sweet Harmony hotel in Minca, be ready to be lulled by river sounds and waking up by hummingbirds. Sweet Harmony offers different types of accommodation, from the suite with Balcony to a Luxury tent (glamping). Besides, the view is gorgeous and the staff faultless.

How to get to Sweet Harmony Hotel in Minca: Walk 15 min from the church, on the other side of the river.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Sweet harmony hotel in Minca

  • Delicious Breakfast – Included
  • Great View
  • River sounds and hummingbirds
  • Great staff
  • Hot water
  • Comfy bed

The – – – | Sweet harmony hotel in Minca

  • Not all the beds have a mosquito net
  • A bit warm at night
Sweet Harmony - Luxury cabins in Minca

4# $$ – Casa Relax Minca – Peaceful hostel in Minca

Casa Relax is a low-cost option for travelers who would like to enjoy a peaceful stay while being near Minca. Located near a river and surrounded by nature, guests listen to every minute birds and water sounds.

How to get Casa Relax hostel in Minca: 15 min walk from town – Near Sweet Harmony

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Casa Relax hostel in Minca

  • Outdoor swimming pool – According to the season
  • Friendly staff
  • Nice surroundings
  • Peaceful
  • Birds and river sounds
  • Breakfast included

The – – – | Casa Relax hostel in Minca

  • Few options at the restaurant
  • The beds could be better
Casa Relax Minca Guest House - A peaceful place near the city center

5# $$$ – Minca EcoHabs – Private Bungalows

Minca Ecohabs belongs to the famous group Tayrona National Park hotel. Their private cabins always blend into the scenery. There is a great view of the Sierra Nevada. The Ecohab standard is economic but the cabin is a lot less magical.

How to get to Minca EcoHabs: They are located on the road to your right before the entrance of the village. It’s a 10 min walk from the center. Or you can book a taxi with the Ecohabs | 35 000 from Santa Marta & 55 000 from the Airport.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Minca EcoHabs:

  • Upscale cabins – if you book one of the two Ecohab
  • Good Breakfast – Included
  • Great view
  • Birds
  • Mosquito nets

The – – – | Minca EcoHabs:

  • You can hear the cars from the road
  • No fan or A/C
Minca Ecohabs in Minca

6# $$$ – Minca Glamping – Upscale Camping

Camping is so much fun! But, in case your soulmate hates it, you can offer her/him a glamping experience. Minca Glamping is a cute little hotel with romantic bungalows. The owners are friendly and perfectly aware of the best spot to visit in the area. It’s a great pick for people wishing to escape the city without being too far from it.

How to get to Minca Glamping: Walk 20 min from the city center – In the direction of the Marinka waterfalls. You can call Max if you have got lots of luggage. Don’t forget your torch for when it’s dark!

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Minca Glamping:

  • Helpful owners
  • Beautiful bungalows
  • Big beds
  • No town noise
  • Good breakfast included

The – – – | Minca Glamping:

  • None
Glamping in Minca

Best hostels and hotels outside Minca

Where to stay in Minca

7# $ – Finca San Rafael – Cacao and Coffee lovers

Within the Finca San Rafael, you learn about cacao and coffee without moving from your bed. This small farm – only 4 rooms – is a perfect option for people who want to live a Finca experience without breaking the budget. Basic but clean bedrooms and a swimming pool with view on the Sierra Nevada! | 15 000 COP / meal

How to get to the Finca San Rafael in Minca: Walk 45 min from town or take a moto-taxi (15 000 COP) or a private vehicle (60 000 COP).

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Finca San Rafael in Minca:

  • Coffee and cacao experience
  • Small
  • Cheap
  • Swimming pool
  • Breakfast included

The – – – | Finca San Rafael in Minca:

  • Average vegetarian option
  • Far away from Minca
 Finca San Rafael in Minca

8# $ – El Paraiso de Tuki B&B – Coffee and Chocolate

Paraiso de Tuki B&B is another option for coffee and chocolate lovers as the place belongs to La Candelaria. Rooms are basics but the view is astonishing. Moreover, guests can sympathize with Tuki, a free Tucan pet. Meals for 15 000 COP

How to get to El Paraiso de Tuki in Minca: Be ready to walk 1h on a steep path or take a moto taxi for 15 000 COP or a private jeep for 80 000 COP. Then, you still have to walk 15 min on a dirt road.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | El Paraiso de Tuki in Minca:

  • La Candelaria – Coffee and cacao farm
  • Great view
  • Tuki the Tucan
  • Breakfast included
  • Cheap
  • Wildlife

The – – – | El Paraiso de Tuki in Minca:

  • Small and basic bedrooms
  • Far away from Minca
  • No Wifi
El Paraiso de Tuki

9# $$ – Mundo Nuevo – A Permaculture world

Stay in Mundo Nuevo to learn a bit about permaculture. Built on an old coffee farm, all the vegetables come from their garden. And, with all the activities around, you won’t need to go back to Minca. Meals are delicious, and the view from the toilette is memorable. It’s a quiet place. 15 000 COP for Lunch and 20 000 COP for dinner

How to get to Mundo Nuevo hostel in Minca: Hike 1 hour from Minca. Turn left at the police station – when you are coming from Minca – then walk the 4kms. Steep path! | Take a moto-taxi: 25 min – 20 000 COP |Not after 6 pm

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Mundo Nuevo hostel in Minca:

  • Delicious vegetarian meals
  • Breakfast included
  • Comfy beds
  • Lots of activities
  • Permaculture
  • Great views and sunset
  • Social atmosphere

The – – – | Mundo Nuevo hostel in Minca:

  • No kitchen for the guests
  • More insects than in Minca

10# $$$ – Casas Viejas – Upscale Lodge Hostel in Minca

Everyone falls in love with the lodge hostel Casas Viejas in Minca. And, it’s easy to understand why. There is everything you need to be happy. During their stay, guests sleep on excellent mattresses, eat delicious food and enjoy the astonishing view from their hammocks.

How to get to Casas Viejas Lodge hostel in Minca: Hike 2 hours from Minca, on the trail going to Pozo Azul | 20 000 COP / 25 min moto-taxi | 100 000 COP private jeep | You can ask the hostel to organize the transport

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Casas Viejas Lodge hostel in Minca:

  • Social atmosphere – No Wifi
  • Good mattress
  • Memorable view
  • Fantastic private rooms
  • Delicious food
  • Hot water

The – – – | Casas Viejas Lodge hostel in Minca:

  • No Kitchen for the guests
  • No Breakfast included
Meal in Casas Viejas

11# $$ – Casa Elemento – The famous giant hammock

A few years ago, Casa Elemento was the place to be. Unfortunately, it’s not the case anymore. The view from the giant hammocks and the food are still great. But, it’s all that’s left from its glorious day. You could still find it interesting if you’re looking for a “party” hostel.

How to get to Casa Elemento hostel in Minca: Hike 2h30 hours from Minca or take a moto-taxi 30 000 COP / 30 min.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Casa Elemento hostel in Minca:

  • Great view for the giant hammocks
  • Delicious Food
  • Party vibe

The – – – | Casa Elemento hostel in Minca:

  • Not a quiet place if you want to rest
  • Unfriendly staff
  • A bit dirty
  • Breakfast not included

12# $$$ – Sierra Alta Finca Boutique – Hidden gem

You should consider going to Sierra Alta Finca Boutique if you want to disappear in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. The hotel is located 12 km away from Minca and will take care of everything for you. Food, activities, and transport.

How to get to Sierra Alta Finca Boutique: Ask them to book a private vehicle from Minca. 1-hour drive.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Sierra Alta Finca Boutique in Minca:

  • Delicious Food
  • Helpful staff
  • Great view
  • They can take care of everything for you – Extra cost

The – – – | Sierra Alta Finca Boutiquein Minca:

  • Far away from Minca
Sierra Alta Finca boutique

13# $ – Finca Carpe Diem – Not in Minca!

The Finca Carpe Diem is in Paso del Mango – like a tiny Minca – in the Sierra Nevada. Hostel located in the middle of nowhere, the staff organizes excursions to waterfalls, hikes, and other activities. There are a pool and friendly staff with some crazy cats. You can bring your food and cook or eat at the restaurant. There is a mosquito net for the beds but bring your repellent 🙂 | 20 000 COP each meal

How to get to Finca Carpe Diem in Bonda: Take a bus from Santa Marta to Bonda 1 600 COP, then take a moto taxi to Carpe Diem 12 000 COP / 20 min | 120 000 COP private transport from Santa Marta

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Finca Carpe Diem in Bonda:

  • Nature
  • Family vibe
  • Excellent Activities – Extra cost
  • Great view and sunsets
  • 3 Pools
  • Kitchen

The – – – | Finca Carpe Diem in Bonda:

  • It’s a bit complicated to get there
  • No breakfast included

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Where to travel after Minca

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

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Cabo San Juan In Tayrona: My favorite tricks (2020)

Cabo San Juan in Tayrona is the most famous beach inside the national park.

It means that tens of thousands of tourists dream to visit it every year.

As you know, a crowded beach is never pleasant.

So, what can you do to enjoy Cabo San Juan in parque Tayrona?

You have to be smart.

Panoramic view cabo San Juan in Tayrona park

Must read: Our top-notch Tayrona Travel guide

Enter in Parque Tayrona early

The main entrance – Zaino – in Parque Tayrona opens at 8 am.

Be there.

Thus, you avoid most of the tourists

To enter, you have to:

  • Watch an induction video
  • Present your passport and pay
  • Empty your bag. No alcohol or plastic bags are allowed

Learn more about it in our travel guide about Tayrona

Once inside, you still have to walk 2h along the coast before reaching Cabo San Juan in Tayrona.

Most of the tourists should be behind you when you arrive – Except the ones sleeping in Cabo San Juan.

Moreover, the boats coming from Taganga don’t show up before 10h30 am.

Path going to the beach in Tayrona
Path going to the beach in Tayrona

Wake up early and leave from Playa Brava

Playa Brava is another gorgeous beach in Parque Tayrona – accessible from the Calabazo entrance.

There, different accommodations are available for beachgoers.

The sun rises around 6 am. If you leave at 7 am, you should arrive at 9 am in Cabo San Juan.

Although this itinerary is doable in 2 days, I recommend you to do it in 3 days: 1 night in Playa Brava and 1 night in Cabo San Juan/Arrecife.

Where to stay: Cabo San Juan in Tayrona

Otherwise, the best way to appreciate Cabo San Juan in Tayrona is to sleep there.

The camp is quite vast and there are numerous accommodations. Moreover, there is a restaurant, a little shop, toilets and showers.

  • Tent 1 pers: 40 000 COP
  • Tent 2 pers: 80 000 COP
  • If you bring your own tent: 20 000 COP / Pers
  • Private cabin: 200 000 COP / 2 pers | Only 2 cabins
  • Hammock near the camping zone: 40 000 COP
  • Hammock on the watchtower: 50 000 COP

The hammocks on the watchtower and the private cabins are popular and you should book them in advance.

I’m not a big fan of their tents. Many of them were soaked because of the rain.

Hammocks are rented with a mosquito net.

A. How to book your hammock on the watchtower in advance in Cabo San Juan? (+)

There are 2 options.

The easiest way is to book a hotel near the park and arrive at 8 am at the Zaino Entrance.

Then, book your hammock at the desk office.

The second solution is to make a deposit of at least 50% on a Colombian account.

I’ve never tried it.

Whatsapp contact: +57 310 49 78 272 | website

In case you decide to enter by Calabazo, it won’t be possible to book it in advance. Therefore, you should leave early from Playa Brava and run at the Cabo San Juan’s reception.

B. Is the hammock on the watchtower in Cabo San Juan worth it? (+)

I’ve got mixed feelings. I don’t know if it’s worth the extra 10 000 COP.

The view is astonishing but it’s freezing up there because of the wind.

Don’t forget your blanket.

C. What should you pack for Cabo San Juan in Tayrona? (+)

You don’t have to worry about water and food during your adventure inside Tayrona Park

In Cabo San Juan, the restaurant serves many different meals (15 – 30 000 COP) and there is a shop where you can buy water.

However, the climate is very humid. Drink a lot.

  • 2 L of water
  • Blanket – There is a breeze at night
  • Cash – There is no ATM
  • Repellent
  • Lock – There are lockers you can use for free
  • Rain jacket
  • Toilet paper

Avoid the high season in Parque Tayrona

Cabo San Juan in Tayrona is extremely famous and Colombians love the Caribbean Coast.

Therefore, avoid going to Tayrona during weekends, public holidays – There are seventeen of them! – and the holy week.

Cabo San Juan in Tayrona in a few words

Cabo San Juan is a victim of its own success. The beach is gorgeous but the experience isn’t the same anymore.

Fortunately, there are other beaches less frequented.

Yes, Cabo San Juan is still worth it. But I recommend you to add other stops while you’re visiting the National Park.

Start from Calabazo and spend the night – almost alone – on Playa Brava. The following day, wake up early and walk in the direction of Cabo San Juan. Once you’re there, book your hammock before enjoying the beach.

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Where to travel after Cabo San Juan

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

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Cabo San Juan in Tayrona

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Cabo San Juan Tayrona

Beach in Tayrona: The Ultimate Guide – Full list (2020)

What would be your ideal beach in Tayrona?

The question seems simple but there is no easy answer.

As is the case with relationships, it will depend on your affinities and tastes. Not all of us fell in love with the most popular girl in Highschool.

Inside Tayrona, you will discover different types of beaches. Some of them are beautiful but crowded, others are secret but dangerous, or unknown but difficult of access.

All these beaches are scattered on the coast. Therefore, your choices will determine how you should visit the Parque Tayrona

Note: Since March 2019, 3 beaches in Tayrona are closed to the public:
Chengue, Los Naranjos, and the oriental zone of Bahia Concha.

Must read: Our top-notch Tayrona Travel guide

Beaches in Tayrona near Santa Marta

Tayrona is a vast national park and not all the beaches are accessible from Calabazo or Zaino.

The following beaches are accessible from Santa Marta thanks to Public or Private transports

A] The Beach Bahia Concha

Learn about Bahia Concha

Bahia Concha is located 50 min away from Santa Marta.

It’s easy to access and you’re allowed to set up your tent or hammock. There is no cabin and you can buy some food in the few shops around.

However, I recommend you to buy in advance everything you need.

How to get there: Public bus + moto taxi from Santa Marta | 50 min

The Beach Cabo San Juan in the National Park of Tayrona
The Beach Cabo San Juan in the National Park of Tayrona | Credit: @tristan29photography

B] The beach Neguanje

Learn about Beach Neguanje

It’s a long day trip from Neguanje and you won’t be able to do it with public transports.

But, it’s worth it.

Neguanje is the largest beach in Tayrona and there are some cool spots for snorkeling.

A restaurant sells some expensive meals. Or you can buy some foods from some little shops. Or you bring your food from Santa Marta.

Unfortunately, you can’t sleep on Neguanje beach.

Try to explore Playa Cristal once you’re there!

How to get there: 2 hours with private transport from Rodadero

C] Playa Cristal or Playa Muerte, a hidden beach in Tayrona

Learn about Playa Cristal

It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Tayrona and only 300 persons per day have access to it.

In other words, you should try to arrive early and avoid weekends and public holidays.

Enjoy the white-sand beach, the crystal-blue water, cold beers, and fantastic snorkel sessions.

How to get there: 10 min boat from the beach Neguanje or 1-hour boat from Taganga.

Read more: Best beaches near Santa Marta

Beaches in Tayrona: Access from Calabazo (Shorter way)

Calabazo is a small entrance located 14km away from the main entrance – The Zaino.

I recommend you to buy your Tayrona tickets there if you like hiking.

A] Playa Brava, the secret beach in Tayrona

Learn more about Playa Brava

Are you looking for a quiet beach where only a few brave travelers stay at night?

Then, you should opt for Playa Brava.

Once you’ve done the checkpoint in Calabazo, hike 3-4 hours on a trail unfrequented by the lambda tourists to arrive in Playa Brava.

There, a large white-sandy beach welcomes adventurers with coconuts and palm trees.

The hotel Playa Brava Teyumakke offers different sleeping options (Hammocks, tents, and cabins) and serves hot meals.

Note: I’ve heard there is a new path that allows travelers to reach Playa Nudista and Cabo San Juan without passing by Pueblito. It’s a 2h30 hike.

How to get there: Hike 3-4 hours from the Calabazo Entrance

Beaches in Tayrona: Access from the Zaino (Shorter way)

All the following beaches in Tayrona are also accessible from Calabazo. But, it’s a longer hike.

A] Playa Nudista, the naked beach in Tayrona

Learn more about Playa Nudista

Don’t like crowded beaches?

I’m the same.

Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered there was nobody on Playa Nudista.

Once you are in Cabo San Juan, continue to walk 10 min more – after the massive boulders – to take a sexy dip in the ocean.

Be careful, currents can be strong. But, there are are some signs telling you where you can swim.

Ps: Yes, you can keep your clothes on.

How to get there: 10 min walk from Cabo San Juan

Playa Nudista Tayrona Colombia
Nudist Beach

B] Cabo San Juan, the most famous beach in Tayrona

Learn more about Cabo San Juan

Cabo San Juan… The beach that is more famous than Tayrona.

And, I understand why.

It’s gorgeous.

Unfortunately, like every high touristic spot, it becomes ugly when it’s crowded.

But, there is always a solution to have it all for himself.

  • Avoid the weekends and public holidays
  • Same for the period Mid-December to Mid-January
  • People leave around 4 pm
  • Sleep in Cabo San Juan and wake up early

There are the “best” amenities of the park in Cabo San Juan: Restaurant, toilets, showers, hammocks, tents, 2 private rooms, little shop.

How to get there: Walk 2h from the Zaino entrance or take a 1-hour boat from Taganga.

Panoramic view cabo San Juan in Tayrona park, Colombia
Panoramic view cabo San Juan in Tayrona park

C] The Beach la Piscina in Tayrona

Learn more about La Piscina

La Piscina is a peaceful beach protected by large boulders. Therefore, travelers can relax and enjoy a quiet swim in this natural pool.

The place is also great for snorkeling.

It’s a nice spot if you’re allergic to people as most of them continue to Cabo San Juan.

There is no accommodation or restaurant.

How to get there: 1h30 walk from the Zaino entrance or 30 min walk from Cabo San Juan (On your way back to the Zaino)

Beaches In Tayrona Where You Can’t Swim

The Caribbean sea isn’t as peaceful as you think. There had more than 200 deads over the years inside the Parque Tayrona.

Why?

Because of dangerous currents – and also because many Colombians don’t swim well)

Anyway. Read the signs and everything gonna be alright.

The following beaches are the first you will encounter when you start the trail from the Zaino entrance.

A. Cañaveral beach at Tayrona’s entrance

Learn more about Playa Cañaveral

Cañaveral beach is located at the entrance of Parque Tayrona.

There, the luxury Ecohabs welcomes – with its 14 cabins – the wealthy tourists who came to explore the park.

How to get there: At the beginning of the trail, once the shuttle dropped you from the Zaino entrance.

B] Playa Castilletes, camping in Tayrona

Learn more about Playa Castilletes

Castilletes beach is on the east side of Cañaveral. This coastline, unknown from the public, is beautiful.

There is a vast zone for tents and hammocks. Or you can decide to sleep in one of their private cabins.

How to get there: A few min walk Via Cañaveral

Camping in Tayrona Los Castilletes

C] Beach Arrecife in Parque Tayrona

Learn more about Playa Arrecife

Arrecife is another beautiful but dangerous beach in Tayrona.

It’s a lovely place where travelers enjoy a panoramic view of white sands, blue ocean and green vegetations under the shadows of palm trees.

It’s Arrecife that you will be able to find the cheapest accommodations – tents or hammocks.

Also, try to wake up early. The sunrise is gorgeous there.

How to get there: 50 min walk from Cañaveral

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Where to travel after Tayrona

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Beach in Tayrona

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Beaches in Tayrona

How to get Tayrona National Park Tickets?

Psst, Psst! Are you looking for Tayrona National Park tickets?

I’m not the guy who is going to sell you some under his long dark coat.

However, I can give a clear explanation that will answer all the questions you’ve in mind.

It’s actually pretty simple.

The most important tip is the following one:

You don’t need to book a tour to explore Tayrona. Also, it’s super easy to buy your Tayrona ticket on-site.

Ok, let’s see what you can do to get these Tayrona National Park Tickets.

EDIT 03/03/2020: You CAN’T buy your ticket Online.

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Where to buy your Tayrona National Park ticket

There are 2 methods to get your tickets

  • Online with the park national (Not available till further information)
  • At the park entrance

A] Buy your Tayrona ticket online -> You CAN’T until further information

I never did it myself because I’m an old school guy. Moreover, the websites aren’t very friendly in Colombia. I don’t like them.

But I have to admit the Tayrona website – Managed by Parque Nacional – seems okay. Edit March 2020: Their website is not working anymore.

On their homepage, you have to select Zona Calabazo Or Zona El Zaino. It’s both park entrances.

Most of the travelers take the Zaino entrance – it’s the main one,- but I recommend the Calabazo entrance if you want to spend more days inside the park.

Find out the beaches you can visit from Zaino and Calabazo

The two other entrances are beaches accessible from Santa Marta

Once, you have selected your zone, the number of visitors and the date, click on “Check”.

Then, you must pick “foreign” and “Sign in” – do it quickly with your Facebook. Yeah I know, it’s boring.

Then, you will have to pay by credit card.

When I did the simulation, the final price was 56 000 COP. It’s the official price, without any surcharge.

You have 48 hours to pay or you have to do it again. Please note you must show the receipt at the park entrance.

The pros and the cons of buying your Tayrona tickets online (+)

The Pros:

  • Limited visitors per day: 1850. By buying online your Tayrona National Park tickets, you’re sure to be one of them
  • You don’t have to wait to buy your ticket
  • It’s the official price, without any surcharge.

The Cons:

  • It says you have to pay a daily fee for the insurance but you can’t choose an exiting day

B] Buy your Tayrona National Park Tickets on site

Map Tayrona Colombia Park
Map Tayrona (Pueblito isn’t open to the public anymore)

If you don’t trust the technology, you still can buy your ticket at the park entrance.

There are two entrances to explore the Parque Tayrona:

  • The Zaino – Main entrance
  • Calabazo – My favorite secret entrance

You have to show your passport and pay in cash – Inside the park too.

Start early to avoid the crowd. Therefore, you should pick an accommodation near the entrance.

  • Opening hours The Zaino: 8.00 AM – 5.00 PM
  • Opening hours Calabazo: 6.00 AM – 2.00 PM

My favorite accommodations near Tayrona (+)

What are the advantages to enter by Calabazo (+)

  • It’s faster than the Zaino
  • There are fewer people on the trail
  • The path is more enjoyable
  • You have access to Playa Brava

How much does a Tayrona National Park Ticket cost?

There are 2 factors that change the final price of your ticket:

  • High and Low season
  • If you’re a foreigner or not

List of the prices for Parque Tayrona 2019

  • Kids (foreigners or not) 0 – 4 years old: Free
  • Foreigner (5 or more):
    • Low Season: 53 500 COP
    • High Season: 61500 COP
  • Daily fee insurance: 2 500 COP

More details here (In Spanish)

Where to travel after Tayrona

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

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Tayrona National Park Tickets

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Tayrona National Park Ticket

How to get from Santa Marta to Tayrona: Our recommendations

How to travel from Santa Marta to Tayrona?

Like many other travelers, you have been seduced by the pictures of the Parque Tayrona.

Nestled on the Caribbean Coast, between Santa Marta and Palomino, Tayrona attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.

And, the simplest way to get access to the park is to first stop in Santa Marta.

Must read: Our travel guide to explore Tayrona

The coast in the Tayrona National Park

Santa Marta is a tourist hub

Santa Marta isn’t a pleasant city – Except for the area around Parque de Los Novios. Or some beaches near Rodadero.

My favorite highlights around Santa Marta (+)

But, there are many highlights to visit all around:

We wrote a list of the best trips to organize from Santa Marta.

Over the years, more and more tourists have decided to stay in Santa Marta instead of Cartagena.

Therefore, the city is well deserved by the public transports:

  • There is a national airport with flights from Bogota and Medellin | 1 hour
  • There are buses from
    • Cartagena: 4-6 hours
    • San Gil: 13 hours
    • Bogota: 18-20 hours
    • Medellin: 16 hours

Must read: Our travel guide to visit Santa Marta

Best Ways To Travel From Santa Marta To Tayrona

A) Take the public bus Santa Marta – Tayrona

Duration and price (+)

There are two places where you can take the bus Santa Marta to Tayrona:

  • At the main bus station – Outside the city
  • At the Mercado Publico (Market) | Calle 11 con Carrera 11

Bus Santa Marta – Tayrona: 1 hour | Price: Around 8 000 COP

B) Take a bus to Taganga then a boat to Tayrona

Explanation, prices, and duration (+)

The boat Taganga – Tayrona is the fastest way to get to Cabo San Juan in Tayrona.

First, travel to Taganga:

  • Blue Public buses
  • Taxi

Blue Buses To Taganga – On the Carrera 5 | 25 min | Around 2 000 COP

Taxi Santa Marta – Taganga | 20 min | Around 12 000 COP

Once you’re in Taganga, you have to find a boat to Tayrona National Natural Park

  • Ask the fishermen on the dock
  • The last boats leave before 9h30
  • The sea is rough from October to March. This boat ride is scary for the people who are not used to it
  • Boats leave from Cabo San Juan around 4 pm

Boat Taganga – Tayrona | 1 hour | 50 000 COP (1 way)

C) Private transports from Santa Marta

Prices and durations (+)

Another easy way to travel to Tayrona from Santa Marta is to contact a private transport

Where to travel after Tayrona

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

All you need to create your itinerary

Why bother if we do it better?

Join Colombia Insider

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Santa-Marta-to-Tayrona