It’s not easy to plan the best trip to Colombia. Everyone is different and has various expectations about Colombia.
To help everyone to make the best choices, I’ve decided to create 11 itineraries of 20 nights each. They all are different depending on the personality of the traveler.
Today, we are with Mr. sociable traveler. He is doing his 2nd week of his best trip to Colombia.
Is it the first time you see this title? It means that you’ve missed the first episode – Don’t be sad, you can read it here: First week best trip to Colombia Mr. Sociable Traveler 🙂
Mr. Sociable: I want an entertaining best trip to Colombia, where I can meet people and monkeys (Episode 2)
Table of content
- Guatape Day 8
- Guatape / Jardin Day 9
- Jardin Day 10
- Jardin Day 11
- Salento Day 12
- Salento Day 13
- Salento Day 14
- Infographic (Downloadable)
Guatape, show me your giant rock when the sun is going down
I know you’re in love with Medellin, but it’s time to leave. Kiss the bartender and Mario Kart, pack your backpack and go in the direction of the North Terminal with a taxi.
Try to leave early as you have 2 hours bus drive – Aie Aie AieSpeedy Gonzales
Today, you’re going to one of the most famous places of Colombia, Guatape. It’s well-known for its colorful houses and a giant monolith.
Did you already hear about him?
Mission 1: You have to find the right billeteria (Ticket Office)
At the bus terminal, you have to play a little game. Where is the right ticket office? Indeed, in Colombia, you don’t have just one check-in desk. It would have been too simple.
Tens of them are scattered everywhere in the terminal and it’s your job to read the small signs and find your bus. Fortunately, Colombians are very friendly, so don’t hesitate to ask the bus to Guatape. I’m sure they have heard this question 23442.4 times in their life.
The price should be around 12 000 COP (4$). Ask only for one way as you will sleep there.
Mission 2: You have to communicate with the bus driver.
I would like to bring you to (in my opinion) the best hostel of Guatape. However, it’s 10 min far away from the city and you need to ask the bus driver to stop a little before, at [Estadero La Mona]. Then it’s only 5 min walk.
La Galeria is a hostel right on the lake and at the base of the Penol rock. They have a private beach where you can swim, kayaking and drink a beer with an astounding view. Paradise!!!
My choice for this best trip to Colombia: Hostel La Galeria – From 35 000 COP for a dorm (12$)
To get the Best trip to Colombia, you need the best hostels 😉
I let you discover the place. Rent a kayak (15 000 COP per hour / 2 pers), take a beer and tan naked on the dock.
Ready for an excursion to town? Grap a bus or a tuk-tuk on the road. It should be around 10 000 COP in total for the tuk-tuk.
It was my first tuk tuk experience! I thought we could find them only in Asia. I was excited! Tom
Guatape is a cute little town. You should walk around as you’re looking for a restaurant. There is the main square with a huge church, a lovely fountain, and a perfect spot for your next profile picture (a tiny place with colorful steps).
Many travelers are not sleeping in Guatape. But I agree with UnLatinoVerde, Guatape deserves more than a day trip from Medellin. Otherwise, you can’t fully appreciate the place.
By the way, don’t forget to buy food for tonight and your bus ticket for the next day.
You should leave tomorrow around 11 AM.
Challenge best trip to Colombia: Buy plenty of vegetables, garlic, and Pasta. Tonight it’s your turn to cook for everyone.Agent M
You should come back around 4 pm to your hostel at the latest as you still have to go to the top of the Giant rock for the sunset.
Price: 18 000 COP
Every 50 steps, the number total of steps you have climbed is written. You will quickly realize that drinking beers is not a real sport and that your endurance is shit. However the view worths the effort 😉
Day 9: Bus Bus Bus to arrive at the most beautiful town of Colombia
Buddy, this part is less funny as you gonna do plenty of bus hours.
You chill at La Galeria in the morning then you take a tuk tuk to get to Guatape and catch your bus at 11 AM.
Once you are at the North Terminal, you need to take a taxi to go to the South terminal because you’re going to the Coffee Region!
I advise you to stop to Jardin few days. It’s one of the most beautiful towns of Colombia and it’s out of the gringo trail.Tom
You have 2 company buses going to Jardin: Rapido Ochoa and Transuroeste Antioqueno. By leaving at 11.00 AM from Guatape, you should be able to catch the bus leaving at 3.00 PM.
I know, spending the day in the transports sucks a little. But it parts of the journey, even for a best trip to Colombia.
You know what. I actually miss having my butt stuck in a seat for 4 hours, the scenery shooting past like a movie and thinking about nothing. The feeling to be very small and lost somewhere in Colombia.
The road map
Guatape to Medellin: 2 hours / 12 000 COP (4$)
North Terminal to South Terminal by taxi: 25 min / Around 15 000 COP (5$)
Medellin to Jardin: 3.5 hours / 25 000 COP (8$)
Bus Schedule Rapido Ochoa
Congratz! You have finally arrived in Jardin!
It’s not the coffee region yet but I think it’s hard to find more people in love with the coffee than in Jardin. It’s a typical colonial town with straight long streets, white walls, and painted woods. Imagine you grab a rainbow and smash it against the doors, windows, chairs, and tables. Do you get the picture? It would be the same results.
And guess what? I have the perfect hostel in town for you!
It’s a simple place with a small kitchen, a lovely patio, and comfortable bed. The staff is helpful and friendly
My choice for this best trip to Colombia: Hostel Sgt Pepper’s hostel – 30 000 COP (10$)/ night for a dorm with breakfast
It was a long day, you should celebrate your arrival with something special! I love crepes. And you? There is a lovely crepe restaurant, Creperia Trigo y Centeno.
TIP: In small towns, the restaurants close early 😉
Jardin, a coffee town surrounded by waterfalls and trout
Today, you don’t take the transport (Except a funny one, you will see later ^^)
After your breakfast and coffee, it’s time to see Jardin from above. There are two cable cars in Jardin, A new and an old one. Let’s start with the more recent one and say hi to the Cristo Rey.
There is the best view of town
Price: 6000 COP (round trip).
After this big effort, it’s time to relax and take a second breakfast on the main square. Do you remark something? In Jardin, the inhabitants spend their time at the different Cafes on the main square. They speak, laugh and watch people.
Even when it’s raining, some tables are protecting from the rain by the projecting roofs and everyone is packed there. Because in Jardin, you drink your coffee outside. Whatever the weather is.
Choose your Cafe stand and enjoy the view of the huge Basilica, the smell of the trees and flowers and the daily life of the locals.
TIP: I love the Cafe Macana. Best coffees for only 1000 COP and delicious sweeties <3
Now, it’s time to do a short walk. Do you like to eat trout? In Jardin, you can have them directly at the trout farm.
In la Algeria, I ate one of the best trout of my life. They serve them with different sauces. The most famous one is “a la Molienda“. You should try!!!
The restaurant is outside of town (20 min) and the trout costs around 20 000 COP (7$).
You can discover the nature around. There is a nice loop to do:
– Take the path “El Camino de la Herrera“: It’s a path made of cobblestones. Check it here
– Walk in the direction of Charco Corazon and have a rest/swim/snap at the river
– Continue (skip the tunnel attraction, it’s not really interesting) and you will arrive at the 2nd cable car (Garrucha cable car). There is also a bar where you can take a beer.
– Garrucha is an old cable car made in wood and working with a motor and fuel. It can be impressive and seems unsafe but it’s not. It’s a nice way back to Jardin – 2 500 COP
– If you are scared, you can continue the path and you will still arrive in Jardin by the road “Camino Real”
Once you are back on the main square, wait for the sunset and drink another coffee! There are also many street food shops. It’s cheap, local, good and fatty 😉
During the day
Today it’s a tour with a guide because life is more simple with a tour sometimes. In all town, you can book tours to go to the waterfalls (even at your hostel). You should reserve the day before 😉
The mission of the day: Going down a waterfall
You have the choice between 2 activities:
Going to the waterfall la Cueva del Esplendor and go rappelling in the hidden cave. There is a huge waterfall passing through the hole and going directly into the cave. 2 hours walking but I don’t know the price as it was closed when I was there. [Maybe it’s still closed]
Canyoning/rappelling (You will be very wet) in the waterfall la Escalera – 70 000 COP (23$) (4 hours)
Contact: Jardin Adventure
Do you know the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock? It’s a bird with a big red head. He looks pretty cool. There is reserve 10 min away from the hostel where you can observe them from very close. There are also hummingbirds!
Go around 4 pm and wait for them.
Price: 10 000 COP
Salento, A place near the giant palm trees and where all taxis are Jeeps
It’s time to leave for new adventures for your best trip to Colombia.
The first step is to arrive at Salento today. No worries, it’s not complicated, but it’s long. There are 3 buses to take to go to Salento from Jardin.
First, you need to go to Rio Sucio. There is a bus at 2 PM if you plan to end your day in Manizales. However, for you, it’s Salento and you don’t want to miss the last bus!
So you have to take the one at 8h00 AM. Check the day before with the Bus terminal
Price: 19 000 COP (6$)
Time: 3 hours
Once you’re in Rio Sucio, you have to catch another bus to Peirera this time. The Bus Company is Flota Occidental (Maybe there are some others). Take the next one.
Price: 19 000 COP (6$)
Time: 3 hours
Did you enjoy the landscape? It’s beautiful, right? Let’s take the last bus 😉 You have many buses going to Salento.
Buses leave every hour during the weekend and every 2 hours (more or less) during the week. The last one is at 18h40.
Price: 6 500 COP
Time: 1 hour
Would you like more information about how to get to Salento? ==> Here
Do you like Salento? Very touristy but lovely no? I love the jeeps parked on the main square and all the street foods: Fruits cut into small pieces, very thin smashed plantains (platano), coffee (of course).
Are you backpacking in Colombia? Read our bible to become a Colombia expert
Have a break, try some fruits and go the grocery store also to buy food for tonight. You have many good hostels in Salento but I would like to present you one of my favorite.
Are you tired to be connected to your phone non-stop? Did you realize that sometimes there are 20 people in a room but no noise because they’re all looking at their little screen? It can be scary sometimes, no?
I would like to bring you to a hostel with no internet, a little outside of town, where a horse and 2 big lovely dogs keep the house. You will meet friendly people speaking and laughing together. It’s the same atmosphere than at La Bohemia in Capurgana
Welcome to the hostel Yambolombia!
My choice for this best trip to Colombia: Hostel Yambolomba – 22 000 COP (7$) for a night in Dorm.
It’s 2km outside (30 min) but you can take the jeep for very cheap. It’s 8000 COP (3$) in total for the jeep (Max 10 pers)
Say hi to Gabriel and the other members of the staff.
And have a good rest because tomorrow it’s Valle de Cocora!!!
DAY 13: I want to see humming birds and the highest palm trees in the world
Today, it’s an expedition day. I need you to be brave.
No just kidding. It’s a long walk but it’s not too complicated. You have to take the Jeep on the main square at 9h30 AM to go to Valle de Cocora.
3 things to do before going to the jeep:
1 – Did you check the breakfast menu? They are amazing and huge!! You should have one.
2 – Ask if you can borrow some rubber boots (It’s free, at the entrance, check your size) because the trek can be very muddy
3 – Buy some snacks and water bottle for the day!
Now, let’s take the jeep!
It takes around 20 min before arriving at Valle de Cocora. The cost is 3600 COP (1$) – per person
I enjoyed a lot staying standing at the back of the jeep – The wind on my face, I felt aliveTom
Once you arrive, take the path on the right (by the blue gate) as it’s better to finish by going down through the Valle de Cocora.
Entrance Fee: 3 000 COP (1$)
You first start with the “Bridges road”. You are crossing 7 rope bridges (built sometimes in a funny way).
At one point (after 1h30 from the blue gate) you have an intersection to go La Montaña (Left direction) or to continue to Acaime.
Go to Acaime first to see the wonderful humming birds then you need to come back to the intersection
Entrance Fee: 5000 COP (1.5$) with a hot chocolate
Time: 1 hour round trip
Ok, did you come back from Aicame? Hard to take the perfect pictures of this “Flash Gordon Bird”
Challenge best trip to Colombia: Take a slow motion video of a humming birdSteve Jobs
Now, direction La Montaña. It’s the hardest part. You need to go up during 40 min. Then you can relax and admire the view of a huge mountain just in front. (And also laugh about the people who are still going up)
Next, go down the road, and after 20 min, you will be able to see the huge wax palm trees. There are some nice spots on the road to take amazing pictures! You feel like a dwarf near this trees. It’s incredible.
Challenge best trip to Colombia: Go out of the trail and run between the giant palm treesOne life
2-3 hours later, you should arrive at the entrance where you can take the jeep back to Salento.
End of the afternoon
You feel dirty, covered by muds and sweat? And you’re starving because you just ate dry fruits and Oreos during the hike.
Great! You deserve an amazing meal! And I can advise you a good and fatty restaurant. Ladies and gentlemen travelers welcome to The Brunch.
Everything is good, big, expensive and the small place is charming. I’m not kidding, it’s a paradise in your mouth. Even for the vegetarian!
Try the guacamole, the big burgers, the peanut butter brownie! You deserve it.
OMG I want to go back thereCrying Tom
Bring your bad smell with you. You’re a traveler coming from a long hike, you’re allowed to stink a little.
Day 14: So tell me Jean-Mi, how do we make the coffee?
Yesterday, you booked a premium coffee tour with the Finca Ocaso. It’s the Rolls Royce of the coffee tour.
You have plenty of coffee tours in Salento (from 10 000 COP). However, if you want a deep explanation of the coffee process from how the seeds are planted until they’re harvested, you need to go to Finca Ocaso.
The tour is at 9 am and it’s in the same direction than Yambolombia. It means you have to walk less 😉
You just have to go down and follow the signs. Say goodbye to the two dogs when you go out. Did you remark that Joint (one of the 2 dogs) seats every morning against the trunk of the tree near the gate?
Ocaso it’s a farm where they produce … coffee (surprise). The place is also a hotel made of white walls and red woods at 4km from Salento. It’s beautiful. During the tour, you learn about the history and the importance of the coffee for Colombia.
You have also the occasion to walk through the coffee plantations. Then you’re playing the game of coffee taster!
Congratz, now you will be able to show off every time you’re drinking a coffee on a terraceA french guy
How to get there: 30 min walking from Yambolombia
How much: 55 000 COP ( 18$)
Duration: 3 hours
Schedule: 9h00 AM or 2h00 PM
You need to book the tour: Website Ocaso
When the tour is over, you can make a loop instead of coming back by the same path. Ask the indication to the staff.
You just have to go down to the river (Quindio), cross the bridge then turn right. After 1 hour, you will arrive at a tiny town named Boquia. You can drink a coffee there and wait for the bus going up to Salento. There is one every 20 min and it costs around 2 000 COP. It’s a nice walk 😉
It’s your last day so enjoy Salento.
I did a list of the activities you should do during the afternoon before you leave. They are all perfect with beers and friends:
- Going to the two miradors and appreciate the view with a cold beer at the top
- Playing Billiard at the Danubio Bar and cherish the “Cowboy atmosphere”
- Win your new friends at a Tejo game as you’re a professional now
- Taste the best empanada of Salento. It’s the shop named Sofia next to the Police Station
Challenge Best trip to Colombia: Do a billiard and Tejo competition. The losers pay the beersHomer Simpson
End of the second week of the best trip to Colombia
I hope you will have a lot of fun with this best trip to Colombia. It’s easy to meet many people on the roads, right? And Colombians are so cheerful and fun :).
Medellin and Guatape:
1 night in Medellin and 1 night in Guatape
Average Budget per person:
Accommodation: 12$ [The night in Medellin was counted last week]
Transport (with taxi): 25 $
Activities: 12 $
Average Budget per person:
Accommodation: 30 $
Transport (With taxi): 3 $ [Transport are counted in the day leaving Guatape and the day arriving in Salento]
Activities: 23 $
Total: 56 $
Average Budget per person:
Accommodation: 21 $
Transport (with taxi): 25 $
Activities: 25 $
Total: 71 $
Total Second week (without the food and alcohol):176 $
Every time, I consider you have found some friend to share the taxi
Next week, it’s the last one. But don’t be sad because to complete this best trip to Colombia, you will travel to an environment you’ve probably never been before, the Amazon!
Are you interested in this trip? Don’t hesitate and book your flight now!
Looking for other accommodations in Guatape, Jardin, and Salento?
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All the places have been personally tested by myself or approved by very close friends. I will do my best never to disappoint you.
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