Top 10 things to do in Colombia

Colombia

Historic towns, modern and energetic party cities, and a whole lot of nature to explore in between.

Colombia is a country.

Colombia (/kəˈlʌmbiə/ kə-LUM-biə, or /kəˈlɒmbiə/ kə-LOM-biə), officially the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: República de Colombia [reˈpuβlika ðe koˈlombja]), is a country situated in the northwest of South America, bordered to the northwest by Panama; to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; and it shares maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments.

The territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonization ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada, with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 "Gran Colombia" had collapsed with the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903.

Since the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict, which escalated in the 1990s, but since 2000 has decreased considerably.

Colombia is ethnically diverse, its people descending from the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, Africans originally brought to the country as slaves, and 20th-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East, all contributing to a diverse cultural heritage. This has also been influenced by Colombia's varied geography, and the imposing landscape of the country has resulted in the development of very strong regional identities. The majority of the urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.

Ecologically, Colombia is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries, and is considered the most biodiverse per square kilometer. Colombia is a middle power with the third largest economy in Latin America, is part of the CIVETS group of six leading emerging markets and is an accessing member to the OECD.

Its principal industries include oil, mining, chemicals, health related products, food processing, agricultural products, textile and fabrics, garments, forest products, machinery, electronics, military products, metal products, home and office material, construction equipment and materials, banking, financial services, software, IT services and the automotive industry.

Overall rating: 4.2
Country
Typical length of visit: 4 days

Top 10 things to do in Colombia

Pereira

Pereira
Pereira may refer to:PlacesBrazilPereira Barreto, municipality in São PauloPereiras, municipality in São Paulo ColombiaPereira, Colombia, capital city of the department of Risaralda PortugalPereira , a parish in ...

Quimbaya

Quimbaya
The Quimbaya civilization is a South American civilization, noted for spectacular gold work characterized by technical accuracy and detailed designs. The majority of the gold work is made in tumbaga ...

Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva
Villa de Leyva is a colonial town and municipality, in the Boyacá department of Colombia, part of the subregion of the Ricaurte Province. The town is located 40 km west of ...

Leticia, Amazonas

Leticia, Amazonas
Leticia is the southernmost city in the Republic of Colombia, capital of the department of Amazonas, Colombia's southernmost town and one of the major ports on the Amazon river. It ...

Cartagena

Cartagena
Cartagena or Carthagena may refer to:PlacesChileCartagena, Chile, a commune in Valparaíso RegionColombiaCartagena, Colombia, a city in the Bolivar Region, the largest ...

Villavicencio

Villavicencio
Villavicencio is a city and municipality in Colombia, capital of Meta department, with 361,058 inhabitants . The city is located at 4°08'N, 73°40'W, 75 km southeast of the Colombian capital city ...

Santa Marta

Santa Marta
Santa Marta is a city in Colombia. It is the capital of the department of Magdalena and third largest urban city of the Caribbean Region of Colombia, after Barranquilla and ...

Salento

Salento
Salento is the southeastern peninsular extension of the Apulia region into the Mediterranean Sea, in southeastern-most Italy. It is a sub-peninsula of the Italian Peninsula, sometimes described as the "heel" ...

Medellín

Medellín
Medellín , officially the Municipality of Medellín , is the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the department of Antioquia. It is located in the Aburrá Valley, a ...

Cali

Cali
Santiago de Cali, usually known by its short name 'Cali', is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, and the most populous city in western Colombia with an estimated ...

Isla de Providencia

Isla de Providencia
Isla de Providencia or Old Providence is a mountainous Caribbean island part of the Colombian department of Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina and the municipality of Providencia ...

Armenia

Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in the north of Western Asia, it is bordered by ...

Barranquilla

Barranquilla
Barranquilla is a city and municipality located in northern Colombia. It is the only major city in South America that was populated before its formal foundation. Barranquilla is located near ...

Pasto, Colombia

Pasto, Colombia
Pasto, officially San Juan de Pasto, is the capital of the department of Nariño, located in southern Colombia. The city is located in the "Atriz Valley", on the Andes cordillera, ...

Melgar

Melgar
Melgar may refer to:Places and locationsPeruMelgar ProvinceMariano Melgar DistrictSpainMelgar de AbajoMelgar de FernamentalPeopleFernand MelgarJohn Melgar SmithJosé Milton MelgarMariano ...

Honda

Honda
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ; /ˈhɒndə/ is a Japanese public multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment.Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer ...

Popayán

Popayán
Popayán is the capital of the Colombian department of Cauca. It is located in southwestern Colombia between Colombia's Western Mountain Range and Central Mountain Range. It has a population of ...

Buenaventura

Buenaventura
Buenaventura is the Spanish version of Bonaventure. It may refer to:Music"Buenaventura", a Paul van Dyk songMyths and legendsBuenaventura River , a legendary but non-existent ...

Capurganá

Capurganá
Capurganá is a tourist destination of the municipality of Acandí on the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Urabá in the Colombian department of Choco and adjacent to the border ...

San Agustín

San Agustín
San Agustín is the Spanish-language name for St. Augustine.San Agustín may also refer to:GeographyArgentinaSan Agustín, CórdobaColombiaSan Agustín, HuilaEl ...

Zipaquirá

Zipaquirá
Zipaquirá is a municipality and city of Colombia in the department of Cundinamarca. Its neighboring municipalities are Tausa and Cogua to the north; Nemocón, Gachancipá and Sopó to the east; ...

Girardot

Girardot
Girardot may refer to:PlacesGirardot, Cundinamarca, a municipality in Cundinamarca, ColombiaGirardot Municipality, Aragua, VenezuelaGirardot Municipality, Cojedes, VenezuelaOther usesGirardot Girardot Argezas, a character from Namco's Soul ...

National Archeological Park of Tierradentro

National Archeological Park of Tierradentro
Several monumental statues of human figures can be seen in the park, which also contains many hypogea dating from the 6th to the 10th century. These huge underground tombs (some ...

San Agustín Archaeological Park

San Agustín Archaeological Park
The largest group of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in South America stands in a wild, spectacular landscape. Gods and mythical animals are skilfully represented in styles ranging from abstract ...

Calima

Calima
Calima may refer to:Calima Aviación, a Spanish airlineCalima culture, a pre-Columbian culture from ColombiaCalima, a dust wind originating in the Saharan Air LayerCALIMA or The Temple of Semos, a place ...

Los Nevados National Natural Park

Los Nevados National Natural Park
Los Nevados National Natural Park is a national park located in the Cordillera Central of the Colombian Andes. The 5,300 m -high volcano Nevado del Ruiz dominates Los Nevados. Out of ...

Guatapé

Guatapé
Guatapé is a town and municipality in Antioquia Department, Colombia. Part of the subregion of Eastern Antioquia. Guatapé is located in the outskirts of Medellín, bordering a reservoir created by ...

Silvia

Silvia
Silvia is an Italian female given name of Latin origin, with English-language cognate Sylvia. The name originates from the Latin word for forest Silva and its meaning is spirit of ...

Riohacha

Riohacha
Riohacha, Rio Hacha or Rio de la Hacha rarely called Ahcaóir or Ahcaoir in English and lonic , is a city in the Riohacha Municipality in the northern Caribbean Region ...

La Calera

La Calera
La Calera may refer to:PlacesArgentinaLa Calera, CórdobaLa Calera, San LuisLa Calera, Tucumán ColombiaLa Calera, Cundinamarca ChileLa Calera, Chile MexicoLa Calera Airport SportsUnión La Calera, ...

Santa Fe de Antioquia

Santa Fe de Antioquia
Santa Fe de Antioquia is a municipality in the Antioquia Department, Colombia. The city is located approximately 50 miles north of Medellín, the department capital. It has a population of ...

Paipa

Paipa
Paipa is a town and municipality in the Colombian Department of Boyacá, part of the Tundama Province a subregion of Boyaca.LocationPaipa is located 15 km West of Duitama ...

Gorgona Island, Colombia

Gorgona Island, Colombia
Gorgona is a Colombian island in the Pacific Ocean situated about 35 km off the Colombian Pacific coast . The island is 9 km and 2.5 km wide, with a maximum height of ...

Nuquí

Nuquí
Nuquí is a municipality and town in the Chocó Department, Colombia. The municipality of Nuquí is located in the department of Chocó in the Western part of Colombia between the ...

Coveñas

Coveñas
Coveñas is a town and municipality located in the Sucre Department, northern Colombia. Established in the sixteenth century as a port for slave traders, then become an oil port in ...

Bahía Solano

Bahía Solano
Bahía Solano is a municipality and town in the Chocó Department, Colombia. Bahia, as it is locally known, is an economic and tourist center of coastal Choco. Bahia is home ...

Buga

Buga
Buga may refer to:Buga, an inactive volcano in Zamboanga del Sur province, the PhilippinesBuga , a barangay in San Miguel Municipality, Bulacan, PhilippinesBuga, Valle del Cauca, city and municipality in ...

Filandia, Quindío

Filandia, Quindío
Filandia is a town and municipality in the northern part of the department of Quindío, Colombia. It is located on the west side of Cordillera Central of the Andes mountain ...

Turbo, Colombia

Turbo, Colombia
Turbo is a port town in Antioquia Department, Colombia. It is located at around . It is located on the coast of Gulf of Urabá, 340 km. north of Medellín . ...

Villeta

Villeta
Villeta is a city of Paraguay, in the Central Department, on the banks of Paraguay River. It is an important industrial center and port.ToponymyThe city was founded ...

Ipiales

Ipiales
Ipiales is a city in Nariño Department, Ecuador, near the border with Ecuador. It is located at around 0°49′49″N 77°38′40″W / 0.83028°N 77.64444°W / 0.83028; -77.64444, with an elevation of ...

Rionegro

Rionegro
Rionegro is a city and municipality in Antioquia Department, Colombia, located in the subregion of Eastern Antioquia. The official name of the City is "Ciudad Santiago de Arma de Rionegro" ...

Bucaramanga

Bucaramanga
Bucaramanga is the capital city of the department of Santander, Colombia. Bucaramanga has the fifth largest economy by GDP in Colombia, has the lowest unemployment rate, the highest GINI index, ...

Barichara

Barichara
Barichara is a town and municipality in the Santander Department in northeastern Colombia. ...

Tolú

Tolú
Tolú is a small municipality and town in Sucre Department, northern Colombia by the Caribbean sea. The municipality has an area of 500 km². The name of Tolú comes from a ...

Suesca

Suesca
Suesca is a town in Cundinamarca Department, Colombia. It is located at northern Bogotá, 59 km from Colombian Capital of Bogotá, part of the geographical region called Sábana de Bogotá, or ...

Cartago

Cartago
Cartago is the name of at least three different places:Cartago Province, Costa RicaCartago, Costa Rica, capital of the province of CartagoCartago, Valle del Cauca, ColombiaCartago, California, United StatesCartago, phoenician colony ...

Guatavita

Guatavita
Guatavita is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Guavio Province of the Cundinamarca department. The sacred and ceremonial Lake Guatavita, of the Pre-Columbian Muiscas people, is located nearby ...

Santa Rosa de Cabal

Santa Rosa de Cabal
Santa Rosa de Cabal is a town and municipality in the Risaralda Department, of west central Colombia, on the western slopes of the Andean Cordillera Central.It is a commercial and ...

Tayrona National Natural Park

Tayrona National Natural Park
In this park on Colombia's northern shores, the jungle comes down from the hills all the way to several beautiful, sometimes deserted beaches

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. The castle is located on the Hill of San Lázaro in a strategic location, dominating ...

Gold Museum, Bogotá

Gold Museum, Bogotá
The Gold Museum is a museum located in Bogotá, Colombia.OverviewThe museum displays a selection of pre-Hispanic gold work collection — the biggest in the world — in ...

Barefoot Park

Barefoot Park
Barefoot Park is a zen-inspired public park in Medellín, Colombia. The park was funded by EPM and designed by architect Felipe Uribe de Bedout. The park includes a green area ...

Rosario Islands

Rosario Islands
The Islas del Rosario is one of the 46 Natural National Parks of Colombia, created in order to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Colombian Caribbean ...

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an isolated mountain range separated from the Andes chain that runs through Colombia. Reaching an altitude of 5,700 m just 42 km from the Caribbean ...

Monserrate

Monserrate
Monserrate is a mountain that dominates the city center of Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. It rises to 3,152 metres above the sea level, where there is a church ...

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is an hacienda or quinta built in the 17th century, famous for being the death place of Simón Bolívar on December 17, 1830. At ...

Las Bóvedas

Las Bóvedas
Las Bóvedas are a structure in the Old City of Cartagena in Colombia, attached to the walls. The Caribbean Sea is visible from the top of the structure. They were ...

Aburrá Valley

Aburrá Valley
Aburrá Valley , is the natural basin of the Medellín River and one of the most populous valleys of Colombia in its Andean Region with near 3 million inhabitants in ...

Museo Botero

Museo Botero
The Botero Museum located in Bogotá, Colombia houses one of Latin America's most important international art collections. It sees 500,000 visitors annually, around 1,000 daily, and of those 2,000 students ...

Rodadero Sea Aquarium and Museum

Rodadero Sea Aquarium and Museum
The Rodadero Sea Aquarium and Museum is a public aquarium and maritime museum located in the Inca Inca Cove off the Rodadero beach in Santa Marta, Colombia. It was opened ...

Estadio Jaime Morón León

Estadio Jaime Morón León
Estadio Jaime Morón León formerly known as Estadio Pedro de Heredia is a multi-use stadium in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium ...

Festival of the Flowers

Festival of the Flowers
The Flowers Festival is a festival that takes place in Medellín, Colombia. The festival is the most important social event for the city and there is a pageant, automobiles, a ...

Bolívar Square

Bolívar Square
The Bolívar Square is located in the heart of the historical area of Bogotá. It has a statue of Simón Bolívar sculpted in 1846 by the Italian Pietro Tenerani, which ...

Los Katíos National Park

Los Katíos National Park
Los Katíos National Natural Park is a protected area located in northwest Colombia which covers about 720 km . The elevation ranges between 50 m and 600 m . It is a part ...

Pico Cristóbal Colón

Pico Cristóbal Colón
Pico Cristóbal Colón is the highest mountain in Colombia, with an estimated height of 5,700 metres . It is also the fifth most prominent in the world . The nearest ...

Colombian National Museum

Colombian National Museum
The National Museum of Colombia is the National Museum of Colombia housing collections on its history, art, culture. Located in Bogotá downtown, is the biggest and oldest museum in Colombia. ...

Nutibara sculpture park

Nutibara sculpture park
Sculpture Park is a sculpture garden at the foot of Nutibara Hill in Medellín, Colombia and the first of its kind in the country. The park contains 10 modern and ...

Quinta de Bolívar

Quinta de Bolívar
The Quinta de Bolivar is a colonial house in Bogota, Colombia, that served as a residence to Simon Bolivar in the capital after the war of independence. It is now ...

93 Park

93 Park
93 Park or 93rd Street Park is a commercial and recreational park located over the 93 Street in the north of Bogota, Colombia. Is one of Bogota's most popular shopping, ...

Casa de Moneda de Colombia

Casa de Moneda de Colombia
The Casa de Moneda de Colombia is a Colombian currency museum based in the city of Bogotá. It was founded in 1621 as the mint . The current mint is ...

Torre Colpatria

Torre Colpatria
Torre Colpatria is a 50-story skyscraper located at the downtown area in Bogotá, Colombia. It is the tallest building in the country and the forth in South America. It was ...

Primary Cathedral of Bogotá

Primary Cathedral of Bogotá
The Archbishopric Cathedral of Bogotá is a Roman Catholic cathedral located at the eastern side of Bolívar Square in Bogotá, D.C., Colombia. It is seat of the Archbishop of Bogotá, ...

Capitolio Nacional

Capitolio Nacional
Capitolio Nacional is a building on Bolivar Square in central Bogotá, the construction of which began in 1876, by order of president Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, and was not concluded ...

Maloka Museum

Maloka Museum
The Maloka Museum is an interactive science museum located in Bogotá, Colombia. Visitors interact with a wide variety of exhibits that explore topics in Science and Technology.The museum has 9 ...

Guadalupe Hill

Guadalupe Hill
Guadalupe Hill is a hill located in Downtown Bogotá, Colombia. Next to the mountain of Monserrate. ...

Planetarium of Bogotá

Planetarium of Bogotá
The Planetarium of Bogotá is a cultural center and planetarium located in the International Center of Bogota, Colombia, within Independence Park. Its observatory is South America's largest cupola.

Centro de Comercio Internacional

Centro de Comercio Internacional
Centro de Comercio Internacional is a skyscraper located in Bogotá, Colombia. The building is 190m/623 ft, 50 floors. The building is another neighbor of the largest skyscraper in Colombia, Torre Colpatria. ...

University City of Bogotá

University City of Bogotá
The University City of Bogotá , also known as the White City , is the flagship campus of the National University of Colombia, located near Teusaquillo, in Bogotá, Colombia. It ...