Visiting Colombia: Top 5 Must-See Places for a Complete Experience

  • Colombia is a vibrant, diverse country with exciting cultural experiences and incredible destinations.
  • Cartagena is the most visited tourist destination and boasts stunning colors, architecture, and cobblestone streets.
  • Medellin is a fantastic city offering museums, theaters, cafes, and local Comuna 13 tours.
  • Tayrona National Park is a must-visit for nature and adventure enthusiasts, with bird-watching trails and beautiful beaches.

Colombia is a country that has risen to the top of many travelers’ must-visit lists. With its stunning scenery, rich culture, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder why. If you plan a trip to Colombia, your itinerary should include some of the country’s most incredible destinations. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 must-see places to visit. Whether you’re into adventure, history, food, or just soaking up the scenery, we’ve got you covered.


Cartagena is Colombia’s most visited tourist destination and for a good reason. The historic city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site characterized by its vibrant colors, beautiful architecture, and charming cobblestone streets.

Cartagena has exquisite sights like the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the Convento de la Popa, and the beautiful Clock Tower. You can also stroll down the city’s old town to enjoy its many cafes, restaurants, and art galleries.


Medellin is a thriving destination considered one of Colombia’s most progressive and modern cities. The city boasts an impressive array of museums, theaters, and cafes, such as the Museum of Antioquia, the Botanical Garden Joaquin Antonio Uribe, and the Plaza Botero.

And while you’re there, take a local tour of Comuna 13. This vibrant and colorful neighborhood has experienced significant transformation in recent years and is home to some of the city’s best graffiti art and street performances.

Tayrona National Park

beach view on top of cliff

Tayrona National Park is a must-visit for nature and adventure enthusiasts. The park is on the Caribbean coast, characterized by its beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, coral reefs, and dense forests. The park also ranks among the world’s best spots for bird watching, and there are many designated trails for hiking.


Bogota is Colombia’s capital and the country’s largest city. It is one of the few places where modern and ancient architecture melds seamlessly. You can explore the city’s rich history and culture by visiting the famous Gold Museum, the historic fortified town of La Candelaria, and the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira.

Caño Cristales

Lastly, if you’re a fan of natural beauty, be sure to visit Caño Cristales. Known as the “River of Five Colors,” it is a sight to behold. The river is located in the Serrania de la Macarena mountains and is characterized by its rainbow colors. The colors come from various aquatic plants that flourish in the riverbed, making it one of the most beautiful natural sites in the world.

Before Visiting Colombia

Colombia has a rich history and culture, stunning natural landscapes, and friendly people. It is no wonder that it attracts millions of visitors from all over the world every year. Here are some of the top things to keep in mind before visiting Colombia:

Safety Precautions

Safety is the primary concern for most travelers, and Colombia has a reputation for being a dangerous country. Regardless, taking necessary precautions when visiting Colombia is essential, just like any other country. Some tips include:

  • Avoid walking alone at night in urban areas.
  • Remain vigilant when using public transportation, especially in larger cities.
  • Be cautious of pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas.
  • Do not display valuable items such as cameras and mobile phones in public places.


tourists with luggages riding a bus

Transportation in Colombia can be challenging, especially for first-time visitors. The country has an extensive network of buses, but they are often crowded, and the schedules can be unreliable. Taxis and ride-sharing apps are also popular, but you must negotiate the fare before getting in the car. Planes are also a great option, especially if you’re traveling long distances.

Cultural Norms

Colombia is a diverse country with a rich culture, and respecting local customs and traditions is essential. Some cultural norms to keep in mind include:

  • Colombians are friendly and hospitable, and it’s common to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek.
  • Tipping is not mandatory, but leaving a 10% tip at restaurants and cafes is customary.
  • Dress conservatively when visiting religious sites or attending formal events.
  • Try to learn some basic Spanish phrases before visiting Colombia, as many locals do not speak English.

Best Time to Visit

Colombia has a tropical climate, which means it’s warm and humid all year round. However, the best time to visit Colombia is during the dry season, which runs from December to March and July to August. The wet season is from April to June and September to November, and it’s not an ideal time for outdoor activities or sightseeing.

The Bottom Line

Colombia is a country that offers something for everyone, and with these top 5 must-see places, you’re sure to have a complete and diverse experience. Colombia has it all, whether you’re after adventure or relaxation, history or culture. So, be sure to put these destinations on your itinerary, and get ready to experience the beauty and magic of this incredible country.

Collin Day

Collin Day is not your ordinary travel writer. He's a boundary-breaker, an intrepid explorer who believes in the power of stepping into the unknown. With an insatiable curiosity and a passion for adventure, Collin fearlessly seeks out remote destinations and uncovers hidden gems. His storytelling is a gateway to exhilarating experiences that ignite the imagination and inspire wanderlust. As a seasoned travel blogger, Collin's expertise extends beyond mere words. He's your go-to source for unconventional travel hacks, off-the-grid destinations, adrenaline-pumping activities, and the art of crafting captivating narratives.
Join Collin on this extraordinary journey, where thrilling adventures unfold at every turn.

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