Colombia is an amazing country with a rich history and culture that invite visitors from all over the world to explore. But when is the best time to plan your trip and what are the must-see attractions? We’ll answer these questions and more in our comprehensive guide to visiting Colombia! Read on as we recommend attractions, accommodation, tours, and more to ensure your vacation is nothing but unforgettable.
Introduction to Colombia
Colombia is a South American country located on the continent’s northwestern coast, with a diverse geography that includes the Amazon rainforest, the Andes mountains, and Caribbean Sea coastline. The population of Colombia is over 47 million people, making it the third-largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina. Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia.
The official language of Colombia is Spanish, but there are also many indigenous languages spoken throughout the country. English is not as commonly spoken as in other South American countries, but visitors will still be able to find English speakers in the major tourist areas.
The climate in Colombia varies depending on the region, but generally speaking, the weather is hot and humid year-round. The best time to visit Colombia depends on what kind of activities you want to do and what part of the country you want to visit. For example, if you’re interested in exploring the Amazon rainforest, the best time to visit would be during the dry season (December to March). However, if you want to experience Colombian culture and enjoy the nightlife scene in cities like Bogotá and Medellín, the best time to visit would be during Carnival (February) or Christmas (December).
No matter when you decide to visit Colombia, you’re sure to have an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Best Time to Visit Colombia
Although there is never a bad time to visit Colombia, the best time to visit Colombia is during the dry season which runs from December to March. During this time, weather conditions are ideal for outdoor activities and exploration. Plus, since many Colombians take their holidays during this period, you’ll have the chance to experience authentic Colombian culture firsthand.
If you’re looking for a more affordable travel experience, however, consider visiting Colombia during the rainy season (April-November). Although you’ll have to contend with some wet weather, prices for accommodation and activities will be lower. Plus, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds that flock to Colombian tourist destinations during peak season.
Accommodation and Travel Tips
Assuming you’ll be flying into Bogotá, we recommend you spend a few days acclimating to the high altitude. During this time, explore the historic center of La Candelaria and get a sense of the city’s vibrant street art scene. Consider taking a day trip to one of Bogotá’s many nearby towns, like Zipaquirá or Guatavita. When you’re ready to move on, fly or take a bus west to Cali.
Cali is Colombia’s third-largest city and is known for its Afro-Colombian culture and nightlife. Spend a few days exploring the city and dancing salsa at one of its many clubs. If you’re looking for something more low-key, take a day trip to the nearby Valle de Cocora to hike through Colombia’s majestic wax palm trees. From Cali, you can either head north to Cartagena or east towards Villa de Leyva.
Cartagena is a colonial city located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It’s known for its well-preserved old town, which is surrounded by walls built in the 16th century. Spend a few days strolling through the old town, visiting its many museums and churches, and relaxing on the beach. When you’re ready to leave Cartagena, hop on a bus or flight headed east to Villa de Leyva.
Villa de Leyva is a small colonial town located in central Colombia.
Things to See and Do in Colombia
Colombia is a country with a lot to offer, from its stunning natural beauty to its rich culture and history. Here are some of the things that you can see and do while visiting Colombia:
Explore the Lost City of Tayrona: The Lost City of Tayrona is a must-see for anyone visiting Colombia. This ancient city is located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains and is home to many ruins and artifacts.
Visit the Coffee Region: Colombia is famous for its coffee, so be sure to visit the country’s coffee region. Here you’ll learn about the coffee-making process and taste some of the best coffee in the world.
Experience Colombian music and dance: A visit to Colombia would not be complete without experiencing the country’s music and dance. From traditional folkloric dances to more modern styles, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Take a hike through Los Nevados National Park: Los Nevados National Park is a stunning park located in the Andes mountains. Here you’ll find glaciers, waterfalls, and hiking trails that wind through some of Colombia’s most beautiful scenery.
Visit Cartagena: Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Colombia’s most popular tourist destinations. This historic city is home to beautiful colonial architecture, stunning beaches, and plenty of great restaurants and shops
Going Off the Beaten Path in Colombia
Colombia is a country with so much to offer, and while the major cities are definitely worth a visit, sometimes it’s even more fun to get off the beaten path. If you’re looking for an adventure, Colombia is the perfect place to find one. Here are some of our favorite things to do when we’re feeling adventurous in Colombia:
- Hike up to Ciudad Perdida – Ciudad Perdida, or the Lost City, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular hiking destinations in Colombia. The hike itself is not for the faint of heart – it’s four days and three nights of uphill climbing – but the views from the top are absolutely stunning.
- Go whitewater rafting in San Gil – San Gil is known as the adventure capital of Colombia, and for good reason! There are tons of different outdoor activities to choose from, but one of our favorites is whitewater rafting on the Rio Fonce.
- Go scuba diving in Taganga – Taganga is a small fishing village located just outside of Santa Marta on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It’s become increasingly popular with tourists in recent years, but still retains its laid-back vibe. The scuba diving here is some of the best in the country – you can explore sunken ships, reefs, and more.
- Visit Parque Tayrona – Parque Tayrona is another beautiful
Culinary Experiences in Colombia
Colombia offers a wide range of culinary experiences, from traditional home cooking to gourmet restaurants. Here are some of the highlights:
- Arepas: A staple of Colombian cuisine, arepas are corn cakes that can be stuffed with all sorts of fillings. They make a great snack or light meal.
- Bandeja paisa: This hearty dish originates from the Antioquia region and consists of rice, beans, carne asada (grilled beef), chorizo (sausage), plantain, avocadoes, and a fried egg. It’s perfect for a big appetite!
- Sancocho: A soup made with chicken or fish, vegetables, and yuca or potatoes. There are many regional variations of this popular dish.
- Buñuelos: These fried pastry balls are commonly served as a dessert or snack. They’re often filled with cheese or fruits like guava or panela (unrefined sugar cane).
Visiting Popular Cities in Colombia
If you’re looking for a South American country that’s brimming with culture, natural beauty, and friendly locals, you can’t go wrong with Colombia! And while the whole country is worth exploring, there are some cities that definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Cartagena is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Colombia. With its colorful colonial architecture, stunning Caribbean beaches, and rich history, it’s easy to see why! make sure to visit the Old City, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as take a boat ride around the nearby Rosario Islands.
Another can’t-miss city is Medellin. Once known as the most dangerous city in the world, Medellin has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years and is now a must-visit destination. Spend a day exploring the city’s hip neighborhoods or take a cable car up to Parque Arví for unbeatable views.
And of course, no trip to Colombia would be complete without a stop in Bogotá. The country’s capital city is home to some of its best museums, restaurants, and nightlife scene. Be sure to visit Plaza Bolívar, explore the colonial neighborhood of Candelaria, and try delicious Colombian food like arepas and bandeja paisa.
Must Have Experiences When Visiting Colombia
Colombia is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. There are many things to see and do in Colombia, but there are some experiences that you simply cannot miss. Here are the must-have experiences when visiting Colombia:
- Visit a Coffee Plantation: Colombia is world-renowned for its coffee, so a visit to a coffee plantation is a must. Here you can learn about the process of growing and producing coffee, from bean to cup. And of course, you’ll get to sample some of the best coffee in the world!
- Take a Hike Through Los Nevados National Park: Los Nevados National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia. With towering mountains, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder this park is such a popular destination. A hike through Los Nevados is an unforgettable experience.
- Go Sailing in San Andres Island: San Andres Island is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. With crystal clear waters and perfect sailing conditions, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a day on the water. There are also plenty of beaches to relax on when you’re not sailing.
- Sample Some Local Cuisine: Colombian cuisine is incredibly diverse, flavorful, and delicious. From street food like arepas and empanadas to traditional dishes like bandeja paisa or sancocho de gallina, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Colombia has a unique beauty and culture, just waiting to be explored. Whether you want to take part in the vibrant festivals or hike through lush jungles and mountains, there is something for everyone to enjoy. With our perfect guide, you’ll know exactly when the best time of year to visit is along with what different activities are available that suit your travel style and budget. No matter when you choose to go, we hope your experience in Colombia will create lifelong memories.