Top Things to Do in Colombia

Colombia is the only country in South America with coasts on the Pacific and Caribbean. It's a spectacularly beautiful country, with the Andes, beaches, colonial cities and archaeological treasures to delight the business or leisure traveler. You won't be disappointed by our top 10 things to do in Colombia.

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    High rise office buildings of downtown Bogota at sunset looking south with the Andes Mountains rising to the east.
    ••• John Coletti/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

    The capital of Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá has a rich colonial tradition with a number of landmarks from that period preserved as historical landmarks.

    Bogota may have the most diverse things to do in Colombia as it is a mix of both new and old. If you're looking for history head to La Candelaria, the oldest district in the city. The Capitol Municipal Palace and several churches are worth a visit.


  • 02 of 10
    ••• Colonial building reflect into a pool of water after a rainstorm.

    The old walled city and fortress repelled invaders and pirates in its early days. Now it welcomes visitors to its colonial charm, energetic nightlife and nearby attractions.

    Visiting Cartagena you won't be surprised that it's called the jewel of South America as it is likely one of the most beautiful cities in South America.

    READ: How to spend two weeks in Colombia.

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    Tierradentro and San Agustin

    San Agustin Stone God
    ••• (c)Mario Carvajal

    Parque Arqueológico de San Agustín is a huge park in the Magdalena River gorge in southern Colombia where centuries ago, before the time of the Incas, people interred their dead in tombs guarded by fierce stone figures, some with animal features, some mythical, all intriguing to archaeologists and visitors alike.

    This is just a short distance from Popayan, also known as the "white city" in Colombia.

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    Monument to the Indians of the Sierra Nevada, Santa Marta, Colombia
    ••• Monument to the Indians of the Sierra Nevada, Santa Marta, Colombia. Paola D. Holden

    Santa Marta is Colombia's first Spanish settlement. Located on the coast, it boasts great beaches and access to Tayrona and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta national parks, plus the famed lost city of the Taironas.

    If you're up for adventure the trek to Ciudad Perdida is for you. It's still a relatively unknown destination and can only be reached through one path of over 1200 steps. It is definitely not for the faint of heart.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Cali is Colombia's third largest city and a center for sugar and coffee industry. 

    If you're looking for things to do in Colombia and want to dance look no further than Colombia. It enjoys terrific nightlife in the salsotecas, and visitors enjoy the historic center as well as excursions into the surrounding areas for sugar baron haciendas and the prime archaeological sites of San Augustin and Tierradentro.

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    This charming town, nestled in a serene valley setting, is one of Colombia's most beautiful colonial towns with a rich religious and cultural heritage.

    Fully restored after an earthquake, it's a national monument and known for its spectacular Semana Santa celebrations. If you're looking for a quiet rest in a small, quaint town this is a great place to visit.

    READ: Visit the Coffee Triangle in Colombia

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    Providencia Beach
    ••• Providencia Beach. Glowimages / Getty Images

    Visitors wanting superb diving in crystal clear water, warm, white sandy beaches, exciting nightlife, colorful culture, a choice of full-amenity accommodations, relaxation and duty-free shopping head to San Andrés, a Colombian archipelago in the Caribbean.

    Its location, closer to Nicaragua and Jamaica, offers a carefree attraction.

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    Isla Gorgona

    Looking for things to do in Colombia off the beaten path?

    This former prison island in the Pacific Ocean is now a nature reserve open to visitors who wish to tour the prison ruins, see abundant wildlife, including monkeys, snakes, whales and sea turtles, or dive off the island.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Villa de Leyva Colombia church
    ••• View from the doorway of the church at Villa de Leyva, Colombia. Mark Siders
    Villa de Leyva, also called Villa de Leiva, is colonial-era town situated a short distance from Bogotá, and a popular day or weekend excursion. Scenic attractions include colonial architecture, gorgeous scenery, typical places to stay and local cuisine in an historic setting.
  • 10 of 10

    Medellin is the capital of Antioquia department in Colombia and enjoys a temperate climate that gives the city the names of The Land of Eternal Spring and Capital of The Flowers.

    Edited by Ayngelina Brogan, May 2, 2016