Known for its vibrant culture, rich history and diverse landscapes, Colombia has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. From stunning national parks to colonial cities and picturesque villages, Colombia offers travelers a wealth of experiences. In this article, we explore the top 10 things to do in Colombia in 2023, highlighting the country’s unique attractions and cultural treasures. Colombia’s tourism industry has been on the rise, attracting tourists from all over the world. Its hospitable people, known as “Colombianos”, are known for their hospitality and friendly nature. The country’s location bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean offers a variety of landscapes, including pristine beaches, lush rainforests, towering mountains and arid deserts. When planning your trip to Colombia, popular accommodation booking platforms like Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb can help you find the perfect hotel or accommodation option.
1. Hiking in Tayrona National Park.
Located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, Tayrona National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Trekking through the lush rainforest, you’ll encounter breathtaking beaches, crystal clear waters and ancient ruins of the Tayrona’s indigenous civilization. The park offers a variety of trails, each showcasing unique flora and fauna, making for an unforgettable hiking experience.
2. Cartagena Old Town.
Cartagena’s historic old town is a must-see in Colombia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a charming mix of colonial architecture, vibrant squares and narrow cobbled streets. Walk along the city walls, explore the colorful buildings, and soak up the lively atmosphere filled with music, street vendors, and fascinating history.
Nestled in the heart of the Coffee Triangle, Cocora Valley is known for its towering wax palm trees, Colombia’s national tree. Embark on a scenic hike through misty valleys, marvel at the breathtaking scenery, and snap postcard-worthy photos. Don’t forget to visit the charming nearby town of Salento, famous for its traditional architecture and coffee plantations.
4. Guatape Village and “The Rock”.
Just a few hours’ drive from Medellin, Guatape is a colorful village characterized by vibrant facades and intricate zocalos (ornate carvings). Climb the 740 steps to the top of the giant granite boulder El Peñol and soak up the panoramic views of the surrounding lake and islands. Explore the town’s charming streets, indulge in local cuisine, and admire the art that permeates every corner.
5. Tatakoa Desert.
For a unique experience, head to the Tatacoa Desert, an otherworldly landscape in the heart of Columbia. Explore the vast desert, walk through labyrinthine canyons and witness the stunning contrast between red and gray rock formations. After sunset, don’t miss your chance to stargaze at one of the best observatories in South America.
6. The colorful village of Salento.
Nestled in the foothills of the Andes, Salento is a picturesque village known for its brightly colored houses, traditional architecture and laid-back atmosphere. Explore the vibrant streets, visit local coffee farms, and hike to the stunning Kokkola Valley, home to the tallest palm trees in the world. Experience the hospitality of the locals and sample traditional Colombian cuisine at charming restaurants in the village.
7. La Candelaria, Bogota.
Explore the historic center of Bogotá near La Candelaria. Stroll along the colonial streets, adorned with colorful buildings and vibrant street art. Visit the iconic Plaza de Bolivar, home to the cathedral, the Capitol, and other important landmarks. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the world-renowned Gold Museum and immerse yourself in the pre-Columbian heritage of Colombia.
8. Sweet Minka.
Escape to the peaceful mountain town of Minca in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. Surrounded by lush forests, waterfalls and coffee plantations, Minca offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city. Immerse yourself in nature, hike to hidden viewpoints, visit local organic farms, and enjoy the tranquility of this charming town.
9. Comuna 13, Medellin.
Comuna 13, once considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Medellin, has been transformed into a vibrant neighborhood filled with colorful street art, cultural expressions and stories of resilience. Take a guided tour of the neighborhood, learn about its turbulent past, and witness the power of community-driven initiatives that have brought positive change to the area.
10. Laidback Beach Vibes at Palomino.
End your Colombian adventure with some laid-back beach vibes in Palomino, a tranquil coastal town on the Caribbean coast. Relax on pristine sandy beaches, take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters, and indulge in delicious seafood. Embark on a tubing adventure down the Palomino River, surrounded by lush vegetation and scenic landscapes.
Colombia, with its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm culture, is a captivating destination that promises unforgettable experiences for travelers in 2023. Here, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of bustling cities, delve into the depths of lush rainforests, explore colonial towns frozen in time, and relax on pristine beaches along the Caribbean coast.
For nature enthusiasts, Colombia offers an abundance of opportunities to explore its national parks. Hiking through the dense rainforests of Tayrona National Park presents the chance to witness incredible biodiversity and relax on secluded beaches. In the Cocora Valley, marvel at the towering wax palms that dominate the landscape and embark on scenic hikes through cloud forests and across picturesque bridges.
As you plan your trip to Colombia in 2023, remember to check travel advisories and stay updated on safety precautions. It’s advisable to book accommodations in advance through popular platforms like Booking.com, Expedia, or Airbnb to secure the best options for your stay.
In Colombia, embrace the vibrant energy, savor the culinary delights such as arepas, empanadas, and fresh tropical fruits, and be prepared to be enchanted by the warm hospitality of the Colombian people. Let your senses come alive as you embark on a journey through Colombia’s diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm culture, creating memories that will last a lifetime.