1. Cartagena, 2. Medellin, 3. Bogotá, 4. Providencia Island, 5. Cano Cristales, 6. Tayrona National Natural Park, 7. Eje Cafetero. One of the most diverse and scenic destinations in South America is the country of Colombia. Boasting everything from beaches to mountains to swamps surrounding the Amazon River, Colombia truly has it all. Visitors planning the perfect trip to Colombia will want to venture beyond the cities and check out national parks, historic attractions and the vibrant culture the nation has to offer. Let's discover the top tourist attractions in Colombia with Toplist.
- Providencia Island
- Cano Cristales
- Tayrona National Natural Park
- Eje Cafetero
Cartagena is the crown jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast and one of the best-preserved colonial destinations in the Americas.Take a stroll through the historic walled city, and you may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to a different era. The city is surrounded by several archipelagos and islands that are true rest havens.
Cartagena converges the charm of colonial architecture, fascinating cultural festivals, and lush landscapes to bring you the perfect vacation experience. The city’s beaches beckon, inviting you to relax and enjoy the sea’s cool breeze and warm waters. But that’s not all Cartagena has to offer— the city also has excellent cuisine and thriving hotels and tourist infrastructure. Cartagena, framed by its stunning bay, is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved cities in the Americas; a treasure that is now one of Colombia’s most popular tourist destinations.
- Highlights: Explore the Old City & Street Food Tour
- Recommended hotels: Charleston Santa Teresa Cartagena & Hotel Casona del Colegio
- Location: Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Medellin is a small and manageable city of Colombia that has captured the hearts of many visitors. In the early 1990s, Medellin was dubbed the most dangerous city in the world, but a quarter-century later, it has earned a reputation for something entirely different: innovation.
A fantastic day of sightseeing in Medellin may begin at Botero Plaza in the Old Quarter, where you’ll find a collection of 23 imposing sculptures donated by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The must-see Museum of Antioquia and the magnificent Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture are both located near the Plaza. Then, you can ride the sleek escalator system via Comuna 13 to view this neighborhood’s colorful residences and beautiful street murals in the hills above town. Finish your day in Medellin’s trendiest commune, El Poblado, where you’ll find buzzing eateries, boutique shops, and the vast majority of the city’s hotels.
- Highlights: Explore the Numerous Parks and Plazas, Jardín Botánico & Take a Day Trip to Guatapé
- Recommended hotels: The Click Clack Hotel Medellin
- Location: Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia
Most visitors to Colombia will inevitably begin their trip in the nation’s largest city— Bogotá. Located in the centre of the country at an altitude of approximately 2,600 metres, Bogotá enjoys an almost perfect climate with average temperatures varying from 9 to 23 degrees centigrade. It’s a city that often has mixed opinions about it, with some decrying its congested streets and gloomy weather and others adoring its unique blend of colonial elegance and urban sophistication. Either way, this city of eight million tends to grow on people who give it enough time.
Begin your tour in La Candelaria’s historic center, where you’ll find the stunning buildings that line Plaza de Bolvar and must-see cultural sites like the dazzling Museum of Gold. Then, you can head over to the wealthier neighborhoods of North Bogotá for some of the nation’s best boutique shops and chef-driven restaurants.
- Highlights: Stroll Through La Candelaria, Visit The Gold Museum & Climb Monserrate
- Recommended hotels: Grand Hyatt Bogota & Hilton Bogota
- Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Providencia is an island off Colombia’s northern coast that is eight square miles in size. It’s famed for its serenity, white sand beaches, and crystal blue water, which makes it ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and trekking.
Manzanillo Bay and Bottom House are undoubtedly the greatest beaches on the island. Besides, you should also go to Crab Cay, a delightful tiny island surrounded by a gorgeous barrier reef that is home to colorful fish, manta rays, and barracudas. South West Bay is also worth a visit, where you may swim in calm, clear waters while appreciating the colorful flora. For seafood lovers, Providencia is a dream. The restaurants at Deep Blue and Monasterio del Viento are not to be missed, as they provide some of the best eats travelers will get on the island, not to mention the added luxury of seaside dining.
- Highlights: Explore the island by golf buggy & Snorkel with turtles at Crab Cay
- Recommended hotels: Cabañas Agua Dulce Providencia – Isla
- Location: Providencia, Colombia
Cano Cristales was discovered in 1980 by explorer Andres Hurtado. The 62.1-mile-long river is located in the Serrania de la Macarena National Park. It is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of Colombia and the world thanks to its vivid color. From about mid-May to November, the river has 5 vibrant colors: The riverbed appears as a picture with bright red, yellow, green, blue, and black lines. But if you come here in the remaining months, Cano Cristales is no different from other ordinary rivers.
This unique color is produced during the reproduction of aquatic plants in the river, scientifically known as Macarenia Clavigera, a species of river algae Podostemaceae. The different colors of the seaweed Macarenia Clavigera living on the riverbed have created a miracle that is not found anywhere else in the world.
- Highlights: Visit Cano Cristales & Observe wildlife in the Serrania de la Macarena National Park
- Recommended hotels: La Manigua Lodge
- Location: La Macarena, Meta, Colombia
Tayrona National Natural Park
Tayrona National Park is located in northern Colombia’s Caribbean region. The national park encompasses both land and sea areas to make up the park. The land area is 58 square miles (150 square kilometers), while the protected sea area is 12 square miles (30 square kilometers). The elevation ranges from sea level to 2,952.76 feet (900 m). Tayrona National Park features the ecological diversity of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. It is the country of Colombia’s second most visited national park.
Some of Colombia’s best beaches can be found within the Tayrona National Natural Park, which is known for its palm-shaded coves and crystal-clear coastal lagoons. Tayrona is also a fantastic snorkeling destination, particularly in the protected areas near La Piscina beach and Cabo San Juan. To avoid the crowds, you are recommended to visit during the low season (February to November).
- Highlights: Bathing in the beach, Hiking & Camping
- Recommended hotels: La Casablanca Tayrona House
- Location: Magdalena, Colombia
The Eje Cafetero has experienced an increase in visitors in recent years, and its attractions and charm have made it a popular destination on a global scale. It is, as the name implies, the main area where coffee is produced. Visitors to the coffee farms are shown the coffee process, from crop and harvest to when the coffee is ready to drink, while appreciating its sweet aroma.
Two of the country’s most important parks are located in the Eje Cafetero area. The Coffee Park is located in Montenegro about an hour from Armenia and exhibits the entire coffee culture, while the Panaca Park, the largest agricultural park, is located one hour from Quindo. Due to the cultural importance and the cultural landscape of the coffee axis, it was declared in 2011 as a World Heritage landscape by UNESCO. Therefore, it was called the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia thanks to the representative geography and culture of the coffee region.
- Highlights: Go hiking in the Cocora Valley & Take a WakeCup Tour
- Recommended hotels: Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
- Location: Eje Cafetero, Colombia