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Itinerary Colombia

15 Travel itineraries Colombia along highlights and off the beaten path

by Sabine
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Are you going to travel through Colombia and looking for (inspiration for) an itinerary? Find your itinerary through Colombia here. From 3 to 6 weeks and something for everyone. No more searching, just everything at hand. In this article, I will give you a summary of the itineraries of several travel bloggers who have been to Colombia as well as two ready-made itineraries off the beaten path. Have no idea how to plan your trip through Colombia? Here you will find the round trip that suits you best!

The ideal round trip Colombia does not exist

Although just about every blog about itineraries through Colombia starts with “the ideal itinerary through Colombia,” the real ideal itinerary, of course, depends entirely on what you want.

Many backpackers travel around Colombia at lightning speed without really getting to know a place well, while you may be more into slow travel. Want to really get to know the country? Then check out these 6 tips.

I was especially surprised that in none of the itineraries below Barichara is visited, Colombia’s most beautiful village, and San Gil is seen only as an extreme sports destination. Of course, it depends on what you are looking for, but if you like beautiful colonial villages and scenic hikes, Barichara and the surrounding area is really for you and I would add this destination to your itinerary.

There is also more to see on the Caribbean north coast than just Cartagena, Tayrona and Palomino. Consider visiting Barranquilla or a beach vacation in Coveñas (from where you can visit the San Bernardo Islands).

The itineraries below are divided into highlights Colombia and highlights combined with off-the-beaten-path destinations. Take advantage of it and find the tour that suits you!


Travel itineraries Colombia along the highlights

Below are 15 travel routes along the highlights of Colombia with the occasional foray into a less visited area. It is a summary of what can be found on the Internet about travel itineraries Colombia. On the link to the corresponding article, you will find useful opinions and an occasional cost and more details about the trip.

What do the Colombia highlights offer?

Are you still getting your bearings and have no idea where Cartagena is or what to do in Valle de Cocora? Here is a brief overview of the main highlights and what to do.

Bogotá (capital): city break, museums, views, Spanish lessons
Villa de Leyva: white colonial village, lots of nature and history in the area
San Gil: extreme sports such as rafting, abseiling and paragliding, canyon, villages
Barichara: 45 minutes from San Gil, known as most beautiful village of Colombia, walks, colonial village
Medellín: city break, history, going out, views, Spanish lessons
Salento: colorful village in the middle of the coffee area, coffee tours, hiking, coffee culture
Valle de Cocora: nature, tallest palms in the world, long walks
Popayán: Colombia’s white city and the perfect base for exploring southern Colombia’s Cauca
San Agustín: Colombia’s most important archaeological site, history, nature, waterfalls, horseback riding
Tatacoa Desert: the extraordinary desert with a red and gray area consisting of beautiful rocks
Cartagena: most beautiful city in Colombia, on the Caribbean coast, colorful, hot, very touristy, Spanish lessons
Parque Tayrona: most famous natural park in Colombia, on the Caribbean coast, hiking, beach, sea
Palomino: beautiful beaches, La Guajira, tubing and indigenous tribes
Minca: the popular mountain village at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Amazon: discover the impressive biodiversity of Colombia
San Andres island: beach vacation, tropical island


Want to know the best time to travel in Colombia and which months and weeks to avoid? Then check out this article.



Itineraries Colombia 5 weeks

We Are Travellers did a nice varied round trip through Colombia, also visiting destinations that are often skipped. Ideal if you have a little more time.

Itinerary 1: Bogotá – San Gil – Villa de Leyva – Cartagena – Minca – Santa Marta – Parque Tayrona – Punta Gallinas – Taganga – Medellín & Gutapé

Sabine from The Social Backpacker gives 2 fun tours of Colombia, doable between 3 and 5 weeks. The second one in particular is great for when you are in the country for longer and want to see more than just the standard round trip.

Itinerary 2 (3 weeks): Bogotá – Villa de Leyva – Santa Marta – Cartagena – Medellín – Salento – Pereira/Manizales – Bogotá

Itinerary 3 (5 weeks): Bogotá – Tatacoa Desert – San Agustín – Popayan – Salento – Medellín – Santa Marta – Cartagena

Chantal from Alone on a Trip traveled alone through Colombia for 5 weeks and she too put her itinerary on paper. Including the days-long hike to Ciudad Perdida.

Itinerary 4: Medellín & Guatapé – Salento – Cartagena – Santa Marta – Minca – Ciudad Perdida – Palomino – Barranquilla – Bogotá


Itineraries Colombia 4 weeks

Felice from Backpack Full of Travel gives a pretty comprehensive itinerary where you see a lot of the country. It can be done in 4 weeks, but 6 weeks is more ideal to really enjoy every place you visit to the fullest.

Itinerary 5 (recommended!): Cartagena – Santa Marta – Ciudad Perdida – Parque Tayrona – Palomino – Medellín & Guatapé – Manizales – Salento & Valle de Cocora – Cali & San Cipriano – Popayan – San Agustín – Tatacoa Desert – Bogotá

Travel Junk gives an itinerary you can do in 3 to 4 weeks, ideal if you like sun, sea and beach.

Itinerary 6: Bogotá – Salento & Valle de Cocora – Medellín & Guatapé – Santa Marta – Minca – Parque Tayrona – Palomino – Cartagena

The itinerary of I Want to Travel More highlights a different part of Colombia, namely more the south. This route passes by the interesting destination of San Agustín and salsa city of Cali.

Itinerary 7: Bogotá – San Agustín – Cali – Salento & Valle de Cocora – Medellín & Guatapé – Cartagena – Santa Marta – Minca – Parque Tayrona – Palomino

The writers of Hip on Trip put together a fun itinerary and were so excited that they have now toured Colombia for the second time. The route below can also be done in just over 3 weeks.

Itinerary 8: Bogotá – Villa de Leyva – Salento & Valle de Cocora – Manizales – Medellín – Santa Marta – Taganga – Parque Tyrona – Cartagena

In the book Backpack Destinations (Dutch) you will find a fun 4-week itinerary that highlights various sides of Colombia. From the interior to the beach, the coolest towns and tips for taking a trip to the San Blas and/or Casa en el Agua.

Itinerary 9: Bogotá – Valle de Cocora – Medellín – Guatapé – San Gil – Cartagena – San Blas / Casa en el Agua – Minca – Taganga – Santa Marta – Ciudad Perdida – Tayrona – Palomino


Itineraries Colombia 3 weeks

The website Colombia.co.uk gives two different itineraries through Colombia for backpackers of about 3 weeks. Both routes highlight a separate area. The first route is ideal for beach-lovers; the second goes inland.

Itinerary 10: Bogotá – Villa de Leyva – San Gil – Medellín & Guatapé – Cartagena – Santa Marta – Taganga – Parque Tayrona or Ciudad Perdida (they get both mixed up) – La Guajira – Cartagena – Bogotá

Itinerary 11: Bogotá – Medellín & Guatapé – coffee triangle (Eje Cafetero / Zona Cafetera) – Popayan or Buenaventura – Cali – Bogotá

Also South America Expert travels through Colombia for 3 weeks, or to be more precise: 24 days. Ideal for people who don’t have too much time but still want to get a picture of the country. If you have even less time, you can easily take out Ciudad Perdida.

Itinerary 12: Bogotá – Cartagena – Isla Baru (Playa Blanca) – Santa Marta – Taganga – Parque Tayrona – Ciudad Perdida – Medellín & Guatapé – Salento – Bogotá (to continue to Ecuador)

Also Traveladdict gives a 3-week itinerary, with lots of variety in the country. Of course, one day in Bogotá because “you’ve seen it all” is far too little to get to know this great city and San Gil is without a doubt also worth a detour if you do not like extreme sports, but otherwise a nice tour of Colombia.

Itinerary 13: Bogotá – Tatacoa Desert – Salento & Los Nevados – Cartagena & Islas del Rosario – Santa Marta – Parque Tayrona – San Gil


Itineraries Colombia 3 to 4 weeks

Backpacking South America provides an interesting itinerary through Colombia, including destinations such as San Andres and Providencia.

Itinerary 14: Popayan – San Agustín – Bogotá – Medellín – Zona Cafetera – Cartagena – Parque Tayrona – San Andres & Providencia


Unknown travel time

Globehopper took a pretty versatile route through Colombia, but over how much time I cannot find. Nor the exact order of the route, but it must have been something like this. They also list what they say are the 20 most beautiful places in Colombia, but they also skip Colombia’s most beautiful village, Barichara. However, this is really recommended if you want to see a lot of the country.

Itinerary 15 (recommended!): Bogotá – Amazon (Leticia) – Bogotá – Tatacoa Desert – San Agustín – Las Lajas Santuario – Popayan – Cali – Salento & Valle de Cocora – Medellín & Guatapé – Cartagena – San Andres – Taganga – Minca – Ciudad Perdida – Parque Tayrona – Palomino


Colombia highlights combined with off-the-beaten-path destinations

Do you want to see a lot of the country in a short time, encounter a lot of other backpackers and go to parties, than a round trip through the highlights Colombia is perfect for you.

However, if you want to interact more with locals, get to know the country better and travel off the beaten path, there are many other options.

There is often a fear of going off the beaten path, because is Colombia safe enough for that? Yes, is the answer. It is also very easy to do something different from the top tourist destinations and make the experience in Colombia completely different.

Often the tourists disappear like snow as soon as you go in a different direction from the masses, and you experience the nicest things. But where can you travel to?


How safe is Colombia? Read a honest and current travel advice Colombia here.


Itineraries Colombia off the beaten path

Want to travel in Colombia off the beaten path? Here you will find two complete itineraries, including lots of information, route map, places of interest and hotels. Have fun!

New Colombia tips & inspiration every week! Don’t miss anything? Follow me on Facebook or Instagram.


Would you really like to tour Colombia by yourself, see the highlights or go more off the beaten path, but would like to have it (partially) arranged? Then look here for a unique experience!

What is the ideal round trip Colombia for you?


More to read!


Christine Heck 6 March 2024 - 19:32

Quisiera hacer un round trip de aprox. 2 semanas en marzo, incluyendonel Tayrona National Park, saliendo de Bogota. 1 persona

Duurzaam reizen buiten de gebaande paden
Sabine 26 March 2024 - 16:48

Hola Christine, yo no soy un agente de viajes 🙂 Yo solo doy la información. Espero que puedes utilizar bien mi página web para encontrar lo que buscas. Saludos, Sabine


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