7 places I would go if I had 4 weeks to travel Colombia

1. Bogota

So I have Bogota in here for two reasons: 1. You will pretty much have to come here anyway because main international flights tend to go through and 2. It’s a good place to re-charge the batteries, eat some nice food and pick up things you just can’t get on the coast. This might sound ridiculous but if you lose or break something important (we lost a camera charger), these things are highly unlikely to be available in the remote places you will be traveling to. Bogota is a cool place with a lot of nice restaurants and a coffee place we loved (go to Azahar!!); read this article by the independent which gives you a lot of good recommendations – https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/americas/bogota-colombia-things-to-do-foodie-best-restaurants-food-scene-leo-cocina-y-cava-criterion-hippie-a8016846.html. That said, this place is cold!! I always though Colombia was hot all of the time but Bogota has its own micro climate and so is pretty much consistently grey and cold. I made the mistake of walking round with just shorts on and I was getting strange looks, people only wear trousers here! Therefore, I would only spend 1-2 days max here, just doing what you need to do and then get yourself to the heat!

Closest airport – El Dorado (Bogota) Airport

Recommended area to stay  – stay as close to Azahar Coffee as you can (http://azaharcoffee.com). This is just a cool area to be and so try to be as close to this as possible.

Suggested amount of time to spend there – 1-2 days max

2. Cartagena

We have never been anywhere quite like Cartagena, it’s such a cool vibrant city with such a buzz to it! I think had I been drinking, I would have taken advantage of the big nightlife scene there but instead, we took advantage of the coffee scene! The only drawback is that the beach nearby isn’t amazing and so I would definitely suggest taking a trip to the Rosario islands so you can get away from the city for a day (I personally don’t think it’s worth paying the over-inflated prices of staying overnight). We stayed for 8 days but in retrospect, 4-5 days was definitely enough and so I would suggest this kind of timeframe, with a day at one of the Rosario Islands.

Closest airport – Rafael Nunez (CTG – Cartagena)

Recommended area to stay  – Try to stay within walking distance of Old Town as has kore going on, better places to eat, drink etc.

Suggested amount of time to spend there – 4-5 days max

3. San Andres Island

So I would only go here if you have the time and money as it is a bit of a deviation from the normal route. It’s an unbelievably picturesque island with other islands within short boat ride away (Providencia being the main one) and so if you can make it work, I would definitely suggest trying. Just be warned, this island isn’t cheap both in terms of getting there and the accommodation on offer BUT if you have the cash to spare, do it!

Closest airport – Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airpor

Recommended area to stay  – Playa de San Luis

Suggested amount of time to spend there – 4 days

4. Palomino

Palomino this was a real surprise for us, it wasn’t somewhere we were hugely looking forward to visiting but it definitely exceeded all expectations. By the time we arrived, we were tired, burnt out and read to stay in a place for a week and just chilllllll! We stayed at a place called “La Sirena” and it made our stay, with daily yoga, an amazing vegan/vegetarian restaurant and filling asleep with the waves crashing in the background, it was exactly what we needed. The sunsets were just stunning and left us wanting to stay for longer, it really was one of those special places you don’t forget.

Closest airport – Santa Mara Airport (approx 3 hour drive)

Recommended area to stay  – If you can stay at La Sirena, do it!

Suggested amount of time to spend there – 7 days (although people may say less at different accommodation)

5. Santa Marta

We enjoyed Santa Marta because we were able to get good food, good coffee and good wifi, it was a place where we could get our affairs in order and work on our blog etc, it wasn’t memorable for the same ways Palomino was memorable but was a really cool place to chill for a few days. Also from what I could tell (I wasn’t drinking at the time), if you’re up for a big night out, Santa Marta can certainly deliver! Also from here, you are able to day trips to Tayrona Park (photo below) and Minca and so if you want to experience the beauty these places have to offer but want a less remote place to rest your head, then Santa Marta is a good option.

Closest airport – Santa Mara Airport

Recommended area to stay  – If you can stay at La Sirena, do it!

Suggested amount of time to spend there – 3-7 days (depending on whether you will be doing day trips.

6. Minca

Minca is absolutely beautiful, there are miles and miles of lush jungle with a number of stunning waterfalls to chase. We actually only visited Minca for the day and met with friends who were staying there and I have to say, I think we made the right decision for us (it might be different for you). The accommodation and food isn’t anywhere near as nice as in Santa Marta and also the mosquito situation is a hellllll of a lot worse but I think there are also a lot of people who would prefer to stay than go for the day, either way it’s worth the visit.

Closest airport – Santa Mara Airport (approx 1-1.5 hour drive)

Recommended area to stay  – most of the accomodation looked fairly central but try to stay walking distance to “the lazy cat” restaurant.

Suggested amount of time to spend there – day trip – 3 days.

 

7. Medellin

So our biggest regret of Colombia is not making our way to Medellin and I realise I should be making recommendations based on experience but from what I’ved heard, I would be ding you a disservice if I didn’t mention Medellin in the top list of Colombian destinations. Our friends spent 10 days there and for them, it offered the benefits of a city with the possibilities of long gorgeous hikes and other actives surrounded by the gorgeous Medellin landscape. It tends to attract creatives and is a home for digital nomads and as such actually has good wifi; therefore if we were to do Colombia again, we wouldn’t miss this place!

Closest airport -José María Córdova International Airport 

Recommended area to stay  – can’t recommend anywhere with confidence as we didnt stay there

Suggested amount of time to spend there – from what we have heard, between 5-7 days would be a good amount.

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