Columbia is a country of contrasts where you will come across tropical forests, colorful Caribbean coasts, sun-kissed deserts, and the snow-clad peaks of the Andes. Having so much variety to its credit, this South American country is a tourist magnet.
You will be overwhelmed by its vast stretches of scenic landscapes that exude beauty and give a hint of the everyday lifestyle of the locals. Other attractions that will keep you fascinated during your trip to Columbia include archaeological sites, national parks, and happening cities.
Delight in the magic of Cartagena or join the buzz of Medellin. For a quiet vacation, head to the colonial villages of Mompox and Salento. Wherever you go in Columbia, its warm hospitality will welcome you at every step and you will look forward to visiting it time and again.
So, here are some of the top-rated attractions and places to visit in Columbia. If you are having this country on your bucket list, it’s time to tick it off with these tourist hotspots.
Top-Rated Attractions and Places to Visit in Colombia
A shining jewel in South America, Columbia offers a vast range of attractions. Thereby, it has something or the other for every traveler. Diverse and delightful, Columbia is also famous as a melting pot of different countries. And it is because of its varied culture, landscapes, traditions, and culinary treats.
Here are the best attractions of Columbia that give you a glimpse into this country.
Hailing from the 16th century, Cartagena is a city that is famous for its colonial Old Town. Dotted with flowery balconies, colossal churches, and cobbled streets, it is an interesting maze. Some of its must-visit places are –
- Walled City of Cartagena
- Plaza de La Trinidad
- Plaza Santo Domingo
- Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver
- Barrio Getsemani
- Caribe Jewelry Museum and Factory
- Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
- Centro Historico
Relax here and treat yourself to the local culinary treats.
Adorning the Caribbean coast, Tayrona’s palm-fringed beaches and dense rainforest capture your attention. Attractions that keep you intrigued here include –
- Sleeping under the stars in camps
- Enjoying meals at restaurants
- Take up activities like horse riding and diving
- Relax in hammocks
The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)
Did you know? The Lost City comprises 169 terraces carved into the mountains. Founded around 800 CE, it is older than Machu Picchu by 650 years!
At the city, you can delight in various experiences, such as –
- Exploring the Colombian jungle
- Learning about natural and human history
- Visiting the archaeological ruins
- Discovering the biodiversity of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
- Trekking as it has Columbia’s one of the most spectacular treks
Wrapped in coffee plantations and lush mountains, Salento is highly famous among tourists. Its houses are bathed in bright hues, presenting a lovely view. Looking for some serene moments to enjoy during your holiday? Go for American Airlines booking to this place and explore it.
Here, you can enjoy a relaxing holiday that includes –
- Magical sunsets
- Coffee tours
- Cocora Valley hike
A lesser-known gem of the country, Bogotá is a historical town.
La Candelaria is its cobblestoned hub that offers you delightful experiences at –
- Bright colonial buildings
- Detailed museums
- Redefined restaurants
- Tiny fun bars
- Age-old churches
- Centuries-old houses
- Entertainment zones such as Zona Rosa and Zona G
Popayán is also known as La Ciudad Blanca, which translates to ‘The White City’. It is called by this name because all the buildings here are painted white.
During your visit to this place, you can –
- Explore the churches
- Go up the hill
- Take a leisurely stroll around
Fondly called the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its temperate weather, Medellín is the capital of Colombia’s mountainous Antioquia province.
Here are some of the attractions that show why Medellin are tourists teeming in –
- The annual Flower Festival
- Museum of Antioquia
- The Old Quarter at Botero Plaza
- Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture
- Elaborate street murals
- Colorful houses in the neighborhood
Vast sandy stretches and bird-inhabited mangrove swamps add to the brown-orange charm of the La Guajira Desert. The sight of the desert meeting the Caribbean Sea is overwhelming and adds to the joy of your trip here.
Let’s have a look at which attractions make this Colombian desert even more special –
- Macuira National Natural Park
- Wayúu farms
- Northernmost Point of South America
- Impressive birding area
- Flamencos Sanctuary
- The Indigenous Wayúu Culture
- Beautiful Beaches
- The salt flats of Manaure
- Kitesurfing in Cabo de La Vela
Carnaval de Barranquilla
The carnival is among the topmost attractions of Columbia. It is the second-largest Carnaval (carnival) of the world. People are clad in flamboyant dresses that showcase a fable or a figure in the legacy of Columbia.
During Carnaval de Barranquilla, the city comes alive with –
- Live music
- La Batalla de Flores or the Battle of the Flowers
Los Nevados National Park
Sitting high on the Andes in central Colombia, Los Nevados National Park has volcanoes, lakes, forests, and glaciers around.
The key attractions of the national park include –
- The snow-covered Nevado Del Ruiz
- Nevado del Tolima
- Local wildlife spotting
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
Famous as the Columbian salt mining capital, Zipaquirá is a wealthy place. It is mainly famous for its Salt Cathedral. As the name suggests, it is almost entirely made up of salt within a mine, which is now defunct.
The Cathedral comprises a plethora of attractions, such as –
- The seven stations of the cross
- An art gallery
- A climbing wall
- A 3D movie theater
- A 3,000-seat cathedral
- A museum
- A café
A Salt Park is located nearby where you can visit landmarks within the mines. Moreover, you can know more about the industry at the Brine Museum.
World’s salsa capital and the third largest city of Columbia, Cali is a unique tourist hotspot. If you are a salsa fan, you will love this place. Keen to dance? Fly to this city at the earliest. For booking flight tickets, you can contact AA.
Travel representatives at the airline are fluent in both English and Spanish. So, if you need Spanish assistance, American Airlines Español Teléfono is there for you.
In the city, you can enjoy –
- Live bands
- Street dancing
A colorful colonial town, Barichara consists of dazzling white buildings that have orange roofs. All the buildings are lined with cobbled streets. If you are in love with capturing beautiful shots with your camera lens, the town is your heaven.
Some of the picture-perfect places here are –
- Colonial-style buildings and restaurants and stores within
- A huge plaza
- Scenery from the mountains
- Handmade arts and crafts
- Unique family-run restaurants
Serranía de la Macarena National Park
The Serranía de la Macarena is a mountain range and a Colombian national park. It has one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.
Here, you will find –
- Diverse range of flora and fauna
Deep within the mountain range, flows Caño Cristales River that exudes magic. It is considered the most beautiful river in the world. Moreover, it is fondly known as Liquid Rainbow because of its vibrant hues – red, yellow, blue, green, and black. The colors bloom their best from May to November.
Naturally stunning countryside, cities abuzz with unbeatable energy, and lip-smacking flavors. The echoing salsa footsteps while reggaeton and vallenato music rising the tempo; make the country a happening destination.
So, get ready to dive into the turquoise waters, soak up the soothing aura, admire the Spanish colonial towns, have fun at modern metropolises, and spend a great time in windswept deserts.