Colombia is an incredibly beautiful country. The landscapes and sceneries are impressive and there are so many different places to be discovered. It is not easy to figure out what places you would like to include on your trip.
But, once you have done so, another task awaits you: choosing what activities to do in each place. Colombia is a country where you can easily relax all day long.
However, we totally recommend you to be a bit active because it is the best way to fully experience the real Colombia. We made a list of the 10 best things to do in Colombia to help you get inspired.
Visiting the coffee zone should be on your list of places to visit in Colombia. There is no doubt about that.
Besides getting to know everything about its famous coffee, you should definitely also go discover the Cocora Valley near Salento
This valley is located in the misty mountains of the Quindio department. It is home to the endemic Quindio Wax Palms.
These are really tall and thin palm trees that can grow as tall as 60 meters! There is a trail made for hikers that takes around 6 hours.
The walk goes in a loop and brings you through cloud forest, a hummingbird sanctuary, little creeks, and the valley of course.
You can choose to start in the valley or to end your hike in the valley. Some parts or steep uphill but it is totally worth to be able to get the views from above over the Cocora valley.
Another great activity is to go whale watching in Bahia Solano. Every year between July and October, humpback whales travel to the warm waters of Colombia to give birth to their calves.
The best moment to visit is between August-September, when the mother whales teach their little ones how to keep their buoyance, fish, and jump out of the water. It is a real spectacle to see all these whales play with each other.
Bahia Solano is not only interesting for its whales. You can make jungle walks, go dive – with sharks and turtles!- and discover the local villages. It is one of the top unique things to do in Colombia.
Colombia has some places that are completely unique. Caño Cristales is one of them. It is a river that turns completely pink during the rainy season.
The water itself is not really pink. It are the aquatic plants in it that get this unique color and make the river look as if it were pink.
The river is also known as the “River of Five Colors” because the pink contrasts beautiful with the green, brown, beige, and blue of the stream itself.
The nice thing about Caño Cristales is that it is not only interesting to visit for its river, but also for the beautiful jungle-like surroundings.
Every trip you undertake to go see the river brings you through lush nature where you can spot wildlife and amazing fauna.
Staying in the village near to the river is also a great experience because it shows the traditional life of Colombian cowboys.
Another of the great things to do in Colombia is to visit one of its many páramos. It is something that you can basically only do in Colombia.
The páramo is a unique and uncommon eco-system that is similar to the tundra but can only be found between altitudes above 3000 meters, and under the snowline.
The vegetation is special and doesn´t look like any other plants. This is because they are specially adapted to the circumstances of these high-altitude zones.
Their main goal is to capture water from the clouds so they the leaves have specific textures. The water is transferred to the roots and goes into the soil. This soil works as a sponge and creates many little rivers that end up in big rivers flowing down the mountains into the valleys.
The paramós are the main provider of fresh water and are extremely important for the future. Most of the paramós can be found in the center of Colombia and they serve as a wonderful daytrip to undertake and see something different.
When you think Colombia, you probably think jungle, wildlife, the Amazon jungle! However, Casanare is the absolute best place for visitors to spot wildlife in this country.
The Casanare region is located more northern than the Amazon jungle. It is known for its flatlands and the typical cowboy culture.
It used to be a bit more dangerous but thanks to the peace agreement it is now completely safe to go.
Furthermore, it is thanks to the fact that it used to be a bit dangerous, that the flora and fauna could bloom and develop freely without the interventions of humans. Wildlife is abundant and easy to spot.
You can observe monkeys, anacondas, capybaras, deer, caimans, turtles, anteaters, otters, and hundreds of big and small birds.
We totally recommend to undertake a safari that offers you the possibilities to discover the region by going on walks, talking canoe rides, horseback riding, and jeep.
You will probably spend at least 1 day in Bogota. It might be your first or your last day.
Nevertheless, if there is one thing you should do in Colombia´s capital, it would be to pay a visit to its Gold Museum.
This museum is located in the historic center and displays over 50.000 golden objects that were created by the different indigenous tribes that once inhabited the country.
You can clearly see the evolution and different techniques used by the distinct groups.
It is a great lesson in the history of the country and the exhibition is really well designed.
Medellin is a great destination to include on your trip. It has interesting museums, cool graffiti art, great restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife.
However, it is not just Medellin itself that should be considered worth a visit. A landmark that you should visit is the Peñol Rock.
It is a huge granitic monolith that pops up out of nowhere, located at an hour and a half from Medellin.
The rock used to be worshipped by the local indigenous people. Nowadays is rises at the foot of a hydroelectric dam.
Thanks to the presence of the dam you have an amazing view over the little islands of the lake.
However, you do need to realize that the rock is 285 meters high, and that you will need to climb 650 steps to get to its top. Not that easy, but absolutely worth it!
What is tejo? This is probably the first thought that comes to your mind now.
Tejo is basically Colombia´s national sport. It is played everywhere in the country and it is a really easy game.
You do have to get ready to get your hands a bit dirty. It is a sport in which you have to throw an iron disc (a tejo) to a clay target with little squares of gunpowder on it.
You throw from a distance of around 20 meters and if you hit the gunpowder it explodes!
This sport goes hand in hand with drinking beers, and believe it or not, but the more you drink the better you get at it!
Tejo is Colombia´s national sport, but the sport Colombians are really passionate about is football!
Almost every Colombian has his or her favorite team and they support it from the bottoms of their hearts.
This results sometimes in heated, but safe, games. The only way to understand the passion would be to see it with your own eyes.
The best places to watch a game would be Bogota or Medellin. Both have some of the oldest teams of the country and a fan base that goes over generations.
Get ready to sing songs, get annoyed with the referee, and see some people stand behind their team with all they have.
It sounds odd, but it is definitely one of the best things to do in Colombia!
Colombia is home to a great, but really great, diversity of birds. There are around 2000 bird species to be found. It is an absolute paradise for birdwatchers.
Over the last years, tourism with a specific focus on bird watching has increased and improved tremendously. Guides are specializing themselves and more and more special birding areas are being created.
One of the top places to go bird watching must be the Tinamu Reserve near Manizales in the coffee zone. This place is arguably the spot with the greatest variety of birds per square kilometers in the world. Thanks to this, even beginners will enjoy this place to the fullest.
These are just a few examples of great activities and things to do in Colombia. The country is so big and it is home to so many different sceneries, that we can think of hundreds of other activities to do. Nevertheless, we decided to mention the ones that we think make Colombia truly unique and cannot be missed on your trip.
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