As the second most biodiverse country on the planet, Colombia offers a variety of unique landscapes to explore.
With plenty to see and do, it is difficult to decide what to include on your trip. That's why I've created a list of the best places to visit in Colombia if you're going for the first time.
The colonial city of Cartagena is a must on your list of places to visit in Colombia.
Cartagena is a romantic destination with colonial charm and nice hot weather. It is home to colorful houses with wooden balconies and cobblestone alleys.
The Old Town of Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases beautifully preserved colonial architecture and it's the ideal place to allow yourself to get lost on its charming and picturesque streets. Furthermore, thanks to its coastal location, Cartagena offers to its visitors plenty of white-sanded beaches surrounded by crystal-clear waters.
The Coffee Zone
Another place that you should include on your list of places to visit in Colombia is denifitively The Coffee Zone. Here, you can take in sights of beautiful coffee plantations, green mountains and enjoy a world class cup of coffee.
One of the most popular places to visit in the region is the town of Salento. This small town is one of the oldest towns in the Quindío Department and is home to colorful houses and cafés. It is also the perfect place to go souvenir hunting.
Bogotá is Colombia's capital and home to art, culture, history, fashion, vibrating restaurants and unique experiences.
The city's cultural epicenter is La Candelaria. Here you can find beautifully preserved colonial buildings, museums, hotels, stunning street art and the well known Plaza Bolívar. There is also amazing food for any style and budget.
A must do in Bogotá is visiting 'El Cerro de Monserrate'. From here, the views over the city are spectacular.
Tayrona Natural Park
Lying along Colombia's northern Caribbean Coast and one hour away from the city of Santa Marta, Tayrona National Natural Park is home to beach after stunning beach. It is the ideal location if you're looking to combine nature with beach time.
Tayrona is one of Colombia's most popular national parks thanks to its green scenery and incredible biodiversity. Adventurous souls visit this national park and take on the challenge of walking through palm tree forests to reach the beautiful beaches (a horseback ride over to the beaches is also possible). You can spot wildlife like monkeys, insects and reptiles on your hike.
The most popular spot in Tayrona is the iconic beach of Cabo San Juan. Some visitors decide to spend the night here on a hammock or tent.
Tayrona is a real tresure for nature lovers.
The city of Cali is well known for its cheerful atmosphere and it's the undisputed Salsa Capital of the world.
Salsa - a dance involving a lot of footwork with quick rapid steps and skipping motions - brings people together and everyone in this city moves to the beat of this dance.
Cali is home to great local cuisine, stunning churches (e.g La Ermita) and lively neighborhoods. One of them is San Antonio neighborhood, a place with great atmosphere and packed with colorful houses, restaurants, cafés and many artisanal shops.
Surrounded by mountains, nature parks and rivers, the city of Cali offers tourists the opportunity of going swimming in crystal clear waters, hiking or birdwatching.
Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia and it's renowned for its coffee plantations, flower farms, orchids and butterflies. But as well for its distinct artist, Fernando Botero, who's famous for featuring oversized subjects with a subtle touch of satire.
The city of Medellín, which lies in a valley between two Andean Mountain ridges, is known as the City of Eternal Spring because of its mild and idyllic climate. This makes it possible for this city to hold the event known as 'Feria de las Flores' (Flower Festival) every year in August.
Beautiful towns are no distance away from Medellín. Within an hour or two from the city, you can visit lovely towns showcasing traditional architecture, such as Guatapé, Jardín, Tamesis and many more.