1 week colombia itinerary

Explore Colombia: Your Perfect 1 Week Colombia Itinerary Unveiled

Welcome to Colombia, a country filled with stunning hidden beaches, colorful cities, lush jungles, and a mix of old and new culture.

Are you ready to embark on a memorable adventure?

Look no further, as we unveil the perfect 1-week Colombia itinerary that will allow you to experience the best of this vibrant country in a short time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the highlights of Medellin, Cartagena, and Santa Marta in just one week.
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and rich history of Colombia.
  • Explore stunning landscapes, from the picturesque El Penol Rock to the pristine beaches of the Caribbean islands.
  • Learn about Colombia’s coffee industry and enjoy a cup of traditional Finca coffee.
  • Visit iconic landmarks, such as Cartagena Old Town and La Popa hill, for panoramic views of the city.

Day 1: Arrival in Medellin

Start your Colombia adventure with a city tour of Medellin, immersing yourself in the vibrant culture and exploring the city’s fascinating attractions. Begin by visiting Communa 13, a neighborhood famous for its vibrant street art scene. Marvel at the colorful murals that adorn the walls and learn about the history and transformation of this once-troubled area. The street art tells stories of resilience and hope, showcasing the city’s ability to overcome challenges.

Afterward, continue your Medellin exploration with a visit to the famous Botero Plaza, where you can admire the iconic sculptures by renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Stroll through the plaza and appreciate the unique and exaggerated figures that have become a symbol of Medellin’s art scene.

To get a taste of the city’s history, make your way to the Museum of Antioquia. Here, you can delve into the region’s past through a collection of artifacts and artwork. Take your time to explore the exhibits and gain a deeper understanding of Medellin’s rich cultural heritage.

End your day with a ride on the city’s efficient Metro system, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Take in the panoramic vistas as you travel to different neighborhoods, experiencing the diversity and charm that Medellin has to offer.

Medellin City Tour

Table: Top Medellin Attractions

Communa 13Explore the vibrant street art scene and learn about the neighborhood’s transformation.
Botero PlazaAdmire the iconic sculptures by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
Museum of AntioquiaDiscover Medellin’s history and cultural heritage through a collection of artifacts and artwork.
Medellin MetroExperience the city’s efficient Metro system while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

“Medellin is a vibrant city full of rich history and cultural experiences. The city tour will take you to some of the most iconic attractions, including Communa 13 and Botero Plaza, where you can immerse yourself in the local art scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to ride the Metro and enjoy the scenic views. Medellin has so much to offer, and this tour will give you a taste of the city’s unique charm.”

Day 2: Guatape and Coffee Farm

On the second day of your Colombia itinerary, you’ll embark on a thrilling adventure, starting with a climb up El Penol Rock. This massive monolith offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, rewarding you with a sense of accomplishment as you conquer its 740 steps. Don’t forget to capture this memorable moment with your camera!

El Penol Rock Climb

After descending from El Penol Rock, you’ll make your way to the charming town of Guatape. Known for its colorful streets and vibrant atmosphere, this town will captivate you with its unique architecture and picturesque waterfront. Explore the town’s vibrant markets, browse through local handicrafts, and indulge in delicious Colombian cuisine at one of the many cozy cafes.

To delve deeper into Colombia’s rich culture, you’ll visit a local coffee farm and learn about the country’s renowned coffee industry. Discover the intricate process of coffee production, from the cultivation of coffee beans to the brewing of the perfect cup. Savor the rich flavors and aromas of a traditional Finca coffee, an experience that will awaken your senses and deepen your appreciation for Colombia’s coffee heritage.

With a heart full of adventure and a mind enriched by cultural experiences, you’ll bid farewell to Guatape and make your way to the next destination on your itinerary. Stay tuned for the next section of your Colombia journey!

Day 3: Transfer to Santa Marta

On day 3 of your Colombia adventure, it’s time to bid farewell to Medellin and head to the coastal city of Santa Marta. Catch a flight to Santa Marta and prepare to be dazzled by the natural beauty that awaits you.

Your first stop in Santa Marta will be the picturesque Sierra Minca. This lush jungle destination offers a paradise for nature lovers. Embark on a hike through the enchanting trails, surrounded by vibrant flora and fauna. As you make your way through the dense foliage, you’ll soon discover the breathtaking Marinka Waterfalls. The cascading waters create a mesmerizing spectacle, allowing you to cool off and appreciate the serene atmosphere.

Marinka Waterfalls

After a refreshing dip, continue your exploration of Sierra Minca, as you traverse its winding paths. Along the way, be sure to take in the stunning panoramic views that will leave you in awe of Colombia’s natural wonders. The lush greenery stretching as far as the eye can see is a testament to the country’s incredible biodiversity.

As the day draws to a close, find yourself a cozy spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy the idyllic setting. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature, and take a moment to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Santa Marta is just the beginning of your coastal adventure, so get ready for more incredible experiences in the days to come.

Day 4: River Tubing and Tierra Bomba Island

On day 4 of your Colombia adventure, get ready for an exciting day of river tubing and island relaxation. Start your day at the Rio Hostel Buritaca, a popular starting point for river-tubing.

River Tubing

Strap on your life jacket, grab your tube, and get ready to ride the rapids of the Buritaca River. As you float down the river, surrounded by lush jungle and stunning landscapes, you’ll experience an adrenaline rush like no other. Let the current guide you as you navigate twists and turns, enjoying the thrill of this unique activity.

After your exhilarating river tubing experience, it’s time to unwind on Tierra Bomba Island. Take a short boat ride from Cartagena to this beautiful island paradise, known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning sunsets.

Once you arrive on Tierra Bomba Island, find yourself a comfortable spot on the beach and soak up the sun. Take a dip in the inviting turquoise waters, snorkel to discover the vibrant marine life, or simply relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. As the sun begins to set, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking view that will leave you speechless.

River Tubing and Tierra Bomba Island Details

River TubingLocation: Rio Hostel Buritaca
 Experience the thrill of riding the rapids of the Buritaca River
Tierra Bomba IslandLocation: Near Cartagena
 Relax on the pristine beaches and enjoy the crystal-clear waters

After a day filled with adventure and relaxation, take a boat ride back to Cartagena, where you can savor a delicious dinner at one of the city’s many renowned restaurants. Reflect on the memories you’ve made and get ready for the exciting island-hopping adventure that awaits you on day 5.

Day 5: Island Hopping Adventure

Get ready to experience the ultimate island hopping adventure in Colombia’s Caribbean paradise. This day of your itinerary will take you to some of the must-see sights in Colombia, where you’ll discover pristine beaches, vibrant marine life, and the lively atmosphere of the coastal islands.

Start your day by boarding a boat that will transport you to the first island on your adventure. As you cruise through the turquoise waters, take in the breathtaking views and feel the refreshing sea breeze on your skin.

Arriving at the first island, you’ll be greeted by white sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. Spend your time snorkeling amongst colorful coral reefs, swimming with tropical fish, and soaking up the sun on the beach. Indulge in a delicious seafood lunch at a local beachside restaurant, savoring the flavors of the Caribbean.

Afterward, continue your island hopping journey, visiting more captivating islands along the way. Each island offers its own unique charm and natural beauty, providing endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Whether you choose to relax on the beach, try your hand at water sports, or simply soak in the stunning scenery, this island hopping adventure promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Island Hopping Tips:

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Pack a towel and a change of clothes for swimming and beach activities.
  • Don’t forget your snorkeling gear to explore the vibrant underwater world.
  • Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle.
  • Keep a camera or smartphone handy to capture the stunning island landscapes and marine life.

With the island hopping adventure complete, you’ll return to your accommodation with memories of the Caribbean paradise and a deep appreciation for the natural wonders of Colombia.

Day 6: Transfer to Cartagena

As your Colombia adventure continues, it’s time to transfer to the enchanting city of Cartagena. Known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant atmosphere, Cartagena is a must-visit destination on your 1-week itinerary. The city’s historic center, also known as Cartagena Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a fascinating glimpse into Colombia’s rich history.

Once you arrive in Cartagena, take some time to explore the cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and charming plazas of the Old Town. Marvel at the impressive colonial architecture and immerse yourself in the city’s lively atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of historic sites and attractions to visit, such as the iconic Clock Tower, San Felipe de Barajas Castle, and the Palace of the Inquisition.

Cartagena Attractions

While in Cartagena, be sure to visit the bustling Plaza de los Coches, where you can soak up the energy of street performers and browse the local market stalls. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque city walls, offering panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and the city skyline. Make time to relax at one of the many rooftop bars and enjoy stunning sunset views over the city.

A visit to Cartagena wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Try traditional dishes such as arepas, ceviche, and fried plantains at one of the city’s many restaurants. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor a cup of Colombian coffee, known for its rich and bold flavors.

Day 6: Transfer to Cartagena
Explore Cartagena Old Town
Marvel at colonial architecture
Visit iconic landmarks
Experience the vibrant atmosphere
Indulge in local cuisine

Day 7: Cartagena Highlights

Your last day in Colombia will be spent exploring the vibrant city of Cartagena. Start your day by visiting La Popa hill, which offers panoramic views of the city, the Caribbean Sea, and the surrounding landscapes. Take in the breathtaking sights and capture memorable photos.

Afterwards, head to Cartagena Harbour and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this bustling port. Watch as colorful boats come and go, bringing life to the waterfront. Explore the local markets and shops, where you can find unique souvenirs and traditional Colombian crafts.

No visit to Cartagena is complete without exploring its many attractions. Wander through the charming streets of the Old Town, admiring the colonial architecture and vibrant colors. Visit iconic landmarks such as Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a historic fortress that offers a glimpse into the city’s military past.

“Cartagena is a city that effortlessly blends history and modernity, with its cobblestone streets and lively nightlife. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Colombia while enjoying all the amenities of a modern tourist destination.”

Cartagena Highlights

La Popa hillOffers stunning panoramic views of Cartagena and the Caribbean Sea.
Cartagena HarbourA lively waterfront area with colorful boats, markets, and shops.
Old TownA charming area with colonial architecture and vibrant streets.
Castillo San Felipe de BarajasA historic fortress that showcases Cartagena’s military past.

Spend your last evening in Cartagena enjoying the city’s vibrant nightlife. Indulge in delicious Colombian cuisine at one of the many local restaurants, then dance the night away at a lively salsa bar. Cartagena is known for its lively party scene, and you won’t want to miss out on the fun.

As your week-long journey through Colombia comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had. From the stunning landscapes of Medellin to the pristine beaches of Santa Marta and the rich history of Cartagena, Colombia has captivated your heart and left you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Day 8: Departure from Cartagena

As your unforgettable week-long journey through Colombia comes to an end, it’s time to prepare for your departure from Cartagena. Make sure to arrange your Cartagena airport transfer in advance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transition from the city to the airport.

Cartagena airport is well-connected to major international destinations, making it convenient for travelers to fly out of Colombia. Allow yourself enough time to reach the airport, taking into account traffic and any potential delays.

Take this opportunity to reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had during your time in Colombia. From exploring Medellin’s vibrant city streets to immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Santa Marta and discovering the historic charm of Cartagena, you’ve witnessed the diverse wonders this country has to offer.

As you bid farewell to Colombia, cherish the memories of stunning landscapes, warm hospitality, and the vibrant culture that has captivated your heart. Until your next adventure, keep the spirit of Colombia alive and let the experiences continue to inspire you.

Other 1-Week Itinerary Options in Colombia

If you have more time to explore Colombia, there are several other 1-week itinerary options that allow you to delve deeper into the country’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and attractions. Whether you’re interested in adventure, history, or relaxation, there’s an itinerary that fits your preferences. Here are three options to consider:

4-Day Colombia Itinerary

If you’re short on time but still want to experience the essence of Colombia, a 4-day itinerary is a great option. This itinerary typically focuses on one specific region, such as Bogota or the Coffee Triangle. In just four days, you can visit iconic landmarks, explore vibrant neighborhoods, and immerse yourself in the local culture. While it may be a whirlwind trip, it’s a fantastic way to get a taste of Colombia’s unique offerings.

5-Day Colombia Itinerary

A 5-day itinerary allows for a bit more flexibility and exploration. With an extra day, you can add another city or region to your itinerary, such as Medellin or the Caribbean coast. This gives you the opportunity to experience different landscapes, try new activities, and discover hidden gems. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, or nightlife, a 5-day itinerary offers a well-rounded Colombian adventure.

8-Day Colombia Itinerary

If you have more time to spare, an 8-day itinerary provides a comprehensive exploration of Colombia’s top destinations. This longer itinerary allows you to visit multiple regions, such as Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, and the Coffee Triangle. You’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the rich culture, indulge in local cuisine, and discover the country’s natural wonders. An 8-day itinerary is perfect for those who want to experience the best of Colombia at a more relaxed pace.

Whichever itinerary you choose, be sure to research and plan ahead to make the most of your time in Colombia. Each region has its own unique charm and attractions, so take the opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes and vibrant cities that make this country so special.

Number of DaysItinerary NameHighlights
4City EscapeDiscover Bogota’s historical sites, street art, and vibrant nightlife.
5Coastal AdventureExplore the beautiful beaches of Cartagena and Tayrona National Natural Park.
8Andean DiscoveryExperience the coffee culture of the Coffee Triangle and hike to the Lost City.

Traveling to Colombia: Tips and Recommendations

Before embarking on your Colombia adventure, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some helpful tips and recommendations. This will ensure that you have a smooth and hassle-free trip, allowing you to make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

Visa Requirements for Colombia

As a U.S. citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Colombia for tourism purposes. You can stay in the country for up to 90 days. However, it’s always a good idea to check the latest visa requirements and regulations before your trip, as they may change over time. Additionally, ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date.

Currency in Colombia

The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP). It’s recommended to exchange your U.S. dollars for Colombian Pesos upon arrival. Major cities and tourist areas have currency exchange offices where you can exchange your money. It’s also a good idea to inform your bank and credit card company about your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your cards abroad.

Health and Safety Tips

When traveling to Colombia, it’s important to take certain health and safety precautions. Make sure to pack mosquito repellent, as certain areas, especially those in the jungle or near bodies of water, may have mosquitos that carry diseases such as Zika or dengue fever. It’s also recommended to drink bottled water and be cautious of street food to avoid any stomach issues.

Additionally, be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to prevent theft or pickpocketing. Keep your valuables secure, avoid displaying expensive items, and be cautious in crowded areas.

Transportation and Communication

Colombia has a well-developed transportation system, including domestic flights, buses, and taxis. It’s recommended to use reputable transportation services and negotiate fares beforehand when taking taxis. Additionally, consider using ride-sharing apps for convenience and safety.

For communication, most major cities and tourist areas have access to mobile networks and Wi-Fi. It’s a good idea to purchase a local SIM card or use international roaming to stay connected during your trip. Be sure to check with your mobile service provider for international roaming options and charges.

Pack Accordingly

Colombia’s climate varies depending on the region you’re visiting. It’s important to pack accordingly. For coastal areas, pack lightweight and breathable clothing, along with swimwear and sunscreen. In the mountainous regions, such as Medellin, pack layers to accommodate changing temperatures. Comfortable shoes are a must, especially if you’ll be exploring cities or hiking in the countryside.

By following these tips and recommendations, you’ll be well-prepared for your Colombia adventure. Enjoy your trip and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality that this country has to offer.


Colombia offers a wealth of experiences for travelers, even with limited time. This 1-week itinerary allows you to explore the highlights of Medellin, Santa Marta, and Cartagena. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality of Colombia.

During your one week in Colombia, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the best places the country has to offer. From the vibrant street art scene in Medellin to the lush jungles of Santa Marta and the historic charm of Cartagena’s old town, each destination has something unique to offer.

Whether you’re exploring the colorful cities, relaxing on pristine beaches, or learning about Colombia’s coffee industry, this itinerary will allow you to make the most of your time in the country. Plan your trip now and create unforgettable memories in Colombia!

For more information and detailed guidance on planning your visit, refer to our comprehensive Colombia travel guide. Discover the best places to visit, must-see attractions, and helpful tips to ensure a smooth and memorable journey through this captivating country.


How long is the recommended itinerary for exploring Colombia?

The recommended itinerary for exploring Colombia is 1 week, allowing you to visit Medellin, Cartagena, and Santa Marta.

What can I expect to see and do in Medellin?

In Medellin, you can explore the vibrant street art scene, visit the famous Communa 13, climb El Penol Rock for panoramic views, and learn about the city’s rich history and culture.

Are there any coffee farm visits included in the itinerary?

Yes, you will have the opportunity to visit a local coffee farm and learn about Colombia’s coffee industry while enjoying a cup of traditional Finca coffee.

What are the highlights of Santa Marta?

The highlights of Santa Marta include exploring the lush jungle in Sierra Minca, hiking to the beautiful Marinka Waterfalls, experiencing river tubing in Buritaca, and relaxing on Tierra Bomba Island.

Can I go island hopping in Colombia?

Yes, the itinerary includes an island hopping adventure where you can explore the stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and lively island parties in Colombia’s coastal paradise.

What attractions can I visit in Cartagena?

In Cartagena, you can explore the historic Cartagena Old Town, marvel at the colonial architecture, visit iconic landmarks, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

How can I extend my stay in Colombia?

If you have more time, you can consider exploring other regions of Colombia with 4-day, 5-day, or 8-day itineraries to delve deeper into the country’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and attractions.

What travel tips and recommendations should I follow for Colombia?

Before embarking on your Colombia adventure, familiarize yourself with travel tips, visa requirements, and the local currency to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.

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