For our 2 week Caribbean coast itinerary: click here
We recently published a post detailing a dream 2 week beach holiday itinerary for anyone visiting Colombia; now, there’s so much more to this country than just sunny, sandy beaches, so we thought we’d bring you some more itineraries to suit specific interests. As with the last post, these are only suggested itineraries, and come with some extra additions if your trip extends beyond 2 weeks. So here’s a dream trip itinerary for you culture-vultures:
Day 1-2 – Bogota
Spend your first couple of days acclimatizing and relaxing after your flight in the nation’s capital. Here you can enjoy a variety of cultural events: check local listings for any theater or music events, and enjoy the multitude of museums celebrating Colombia’s diverse cultural history: particular favorites include the National Museum, Gold Museum and Botero Museum.
Day 3-5 – San Agustin
Make your way south of Bogota to San Agustin in Huila Department; the home of incredible pre-Columbian relics, including the huge stone figures that made UNESCO designate the area a World Heritage Site. You can take a stroll around the main park area, or hire horses to ride into the hills to access tombs that cannot be reached on foot.
Day 6-8 – Medellin
San Agustin is a little out-of-the-way, so your journey back north to Medellin might be a little tiresome, but you won’t be disappointed once you arrive: it’s a bustling, metropolitan city on the rise. Check out the juxtaposition between traditional architecture and history, with the city’s new face as a powerhouse of innovation. Modern history is being created here!
Day 9-10 – Cartagena
From the green hills of Medellin to the Jewel of the Indies: Cartagena is a culture-vulture’s dream, with diverse museums, gorgeous colonial architecture and Caribbean weather all combining into one of the greatest cities you can visit in South America. Just spend your days wandering the cobbled streets, dipping into museums, and relaxing, and you won’t go far wrong.
Day 11-14 – Santa Marta and surrounding area
For the final days of your trip, head along the coast to Santa Marta: the city is the 2nd oldest in South America, and is full-to-bursting with museums and history. Also in the surrounding SIerra Nevada de Santa Marta are wonderful opportunities to get to know the indigenous side of Colombia’s history, with many companies offering tours into the mountains to learn more about the Kogi indigenous people.
This route could easily be achieved using a combination of buses and internal flights, although, be warned, it’s a hectic fortnight! If you have longer than 2 weeks, then here are some suggestions for additional trips and activities:
Lost City Trek
This trek definitely requires some extra time as it takes a minimum of 4 days to complete; but what a rewarding 4 days! Trek through pristine mountain scenery to Colombia’s great Lost City of the Tayrona people, hidden deep in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A chance to wander around the crumbling walls of an ancient civilization deep in the jungle: all your Indiana Jones fantasies come to life!
In the far south of the country is Popayan, a beautiful little colonial city famous for it’s wonderful architecture and it’s white walls. This would be a great addition following your visit to San Agustin. It contains a number of beautiful colonial churches and a number of Colombia’s most distinguished and oldest universities. As well as this, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of it’s range of gastronomy.
Nothing I can say about Mompos hasn’t already been said: it’s like a time capsule. Wandering around it’s crumbling old riverfront streets and exploring houses where Bolivar once stayed, you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. It’s a town to get lost in, to allow into your consciousness: a place where it genuinely feels like you’ve stepped back in time.
So, there you have it: 2-4 weeks for anyone with a passionate interest in history and culture. Naturally, there are many more places that could have made this list, but this should give any first-time visitor more than their fair share of enjoyment. If you have any further questions, do get in touch!