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The Ultimate 10-Day Colombia Itinerary

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If you’re planning a trip to Colombia, you might be wondering where to start. This 10-day Colombia itinerary will help you see some of the country’s most popular sites and cities. 

Starting off in Bogota, you’ll journey north as you explore colorful villages, natural wonders, and bustling, urban developments. 

10-Day Colombia Travel Guide

10 days in colombia

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The Best Time to Visit Colombia

The best time to visit Colombia varies by the region you’re visiting and since this itinerary covers a bunch of different cities, here’s some quick info on each:

Best Time to Visit Bogota

bogota, colombia

Sitting at a high elevation (8800 ft), Bogota stays pretty cool year round with a yearly average maximum of 68°F. The city sees the most rainfall in April, May, June and July. The driest months are December to March. 

Best Time to Visit Salento

salento, colombia

Salento has a tropical rainforest climate with an average temperature of 72°F. August is usually the warmest month (76°F) while November is usually the coolest month (68°F). January is typically the driest month followed by  February, July, and September. March through May and October and November are typically the wettest months. 

Best Time to Visit Medellin

medellin, colombia

Medellin is nicknamed the city of Eternal Spring because it has nearly perfect weather year round. The days are warm and the nights are cool, with temperatures ranging from the high 50s to low 80s. Although the weather is pretty much always nice, the best time to visit Medellin is in the winter (December to February) when there’s the least amount of rain. 

Alternatively, in August the city hosts Feria de las Flores, or Festival of the Flowers. You’ll encounter rain and pretty much constant cloud cover, but that doesn’t stop thousands of other visitors from coming to the city to experience the festival. And it shouldn’t stop you either!

Best Time to Visit Cartagena

cartagena, colombia

If you’re looking for warm, sunny days, which of course you are, you’ll want to visit Cartagena between December and March. Just note Cartagena is very humid, even when visiting in the more temperate weather months. Luckily, it cools off at night once the sun goes down and the sea breeze comes through. 

As you can see, December to February seems to be the best time to visit Colombia for this itinerary. But of course, that means accommodations are going to be higher. Luckily, Colombia is an affordable travel destination so even in peak season you can find nice rooms at reasonable rates.

10-Day Colombia Itinerary – Day 0: Land in Bogota

This 10 day Colombia itinerary starts off in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. Depending on what time your flight gets in, you may have time to do a little bit of sightseeing. 

Where to stay in Bogota: Hotel Coco

Day 1: Bogota

If you’re staying at Hotel Coco, you can grab breakfast on the rooftop terrace and then head across the street to Libertario Coffee Roasters to grab a latte. The hotel coffee is okay, but if you’re someone who enjoys more than a drip you’ll want to head over to Libertario. 

After fueling up, make your way to La Candelaria to take a free walking tour. There are several companies that offer walking tours, but I can personally recommend Beyond Colombia. The tour is offered Monday to Sunday at 10:00 am & 2:00 pm and lasts 3 hours. As you walk around La Candelaria, you’ll learn about the history of Bogota, as well as some general Colombian history. 

The tour is free, but it is expected that you tip. 

After your tour, head over to Madre from some yummy pizza and cocktails before making your way to Claro Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen, also known as the candy cane church. 

Once you’re done with the candy cane church, you can either continue to wander around La Candelaria, and maybe visit the emerald district, to pick yourself up a genuine emerald. I didn’t know before going but Colombia, Bogota specifically, is known for their emeralds. 

Alternatively, you can catch the Montserrat cable car to get some beautiful views or check out the Gold Museum before heading back to your hotel to get ready for sunset drinks and dinner. 

Hotel Coco’s rooftop terrace is a great choice for drinks, and I highly recommend dinner at Castanyoles

hotel coco rooftop bar
plaza in bogota, colombia
streets of bogota

Day 2: Day Trip to Laguna de Guatavita and the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

Kick off day two with hotel breakfast or make your way to Masa 70. Masa 70 has fresh squeezed juices, coffee, pastries, as well as breakfast and lunch items.

After breakfast, it’s time to head out of the city for a day trip to visit Guatavita and the Salt Cathedral. This all day tour will take you to see Laguna de Guatavita, the birthplace of the legend of El Dorado as well as Zipaquirá and the Salt Cathedral. 

10-Day Colombia Itinerary – Days 3 + 4: Salento + Cocora Valley

Take an early flight out of Bogota to make your way to Salento for 2 days. The closest airports are Armenia and Pereira which are still about an hour away from Salento. If you’re flying into Armenia, use the bathroom before landing. The bathrooms at the airport were really gross and overflowing with unflushed toilets. So, again… use the one on the plane.

If you’re not on a strict budget, take a Cabify or Uber into Salento. For an hour ride it cost us about $40 USD. So, $20 each.

The road into Salento is a bit windy, so  if you’re prone to motion sickness, you may want to take something before getting in the car. 

For your first day in Salento, wander the colorful streets, get some food, and take a coffee tour. 

Day 2 in Salento is all about visiting Cocora Valley! Cocora Valley is home to the world’s tallest palm trees. You can either take the long route which is over 7 miles and takes about 4.5 hours to complete, or the short route which takes only 30 minutes or so. 

There’s also horseback riding tours available, if you’re looking for an alternative way to see the valley. 

Where to stay in Salento: Panorama by DOT

10 days in colombia itinerary - cocora valley
colombia itinerary - cocora valley

10-Day Colombia Itinerary – Days 5 + 6: Medellin

Another day, another early flight. This time you’re heading to Medellin. 

Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia

For your first day in the city, wander around El Poblado, the area known for cool cafes, trendy restaurants, and artsy shops. Make sure not to miss Pergamino Cafe! 

The next place you’ll want to visit is Plaza Botero. This is where you’ll find the famous Fernando Botero sculptures. On the sides of the plaza you’ll find the Museum of Antioquia and the Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture. 

However, I can’t recommend going to Plaza Botero without a bit of a warning. The area surrounding the plaza is not the best. In order to keep the plaza safe, there is a fence that surrounds it and armed policia monitoring the entrances. I would recommend taking a Cabify to the entrance of the plaza, exploring the fenced area, and then getting the heck out of dodge. 

Finish up your day eating dinner at one of Medellin’s many good restaurants! Relato has a really cool atmosphere and good food. 

On day 2, check out some more cafes and shops, and take a Comuna 13 tour.

Where to Stay in Medellin: Hashtag 98 Hotel

restaurant in medellin
hijamia coffee house - medellin
view from Hashtag 98 hotel medellin, colombia

Day 7: Day Trip to Guatape

Your last day in Medellin, make your way to Guatape. Located about 2 hours from Medellin,   Guatape is a colorful, small town situated by the Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir. There you can find Piedra del Peñol, a giant granite rock which overlooks the reservoir and provides stunning views. However, just know you’re going to have to work for these views. 

view from Piedra del Peñol in guatape

To reach the top of Piedra del Peñol, you’ll have to climb over 650 steps. There are small landings where you can stop off for a bit and catch your breath, as well as some different viewpoints. Make sure to bring some water with you and to use the bathroom before your ascent, because there isn’t one up top. However, there are some small shops selling snacks, drinks, and knickknacks. 

After you descend, find a tuk tuk that can take you into the main part of Guatape and spend a few hours exploring the vibrant streets and grabbing some food. 

To get to Guatape you can take a bus, private transfer, or organized tour. We took a Cabify from our hotel directly to the Piedra del Peñol, and then took the bus back to Medellin once we were done exploring the town. 

10 day colombia itinerary
streets of guatape, colombia
guatape, colombia - colombia itinerary

We opted to do a Cabify in the morning to get there when it first opened, and to beat the tour bus crowd. It cost us about $30 each, which isn’t bad considering it was a two hour ride.

10-Day Colombia Itinerary Days 8-10: Cartagena

On day 8 of this 10-day Colombia itinerary, it’s time to head to Cartagena. 

Cartagena sits on the pacific coast of Colombia, and is easily one of the most popular places to visit in Colombia. 3 Days in Cartagena is enough to see the city’s highlights as well as take a day trip out to the Rosario Islands or the Mud Volcano. 

For your first day, get acquainted with the city and do some wandering. Check out the walled city and pop into Ábaco Libros y Café to grab yourself a coffee and pastry, and then browse their small collection of books. If you arrive in the city early, you could also sign up to do a free walking tour or food tour

After a long day of exploring, make your way to Movich for sunset drinks and dinner. 

On day 2, start your day off by grabbing breakfast at Epoca, a must while in Cartagena. If you didn’t do a walking tour on day one, join one this day. Or, catch a ride on the hop-on hop-off bus tour. Whichever you decide to do, make your way to Getsemani afterwards. 

Getsemani is the artsy area of Cartagena, and it’s where you’ll find incredible street art and flag streets. There’s also shops and cafes that you can easily spend hours popping in and out of. 

getsemani in cartagena, colombia

To end your second night in Cartagena, I recommend doing the 7-course tasting dinner at Carmen, one of Cartagena’s most premiere restaurants. 

Spend your last day in the city on a boat, sailing around the Rosario Islands. There’s no more perfect way to end your 10 days in Colombia than in the sun, surrounded by crystal blue waters. 

I hope you found this 10-day Colombia itinerary helpful. If you did, please share it and save it for later! 

10-day colombia itinerary - pin
10 days in colombia itinerary - pin
the ultimate colombia itinerary - pin

Also, as one final note make sure to download Cabify before making your way to Colombia. It’s a rideshare app like Uber, and comes in handy while trying to get to a from airports and around certain cities. 

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