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Top-rated tourist attractions & things to do in Colombia

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


Colombia
Santuario de Las Lajas

Cartagena's Old Town, Valle de Cocora, Medellin and Simon Bolivar House Museum (Quinta de Bolivar). These are just some of the places to visit and things to do in Colombia. Here are these and the others:


Cartagena's Old Town

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Cartagena's Old Town

Cartagena's old city is its principal attraction, particularly the inner walled town, consisting of the historical districts of El Centro and San Diego. Cartagena is an unmissable place to visit and Colombia's most popular city for tourists, thanks not only to the colonial buildings but also to the sandy beaches, mouth-watering cuisine, and raucous nightlife. If you're wondering what to do in Cartagena, you've come to the right place.


Valle de Cocora

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Valle de Cocora

Cocora Valley Colombia: Valle Del Cocora Travel Guide. Cocora Valley in Colombia is famous for having the world's tallest palm trees. It's more commonly known in Spanish as “Valle Del Cocora”. The wax palm trees in Cocora Valley grow up to 60 meters (200 feet). The Cocora Valley (Valle de Cocora) is one of the best things to see and do near Salento, Colombia.


Medellin

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Medellin

The "City of Eternal Spring," as the people of Colombia affectionately call it because of its temperate climate, has become a travel hot spot for fine dining, trendy bars and, of course, world-class coffee. Colombia's capital Bogotá has embraced street art and has been fostering urban artists like never before. Getting from place to place in Medellin is quite easy. The city has plenty of public transportation, and depending on where you stay, most areas are walkable.


Simon Bolivar House Museum (Quinta de Bolivar)

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Simon Bolivar House Museum (Quinta de Bolivar)

The Quinta de Bolivar is a colonial house in Bogota, Colombia, that served as a residence to Simon Bolivar in the capital after the war of independence. It is now used as a museum dedicated to Bolivar's life and times. The history of the house goes back to the late 17th century when the land was sold by the chaplain of Monserrate to Jose Antonio Portocarreño, a Spanish merchant, who built a country house there.


Los Nevados National Park

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Los Nevados National Park

There are four official access routes to Los Nevados National Park. The majority of all visitors reach the park via the city of Manizales, Pereira, or smaller colonial town Salento that is on the other side of the valley, a gateway to the famous Cocora Valley, that is also the official entry point. The Nevado del Tolima is located within the Los Nevados National Natural Park, In addition to the Nevado del Tolima, seven other volcanoes are located in the park.


Eje Cafetero

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Eje Cafetero

The Colombian coffee region (Spanish: Eje Cafetero), also known as the Coffee Triangle is a part of the Paisa region in the rural area of Colombia. It is famous for growing and producing the majority of Colombian coffee. There are four departments in the area: Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda and the north municipalities of Tolima and Valle del Cauca. The most visited cities are Manizales, Armenia, Pereira, and Ibagué.


José Celestino Botánico Garden

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José Celestino Botánico Garden

The José Celestino Mutis Botanical Park is a natural, living and ever-changing area. Since it opened it has been providing visitors with a growing collection of flora gathered in the five continents. A visit to the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Park is to submerge yourself in a unique nature area, which also preserves the spirit of integration and exchange with Latin American countries, a central feature of La Rábida.


Carnaval de Barranquilla

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Carnaval de Barranquilla

The Carnival of Barranquilla (Spanish: Carnaval de Barranquilla) is one of Colombia's most important folkloric celebrations, and one of the biggest carnivals in the world. The carnival has traditions that date back to the 19th century. Four days before Lent, Barranquilla decks itself out to receive national and foreign tourists to join together with the city's inhabitants to enjoy four days of intense festivities. During the carnival, Barranquilla's normal activities are put aside as the city gets busy with street dances, musical and masquerade parades.


Leticia

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Leticia

Leticia is a city in southern Colombia, next to the Amazon River and bordering Brazil and Peru. In the center of town, the boardwalk has river views. The main square is Santander Park, with a pond and trees where hundreds of parrots roost. Neighboring Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace is a modern building, with city views from its bell tower. The Ethnographic Museum has displays on the region’s indigenous groups.


San Felipe de Barajas Castle

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San Felipe de Barajas Castle

The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas (San Felipe de Barajas Castle) is a fortress in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. The castle was built in 1536 and is located on the Hill of San Lázaro in a strategic location, dominating approaches to the city by land or sea. It was originally known as the Castillo de San Lázaro. It was built by African slave labor under Spanish supervision during the colonial era. The fortress was involved in several battles between the late 17th to early 19th centuries between European powers.


Santuario de Las Lajas

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Santuario de Las Lajas

The National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Las Lajas (Spanish: Basílica Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de las Lajas), commonly called Las Lajas Shrine (Santuario de Las Lajas), is a basilica church located in southern Colombia. The basilica is situated within the municipality of Ipiales, in the Nariño Department, and is built inside the canyon of the Guáitara River.




Tayrona National Natural Park

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Tayrona National Natural Park

Known for its biodiversity, the park is made up of two ecosystems covering more than 30 km of Colombia's rugged northwest coastline. Tayrona National Park is where you'll uncover some of the country's most beautiful blue water coves, white sand beaches, crystalline lagoons and tropical jungles. Tayrona has a number of fun things to do, including snorkeling coral reefs, swimming, hiking or simply relaxing.


Monserrate

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Monserrate

The famous Monserrate church was built in 1640 in honor of the shrine to the Virgin of Monserrat, or 'Our Lady of Monserrat's' that was located in Barcelona's Montserrat. The church is home to a carved crucifix and statue of Jesus which is known as 'El Señor Caído', or 'The Fallen Lord'. Monserrat, a girl's name of Latin origin, means "jagged mountain" with the alternative spelling, Montserrat, being a mountain in Catalonia, a monastery, and a celebrated image of the Virgin Mary.


Tekendama

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Tekendama

Tequendama is a preceramic and ceramic archaeological site located southeast of Soacha, Cundinamarca, Colombia, a couple of kilometers east of Tequendama Falls. It consists of multiple evidences of late Pleistocene to middle Holocene population of the Bogotá savanna, the high plateau in the Colombian Andes.


Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira

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Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira

Colombia's Salt Cathedral Is A Marvel Of Architecture And A Popular House Of Worship. The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground church built inside a salt mine, and made entirely of salt. The tunnel leading to Colombia's most famous church feels more like a byway into the bowels of the earth. Its structure, a mix of precise engineering and interesting history, led it to be declared the First Wonder of Colombia on February 4, 2007.


Bogotá Cathedral

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Bogotá Cathedral

It is a Neoclassical style building located in the Plaza de Bolívar in Bogotá, the country's capital. The cathedral is the seat of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Bogotá and Primate of Colombia, recognized with the honorary title of Primate of Colombia by Pope Leo XIII, through the Decree of the Consistorial Congregation of November 7, 1902. The cathedral was designed by Domingo de Petrés and was built between 1807 and 1823 in the same place where three other churches were previously erected, which successively served as cathedrals for the city.


The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)

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The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)

Ciudad Perdida, Spanish for "Lost City," is the archaeological site of an ancient city in Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, within the jurisdiction of the city of Santa Marta. This location is also known as "Teyuna" and "Buritaca 200". This city is believed to have been founded about 800 CE. If so, Ciudad Perdida predates Machu Picchu by about 650 years. Ciudad Perdida consists of a series of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a network of tiled roads, and several small circular plazas.


Providencia Island

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Providencia Island

A tiny island in the Caribbean was decimated by Hurricane Iota in 2020. Although the loss of human life was minimal, the impact on the island's precious ecosystems deeply changed the perspective of its inhabitants. Providencia is officially a territory of Colombia, though it sits closer to the Nicaraguan coast. Spanning about 17 square kilometers (7 square miles), the island is part of the San Andres archipelago; a small footbridge connects neighboring Santa Catalina Island. Although the island is part of Colombia, the 5,000 to 6,000 inhabitants are reported to feel more Caribbean than Colombian, with many Rastafari.


Mompox

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Mompox

Mompox hosts important cultural events of the Caribbean such as the Independent Film Festival, the Jazz Festival, and the Mompox Music Festival. The municipality is also known for its religious tourism because of the mass ceremonies held during Holy Week. Mompox is most commonly visited by travelers coming from the Caribbean coastal towns of Cartagena, Santa Marta, and Barranquilla. The transfer can be done by bus, car, or bus and ferry in roughly five to six hours.


La Guajira Peninsula

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La Guajira Peninsula

La Guajira is a world of adventure with its crashing waves, arid deserts and hundreds upon hundreds of bird species. Those desert plains may seem endless and inhospitable but they have long been home to indigenous tribes and, even now La Guajira has the largest population of indigenous peoples in all Colombia. La Guajira Peninsula, Spanish Península de La Guajira, Guajira also spelled Goajira, peninsula on the northwestern coast of South America.


The National Capitol Building

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The National Capitol Building

The most recognized symbol of democratic government in the world, the United States Capitol has housed Congress since 1800. The Capitol is where Congress meets to write the laws of our nation, and where presidents are inaugurated and deliver their annual State of the Union messages. Hideaways are used by senators as a private space in which to prepare for sessions of the Senate, to conduct confidential meetings, to take naps, and for other personal purposes.


Lake Guatavita

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Lake Guatavita

You can hike around Lake Guatavita, which has beautiful turquoise water on a sunny day. Unfortunately you cannot swim in the lake, due to dangerously cold temperatures and poor access down the sides of the mountains. Guatavita, the sacred lake, belongs geographically and legally to the municipality of Sesquilé. It used to be the ceremonial site where the Indians worshipped Chie, the goddess of water, during lavish ceremonies that gave rise to the legend of El Dorado.


Hacienda Nápoles

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Hacienda Nápoles

The estate included a Spanish colonial house, a sculpture park, and a complete zoo that included many kinds of animals from different continents such as antelope, elephants, exotic birds, giraffes, hippopotamuses, ostriches, and ponies. The ranch also boasted a large collection of old and luxury cars and bikes, a private airport, a brothel, and even a Formula 1-racing track. Mounted atop the hacienda's entrance gate is a replica of the Piper PA-18 Super Cub airplane.


Caño Cristales

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Caño Cristales

Caño Cristales is a Colombian river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta, and is a tributary of the Guayabero River. It was found in 1969, by a group of cattle farmers. The river is commonly called the "River of Five Colors" or the "Liquid Rainbow," and is noted for its striking colors. The bed of the river from the end of July through November is variously colored yellow, green, blue, black, and especially red, the last caused by Macarenia clavigera plants on the riverbed.


[From sources across the web]


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