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Colombia Travel Guide

Colombia, a gem in the heart of South America, offers a kaleidoscope of experiences for those embarking on Colombia-guided tours. Known for its lush landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Colombia presents a vibrant mix of modern cities, colonial charm, and natural wonders. Tours to Colombia take you through diverse environments - from the Andean peaks to Caribbean beaches and from the Amazon rainforest to the rolling coffee plantations. The country's tumultuous history and resilient spirit shine through in its art, music, and festivals, making touring Colombia an enriching experience. Whether it's exploring the historic streets of Cartagena, hiking in the Cocora Valley, or dancing to the rhythms of salsa, Colombia's diverse appeal makes it a captivating destination for travelers seeking adventure, culture, and natural beauty. With tour operator volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 40% versus assembling the same itinerary on your own! Book your Colombia tour today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted tour headquarters. View Colombia Tour Deals and Discounts

Colombia Travel Guide
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Colombia Travel Guide

Colombia Tours Highlights

  • Cartagena's Historic Walled City: The historic walled city of Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a highlight of tours to Colombia. This beautifully preserved colonial city is known for its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and vibrant cultural scene. Exploring Cartagena's old town, with its charming plazas, churches, and museums, is like stepping back in time and is a must-do on any tour of Colombia.
  • The Coffee Cultural Landscape: Colombia's coffee region, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a breathtaking landscape of rolling hills and coffee plantations. Here, on tours to Colombia, visitors can learn about the coffee production process, from bean to cup, and enjoy some of the world's best coffee. The region's picturesque towns, like Salento, also offer a glimpse into rural Colombian life.
  • Medellín and the Transformation Story: Once known for its turbulent past, Medellín has transformed into a vibrant and innovative city. Touring Colombia often includes a visit to Medellín to witness its urban transformation, including innovative public transportation systems like the Metrocable and cultural attractions like the Botero Plaza.
  • The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida): For the adventurous, trekking to the Lost City in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a highlight of Colombia guided tours. This ancient archaeological site, older than Machu Picchu, is accessible only by a multi-day hike through lush jungle, offering an unforgettable experience.
  • The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá: Close to Bogotá, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, an underground church built within a salt mine, is a marvel of engineering and religious art. Visiting this unique attraction adds a spiritual and artistic dimension to touring Colombia.

Colombia Tours Travel Tips

  • Spanish is the official language in Colombia. Most people only speak Spanish, so you'll need it to communicate and navigate, especially outside of the main tourist areas.
  • Colombian customs and traditions are deeply influenced by its regional diversity. Each region has its unique customs, crafts, and traditions. This diversity is celebrated in the country's art, literature, and way of life, making exploring Colombian culture an enriching part of any travel experience.
  • Take official taxis or Uber when getting around the major cities. You can easily spot a cab, and make sure that they use the meter to avoid a common scam over overcharging when arriving at your destination.
  • Colombia has a vibrant cuisine – be sure to try authentic Colombia coffee and the famous Bandeja Paisa.
  • Most street vendors and local attractions only accept cash, so always carry some Colombian pesos with you.

Colombia Tours Things To Do

  • Take a walking tour around La Candelaria to learn about the rich history of Bogotá
    Take a walking tour around La Candelaria to learn about the rich history of Bogotá

    La Candelaria is the most popular tourist area in Bogotá, a historical neighborhood in downtown. It's a place to discover Colombia's culture and history – it's characterized by Spanish colonial-style architecture where you'll find many of the top local sightseeing destinations. Take a walk down the cobblestone street of Calle del Embudo, lined with colorful buildings and graffiti, or visit some cultural venues like Botero Museum, Gold Museum, and Luis Angel Arango Library.  

    You Should Know

    Walking tours are the best way to experience La Candelaria not only to see the sights but learn a lot about the city's history.

  • Start your sightseeing journey in Plaza Bolivar to explore the center of Colombia’s capital
    Start your sightseeing journey in Plaza Bolivar to explore the center of Colombia’s capital

    Plaza Bolivar is a must-visit attraction in Bogotá. It's the main square in the capital and one of the most popular gathering places. It's a place for sightseeing, people watching, or enjoying the local atmosphere. The square was established in the 16th Century as a public gathering space for entertainment and public markets. It was renamed in the 19th Century and now prominently features a Simón Bolívar statue in the center.  

    You Should Know

    Many notable buildings surround Plaza Bolivar, including the oldest cathedral in Colombia, Liévano Palace, Palace of Justice, and the National Capitol. It's an excellent place for photography to capture the large plaza.      


    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Plaza Bolivar during the day when there's lots of activity going on. It's a popular tourist destination where you'll see street performers, vendors, and more. It's also a fun place to be during the holidays when the plaza showcases holiday decorations and events.

  • Ride to the top of Monserrate for views overlooking all of Bogotá
    Ride to the top of Monserrate for views overlooking all of Bogotá

    For the best viewpoint in Bogotá, visit Monserrate, a mountain overlooking the capital. The mountain is visible from all around Bogotá but ascending to the top reveals the scale of the city. Monserrate has an elevation of over 3,000 meters. It features a famous 17th Century white church at the summit and various restaurants and souvenir vendors to support the peak's tourism. It's open daily to ride (or hike) to the top to see the incredible views.   The neighboring Guadalupe Hill is visible in the distance to see the Our Lady of Guadalupe statue. The hilltop is another frequently visited destination.  

    You Should Know

    There are several ways to reach the top of Monserrate. Visitors can ride to the top in the cable car or funicular. There is also a hiking trail established, which extends over 2km – it's most popular for pilgrimages to the church.      


    Best Time To Visit 

    Bogotá frequently has overcasts, so try to plan your visit on a clear day for the best views. Many people like to go to see the sunset.

  • Taste the best coffee in the world grown locally in the Coffee Triangle
    Taste the best coffee in the world grown locally in the Coffee Triangle

    Colombia is famous for its coffee – considered by some to be the world's best. The strong and fresh tasting coffee comes from the Coffee Triangle, the primary coffee-growing region. If you're a fan of coffee or want to experience a rural side of Colombia, you'll greatly enjoy the region. Coffee Triangle is a region known to have the best coffee-growing conditions in the world. Various coffee production farms are dotted throughout the region, which welcomes tourists to immerse themselves in the world of coffee.  

    You Should Know

    There are several destinations outside of the major cities in the region to explore. Visit the Colombian National Coffee Park – an amusement park with more than two dozen rides, visit the Museum of Culture Coffee to see the coffee production process from start to finish – and even taste some of the freshly produced coffee.

  • Explore Comuna 13 to see some of the best graffiti artworks in Medellin
    Explore Comuna 13 to see some of the best graffiti artworks in Medellin

    The graffiti-covered streets of Comuna 13 make it one of the most visited areas in Medellin. The community emerged from a dark past to now serve as a destination for tourists to learn more about Colombia's beauty and transformation. Campo Valdez was once Medellín's most dangerous neighborhood. Within a few years, it was completely transformed into a tourist hotspot to see the colorful graffiti covering the walls and buildings, exploring the local cafes and galleries, and watching street performers.  

    You Should Know

    Comuna 13 is very tourist-friendly – feel free to interact with the locals to learn about the neighborhood's history and how it came to be what it is today.   You can access Comuna 13 by the airlift and navigate the neighborhood via electrical staircases. It has a high elevation, so it provides incredible views of the city.

  • Enjoy the scenic views from atop La Piedra in Guatapé
    Enjoy the scenic views from atop La Piedra in Guatapé

    La Piedra, which translates to rock, is a national monument in Colombia and a popular day trip destination from Medellín. There's a long-lasting dispute over who can claim the rock – it's located on the border of Guatapé and Peñol - but one thing for sure is that it's the main driver for tourists to the area. La Piedra appears to protrude from the Earth at more than 200 meters above the ground. Visitors can climb the 649 steps of the zig-zagged staircase to reach the observation site at the summit. It provides incredible views of the reservoir and small islands within it. It also has a viewing tower for an even better view and a store.  

    You Should Know

    While La Piedra is a favorite tourist spot, don't forget to check out the town of Guatapé. It's a beautiful small town to look at traditional Colombia. The colorful buildings are great for shopping souvenirs or tasting a delicious bandeja paisa meal after your climb.

  • Step inside the old city walls in Cartagena to find unique shopping boutiques and restaurants
    Step inside the old city walls in Cartagena to find unique shopping boutiques and restaurants

    Cartagena's Old City is the most charming part of the city, where most tourists visualize the coastal destination. Old City is the main downtown district filled with colorful colonial architecture and balconies overlooking the narrow streets. It's a cultural hub and romantic area for discovering Cartagena. The old city wall remains, which surrounds the entire old city. Visitors can climb onto the wall to enjoy stunning views of the ocean and Modern Cartagena. Explore some of the popular attractions like Puerta del Reloj, the main gate entering the old city; Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a massive fortress; or some of the numerous museums, galleries, and boutique shops lining the streets.  

    You Should Know

    Old City is a popular place to stay in Cartagena to access historical attractions and the beaches.      


    Best Time To Visit

    You can visit the Old City at any time! In the day, it's a bustling tourist area where you'll see lots of local tours and street vendors selling food or souvenirs. At night, it becomes a vibrant nightlife area with lots of bars and clubs to check out.

  • Spend the day hiking to the picturesque Cabo San Juan in the Tayrona National Park
    Spend the day hiking to the picturesque Cabo San Juan in the Tayrona National Park

    Tayrona National Park is the second-most visited national park in Colombia. It runs along the Caribbean coast, established in 1969 for protecting one of the country's most biodiverse regions. It's the perfect outdoor adventure for sightseeing, recreation, and relaxing on the beach. The park covers approximately 150 square kilometers of land and 30 square kilometers of sea. There are more than 100 animal species, 300 bird species, and hundreds of marine life creatures. Cabo San Juan and La Piscina are two of the most popular points of interest in the park, where tourists can follow hiking trails leading to them. Camping is also permitted in the park.  

    You Should Know

    All visitors must undergo an onsite medical screening check before entering the park in case of bug bites, allergies, or injury.    


    Best Time To Visit

    Be sure to arrive at the park early to have enough time to explore. It takes at least three hours to hike to the beach and will take the same hiking back to the entrance before it closes. You can opt for a return trip on a boat or via horseback ride.

Colombia Tour Packages

Quick Facts

Any time of the year is a great time to visit Colombia, but keep in mind that its diverse landscape and unique position give it quite a varied climate in different regions. Colombia has two main seasons – the dry season and the rainy season. While the weather fluctuates depend on where you travel, it's a general rule of thumb to remember. Colombia is cooler in the higher elevations, like in Bogotá, and hotter in the northern coastal destinations like Cartagena.  

  • Dry Season – December to March, July to Sept – Best Season

    Colombia's peak travel season is during the dry season, namely December to March. It's Colombia's holiday season with many public holidays and events, so many locals take vacations to enjoy the great weather. The dry season has warm and sunny days.

  • Rainy Season – April and May, October and November – Low season

    The rainy season is when you'll be able to find lower rates for traveling to Colombia. The rainy season is characterized by daily rain showers, although the rain only lasts for a few hours, so you can still make the most of your trip if you're traveling at this time. The rainforest region tends to always be rainy, so it shouldn't be a factor when planning your trip.

Colombia Tours Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are Colombia Tours?

    Colombia tours offer the best travel to Colombia with tours visiting top destinations. Pick a tour to discover the incredible South American destination for immersive experiences in the culture, history, and natural beauty. Colombia is a combination of major metropolises and pure nature – the tours take travelers to see it all!

  • Where do Colombia Tours go?

    Colombia tours take visitors to the best tourist destinations for getting to know authentic Colombia. Visit the capital, Bogotá, to see the famous Plaza Botero or views from Monserrate. Travel to Medellin to explore the artfully decorated neighborhood of Comuna 13 or take a day trip to La Piedra rock attraction. Take a trip to the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena to explore the historic Old City or relax on the world's most scenic beaches.

  • Is it safe to travel to Colombia?

    Many people hesitate to travel to Colombia because of its reputation, but Colombia has experienced a significant revival into one of the world's most fun travel destinations. There are still areas of caution, especially in the big cities, but use good judgment, and you'll be accompanied by local guides to show you how to have a fun, safe trip to Colombia.

  • How much do Colombia Tours cost?

    Colombia is a very budget-friendly travel destination with options ranging from luxury travel to backpacking. You can find five-day tours traveling to multiple cities for less than $500 USD if you're looking for a vast experience, or spend more time in each destination to connect with the locals. Colombia Tours are designed to fit all budgets with the best prices online!

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Reviews for Colombia Tours and Vacations

When we got to the hotels we had full size beds and had to ask for room swap to king bed you should ask that when booking couples got 2 full size beds and should have kings unless specify the want single beds and single person in roo. Got king beds also this Tour had 33 people to big of a Tour and little bus needed bigger bus the air condition at last hotel did not work very well kept complaining but nothing done

Barbara L

Gate One is a good company. Our complaint, however, is twofold. At our hotel in Bogotá, Colombia almost no one at the reception desk spoke English day or night. One guy spoke very broken English, however, no one else could speak more than a word or two. That is a big problem when you’re looking for concierge advice. Number two, no one at the same hotel had any change so that we could tip for baggage handling, etc. I tried to get change for a 20, not possible. I even tried to get change for five, and they couldn’t give me a change. I tried three times, and each time they said they didn’t have any change. Any good hotel would at least occasionally be able to make change in order to provide tip money.

George F

Only complaint is the return airline routing. Why have to do a domestic flight to another city when the city we finished in was the major city with many options to get us home. Flights are readily available from Houston to Bogota. We did our own to Miami this time to just take the package deal. It seems Gate1 could try a little harder to find reasonable cost flights from IAH in our case. We realize flight arrangements are not always easy.

Robert M

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