17 days in Colombia Itinerary

17 days in Colombia Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Colombia Itinerary

Start: Rio de Janeiro
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Cartagena
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Santa Marta
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  3​h
3
San Andres Island
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Medellin
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h 15​min
5
Montenegro
— 3 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
6
Bogota
— 4 nights
Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Rio de Janeiro

2
nights
Cartagena

Cartagena ©
The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
On the 2nd (Sat), get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, steep yourself in history at Plaza Santo Domingo, and then explore the historical opulence of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Walled City of Cartagena, don't miss a visit to Plaza Bolivar, then contemplate the long history of Torre del Reloj, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver.

For more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Cartagena travel itinerary planner .

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Cartagena is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Cartagena due to the time zone difference. In May, Cartagena is somewhat warmer than Rio de Janeiro - with highs of 38°C and lows of 30°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Santa Marta.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay May 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas ©
Walled City of Cartagena ©
Walled City of Cartagena
Plaza Santo Domingo ©
Plaza Santo Domingo

2
nights
Santa Marta

Santa Marta ©
Many visitors begin their Santa Marta holiday, surrounded by urban clutter and heavy traffic, expecting little from the city in terms of historical importance.
On the 4th (Mon), stop by Yo Amo Santa Marta and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll around Parque de Los Novios, explore the world behind art at Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

For traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Santa Marta trip itinerary app .

You can drive from Cartagena to Santa Marta in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Santa Marta are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to San Andres Island.

Things to do in Santa Marta

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay May 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona ©
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
Scuba & Snorkeling
Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino ©
Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

3
nights
San Andres Island

San Andres Island ©
The coral San Andres Island boasts a rich colonial history, exotic beaches, and a laidback, tropical lifestyle.
San Andres Island is known for nature, wildlife, beaches, historic sites, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: head off the coast to Johnny Cay, look for all kinds of wild species at Cayo El Acuario, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Charquitos, and appreciate the history behind Plaza Canon de Morgan.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the San Andres Island vacation planner.

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Santa Marta to San Andres Island takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight. While traveling from Santa Marta, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Andres Island, ranging from highs of 36°C to lows of 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Medellin.

Things to do in San Andres Island

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay May 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Johnny Cay ©
Johnny Cay
La Piscinita ©
La Piscinita
Hoyo Soplador ©
Hoyo Soplador

2
nights
Medellin

Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sat): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Parque Explora, take a memorable drive along 2000m Descent and more, and then stop by Duna Store. On your second day here, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, don't miss a visit to Plaza Botero, and then take in the local highlights with Walking tours.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Medellin travel route app .

You can fly from San Andres Island to Medellin in 3.5 hours. Traveling from San Andres Island in May, things will get slightly colder in Medellin: highs are around 32°C and lows about 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can travel to Montenegro.

Things to do in Medellin

Tours Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay May 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Parque Explora ©
Parque Explora
Plaza Botero ©
Plaza Botero

3
nights
Montenegro

Montenegro ©
Named after the dark trees covering the area's hills, Montenegro (literally Black Mountain) sits in a verdant zone irrigated by three major rivers.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Montenegro: Salento (Region Paisaje / Landscape Region, Bosques de Cocora, & more). Next up on the itinerary: get outside with Globos Colombia, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Parroquia Jesus Maria y Jose, get in on the family fun at Parque del Cafe, and don't miss a visit to Eje cafetero (Zona Cafetera).

To see other places to visit and other tourist information, read our Montenegro trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Medellin to Montenegro in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. May in Montenegro sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Montenegro

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trips

Salento, Eje cafetero (Zona Cafetera), Parroquia Jesus Maria y Jose
Find places to stay May 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Kasaguadua Natural Reserve ©
Kasaguadua Natural Reserve
Bosques de Cocora ©
Bosques de Cocora
Parque del Cafe ©
Parque del Cafe

4
nights
Bogota

Bogota ©
Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Change things up with a short trip to Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira in Zipaquira (about 54 minutes away). There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), explore the world behind art at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica, make a trip to Casa Libreria Wilborada 1047, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Monserrate.

For reviews, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Bogota online trip planner .

Getting from Montenegro to Bogota by flight takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or drive. In May, Bogota is slightly colder than Montenegro - with highs of 22°C and lows of 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums Tours Historic Sites

Side Trip

Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira
Find places to stay May 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Monserrate ©
Monserrate

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