53 days in Colombia & Isla Grande Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
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Bogota, Colombia
— 4 nights
Fly
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San Gil, Colombia
— 3 nights
Bus
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Bucaramanga, Colombia
— 3 nights
Fly
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Bogota, Colombia
— 7 nights
Fly
5
Cali, Colombia
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Salento, Colombia
— 8 nights
Fly
7
Medellin, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly
8
Cartagena, Colombia
Fly to Tocumen International Airport, Drive to Isla Grande
9
Isla Grande, Panama
— 2 nights
+2
Drive to Tocumen International Airport, Fly to Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport, Drive to Santa Marta
10
Santa Marta, Colombia
— 20 nights
Fly

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Bogota, Colombia — 4 nights

Athens of South America

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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Bolivar Square, Museo Nacional de Colombia, Parque Natural Chicaque, and other attractions. Visit Iglesia de San Francisco and Centro de Memoria El Cuartico for their historical value. Visiting Minga Expeditions and Ciclovia de Bogota will get you outdoors. When in Bogota, make a side trip to see Catedral de Soacha in Soacha, approximately Soacha away. There's much more to do: examine the collection at Casa de Moneda - Coleccion Numismatica del Banco de la Republica, look for gifts at Cesar Giraldo, Taller Manual Del Cuero, and browse the fresh offerings at Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao.

To find out how to plan a trip to Bogota, use our trip itinerary maker.

Mexico City, Mexico to Bogota is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Colombia Standard Time (COT), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Traveling from Mexico City in October, things will get little chillier in Bogota: highs are around 22°C and lows about 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can catch the flight to San Gil.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 19 — 23:

San Gil, Colombia — 3 nights

Colombia's Adventure Sport Capital

Providing some of the region's best opportunities for paragliding, rappelling, white-water rafting, kayaking, hiking, and caving, San Gil appeals to adventure seekers and nature lovers wishing to escape overcrowded Bogota, located several hours' drive to the south.
Step out of the city life by going to Parapente Paravolar Colombia and Parque Gallineral. Camino Real and Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion will appeal to history buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Gil: Barichara (Capilla de Santa Barbara, Fundacion San Lorenzo De Barichara, &more). There's lots more to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, push the limits with an extreme tour, head outdoors with Bungee Extremo San Gil, and stroll around Parque La Libertad.

To find other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the San Gil online visit planner.

Traveling by flight from Bogota to San Gil takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Bogota in October, expect San Gil to be somewhat warmer, temps between 30°C and 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Bucaramanga.
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Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Oct 23 — 26:

Bucaramanga, Colombia — 3 nights

City of Parks

A tour of Bucaramanga may yield little evidence that it dates back as far as 1622.
Visit Basilica San Juan Bautista and Cathedral of the Holy Family for their historical value. Appreciate the collections at La Casa del Libro Total and Museo de Arte Moderno de Bucaramanga. The adventure continues: admire the landmark architecture of Capilla Nuestra Senora de las Nieves, make a trip to Universidad Industrial de Santander - UIS, stroll through Parque Garcia Rovira, and take in the dramatic natural features at Canon Del Chicamocha.

To see traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the Bucaramanga trip planner.

Take a bus from San Gil to Bucaramanga in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In October in Bucaramanga, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Bogota.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 29:

Bogota, Colombia — 7 nights

Athens of South America

You've added Bolivar Square, Museo Nacional de Colombia, Parque Natural Chicaque, and other attractions to your itinerary. Get a sense of the local culture at Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira and Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota. Escape the urban bustle at Monserrate and Laguna de Guatavita.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Bogota vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Bucaramanga to Bogota in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Bucaramanga in October; daily highs in Bogota reach 22°C and lows reach 9°C. You'll set off for Cali on the 5th (Sat).
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Museums · Parks · Nature · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 29 — Nov 5:

Cali, Colombia — 2 nights

Salsa Capital of the World

Learning how to salsa may be the most popular thing to do in Cali, but this giant city in southwestern Colombia represents more than just the "Salsa Capital of the World." Home to over 2 million people, thriving Cali serves as a major commercial and industrial center in South America, boasting the fastest-growing economy in Colombia.
On the 6th (Sun), pause for some photo ops at Cristo Rey, get a dose of the wild on Mariposario Andoke, and then get to know the fascinating history of Iglesia de San Antonio. Keep things going the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Ermita, see the interesting displays at Museo Aereo Fenix, and then examine the collection at Caliwood Museo de la Cinematografia.

Before you visit Cali, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can fly from Bogota to Cali in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Bogota in November, with highs in Cali at 34°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to drive to Salento.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 7:

Salento, Colombia — 8 nights

Father of Quindio

Founded in 1842, the town of Salento represents the oldest established settlement in Quindio.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Iglesia de Guadalupe and Centro de Interpretacion Bejuco Al Canasto. Visiting Bosques de Cocora and Reserva La Rivera will get you outdoors. Change things up with a short trip to Catedral Nuestra Senora del Carmen in Cartago (about 1h 20 min away). Make the 8th (Tue) an unforgettable day with an extreme tour. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kasaguadua Natural Reserve, experience rural life at El Recuerdo Finca Cafetera Tradicional, indulge in your favorite hot beverage with a coffee and tea tour, and shake up your sightseeing with a climbing tour.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Salento trip builder tool.

You can drive from Cali to Salento in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In November, daily temperatures in Salento can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Medellin.
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Tours · Parks · Outdoors · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 15:

Medellin, Colombia — 1 night

City of the Eternal Spring

Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Pueblito Paisa, then see the interesting displays at Museum Pablo Escobar, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Parque Arvi.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Medellin planner.

You can fly from Salento to Medellin in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Cartagena.
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Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 16:

Cartagena, Colombia

City of Heroes

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.
To see maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Cartagena trip builder site.

You can fly from Medellin to Cartagena in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Medellin in November, with highs in Cartagena at 37°C and lows at 30°C. On the 16th (Wed), you'll travel to Isla Grande.
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Tours · Outdoors · Nightlife · Transportation
Find places to stay Nov 16 — 17:

Isla Grande, Panama — 2 nights

Isla Grande is known for beaches. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: discover the deep blue sea with Panama Reef Divers.

To find other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Isla Grande trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Cartagena to Isla Grande. On the 19th (Sat), you're off to Santa Marta.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 19:
Highlights from your trip

Santa Marta, Colombia — 20 nights

America's Pearl

Many visitors begin their Santa Marta holiday, surrounded by urban clutter and heavy traffic, expecting little from the city in terms of historical importance.
Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Playa Blanca. You'll get in some beach time at Playa Cristal and Playa Grande. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Marta: Palomino (Spas & Playas de Palomino), Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (in Tayrona National Park) and Minca (Museo del Cacao de Minca, El Dorado Bird Reserve, &more). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa El Rodadero, admire the natural beauty at Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, stroll through Playa Bello Horizonte, and admire the sheer force of Valencia Brook's Waterfalls.

For where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Marta attractions website.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Isla Grande to Santa Marta. In November, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can catch the flight back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 19 — Dec 10:

Colombia travel guide

4.2
Historic Sites · Landmarks · Specialty Museums
Diverse in terms of landscapes, climates, and cultures, Colombia remains one of South America's least explored tourist destinations, overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbors. Combining the best of what the continent has to offer, a vacation in Colombia allows you to blend outdoor adventures with tours of picture-perfect cobblestoned towns dating back to the colonial era. Tourists on a Colombia holiday can easily hop from sun-kissed coastal spots to the hilly coffee-growing region, where thriving plantations quickly give way to a landscape of snow-covered volcanic peaks and the paramo--alpine ecosystems sheltering some of the rarest plants growing above the continuous forest line.
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