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Y’all. I am SO excited about this Colombia 2 week itinerary! I dreamed and planned this trip for so long. Aside from our honeymoon in Belize last year, this was our first ~big international trip~ since the pandemic. Our honeymoon was amazing in a million different ways but we were on an all-inclusive island with private guides the whole time… So we weren’t using those international travel muscles quite as much! With this trip to Colombia, we were able to experience a new culture, speak a different language, and just learn so much in a short amount of time!
From the beautiful Andes mountains, the coffee fincas, to the crystal, warm Caribbean waters, Colombia has a bit of something for everyone. In this adventure packed 2 week itinerary, you’ll experience some of the best of what Colombia has to offer.
What once was a country torn by war and narcoterroists is now an exciting destination for tourism. If you’ve watched Narcos or know anything about Pablo Escobar and drug smuggling, you know Colombia was not a place you wanted to be in the 1980s up until the last several years. The Colombians have worked hard to make this country a beautiful place for themselves and for tourists… and I’d say it’s working!
Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world and has a wide range of geography to explore. The Andes Mountains form 2 large mountainous chains through the country, with gentle rolling plains to the east and the beautiful coast to the west. You’ll be sticking primarily to the mountainous and coastal areas on this trip. Even though so much progress has been made, there’s still a lot of drug conflict in the southern portion of the country as well as along the Venezuelan border.
You will notice that throughout this itinerary, most of the plans end after dinnertime. We aren’t huge partiers and being our first time in South America we honestly just didn’t “go out” much. Therefore, I don’t have great recommendations for nightlife! Just keeping it real and trying to recommend things we have either done or I’ve heard multiple good things about.
Now that you’ve learned a bit about Colombia, let’s dive into the best Colombia 2 week itinerary.
Ever wondered how we travel so much even with full time jobs?! Aside from strategic use of our paid time off, we do a lot of travel hacking. I cash in lots and lots of points and miles every year to keep travel expenses low. Start your own travel hacking by getting the best travel credit card and then learning how to here!
Colombia Two Week Itinerary
Day 0: Travel day
Kick off your Colombia 2 week itinerary with a relatively easy travel day! If you’re coming from the US, Colombia is surprisingly accessible. From the east coast, we had a quick 2 hour flight to Florida and then 3 hours to Bogotá. I believe it’s similar, maybe a bit longer, from the West Coast.
Check into your Airbnb or hotel. I chose an Airbnb in the Chapinero Norte neighborhood and highly recommend it! It felt very safe and was walking distance to great restaurants.
Days 1-2: Bogotá
Day 1: The best of Bogotá
Rise and shine! We’ve got a lot to cover in our short time in Bogota. Grab a Beat or Taxi to La Candelaria. Grab breakfast at a quick cafe or street vendor then meet your group for a walking tour of the city!
We thoroughly enjoyed Beyond Colombia for our walking tour. Even if you’re not a “tour” person (we aren’t either!), this was such a good way to learn about the history of Bogota, get an inside scoop on good places to check out, and not worry about getting lost.
Book your tour with Beyond Colombia here. It’s free, but be sure to leave a good tip for your guide!
After the walking tour, grab lunch at Los Balcones de La Candelaria. It’s the perfect spot to try ajiaco soup and much less crowded than La Puerta Falsa.
Believe it or not, the day isn’t over yet! Muster whatever energy you have left and check out Monserrate. We walked here from La Candelaria and it was a relatively easily walk that also took us through more of downtown. You can also catch a cheap taxi. Take the cable car up to see the Monserrate Sanctuary and views over Bogota. It’s breathtaking! There’s also a restaurant as well, just make reservations if you want to eat here.
Head back to your humble abode and rest or clean up before dinner! In Chapinero, you’ll have tons of options for good dining. We enjoyed Cantina y Punto.
We chose to head back after this because it was just my husband and I. We’ve heard that Bogota isn’t necessarily a place you want to be walking around at night especially if you’re not familiar with the city. However, if you’re super into nightlife and are with a group of 3+, feel free to hit the town!
You can check out a more in depth one day guide to Bogotá right over here!
Day 2: Fly to Salento
Your second and last day in Bogotá is much more chill. Grab a delicious breakfast and cappuccino at Abasto and then spend the rest of your morning at the Museo del Oro. The museum holds the largest collection of gold from the pre-colonial times.
If you have time, grab lunch at Prudencia. Otherwise, head to the airport for your flight to Salento! We have lounge access via Priority Pass which is a perk of the Capital One Venture X, so we had lunch and drinks at the airport 😉
The flight to Salento is quick and painless. You’ll actually fly into either Pereira or Armenia and then need to take a car, taxi, or bus to your lodgings in Salento. Due to time constraints and my lack of desire to figure out the bus system, we set up a transfer through our hotel. The ride is about an hour long but so scenic!
Read also: How to Get from Bogotá to Salento
We stayed at the Hotel Salento Plaza and it was affordable, centrally located, and had an amazing breakfast included in the rate.
The afternoon flight and commute left us with just enough time to stroll the town and rest for a few minutes before grabbing dinner at Camino Real. The atmosphere was very cool, the drinks were delicious, but the food was just okay.
Days 3-6: Salento
Day 3: Valle de Cocora
You’ll want to wake up somewhat early on this day, as you have a big adventure ahead! Grab a filling breakfast at your hotel or at Cafe Jesus Martin and then head to the square to hop in a willy. Willys are Jeeps that are loaded down with people heading to the Cocora Valley–which is where you’re going!
Take the Willy and then spend the day exploring Valle del Cocora, famous for its beautiful wax palms. Do the loop hike and then relax on the beautiful grass overlooking the Andes mountains. You can grab lunch near where the Jeep will drop you off and pick you up or you can head back into Salento for lunch. May I recommend patacones from a food truck in the square?!
And then no shame in taking a nap for a couple hours in the afternoon 😉 Salento is a small, leisurely town and deserves a nap or a restful afternoon reading a book on your hotel patio!
Do some shopping on Calle Real and then grab dinner at Bernabe. There are also plenty of bars to grab a quick drink afterwards–just meander around and enjoy where the night takes you. Or head in early, that’s okay too!
Day 4: Coffee tour
After breakfast, put on your comfy shoes and get ready for another long walk! Today you will head away from Salento and to the fincas! Again, you can take a Willy to the coffee farm of your choice but the walk was only about 1.5 kilometers and very easy. We chose to tour Las Acacias, a locally owned coffee farm that doesn’t export any of their coffee. You don’t need a reservation and the group size was very small, which we enjoyed. However, Finca El Ocaso is also very popular in this area.
Plan for your walk and tour to take you about 4 hours in total. If you’re not starving yet, stop by the Coffee Spa for a massage! I wanted so badly to do this but my hunger won out!
Grab burgers at the delightful El Cacharrito and spend another leisurely afternoon in Salento.
For dinner, head to Etnia Arte y Sabor. It’s a small hole in the wall but the food is fantastic and the service even better! We enjoyed watching the chef cook and speaking with the other staff!
Days 5-8: Medellín
Day 5: Fly to Medellín
Book a super early flight so you can make the most of the day in Medellín! It’s another quick flight, so after your hour drive from Salento to the airport you’ll be in Medellin after about 40 minutes. Grab a taxi and have your hotel store your luggage if the room isn’t ready!
I recommend staying in the El Poblado neighborhood. It’s safe, super trendy and hip, and where most tourists stay. The neighborhood is huge though, so somewhere between Calle 10 and Calle 14 will put you in the best spot 🙂 We stayed at the Landmark on Calle 14 and LOVED it.
Choose breakfast along Calle 10 or 11. We had Azai (acai bowls!) and it was nice to have something healthy for a change. After breakfast, our room was ready and we admittedly took naps… we got up early, ok?!? If you’re more energetic than me, I would recommend strolling around the El Poblado neighborhood, stopping to get drinks wherever interests you, and seeing the El Poblado and Lleres parks.
In the afternoon, meet in Parque El Poblado at 4 pm for another walking tour with Beyond Colombia. This one is all about the culture of the neighborhood and you won’t regret it!
After the tour, head to Alambique for dinner. Make reservations ahead of time! This eclectic and beautiful restaurant is a must-do in Medellin. They have an amazing view of the city and amazing cocktails!
Day 7: Comuna 13 + Exploring Medellín
You have got a busy day ahead, my friend. But this may end up being one of your favorite days on the trip!
After a delicious breakfast at Mezcla, it’s time to tour Comuna 13. Once one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world is now a bustling art scene with a vibrant, friendly, and exciting community. Be sure to either book a tour ahead of time or grab a tour with a local once you get there. Having a tour guide that is familiar with the history and innovation of the comuna is really the whole point of seeing this neighborhood! You can get there via taxi or metro by getting off at the San Javier station.
Most tours are around 3 hours, so once it’s over grab lunch and head to your next stop. Spend an hour or two at the Casa de la Memoria–a museum highlighting the violence and healing in Colombia. It’s beautifully done and certainly worth a visit.
After a half day talking about Colombia’s past violence, let’s swerve a bit and head to something a little lighter. Here you can either head to Plaza Botera–a big square full of food, shopping, and is a bit less touristy, or El Castille Museo y Jardines. The latter is a beautiful castle and surrounding gardens that doesn’t take too long to tour. You can’t go wrong with either choice!
For dinner, I recommend getting reservations at the coveted Carmen for the 7 course tasting menu or Moshi for sushi.
Day 8: Guatape
I hope you got a good night’s rest, because day 8 is another busy one! Today, you’ll want to book a full day tour to Guatape. We went through Tour Guatape and they were great. It’s about a 10 hour tour in total, which includes the 2 hour drive there, climbing El Penol de Guatape, lunch, a boat ride, and touring the town.
The group tour was a bit cheesy in my personal opinion… I think if we had the money, I would’ve enjoyed a private tour that we could direct a bit more. Some people recommend staying at least one night to avoid some of the crowds… While the town is very colorful and beautiful it’s quite small. Unless we were spending more time on the lake, I would not want to spend the night. Just my opinion!
If seeing one of the most colorful towns in Colombia doesn’t seem up your alley, swap this option to go paragliding outside of Medellín! I’ve heard such wonderful things about this and almost wish we did this instead of the Guatape day trip.
I honestly can’t even remember what we had for dinner when we got back (so tired!!!) but I would recommend heading to Aguafresca for some amazing Mexican food!
Days 9-12: Cartagena
Day 9: Fly to Cartagena
No 2 week Colombia itinerary would be complete without a trip to the coast! A midday flight is good because you can still grab a coffee and breakfast at Pergamino, take your time packing up, and maybe even take a quick dip in the hot tub or pool before you go!
I recommend staying within the Old City walls. Everything is extremely walkable and there are plenty of price ranges within the walls.
Plan to get to Cartagena with enough time to grab dinner. Bonus points if you get here before sunset… check into your hotel, drop your bags, and run to the Movich Hotel. The Movich has a stunning rooftop bar with a view of the city. It’s a great place to grab a cocktail before dinner! I recommend trying on the first night because it’s often closed for private events… so if it is closed, you can ask when to return while you’re still in the city. If it’s open you are just extra lucky!
After drinks, grab dinner at Buena Vida Marisqueria. You’ll want to make a reservation–we didn’t and the wait was soooo long. We ended up at a random restaurant that night that I honestly don’t recommend.
Day 10: Explore Cartagena
Grab breakfast and then head over to the Parque Centenario for your final walking tour with Beyond Columbia at 10 am. I love doing the walking tour first because it gives a good background and helps to orient you to the city! Just be aware: it’s HOT here. Like, way hotter than any other Colombian city you’ve visited so far. Bring lots of water and sun protection! The walking tour was a bit long winded, but it was free (just be sure to tip! 50,000 COP goes a long way). It also ended not too far from our hotel, so we weren’t upset about that!
After a quick refresh, you’ll be ready for some lunch! I highly recommend checking out La Cevichería. The decor is to die for and the ceviche is unforgettable! With plantain chips it’s just *chef’s kiss*!
It’s so hot out, you’ll most likely want to spend the afternoon by the pool. Book a hotel with a rooftop pool… it’s just the chicest way to enjoy the afternoon! The Aguamarina Hotel was just okay, a little pricey for what you get. If we had to choose again, I’d stay at the Movich or the Ananda Boutique Hotel.
Want to book your stay with points? Read this ultimate list of hotels in Cartagena that can be booked with reward points.
Anyways! After a lovely afternoon at the pool, you neeeeeeeeeeeed to head to Celele for dinner! It’s in the Getsemani neighborhood and you absolutely need reservations. It’s one of the top restaurants in all of Latin America and surprisingly affordable for that. But like, UNREAL. My favorite meal of the whole trip. Just trust me and go. We were able to get reservations less than a week in advance!
Day 11: Tour the Islas del Rosario
Island hopping!!!!!!!! The Rosario Islands off the coast of Cartagena are extremely popular because they are so incredibly beautiful. Book a tour and enjoy the beautiful Caribbean sea for the day… you deserve it after all this non-stop travel 😉
We booked a tour that went snorkeling but also to 3 different islands. The focus was most definitely not snorkeling… we were able to do that for about 45 minutes at the reef but the rest of the day was pretty party heavy. Most of the islands do have a bit of a party theme, in my opinion! Cholon Island is the “party island” where all the tables are in the water and servers bring your drinks to you! Highly recommend stopping here even if you’re not a huge partier.. The experience was so cool!
Once back from your tour, you should have a couple hours to relax before dinner! I enjoyed taking another dip in the pool while my husband was done with the sun and just hung out in the AC 😉
For dinner, walk over to the San Diego neighborhood for La Mulata. Reservations aren’t needed, especially if you get there when they open at 6:30! The Camarones Mulata was incredible!!!
Day 12: San Felipe Castle or Mud Volcano
For your last full day in Colombia, you’ve got a few options…
There is a mud volcano located not far from Cartagena that makes a great half day tour. This had been on my list, but honestly… we were pretty tired and wanted to stay in the city! If you have more steam left, go for it!
Otherwise, you can still have a full day of activities in Cartagena!
Walk or take a taxi to the San Felipe castle, which is a fort that was built back in 1536 by the Spanish colony. It is very touristy but is neat to see and has great views of the city. Again, the heat and sun is relentless. Bring plenty of water!
On your way back, walk through the Getsemani neighborhood to admire the graffiti and the cool vibes. Then take the BEST detour ever through Parque Centenario. This park is home to 8 sloths, 14 monkeys, and 2 sloths!!! Look up into the trees and wait for swooshing sounds to find them. You can also just find the crowds of people looking into the trees as a dead giveaway something is around 😉 The locals also love sharing about the animals and are quick to point them out and tell you about them!
Afterwards, grab lunch at Alta. You will NOT regret it. It’s a bit pricey but one of the best meals we had on the trip! It’s located in the Casa San Augustin, which is arguably the most luxurious hotel in all of Cartagena! You’ll get a few peeks of their famous pool as well. Going at lunch means you most definitely won’t have a wait and it’s a nice respite from the heat.
After lunch, meander around the Old City, buy sweets in the square, and enjoy your last afternoon in Cartagena. For me, this meant one last dip in the pool!
For dinner, I’d recommend Cuzco Cocina Peruana! Since it’s your last night, grab a cocktail at the famous Alquimico. It’s a 3 story bar with each level hosting a different vibe. Go straight to the rooftop for a fun vibe and a live DJ!
Day 13: Head home!
If you have time before your flight, walking or biking the wall is a fun activity to get some movement before being on a plane for several hours! We loved getting up early and enjoying Cartagena when no one else was up yet. For reference, it was around 8 am… so not even that early. This is just a city that likes to sleep after a late night 😉
Head to the airport and back home!
After spending an amazing two weeks in Colombia, I think you’ll agree that this is a must-visit destination! The landscape is breathtaking, the people are friendly, and the culture is rich and unique. Many still debate if Colombia is safe for travel but I know the Colombians are ready to welcome you with open arms. Just brush up on your Spanish a little first 😉
Whether you’re following this itinerary to a T or taking bits and pieces, you’ll find something amazing in this post to fill your time in Colombia. Just don’t miss eating at Celele in Cartagena or hiking through the Cocora Valley!
No matter how you spend your 2 weeks in Colombia, I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment and let me know what you used from my itinerary or what you added! I’m always on the hunt for new recommendations.
Keep reading more on Colombia:
- Bogotá One Day Itinerary
- How to See the Best of Bogotá in Only One Day
- When is the best time to visit Bogotá?
- The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Bogotá
- Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Bogotá
- A 3 Day Salento Itinerary
- How to Get From Bogotá to Salento
- The Best Guide to Hiking the Cocora Valley
- Las Acacias Coffee Farm: Review of the Best Coffee Farm in Salento
- Where to stay on your first trip to Medellín
- The Ultimate Guide to Salento, Colombia
- How to get from Salento to Medellín
- The Best Time to Visit Medellín, Colombia
- The BEST Things to do on your first trip to Medellín
- 3 Day Medellín Itinerary
- Cartagena hotels that can be booked using points
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