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Fun Things To Do In Colombia

Enjoy The Nightlife In Chapinero


Though not as popular with tourists as La Candelaria, the upmarket Chapinero district is a window into an authentic urban Bogota. It features a mix of mountainside residential sections and commercial zones with glitzy malls. Fine-dining areas like Parque de la 93 and Zona G buzz in the evening, as do the glamorous clubs and bars of Zona Rosa. The Chapinero Central neighborhood also has a lively gay scene.

Visit South Americas Largest Colonial Fort

It wasnt only the city walls that the Spanish invested in for the defense of Cartagena. Given the constant threat of attack, there were numerous forts built around the citys bay to fend off any invaders. Castillo San Felipe Fortress was built as the last line of defense should an invader actually get past the outer bay defenses, and its next on this list of things to do in Cartagena, Colombia.

The fort was built at the top of a hill outside the colonial city in 1657, and it played a decisive role in the defense of the city from an attack on the city by Edward Vernon in 1741. Beginning in 1761, the fort was repaired and expanded to the massive structure it is today.

The fort was meant to prevent a force that landed from being able to use the hill as a point siege the city. With the renovations in the late 1700s, the entire hill was covered in stone, and an elaborate network of tunnels was built, designed to be blown up to collapse the land around the fort if an attacker ever seriously threatened its walls.

Its an impressive structure and was the largest fort constructed by the Spanish on mainland South America. It is also a unique example of colonial fort design as its construction over top of the hill meant it did not follow the the standard perpendicular model of other forts from the time.

See my visitors guide to the fort to learn more about planning a visit. I highly recommend going early in the morning to beat both the heat and the crowds.

Go On A Sunset Or Dinner Cruise

Enjoying the sunset is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Cartagena. If you want to really go all out, you can do a sunset or dinner cruise on the bay.

We did the Sibarita Express once with our mothers and had a good time seeing the sunset and enjoying the open bar of rum and cokes and rum punch . Sibarita also offers and dinner cruise on the Express and both a sunset cruise and dinner cruiseon their larger Sibarita Master boat.

Weve also done the sunset cruise on the Bona Vida Catamaran and thought it was terrific. Sailing and the neat netting at the front of the boat makes for a unique way to see sunset and some cool photos. It is not open bar, but you do get 2 complimentary drinks and a nice snack pack of empanadas. Book the sunset cruise on Bona Vida here.

For some more unique ways to do a harbor cruise, you could watch the sunset with an open bar on a pirate ship, take a sailing trip at sunset, take a sunset kayak tour of the bay, or do it from a private boat.

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Y Through Barranquillas Carnival

If you know youre going to have to give up something for lent, the best way to prepare is by getting buck wild at Barranquilla’s world-famous Carnival! Four days filled with exuberant parades, loud music, and non-stop drinking in intricate, colorful costumes make Carnival a Colombian experience you cannot miss. Barranquilla is more than just locus of the worlds second-largest Carnival, though, and while safety is still up-and-coming, the warm and welcoming residents more than make up for it.

Take A Trip To Tayrona

8 Unique + Fun Things to do in Bogotá

Tayrona National Park isnt just one of the most spectacularthings to experience in Colombia given its lush forests, white-sand beaches, dramatic mountains, and beachfront coves, its also one of the most fun! Hiking, birdwatching, scuba diving, and snorkeling are just a few of the activities Tayrona has to offer. Located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on Colombias Caribbean coast, the park is a safe and thrilling experienceso be sure to stop in on your Colombian adventure, or stay the night in a beachfront tent or hammock!

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Jardn Botnico De Bogot

This peaceful place is never too crowded and its always super peaceful and lush.

Entry to the botanical gardens is cheap , and youll have free reign over the 19.5 hectares of gardens for a perfect day of being surrounded by nature.

Theres plenty of room to do some walking, or you can head out in search of lizards, turtles, ducks, peacocks, and other animals.

Because Colombia gets nearly 12 hours of sunlight a day, the range of flora here is superb, and youll find exotic flowers as well as a rose garden.

Have a snack from one of the food stalls nearby or take a guided tour to learn more about the plants here.

Join The Ciclovia Event

If you happen to be in Bogotá on a Sunday, youll definitely want to check out the Ciclovia event. Many of the citys major roads are closed to motorized vehicles on Sunday mornings. Instead of the usual traffic jams, youll find joggers, cyclists, roller-bladers, and dog walkers.

Ciclovia started back in 1976 thanks to a peaceful protest from local students. They demanded more public spaces in the city to do things like ride bikes, and it paid off. The event brings one to four million people out every week to take back the city streets and enjoy some time outdoors.

There are plenty of places in Bogotá that rent bikes out. You can expect to pay about 40,000 pesos for half a day, or 80,000 for a full day. One reputable shop is Bogotravel Tours. You can find them on the map here.

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Examine Escobars Complicated Legacy In Medellin

While Medellin has become a safe and innovative city throughout the past two decades, its Comuna 13 neighborhood still retains much of its original grit and flavor. Once the crime-ridden headquarters of Pablo Escobars Medellin Cartel, Comuna 13 is now an up-and-coming neighborhood filled with incredible history, graffiti, and street culture. Ask your trip planner to book you a tour through the barrio, as its cultural heritage earns it a spot on any Medellin itinerary.

Buy Fruit From The Palenqueras

Top 10 Things to Do in Colombia, South America

Take a walk around Cartagena, and one of the first things youll notice is the groups of women dressed in vibrant colors balancing bowls of fruits on their heads.

Known as the palenqueras, these fruit vendors are very much a fixture of the city and an important part of its history.

They originally came from San Bassilo de Palenque, which is a small town just south of Cartagena. This little village was actually one of the first places in the Americas to be freed from slavery.

The palenqueras are an icon of the city.

Be sure to pick up some fresh fruit from one of them, and please leave a little tip if you want to take photos.

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Visit Las Lajas Sanctuary: Colombias Most Iconic Church

One of the most beautiful churches in the world, Las Lajas is perched atop the wall of a lush canyon above the swirling Guaitara River, and looks more similar to a fantasy castle than a house of worship. Close to Colombias Ecuadorian border, the cathedral may seem out of the waybut rest assured, your Hero will find a way to incorporate a visit into your trip.

Or Enjoy A Craft Beer

Craft beer has become increasingly popular in Colombia, and there are a number of good Colombian craft beers worth trying, especially if youre a beer nerd like me.

Beer Loversin Getsemaní has the best selection of national and international craft beers. Two Id suggest trying are any of the beers from the brewery Chelarte and the Happy Colibrí Coffee Stout brewed just up the coast in Minca .

You can also try perhaps Colombias most well known craft beer at the Bogotá Beer Company in the Serrezuela Mallin Centro. They have the best IPA in Colombia in my opinion, called the Septimazo. You can increasingly find craft beers on menus at restaurants and bars around town .

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Dance At The Salsa Clubs

Dancing salsa in La Topa Tolondra. This place fills up every night of the week.

After you take a few lessons, youll probably want to test them out on the dance floor. And let me tell you, theres no shortage of options here.

You can find popular places to dance salsa every night of the week. There are literally hundreds of discotecas for you to get a taste of Cali Colombia nightlife.

If youre only in Cali for a few nights, Id recommend the La Topa Tolondra. Its the most popular salsa bar in town and will give you a genuine Cali Colombia salsa experience.

If you have more time, you can also visit my list of honorable mention salsa clubsZaperoco, Tin Tin Deo, MalaMaña, and Salsa al Parque

Discotecas within the city limits close at 4am. That said, if youre looking to party ALL night, just head outside the city to Menga or Juanchito, where the party never ends.

Basically, if you looking for what to do in Cali at nightyoure spoiled for options.

Ride The Gondola In Medelln

50 Fun Things To Do In Cartagena Colombia (for visitors ...

The people of Medellín are very proud of their gondola , and so they should be. Before 2004, those who lived outside of the center of the city, in the less developed neighbourhoods, had to spend 2.5 hours commuting to work. Regular buses and the metro line couldnt reach them up on the hill. So, the government created the metro cable, which has really improved the quality of life for these people.

As a tourist, riding the metro cable is a great way to see some of the other barrios around Medellín.


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Best Things To Do In Colombia

For a long while there, Colombia was one of those countries a lot of people wouldnt even consider visiting. This, of course, is not to say that people never visited or that it was impossible to visit. Colombia was just one of those places that would have been lower on your travel list. Well, that has truly begun to change, with some incredible experiences and best things to do in Colombia that are too good to ignore.

As I said, things have really changed and Colombia is climbing higher and higher on many a travellers list of countries to visit. This is not without reason, of course.

Colombia is beautiful, the culture, by and large, is fun and vibrant and the plethora of sights to see. There really is a whole heap of the best things to do in Colombia that Im almost certain youll love.

Now, with our daily commitments , most of us are only afforded a few weeks a year. So, to help you on your way, weve got 10 of the best things to do in Colombia for your next trip.

Lets jump straight in shall we? Take a look below at some of the best things to do in Colombia.

Y Til The Sun Comes Up

Cartagena likes to party, plain and simple. In addition to the hordes of backpackers and packaged tour groups who come here looking to let loose, the locals enjoy a rowdy night out just as much.

Every night is a good night to go out here, as theres a wide variety of bars and clubs to satisfy any party style.

The kickass KGB Bar is a good spot to start the party.

Start your night out at the funky KGB Bar, which is decked out in Soviet-era decorations, and see where the cool Caribbean breeze takes you.

If you decide to go hard and stay out all night, you can rest easy knowing that some fresh fruit and strong coffee await you, as does a beach chair.

With its gorgeous Old City, funky neighborhoods, picturesque beaches, and top-notch culinary and nightlife scenes, Cartagena checks all the boxes for that Caribbean vacation youve been longing for. Its also the perfect jump-off point for an epic South American adventure.

If youre going that route, you might as well stick around for a while and learn how to speak Spanish and dance salsa before hitting the road. Trust me theyll both come in handy as you make your way around the continent.

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Medellin The Best City To Visit In Colombia

Editors choice

Colombias second-biggest city was once considered the most dangerous in the world. But not anymore. Thanks to some imaginative civil projects and the will and resilience of local residents, Medellin has emerged from its shadowy past to become one of the best places to visit in Colombia.

Dubbed the city of eternal spring, Medellin is located in a rich and fertile part of Colombia responsible for producing much of the countrys coffee, fruit and flowers. The city itself is surprisingly largebrick houses spread out for miles in every direction, best viewed from lookouts accessed via cable cars connected to the only metro system in Colombia.

Highlights include the Museo de Casa de la Memoria, a tasteful homage to the citys tumultuous past, and Comuna 13, a barrio that clings to the side of the hill and is home to Medellins best street art.

Read next: 13 things to know before you visit Medellins Comuna 13.

Spend your days in Medellin visiting fresh food markets, sipping on freshly squeezed OJ and nibbling on empanadas local style. Or you can skip over to El Poblado, the citys most affluent area, and enjoy the many restaurants. Take a stroll through Laureles, a delightful inner-city suburb filled with parks, cafes and bars.

Take a selfie in Plaza Botero and if youre lucky enough to be in town on the first weekend of the month, drop into the San Alejo Handicraft Market.

Try Ajiaco And Chocolate Completo At La Puerta Falsa

Things to do in Bogota –

Try some classic local cuisine while youre in Bogotá, starting with ajiaco a chicken stew with potatoes and corn, accompanied by toppings of capers, avocado, and cream at La Puerta Falsa.

Established in 1816, La Puerta Falsa is a famous old restaurant near Plaza Bolívar that serves up traditional dishes.

Also order the the chocolate completo hot chocolate, cheese, and fresh bread a typical mid-morning snack in Colombia.

While it sounds like a weird combination, dipping your cheese into hot chocolate until it melts is delicious.

There are several restaurants alongside La Puerta Falsa serving the same things if it happens to be super busy.

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Relax At Santa Rosa Hot Springs

For those who enjoy soaking at outdoor hot springs, the Santa Rosa Springs is a must! Surrounded by lush waterfalls and jungle setting, the Santa Rosa Hot Springs is a Colombian oasis.

Most of the pools at Santa Rosa Hot Springs are manmade but the property is beautifully built and well taken care of. To beat the crowds try to go super early but if youre looking for a fun environment go at night when the locals come here to socialize and party.

The entrance to the Santa Rosa Hot Springs costs 25,000 pesos for access to bathe in multiple pools varying by different heat temperatures.

Enjoy For The Street Performers

One of the things I love about Cartagena is sitting outside for drinks or even dinner in the plazas. Particularly good for those are the aforementiond Plaza San Diego, Parque Fernandez de Madrid, and the Plaza de la Trinidad.

Youre likely to encounter both street vendors and street performers when doing so. Honestly, the vendors can be a bit annoying, and youll want to practice your best finger wag and No, gracias before coming. If you are interested in buying something, always negotiate, and always be clear on prices.

Some of the street performers can also be a bit frustrating. This is most often the case with the rappers that cold approach you while walking. However, some are really good. The best are the funny ones. There is a fat Shakira guy as well as a Michael Jackson impersonator that are absolutely hilarious. Occasionally, youll get a really good singer as well. So enjoy those, and do consider giving a bit of change or a small bill tip.

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Relax In Parque Tayrona

Located on the Caribbean coast about six hours east of Cartagena, Parque Tayrona is a relatively undeveloped national park where the jungle meets secluded beaches.

Take your time hiking along beaches until you reach Playa Cabo San Juan, my pick for the best place to stay.

Relax in a hammock, and allow time to slow down while you treasure what many travelers consider to be one of the best beaches in South America.

To see all the current and available options for accommodation in Parque Tayrona, check out

Learn To Salsa In Cali

50 Fun Things To Do In Cartagena Colombia (for visitors ...

Widely considered one of the top salsa dancing cities in the world, Cali is home to some of the country’s top professional dancers.

A large number of dance academies offer lessons to locals and visitors alike.

At night, hitting the city’s salsa clubs to practice what you learned in class ranks among the top things to do in Colombia.

Professional dancers perform for free to inspire everyone to get up and dance.

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