Recommended Travel Itineraries for Colombia



Getting around Colombia is quite easy since it is very well connected by a good bus system and a host of intra-national flights that are fairly good value as long as you book well in advance.  I have built these recommended itineraries based on the use of bus as the mai source of transportation, but flights, of course, are also an option.  Obviously, these itineraries are meant as guides to help you with your planning and are not in any way shape or form the only way to travel Colombia. If you have any questions about travel in Colombia please don’t hesitate to contact me as I am always glad to help.

Itinerary 1: Coastal Colombia

Costal Colombia

Costal Colombia

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bogota
  • Day 2: Bogota – Museo de Oro, Monserrate, La Calendaria
  • Day 3: Bogota in the AM – Museo Botero.  PM – Catch the night bus to Cartagena (20hrs)
  • Day 4: Cartagena – Relax after long bus, maybe hit Playa Grande
  • Day 5: Cartagena – Explore the Old City + Castillo de San Felipe
  • Day 6: Cartagena – Tour to nearby islands
  • Day 7: Santa Marta – Catch bus to Santa Marta (4hrs)
  • Day 8: Santa Marta – Explore the City
  • Day 9: Tayrona – Head into Tayrona National Park for the night
  • Day 10: Tayrona – Explore Tayrona, evening return to Santa Marta
  • Day 11: Night bus – Catch the night bus to Medellin (14-16hrs)
  • Day 12: Medellin – Relax, enjoy Parque Lleras
  • Day 13: Medellin – Visit Plaza Botero, Parque Arvi, Jardin Botanico
  • Day 14:  Bus back to Bogota either night or day (10hrs)
  • Day 15: End in Bogota

Itinerary 2: The Loop

Colombian Loop

Colombian Loop

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bogota
  • Day 2: Bogota – Museo de Oro, Monserrate, La Calendaria
  • Day 3: Bogota in the AM – Museo Botero.  PM – Catch the night bus to Bucaramanga (10hrs)
  • Day 4: Bucaramanga: Explore the city
  • Day 5: To Santa Marta: Take the day bus to Santa Marta (9hrs)
  • Day 6: Santa Marta – Explore the City
  • Day 7: Tayrona – Head into Tayrona National Park for the night
  • Day 8: Tayrona – Explore Tayrona, evening return to Santa Marta
  • Day 9: Morning in Santa Marta, afternoon bus to Cartagena (4hrs)
  • Day 10: Cartagena – Explore the Old City + Castillo de San Felipe
  • Day 11: Cartagena – Tour to nearby islands
  • Day 12: AM Cartagena and PM night bus to Medellin (12hrs)
  • Day 13: Medellin – Relax, enjoy Parque Lleras
  • Day 14: Medellin – Visit Plaza Botero, Parque Arvi, Jardin Botanico
  • Day 15: AM Medellin -PM Night bus to Cali
  • Day 16: Cali – Visit the Churches and Museums
  • Day 17: Visit the Zoo, Salsa lessons in the PM
  • Day 18: Bus to Popayan (3hrs)
  • Day 19: Explore Colonial Popayan
  • Day 20: Explore Popayan in the AM, PM night bus to Bogota (11hrs)
  • Day 21: End in Bogota

Intinerary 3: The Half Loop

Half loop of Colombia

Half loop of Colombia

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bogota
  • Day 2: Bogota – Museo de Oro, Monserrate, La Calendaria
  • Day 3: Bogota in the AM – Museo Botero.  PM – Catch the night bus to Bucaramanga (10hrs)
  • Day 4: Bucaramanga: Explore the city
  • Day 5: To Santa Marta: Take the day bus to Santa Marta (9hrs)
  • Day 6: Santa Marta – Explore the City
  • Day 7: Tayrona – Head into Tayrona National Park for the night
  • Day 8: Tayrona – Explore Tayrona, evening return to Santa Marta
  • Day 9: Morning in Santa Marta, afternoon bus to Cartagena (4hrs)
  • Day 10: Cartagena – Explore the Old City + Castillo de San Felipe
  • Day 11: Cartagena – Tour to nearby islands
  • Day 12: AM Cartagena and PM night bus to Medellin (12hrs)
  • Day 13: Medellin – Relax, enjoy Parque Lleras
  • Day 14: Medellin – Visit Plaza Botero, Parque Arvi, Jardin Botanico
  • Day 15: AM Medellin -PM Night bus to Bogota (10hrs)
  • Day 16: End in Bogota

Itinerary 4: Essential Colombia

Essential Colombia

Essential Colombia

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bogota
  • Day 2: Bogota – Museo de Oro, Monserrate, La Calendaria
  • Day 3: Bogota in the AM – Museo Botero.  PM – Catch the night bus to Cartagena (20hrs)
  • Day 4: Cartagena – Relax after long bus, maybe hit Playa Grande
  • Day 5: Cartagena – Explore the Old City + Castillo de San Felipe
  • Day 6: Cartagena – Tour to nearby islands
  • Day 7: Night bus – Catch the night bus to Medellin (12hrs)
  • Day 8: Medellin – Relax, enjoy Parque Lleras
  • Day 9: Medellin – Visit Plaza Botero, Parque Arvi, Jardin Botanico
  • Day 10: AM Medellin -PM Night bus to Cali
  • Day 11: Cali – Visit the Churches and Museums
  • Day 12: Visit the Zoo, Salsa lessons in the PM
  • Day 13:  Bus back to Bogota either night or day (8-10hrs)
  • Day 14: End in Bogota

Itinerary 4: The Interior

Colombian Interior

Colombian Interior

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bogota
  • Day 2: Bogota – Museo de Oro, Monserrate, La Calendaria
  • Day 3: Bogota in the AM – Museo Botero.  PM – Catch the night bus to Medellin (10hrs)
  • Day 4: Medellin – Relax, enjoy Parque Lleras
  • Day 5: Medellin – Visit Plaza Botero, Parque Arvi, Jardin Botanico
  • Day 6: AM Medellin -PM Night bus to Cali
  • Day 7: Cali – Visit the Churches and Museums
  • Day 8: Cali – AM Zoo, PM Salsa classes
  • Day 9: Bus to Popayan (3hrs)
  • Day 10: Explore Colonial Popayan
  • Day 11: Explore Popayan in the AM, PM night bus to Bogota (11hrs)
  • Day 12: End in Bogota

Itinerary 5: Cross Colombia

Cross Colombia

Cross Colombia

**Note: If you’re coming from/going to Venezuela via the Merida, you will need to add Bucaramanga to the start of this journey with a bus journey to Santa Marta

  • Day 1: Santa Marta – Explore the City
  • Day 2: Tayrona – Head into Tayrona National Park for the night
  • Day 3: Tayrona – Explore Tayrona, evening return to Santa Marta
  • Day 4: Morning in Santa Marta, afternoon bus to Cartagena (4hrs)
  • Day 5: Cartagena – Explore the Old City + Castillo de San Felipe
  • Day 6: Cartagena – Tour to nearby islands
  • Day 7: AM Cartagena and PM night bus to Medellin (12hrs)
  • Day 8: Medellin – Relax, enjoy Parque Lleras
  • Day 9: Medellin – Visit Plaza Botero, Parque Arvi, Jardin Botanico
  • Day 10: AM Medellin -PM Night bus to Bogota (10hrs)
  • Day 11: Bogota – Take a day to relax
  • Day 12: Bogota – Museo de Oro, Monserrate, La Calendaria
  • Day 13: Bogota in the AM – Museo Botero.  PM – Catch the night bus to Cali (8-10hrs)
  • Day 14: Cali – Visit the Churches and Museums
  • Day 15: Cali – AM Zoo, PM Salsa classes
  • Day 16 – Bus to Popayan (3hrs)
  • Day 17: Explore Colonial Popayan
  • Day 18: Bus to Pasto (***Note: do not take this bus at night)
  • Day 19: Paso to Ecuador


Want to improve your photography? Subscribe to my Travel Photography YouTube Channel!