12 days in Colombia Itinerary

12 days in Colombia Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Colombia Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
train + Fly:  10​h
1
Cartagena
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + foot + ferry:  7​h 15​min
2
Providencia Island
— 1 night
ferry:  2​h 45​min
3
San Andres Island
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Medellin
— 1 night
Fly:  1​h 15​min
5
Bogota
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  3​h
6
Santa Marta
— 2 nights
Fly:  12​h
End: Philadelphia

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 your second day here, look for all kinds of wild species at Aviario Nacional de Colombia, then step into the grandiose world of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, then don't miss a visit to Plaza de San Diego, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Cartagena trip builder tool .

Philadelphia, USA to Cartagena is an approximately 10-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Philadelphia in June, things will get somewhat warmer in Cartagena: highs are around 91°F and lows about 79°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can travel to Providencia Island.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Aviario Nacional de Colombia
Find places to stay Jun 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Aviario Nacional de Colombia ©
Aviario Nacional de Colombia
Plaza de San Diego ©
Plaza de San Diego
Iglesia de la Trinidad ©
Iglesia de la Trinidad

1
night
Providencia Island

Providencia Island ©
Although part of Colombia, the small, isolated Providencia Island retains its Caribbean culture and English-Creole language.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): make a trip to The Peak Forestry Reserve and then step off the mainland to explore Crab Cay. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sea views from Lighthouse Providencia and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read Providencia Island trip maker site .

Traveling by combination of flight and ferry from Cartagena to Providencia Island takes 7.5 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Cartagena in June: highs in Providencia Island hover around 86°F, while lows dip to 79°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to catch the ferry to San Andres Island.

Things to do in Providencia Island

Tours Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 29 — Jul 1:
Highlights from your plan
Crab Cay-Cayo Cangrejo ©
Crab Cay-Cayo Cangrejo
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Peak Forestry Reserve ©
The Peak Forestry Reserve

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Primera Iglesia Bautista and Plaza Canon de Morgan. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Aquanautas and West View. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Playa de Spratt Bight, identify plant and animal life at La Piscinita, head off the coast to Johnny Cay, and don't miss a visit to Blow Hole.

To see photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read San Andres Island road trip planning site .

Traveling by ferry from Providencia Island to San Andres Island takes 3 hours. In July in San Andres Island, expect temperatures between 86°F during the day and 77°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can travel to Medellin.

Things to do in San Andres Island

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Playa de Spratt Bight ©
Playa de Spratt Bight
Aquanautas ©
Aquanautas
La Piscinita ©
La Piscinita

1
night
Medellin

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 5th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Museo de Antioquia, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Iglesia del Senor de las Misericordias, and finally stroll through Parque Arvi.

To find reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Medellin holiday maker tool .

Traveling by flight from San Andres Island to Medellin takes 3.5 hours. Traveling from San Andres Island in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Medellin, with lows of 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) early enough to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Medellin

Outdoors Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Parque Arvi ©
Parque Arvi
Parasailing & Paragliding
Museo de Antioquia ©
Museo de Antioquia

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Bolivar plaza, admire the masterpieces at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica, and then examine the collection at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro).

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Bogota road trip planning app .

Fly from Medellin to Bogota in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Medellin in July, things will get little chillier in Bogota: highs are around 65°F and lows about 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Santa Marta.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Bolivar plaza ©
Bolivar plaza

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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino and then stroll through Cristal Beach.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Marta trip planner .

Getting from Bogota to Santa Marta by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Bogota in July, things will get much warmer in Santa Marta: highs are around 93°F and lows about 78°F. You will have some time to spend on the 8th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Santa Marta

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Cristal Beach ©
Cristal Beach
Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino ©
Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
Paseo El Camellon ©
Paseo El Camellon

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