National Geographic has just released its annual “50 Tours of a Lifetime” and Colombia is one of the seven Latin American countries that made it on to the list. Nat Geo explains that Colombia is “back on itineraries again after the U.S State Department acknowledged significant improvements in security last year” – and we couldn’t agree more. Here we suggest two itineraries for week-long trips to Colombia: one beach itinerary, one jungle. Can’t choose between them? Do both!
Days 1-2: Fly from Bogotá to Cartagena. Wander through the Old Town, relax on the beach at Bocagrande, and sample the infamous nightlife. Take a boat out to the island of Playa Blanca and spend the night there in a hammock on the beach. Days 3-4: Head to Santa Marta and take day trips to the beach towns of Taganga and El Rodadero, returning in the evening to party the night away in Santa Marta. Day 5: Spend a day and night in Parque Nacional Tayrona, enjoying the gorgeous, isolated beaches. Day 6: Return to Cartagena and take a night chiva (a party bus) through the city center. Day 7: Fly back to Bogotá.
Day 1: Fly from Bogotá to Leticia. Visit the Museo Etnográfico to learn about the indigenous nations in the Amazon region, and later head to the Serpentario to see jungle snakes at close quarters. Day 2: Take a day tour that includes a visit to the Isla de los Micos (Island of the Monkeys) to learn more about our primate cousins. Day 3: Ride a boat to Puerto Nariño. Stay overnight in an indigenous village such as Mocagua (speak to the village leader). Day 4: Spend the day exploring the network of trails and viewpoints that are close to Puerto Nariño. Later, fish for piranha. Day 5: Hire a guide to take you by canoe to Lago Tarapoto – if you’re lucky, you’ll see pink dolphins. Day 6: Return by boat to Leticia. Day 7: Take a flight back to Bogotá.