Is an overnight stay in Colombia sufficient?
For visitors arriving from abroad, I recommend a minimum of one night, otherwise the time would be very short with airport transfers. However, in two days you can already experience a lot, namely a city tour, shopping, going out, and drinking coffee.
My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!
Minimum travel time in Colombia is an impossible equation
It is always interesting what kind of articles you come across on the Internet. There are various articles on this topic, mostly written by people who have apparently never been to Colombia or at least have no idea about the country.
Amazingly, the first article in the search is a text from a travel portal. The corresponding article does not offer any real information, but refers to what feels like 100 standard trips. Their goal is obviously to complete a sale. Let’s see if we can offer a better article on this topic.
What’s the ideal length of stay in Colombia?
This is a question to which there are a thousand answers, since this has to be answered individually. Colombia is as big as France and Germany together or as California and Texas combined.
You can therefore not promise anyone to get to know the whole country in 2 weeks. In addition, the country has the second-highest biodiversity in the world after Brazil. This has to do with the different regions, different climates, heights, and the connection to two oceans.
Furthermore, one has to take into account that although all destinations can be reached by plane, terrestrial transport is very slow due to a lack of infrastructure. In my experience, and I’ve now covered over 60,000 kilometers by car in Colombia, one should expect an average speed of 40 km/h (25mp/h).
In the following, I will create a brief overview of the tourist destinations for which I specify and briefly explain the minimum days. But keep in mind that there are only regular flights between major cities.
Bogota 2 days
Bogota is an extremely large and exciting city and you can easily spend a week here. However, in two days you can see Paloquemao, Monserrate, La Candelaria, Gold, and Botero Museum.
Medellin 2 days
In one day in Medellin, you can visit Comuna 13 and take a city tour. On day 2 there is an excursion to Guatape.
Cartagena 1 day
Cartagena is quite small and the city center and the fortifications can be visited in one day.
Santa Marta 2 days
You should definitely include a day for the Tayrona National Park and a second day in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Coffee zone 2 days
You could also stay in this zone much longer. You should allow a minimum of 2 days to visit a coffee plantation and hike in the Andes Mountains.
Pacific coast Choco 3 days
This region is remote and you have to fly there with a small plane. There is also a very high weather risk as it is one of the rainiest areas in the world.
Providencia 3 days
You have to travel via the island of San Andres and lose almost 2 days for a return trip.
La Guajira 2 days
The tour to the northernmost point of the continent “Punta Gallinas” can be done in 2 days.
Cali 1 day
The city has limited sights that can be seen in a day. Unfortunately, you don’t learn salsa dancing in one day.
Narino 2 days
There are not unlimited sights in the capital Pasto. You should have two days to go to Las Lajas Cathedral and climb a volcano.
Llanos 2 days
You tick off the Llanos while riding a safari in one day. Due to the flight connections and distances, a minimum of 2 days should be included.
San Agustin 1 day
The archaeological park can be seen in one day. However, flight connections are rare.
Santander 2 days
You arrive in Bucaramanga, drive to Barichara or San Gil and see the Chicamocha canyon on the way, and the next day you fly off from Bucaramanga.
Villa de Leyva 2 days
It is just under 4 hours drive from Bogota. You can still add the Salt Cathedral and the Guatavita lagoon along the way.
Further planning for a trip to Colombia
As already described above, these are times for the absolute turbo traveler. Although these are certainly not valid for all Colombia visitors, they are a good indication. In the following, I provide the links of my different travel guides to various regions in Colombia. These are very useful for more detailed planning.
- Colombia Travel Guide
- Bogotá Travel Guide
- Medellin Travel Guide
- Santa Marta Travel Guide
- Cartagena Travel Guide
- La Guajira Travel Guide
- Llanos Travel Guide
- Providencia Travel Guide
- Coffee Triangle Travel Guide
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