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Colombia

Need 7 day itinerary for a couple in mid November.

Have seven days on the ground in the country. Looking for a solid itinerary of must-dos and sees for the quick trip for a couple in their mid 30s. Thanks!


2 Answers

top answer by
Derek from San Francisco

I spent 2 weeks in Colombia. The itinerary below is how I closed my final week out. It was the perfect mix of culture, relaxation, adventure and nature. Colombia is a big country with lots to do and see. If I had only 7 days, this is what I would do. 

Day 1-3:

Fly into Cartagena. It's a beautiful, old Spanish colonial town on the Caribbean sea. The old town is encompassed by a wall and reminiscent of Dubrovnik in Croatia. 

Cartagena

Do:

  • Stay within the walls in the old town. This Airbnb listing looks perfect
  • Explore the romantic cobble stone streets
  • Wander into hidden restaurants and bars
  • Eat an Arepa for breakfast
  • Take a Salsa lesson at Donde Fidel Salsa Club
  • Invite a local or a fellow traveller to join you for a bottle of Aguardiente, the preferred social lubricant of Colombians. It's customary to pour rounds of shots in between sips of water and beer.
  • Walk the aisles of an Exito Supermercado. You will see many exotic fruits. Be adventurous and buy some for breakfast. (exploring foreign supermarkets is one of my favorite things to do in any country).

Don't:

  • Walk around late at night, especially alone. Take a taxi after midnight. The police are corrupt and have been known to plant cocaine on tourists and extort them for money. I saw this happen twice during my visit. Young men are typically the targets. Local law requires women to be searched by female officers, so they are generally safer. 
  • Don't be flashy with your phones or other valuables.
  • Don't go to local beaches. They are unimpressive. For a day at the beach take a day trip to Isla de Baru or wait for Tayrona. 


Day 3-5: 

Take an early morning (5 hour) bus ride to the Tayrona National Natural Park entrance.  From there it's another short bus ride to the trailhead and a gorgeous hike through the rainforest to the beach. The trail is impeccably maintained and the wildlife is breathtaking. It will be hot and humid so bring at least a liter of water. Once you reach Arrecifes Beach, keep left on the trail. You'll walk through several outposts (and by outposts, I mean modern camping villages with modern amenities). Don't be tempted to stop and stay, keep hiking along the beach until you reach Cabo San Juan de la Guia or El Cabo. Depending on your level of fitness, it should take 2-3 hours to complete.

Cabo San Juan de la Guia


Do:

  • Stay in a hammock. The best spots overlook the ocean in the hut atop a rock outcrop. It's first come first serve, so chances are those will be occupied when you arrive. If that's the case, sleep in the main camping area and wake up early to reserve a better spot for your final night. 
  • Bring cash and a credit card. It's $20,000-$50,000 CP a night (cash) for a hammock or tent. They serve expensive but warm food and cold beer at the local restaurant (credit card or cash). 
  • MUST DO. Pretend you're Indiana Jones and hike to Pueblito. It's a 3-5 hour hike up a 500 year old trail from Cabo San Juan. It terminates at a archeological ruin of a pre-Hispanic village. To get there you will climb up boulders, jump over streams and squeeze through caves. This is one of the high points of all my travels.Pueblito

  • Look up! You'll most likely see monkeys. Also look for snakes, butterflies, crazy insects, lizards, bats and spiders. 
  • Swim. The beaches are gorgeous in Cabo San Juan and the water is refreshingly cool. It's not safe to swim at Arrecifes Beach due to the rips, so don't.
  • Eat chocolate bread. Stop at the panaderia between Arrecifes and Cabo San Juan. The chocolate bread is delicious. 

Don't:

  • Bring alcohol or drugs into the park. You will be searched by Colombian military guards at several checkpoints. They are heavily armed and look intimidating but they are generally very friendly. Up until this recent decade, Tayrona was a major embarkation point for the FARC-controlled drug trade. 


Day 6-7:

Return to Cartagena and spend your final night dancing the night away with the locals at Donde Fidel Salsa Club


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Donde Fidel Salsa Club (attraction)
  2. Isla de Baru (island)
  3. Tayrona National Natural Park (attraction)
  4. Cabo San Juan de la Guia (city)
  5. Pueblito (city)
  6. Cartagena (city)
11 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Laura from Buenos Aires

I agree with Derek. If you have only 7 days Cartagena and Tayrona are the best option for a couple. In Tayrona National Natural Park they have beautiful bungalows called Ecohabs which are special for couples with an amazing view and even a jacuzzi on the beach. And of course Cartagena is very romantic and there are wonderful islands nearby. 

Eco-Habs

Bed on the beach

I would also visit Bogota, Medellin and Armenia (Colombia) which I would also recommend because there are ancient coffee plantations with charming houses that are hotels nowadays. Finca La Colina, Armenia


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tayrona National Natural Park (attraction)
  2. Eco-Habs (hotel)
  3. Bogota (city)
  4. Medellin (city)
  5. Armenia (Colombia) (city)
  6. Finca La Colina (hotel)
  7. Cartagena (city)
5 thanks




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