Best of the Caribbean
Get lost in the streets of the walled colonial city of Cartagena. Admire the romantic balconies and cobblestoned alleys as you step through history. This was once one of the most important cities of the Spanish Empire and features the strongest Spanish fort ever built.
Tayrona National Park
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta meets the Caribbean Sea in this gorgeous national park. Relax on one of the stunning beaches or hike through the jungle to the ruins of Pueblito Chayrama.
The rugged desert of La Guajira is home to the indigenous Wayuú people. Learn about their culture and take in the breathtaking landscape of this peninsula at the northernmost point of South America.
A 30-minute ecological walk leads to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole east of Tayrona National Park. As you climb up the rocks, the swimming holes get more spectacular.
Santa Marta is the second oldest surviving European settlement in South America. It has a small historic district and makes a great base for exploring Tayrona National Park.
San Andrés is an English-speaking Caribbean island with British roots just a short flight north of the mainland. Sit back and relax on the beach with a coco loco in your hand.
In addition to gorgeous beaches, San Andrés is one of the best places in the world for scuba diving.
Islas del Rosario
A chain of tiny islands near Cartagena, the Islas del Rosario are a great place to get away from it all. Beach resorts ranging from budget to your own exclusive island cater to tourists looking to unwind.
If there's one party you can't miss in Colombia, it's the Carnaval de Barranquilla. The second biggest Carnaval celebration in the world behind Rio de Janeiro takes place every year in this city halfway between Cartagena and Santa Marta.
Volcán de Lodo
This small mud volcano makes for a fun day trip from Cartagena. You can wallow around in mud full of minerals before washing off in a lake. Combine it with a trip to the beach and/or mangroves.
A pristine river meets the Caribbean Sea at this small town, forming a thin strip of beach. Take a boat up the river to spot herons and other birds, then bathe in the clear water. Return to the beach for a dip in the sea.
Hard to get to but worth the effort, Mompox is one of those magical places that has to be experienced at least once. Wander through the peaceful colonial streets and take an ecological cruise down the Magdalena River.
Time seems to stand still in this historic river town. Visit to see the interesting architecture influenced by immigrants from Lebanon and Syria, and to sample local specialties in the public market.
Islas de San Bernardo
This small archipelago has plenty of white sand beaches with calm clear water. Come for a day trip to enjoy the beaches or stay a night or two to relax in paradise. Isla Múcura, Isla Tintipán, and Isla Palma are our favorites.