#01 Providencia

Gorgeous jungle-smothered Caribbean island, with diving off the world’s third largest barrier reef, idyllic beaches and a distinctive Raizal culture.

Things not to miss: Beach, palms, San Andres y Providencia, Colombia.© Jess Kraft/Shutterstock 

#02 The colonial churches of Popayán

The colonial capital of the southwest has retained it’s all-white, elegant character with handsome churches and mansions close to volcanoes, hot springs and indigenous markets.

Things not to miss in Colombia: White city Popayan Colombia.© Ilyshev Dmitry/Shutterstock

#03 Parque Nacional Natural los Nevados

Tantalizing combination of snow-capped volcanoes, craggy glaciers, churning rivers and wild plains of páramo.

Things not to miss: Frailejones, Los Nevados National Park, Colombia.© iFerol/Shutterstock 

#04 Carnaval de Barranquilla

Colombia’s biggest, craziest festival is a riot of colours, sounds, parades and parties.

Things not to miss: Dresses and costumes of the Barranquilla´s Carnival, Colombia.© oscar garces/Shutterstock 

#05 Medellín

Cable cars traverse the slopes of this fashionable Andean city, home to illuminating museums, enticing restaurants and legendary artist Fernando Botero.

Things not to miss Colombia: Medellin Slums, cable car.© Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock

#06 Museo del oro, Bogotá

Colombia’s ancient civilizations were masters of gold art; see intricate jewellery and the golden raft of the Muisca people.

Things not to miss: Museum of Gold, Museo del Oro, Bogota, Colombia.© Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock

#07 adventure sports in San Gil

The adventure sport hub for whitewater rafting, mountain biking, caving, rappelling and trekking.

Things not to miss: Cave del Indio, San Gil and Barichara, Santander, Colombia.© iFerol/Shutterstock 

#08 the tombs of Tierradentro

Mystifying underground tombs high in the Andes, surrounded by Nasa communities and spectacular waterfalls.

Things not to miss in Colombia: National Archeological Park of Tierradentro UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colombia.© reisegraf.ch/Shutterstock

#09 Johnny cay

Just off San Andrés, this perfect desert island has a distinctive Afro-Caribbean feel.

Things not to miss: Johnny Cay In San Andres Island, Colombia.© ANDHOL/Shutterstock 

#10 Villa de Leyva

Beautifully preserved colonial village in the Andes, with low-slung adobe houses, fine restaurants and a string of picturesque waterfalls nearby.

Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva Boyaca in Colombia©  OSTILL is Franck Camhi/Shutterstock

#12 trekking to Ciudad Perdida

The five-day trek to the “Lost City” of the Tairona is one of South America’s great adventures, featuring cool forest streams, indigenous villages and jungle-strewn ruins.

#12 trekking to Ciudad Perdida

#13 Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

Wonderfully preserved slice of Caribbean coast, with the jungles and white-sand beaches backed by snowy peaks.

Tayrona National Park, ColombiaTayrona National Park, Colombia  © Christian Andreis/Shutterstock

#14 Cartagena’s old town

Latin America’s colonial jewel, a city of Baroque churches, elegant mansions, shady plazas and those giant Spanish walls.

#14 Cartagena’s old town

#15 Museo Botero, Bogotá

Essential homage to one of the greatest contemporary artists in South America, featuring plenty of his signature plump ladies.

Cat of Fernando Botero. Medellin, ColombiaCat of Fernando Botero, Medellin © Grigory Kubatyan/Shutterstock

#16 Zipaquirá salt cathedral

Bizarre but jaw-dropping sight, with vast halls, crosses and altars carved out of an old salt mine.

Things not to miss: Underground salt cathedral in Zipaquira, Cundinamarca, Colombia.© Jess Kraft/Shutterstock 

#17 Whale-watching

Colombia’s lush Pacific coast is one of the world’s best places to see humpbacks and their new-born calves.

Things not to miss: humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, Colombia.© Jeronimo Duque/Shutterstock 

#18 coffee farms

Colombian coffee is the world’s best, and staying on a traditional hacienda will immerse you in the sights and heavenly aromas of the trade.

Closeup of coffee fruit in coffee farm and plantations in Manizales, Colombia© Fotos593/Shutterstock

#19 Amazon jungle excursions

Colombia’s Amazon region is still largely untamed wilderness, with Leticia the best base for forays into the rainforest.

 

Things not to miss: Amazon river, rainforest. Colombia.© SL-Photography/Shutterstock 

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