COLOMBIA is an AMAZING country a to get lost in (no, not like I need a helicopter evacuation lost). The vast options of Colombian Backpacking destinations, complemented by cheap prices, makes traveling this country easy and affordable. But with so many options and such little time, where should you travel in Colombia?
Don’t get lost by spinning the globe but read my Colombia Travel guides that will put you in the best places to travel in Colombia.
Top 5 Colombian Backpacking Destinations
Medellin, aka the city of eternal spring, lives up to the hype. Despite being a massive city (not a fan of huge cities), this place never disappoints. Pulsing nightlife, Colombia’s top cafes, and friendly Paisas, make this an ABSOLUTE must visit. Don’t miss this city or you’ll forever regret your Colombian experience. Read this if you want the best 4 Day Medellin Guide and where to find the best Colombian Coffee
Apart of Colombia’s infamous Coffee Triangle, sits Salento. I wasn’t overly excited to come here at first but was quite despondent once I departed. Arguably the worlds best coffee, crisp cool climate, and some of the worlds tallest Wax Palm trees make this spot highly desirable. Read more about one of my favorite days in Colombia: Backpacking Salento’s Valle De Cocora
Adventure capital of Colombia. If you have any type of preference to the outdoors, make sure you get yourself here. San Gil almost provides to many activities, especially for those short on time. With affordable options for River Rafting (Up to Class 5!), Paragliding, Mountain Biking, & Bungee Jumping, the only way to do them all is stay longer. My time in San Gil was extended because there always seemed like a new choice for the next day.
Colombia’s Pacific Coast is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. Isolated, lush, and laced with a completely different pace of life. EVERYTHING is different. Language, food, music, everything. You have to see it to believe it. Best time to visit is during Whale watching season but any other time will still provide you with an abundance of memories.
The giant rock staircase aka El Penol, is almost always the immediate topic when Guatape is mentioned. For good reason, the view from the top is ridiculously scenic. This Puebla is only an 1.5 hours away from Medellin, but it had a big enough impact on me to squeeze into my top 5. Most people only visit here for a day trip but for those who have a more liberal timeline, stay longer to get to know this Puebla more…… More than a day trip in Guatape, Colombia
What’s important to remember about Colombia is the striking differences department to department. Some aren’t as drastic as others but once you start moving around the country you realize its like traveling to different countries at times.
This list is a reflection of different zones that are going to give you a different taste of the country. (Cartagena, Choco, and the Amazon especially)
3 Colombian Backpacking Destinations That Missed the List, but are WORTHY
City lovers rejoice. This is a HUGE city with HUGE rewards. Go with an open mind as countless people told me before it was a waste of a city. Decide for yourself.
Just outside of San Gil, Barichara is one of the most picturesque Colombian pueblas. I only spent a day here but it was absolutely stunning. Only 30 minutes away from San Gil, is just another reason I enjoyed it that much more. Visit Monday- Friday to avoid crowds and have the city to yourself.
Cocorna is a true Colombian gem. Throughout three months in this country, only one other person I met knew of this place. Not only is Cocorna very close and accessible to Medellin, (1.5 hours) Cocorna is known as the San Gil of 10 years ago. Rafting, Paragliding and scenic valley views make this a tranquil Medellin getaway.
Colombia Backpacking Destinations Recap
This list was made to help:
- You plan and give you an idea of what I think are some places that shouldn’t be missed. (At least for your first time around). Also your trip is weather dependent. So it’s another variable you have to consider when visiting. However, take this list as you may and hope to see you one day in one of these places OR another part of the world.
If, you’ve been to Colombia, do these 5 deserve their nominations to the Colombian Backpacking destinations list?
Colombian Backpacking Destinations on my LIST
- Ciudad Perdida
- San Andres
- Tatacoa Desert
- Canon Cristales