Colombia is an absolutely incredible country and in our 2+ months in there, we only scratched the surface of what there is to experience. Nevertheless we found out about a couple of things (activities, restaurants, coffee and hostels!) that you just cannot miss so we put together our list of the best things to do in Colombia to share them with you!
The experiences, restaurants or hostels are followed in parentheses by the city it’s in. Clicking on the city will open up our Travel Guide to that city that will include additional experiences and tips to help you plan your next Colombia adventure!
Best Colombia Experiences: Activities
Don Leo’s Coffee Farm tour is where it’s at. At Don Leo’s coffee farm in the small, beautiful town of Buenavista, you’ll learn about the nonstop life of a coffee farmer, Don Leo’s transition from coffee, to cocaine and back to coffee, and, oh yeah, all about the coffee making process. This tour is a must if you’re in Colombia’s coffee region (also called the Zona Cafetera) and have some time to explore!
Salsa Lessons at the School of Rumba Y Salsa (Cali)
There is no better place to finally learn how to salsa dance than at the School of Rumba Y Salsa in Cali. Regardless of skill level, you can learn salsa, bachata and even hip hop from the talented team of teachers. For this reason alone, it’s worth spending a couple day in Cali. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can learn!
RealCity Walking Tour (Medellin)
We’d heard that this free Medellin walking tour was amazing and it lived up to and even exceed the hype. The tour guides are extremely informative and you’ll learn all about Colombia’s complicated history while seeing important sites in the city. Do this as soon as possible once you arrive in Medellin!
Cocora Valley Hike (Salento/Filandia)
I had no idea how lush and green the Colombian country side was until we got there. The Cocora Valley hike is the perfect example of this. You hike through seemingly endless greenery while being surrounded by some of the tallest palm trees, yep palm trees, in the world!
Monserrate Hike (Bogota)
Completing this hour long steep uphill climb rewards you with the best aerial view of the Colombia’s 7+ million person capital city. Be prepared to sweat and be short of breath as the top of this hike is at about 2 miles above sea level!
Cerro de Las Nubes (Jerico)
Did you know the Andes mountains splits into 3 ranges in Colombia? This is why at the top of the Cerro de Las Nubes hike, it feels like you’re surrounded by the foothills on all sides. It’s worth going to Jerico just to do this hike!
Best Colombia Experiences: Food
Salvo Patria (Bogota)
At one point, Eater named Salvo Patria the Best Neighborhood Restaurant in the World. Their innovative and affordably priced Colombian cuisine will have you talking about it for days (or even writing about it months later)!
Cafe Cliche (Medellin)
If you only have time to try menu del dia one time in Medellin, Cafe Cliche should be your choice. Michelle is still talking about how good our lunch was. Medellin has some of the best food in all of Colombia, Cafe Cliche is a great place to see for yourself!
Helena Aldentro (Filandia)
It’s a little hard to believe that one of the best restaurants in all of Colombia is in a town you’ve probably never heard of. But, if you love to follow your taste buds while you travel, Helena Aldentro is enough reason to find the relaxed town of Filandia on a map and go there. You’ll be glad you did!
Best Colombia Experiences: Coffee
Rituales has the best flat white in Colombia. There I said it. Especially when paired with one or two (or three) of their chocolate croissants! If you’re looking to cool down, their iced coffee with a popsicle is a great choice. Plus their set up is great. We had one of our most productive blog work days here.
Due to economic reason, most of the highest quality Colombia coffee is exported. Some great coffee can be found in the large cities – Medellin and Bogota – but finding great coffee is small town Colombia is rare. Coffee House Terraza in Buenavista is the exception. When we were in rural Buenavista, we enjoyed multiple flat whites, espressos and cortados there daily while playing cards and soaking in the gorgeous scenery.
Cafe de Los Andes (Jardin)
Although the coffee is not as fancy as Rituales or Coffee House Terraza, the view and the vibe are the reason why Cafe de Los Andes makes the list. All people do in Jardin is sitting around and drink small black coffees called “tintos” all day. Cafe del Los Andes has the prime spot on the second floor with a view of the town square where you can practice your best Jardineños impression.
Best Colombia Experiences: Hostels
The common room and helpful tour information are the reasons why Fern-weh makes the list. Their large communal table which travelers share coffee and tips is a great place to make new friends. Their desk of potential tours and activities provides you and your new friends with plenty of options for how to enjoy the day!
This hostel has the best view of any hostel that we stayed at in Colombia. The hostel sits on the top of a hill and the back porch, lined with couches facing the lush countryside, spans the entire length of the building. It’s the perfect place to relax. That’s why you’re in Buenavista after all.
Blue Fox Hostel (Cali)
Blue Fox Hostel is the place to cool off and make friends after some salsa lessons or a day exploring the warm, humid city of Cali. The small pool and lounge chairs are perfect for any time of day and the large communal tables facilitate conversation. Also, their kitchen is well equipped and the affordable onsite laundry is a huge plus!
We’d love to hear about whether you’ve done or tried any of the above experiences! Also, feel free to add any Colombian experiences that you think people can’t miss in the comments below!
There you have it, our list of the best things to do in Colombia! From us to you, happy adventuring!