This one week in Colombia itinerary will cover three main cities in the country - Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena. It is a great itinerary to get a feel for a few different cities throughout the country and to learn more about what they have to offer. There will be plenty of fun and unique activities to take part of along the way, making this one action packed week for your time in Colombia. From enjoying beautiful viewpoints over Bogota to paragliding above Medellin to hopping into a mud volcano in Cartagena, this trip will have it all and much more!
What's in this article?
- Welcome to the One Week in Colombia Itinerary!
- One Week in Colombia Map View
- A Detailed One Week in Colombia Itinerary
- Day 1 – Bogota
- Day 2 – Bogota & Flight to Medellin
- Day 3 – Medellin / Paragliding & El Centro
- Day 4 – Day Trip to El Penol/Guatape
- Day 5 – Medellin / Parque Arvi & Flight to Cartagena
- Day 6 – Cartagena / Mud Volcano
- Day 7 – Cartagena / Out at Sea
Welcome to the One Week in Colombia Itinerary!
If you have a bit more time and want to spend some additional days in certain cities you can also take a look at the 10 Days in Colombia Itinerary up on the site. Before diving into the itinerary be sure to also check out the Colombia Helpful Tips Guide I put together to better prepare you for your trip.
One Week in Colombia Map View
Take a look at the map below which shows you where each city that is part of this 7 day Colombia itinerary is located throughout the country.
The trip begins in Bogota, before going north to Medellin and finally onwards to the coastal city of Cartagena. Depending on flight schedules and preference, the route can also be done in reverse as well.
A Detailed One Week in Colombia Itinerary
Now lets get on to the actual trip! The following is a detailed breakout of the daily attractions and activities on this one week in Colombia itinerary. Feel free to scroll through and click on any more in depth posts along the way.
Day 1 – Bogota
The first day in Bogota will take you through the historical district, hitting the top museums, plazas and viewpoints. You will follow that up with a local game called Tejo and a nightcap at the one and only Andres Carne de Res. Below are 6 of the main places you can enjoy during a full day exploring Bogota:
» Check out the 6 Things To Do in Bogota guide for all you need to know about the day
(1) Gold Museum
(2) Plaza de Bolivar
(3) Botero Museum
(5) Tejo – Learn more about Tejo in Colombia!
(6) Andres Carne de Res
For nights 1 & 2 of your trip take a look at some highly rated options in the Zona Rosa / Chapinero area:
4) Cite Hotel
Day 2 – Bogota & Flight to Medellin
Your second day in Bogota could comprise of a number of things. It all depends though when you decide to fly out to Medellin. Here is an idea of a few options that can be done on day 2.
If you are staying in Zona Rosa you can spend some time around there visiting the shops, malls, restaurants and outdoor spaces. If you have an afternoon flight to Medellin and are catching up on some sleep from the previous night at Andres, it can be a great option.
Walking around Zona Rosa/Zona T you will find plenty of high end shopping to do and a huge mall (Centro Andino) that you can stroll through. If you are into gambling at all you can stop by a one of the casinos around the area and play some games around there too.
Trip to the Salt Cathedral
The Salt Cathedral is about an hour away from the city. Here you will find a huge underground cathedral in a salt mine. Depending on what time you wake up/what time your flight is you could definitely make it there and back in about 4-5 hours if you hire a driver for the day. Your hotel can help set this up for you or you can book a Salt Cathedral Tour ahead of time.
The Bogota Graffiti Tour is a free tour of the city given twice a day where you can see all the beautiful artwork that Bogota has to offer on its streets.
A few other options if you have a full day available:
1) Salt Cathedral combo with Lake Guatavita (legend of El Dorado lake) – you can either join a tour or hire a driver for the day that can take you around both places.
2) Parque Natural Chicaque – a beautiful natural park where you get away from the craziness of city life and enjoy some nice hiking, viewpoints and relaxation
3) La Chorrea Waterfall – another hiking opportunity in the mountains of Bogota
Here are some great options in the El Poblado area of Medellin for nights 3 & 4:
Day 3 – Medellin / Paragliding & El Centro
Day 3 is going to be an exciting one if you are a thrill seeker. About 40 minutes north of the Poblado area is San Felix – the main paragliding area of Medellin. Here you will find yourself high up in the mountains above the entire city.
During this experience, you will join a tandem paraglide with an instructor and fly above the Medellin valley down below. The flight should last around 30 minutes or so before landing back in the same spot you took off from.
I would recommend taking part of a paragliding experience in the morning as that is when the winds are usually at their calmest. You can read more about some paragliding tips and logistics in the guide linked below.
» For more info about a morning of paragliding take a look at the Paragliding Medellin Guide
Since you will probably be finished paragliding late morning, you can then head over to El Centro, the historical district of Medellin. If you are into free guided tours, Real City Tours has one of highest reviewed and well spoken of tours you will come by. They take you to all the main attractions and give you some background and history of the city.
The afternoon tour starts at 2:19PM and lasts about 4 hours (must book in advance through the link above). If you aren’t into tours you can also just do it on your own. Follow this map and walk through at your own pace. Note that the walking tour isn’t available on Sunday.
El Centro is filled with plenty of different types of experiences. You have everything including Alpujarro, Parque de le Lucas, the National Palace, El Hueco, Museo de Antioquia, Botero Plaza, and Parque Bolivar.
It really is just a great couple miles of authentic Medellin, seeing the past and present and enjoying the city. Once you are finished with either your guided or non guided tour hop in a cab back to your hotel to end your day.
Day 4 – Day Trip to El Penol/Guatape
A two hour drive from Medellin lay the towns of El Penol and Guatape. In the middle of the two is a massive rock formation called La Piedra de Penol that will give you one of the best views in Colombia.
The day trip will consist of climbing the giant rock, visiting the colorful town of Guatape, and stopping at some viewpoints along the way. When it comes to day trips, it won’t get much better than this one.
» To learn more, I put together a Day Trip to Guatape and El Penol Guide that can get you ready for the trip
» I would highly recommend joining in on a group or private tour if you want all logistics to be taken care of for the day.
Day 5 – Medellin / Parque Arvi & Flight to Cartagena
On the morning of your last day in Medellin you will get head up the cable car system of Medellin and into Parque Arvi. In order to do so you will head to the Acevedo station, the base of the first of two cable cars, which will take you all the way up above the city to the Santa Domingo station.
On this first car you will get amazing views of the entire city of Medellin to the north, west, and south. Once you get to the Santa Domingo station follow the signs to the Parque Arvi cable car. This cable car takes you even higher up the mountain and into the forest and eventually to the park itself.
Depending on how much time you have in Arvi you can do a bunch of different things – everything from hiking, walking tours, ziplining and more. There are also a few outdoor restaurants and bars at the entrance along with a market filled with different local cuisine.
Later on in the day make your way to the airport, catch your flight, and then land in the coastal city of Cartagena.
You will see it right away how different Cartagena is from the other two cities. While it will clearly be more touristy, it is also such a great city to walk around and enjoy.
The walled city feels like an old European town, with great restaurants, bars and squares throughout. If you are into the nightlife scene then you will definitely find a place around the Old Town or Getsemani neighborhood that will suit your needs.
If staying in the Walled City take a look at some of these hotel recommendations for nights 5 & 6:
5. Casa La Fe
Day 6 – Cartagena / Mud Volcano
You can spend the next morning strolling the old city, and exploring all the twists and turns. It really is a great place to just walk around and get lost in. After having some lunch you can then head to the El Totumo Mud Volcano.
Located around 1 hour north of the city, you will find this small volcano filled with mud. Here you can jump inside, float in the mud, and even get some massages. A definite unique experience to take part of during your one week in Colombia.
» Check out the El Totumo Mud Volcano Guide for all you need to know to do it yourself
Day 7 – Cartagena / Out at Sea
Your final day of your one week in Colombia will have you hit the waters of the Caribbean Sea. There are a few different options to choose from deciding what type of experience you would like to have.
You can take a day trip to Playa Blanca and/or the Rosario Islands or you can also rent a boat and explore a whole bunch of places out at sea.
» The Renting a Boat in Cartagena Guide will dive into the second option and go over all you need to know. The guide goes over things such as snorkeling the Rosario Islands, having lunch at Cholon, and relaxing at Playa Blanca.
Your day out on the sea should end around 4PM. It is possible to take a flight later this evening if one is available. If not then take a flight first thing on Day 8 and head back home.
Colombia as a whole has so much to offer and can be tailored to each traveler’s needs. There really is something for everyone out there. Of course there are more cities and attractions to go to but this is to give you a good sense what you can take advantage of in the country’s three main cities within 7 days in Colombia. Hope you enjoy your trip!
Head over to our Colombia itineraries and guides page to check out some more helpful posts, and feel free to comment below with any questions!