1 Week in Colombia: 4 Exciting & Inspiring Itineraries

For anyone planning a whistle-stop one-week tour of Colombia, it is important to plan well. Time is of the essence so make the most out of your stay.

I have provided a selection of four, week-long trips full of things for a variety of personalities.

I spent 3 months traveling through Colombia, so, despite a different time scale, I can suggest 4 trips to get the most out of your stay.

All of these trips are seven days long and can be used for inspiration for your trip to Colombia.

1) 7-Day Itinerary for Beach Lovers

Itinerary for Beach Lovers in Colombia map

Colombia’s coastline sits on the Caribbean Sea and that means dreamy beaches and coconut cocktails.

One of Colombia’s main cities is Cartagena and that’s where this trip would start. An old colonial city with spectacular buildings and beaches to match.

After slowing down in Cartagena, this itinerary then takes you to Santa Marta, another city with incredible beaches.

The itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Cartagena and head to Playa De Bocagrande
  • Day 2: Jump on a boat to Playa Blanca
  • Day 3: Relax on the long Playas de La Boquilla
  • Day 4: Travel to Santa Marta and have a stroll along the Bahía de Santa Marta
  • Day 5: Visit top-rated Playa Cristal
  • Day 6: Enjoy the serine Playa Neguanje
  • Day 7: Soak in the last day of your trip at the Playa El Rodadero Santa Marta before heading home

➡️ Days 1, 2 & 3: Cartagena

Spend the first three days of your trip enjoying the Caribbean city of Cartagena.

The city has a great vibe and has some fun options for nightlife.

Enjoy your first day of the trip on Playa De Bocagrande.

The beach can get quite busy, but the beach is central and accessible to allow you to catch some rays on arrival.

For your second day in Cartagena, it is a great option to take the 40-minute boat trip to Playa Blanca.

The beach has beautiful white sands and is a great place to watch the sunset if you get the opportunity.

For your last day in Cartagena, you can head to Playas de La Boquilla.

At this beach, there are more options for watersports such as kiteboarding or snorkeling, providing a bit of activity to complement the cocktails.

➡️ Day 4: Travel to Santa Marta

The journey to Santa Marta from Cartagena is a comfortable 4 hours and 30 minutes and can be booked using the reliable Busbud website. There are more options to travel to Santa Marta and we talk about it at large in this article.

If you are feeling tired from the traveling, you can enjoy a walk down the Bahía de Santa Marta before heading to your accommodation to relax in the evening.

Related read: Is Santa Marta safe to visit?

➡️ Days 5, 6 & 7: Exploring Santa Marta and Tayrona’s beaches

Once in Santa Marta, there are a whole host of beaches to relax on and work on your tan.

In the itinerary, I mentioned the beaches Playa Cristal, Playa Neguanje and Playa El Rodadero Santa Marta as an option if you’ve got the time.

However, there is a huge selection of beaches in Santa Marta, and where you go can depend on how much exploring you feel like doing.

Playa Grande, Taganga is another option which has options for snorkeling and Bahia Playa Concha is more remote to get away from crowds.

Tayrona National Park has some great beaches such as Playa de la Piscina and Cabo San Juan. They are brilliant beaches in an environmentally protected park and you can find day trips here.

➡️ Reasons why I like this itinerary

  • It’s as laidback as it gets.
  • When you live a busy lifestyle, sometimes all you want to do is relax on a beach and this is an itinerary for that.
  • Cartagena is also a brilliant city which provides more options than just beaches. If you want to complement a day on the beach with cocktails in a swanky bar, this trip can provide that.
  • Alternative: Instead of Santa Marta, you can opt to fly to the island of San Andrés. This coral island in the Caribbean Sea is an exotic getaway, boasting a variety of cays, reefs, atolls, and sandbanks.

2) 7-Day Itinerary for Coffee Connoisseurs

Itinerary for Coffee Connoisseurs in Colombia map

It may be self-proclaimed, but Colombia claims to have ‘the best coffee in the world’ and honestly, I agree.

Colombia’s coffee triangle consists of four departments and has some brilliant places to visit.

Flying into this region is accessible with regular flights into nearby Pereira, it’s a good option when considering the alternative of long bus journeys from Medellín and Bogotá.

Within the coffee triangle, there is a beautiful small town called Salento.

Here you can find several coffee farms and brilliant coffee shops and this is where the week will be mostly based.

The itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Medellín and try some of the city’s best coffee shops.
  • Day 2: Travel to Salento
  • Day 3: Visit some of the famous coffee farms
  • Day 4: Go on a hike in the area’s Cocora Valley
  • Day 5: Spend the day exploring Salento and the town’s coffee shops
  • Day 6: Travel to Bogotá
  • Day 7: Enjoy some of Bogotá’s rustic coffee shops and fly home

➡️ Day 1: Medellín

Arrive in Medellín and head to El Poblado. In this area, you can try some of the city’s best coffee shops such as Café Velvet Medellín, Pergamino Café and Hija Mía Coffee. The area of El Poblado (check the link to check what I recommend doing in Poblado) comes alive in the evening too, so if you’re after some nightlife, this is the place.

➡️ Day 2: Travel to Salento

The journey from Medellín to Salento can be uncomfortable and prone to traffic. The scenery is fantastic, but there is a good chance it could take up your whole day, if not, you can spend the afternoon and evening exploring the town of Salento and hiking up to the lookout of the town.

The best option is to fly to Peirera and at the airport, you can have the option to rent a car (click that link to check my article on whether or not I recommend driving in Colombia). Flights are available from US$37.

However, with poorly maintained dirt roads, it isn’t easy to drive to many of the coffee plantations. The locals put on jeep trips for around US$0.50 which is the better option.

➡️ Day 3, 4 & 5: Salento and Cocora Valley

On the third day of your trip, it’s time to be excited because you can visit the beautiful Finca El Ocaso Coffee Farm and participate to a coffee tour.

It’s a brilliant tour and there’s a coffee shop at the back of the grounds which has a resident hummingbird that comes to the bird feeder.

The coffee there is the best I’ve ever had and it’s worth hanging around to do some coffee tasting from a variety of different methods and eat some cake.

For a break from coffee on the next day of your trip, you can head for a hike at the majestic Cocora Valley and see the famous wax palm trees. Hang off the back of a jeep en-route and be prepared to hike through the jungle!

After the hike, you’ll probably want a good night’s sleep and a more relaxing day. There’s no better place to do this than Salento, there’s plenty of fantastic coffee shops to lounge around in such as Café Jesús Martín which is a cozy and traditional coffee shop.

Check out our full guide to your first time in Cocora Valley.

➡️ Day 6: Travel to Bogotá

Flying to Bogotá from Peirera is the best for time and price, as flights are available for US$32.

The journey to Bogota can be a long journey as it takes 2 buses, so it’s best to leave plenty of time to get there. Take the bus to the nearby town of Pereira and have a coffee there before jumping on a connecting bus to Bogota.

For your first day in Bogotá, head to Chapinero to try some of Bogotá’s best coffee shops.

➡️ Day 7: Bogotá

For your last day of the trip, head to La Candelaria to soak up some of the city’s culture. There are walking tour options available and plenty of coffee shops and restaurants to enjoy.

➡️ Reasons why I like this itinerary

  • You get to see 3 separate areas of Colombia.
  • The trip involves trying some of the best coffee in the world.
  • The Cocora hike is a great opportunity to see some stunning scenery.
  • The slower and more laid-back vibe.

3) 7-Day Itinerary for Adrenaline Junkies

Itinerary for Adrenaline Junkies in Colombia map

From mountains to beaches, for anyone who loves gravity-assisted sports, Colombia can provide a whole lot of fun.

From the famous Red Bull Medellín Cerro Abajo, there’s notorious mountain biking in Medellín.

On the beaches on Cartagena, there are famous kiteboarding spots which attract an international audience and rock climbing in Bogota.

The itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Medellín and mountain bike
  • Day 2: Mountain bike or ATV around Medellín
  • Day 3: Travel to Bogotá
  • Day 4: Rock climb in nearby Suesca
  • Day 5: White water raft near Bogotá
  • Day 6: Fly to Cartagena and kiteboard
  • Day 7: Snorkel or kiteboard and fly home

➡️ Day 1 & 2: Medellín

Medellín has a famous mountain biking reputation, and you can put that to the test in this trip.

Enjoy the first two days of your holiday mountain biking or hire ATVs around the outskirts of Medellín with multiple tour operators offering a variety of services.

➡️ Day 3,4 & 5: Bogotá

Bogotá, like Medellín, has some great access to mountain biking. So, if you’ve not had your mountain biking fix, you can continue your riding in Bogotá.

However, for a change of sport, you can spend a day rock climbing in Suesca, a close wall of rock with sport, trad and bouldering options available. A guaranteed great day out for climbers.

On the fifth day of your trip, you can jump in a raft and try some white water rafting to get your fix of adrenaline from yet another different activity.

➡️ Day 6 & 7: Cartagena

Cartagena can serve two purposes on this trip.

If you still have energy, you can spend the final two days of the trip kiteboarding in the Caribbean Sea by Playas de La Boquilla.

However, if you need to relax after 5 days of intense action, you can sit in a sun lounger and drink a cold beer in the sun.

➡️ Reasons why I like this itinerary

  • The itinerary is stacked with activities to get the heart racing
  • The activities take you off the beaten track so you can enjoy nature
  • To do these activities in Colombia provides a unique opportunity.

4) 7-Day Itinerary for Cultural Voyagers

Itinerary for Cultural Voyagers in Colombia map

Colombia has a diverse culture which is represented in some museums and history that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

There’s Bogota’s Museo del Oro which celebrates Colombia’s layered past which can be contrasted to Cartagena’s Museum of Cartagena de Indias.

The itinerary:

  • Day 1: Fly into Bogotá and visit the Plaza de Bolívar and La Candelaria
  • Day 2: Spend the day visiting Bogotá’s museums.
  • Day 3: Travel to Villa de Leyva
  • Day 4: Spend the day exploring VIlla de Leyva
  • Day 5: Fly to Cartagena and explore the city at night
  • Day 6: Visit Cartagena’s historic buildings
  • Day 7: Take in some of Cartagena’s museums

➡️ Day 1 & 2: Bogotá

As the country’s capital, Bogotá has culturally significant spots worth checking out. On your first day in the city, you can head to the Plaza de Bolívar in La Candelaria to see the government buildings and become immersed in Bogotá’s history. You can take part in an English-guided tour and learn plenty about the city.

On the second day of the trip, make sure to visit some of the many museums Bogotá has to offer. The previously mentioned Museo del Oro is a must, and there’s also the Botero Museum and Museo Santa Clara to name a few.

➡️ Day 3 & 4: Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is historically interesting with ruins that date back to pre-Herrera times.

The town is located at a high altitude and without any natural resources nearby, meaning the town has had very little development for the past 400 years, preserving the town’s colonial aesthetic.

Close to the Villa de Leyva, there is also a Muisca astronomy observatory which demonstrates some of the civilization in South America before the Spanish conquest.

➡️ Day 5,6 & 7: Cartagena

The fifth day of your trip is likely to be quite a big travel day, but if you get the time in the evening, it is worth taking an evening walk around Centro Historico and getting a feel of the place.

There are loads to explore in Cartagena for history lovers and easily more than a day’s worth of spots.

Some of the highlights are the Convento de Santa Cruz de la Popa, Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas and the walls of the city.

For the last day of your trip, there’s an abundance of museums worth visiting and the Museum of Cartagena de Indias is at the top of the list.

➡️ Reasons why I like this itinerary

  • The trip gives a great account of Colombia’s layered history even before the Europeans arrived in the country.
  • For a history lover, there’s so much information to absorb which can be complemented by culture.


Colombia is a vast country and it caters to all types of individuals and preferences. While these trips can give a good account for a week-long trip, there’s still so much to see in the country that I haven’t mentioned here.

You Might Also Like…

Leave a Comment