Perfect 1 Month Itinerary For Colombia [Colombia Travel Guide] 

Colombia , South America
colombia itinerary
The beautiful palm forests of the Valle De Cocora, near Salento should be on your itinerary for Colombia

Colombia is an incredibly beautiful country. Once only really known internationally for cocaine, coffee and civil war, Colombia has turned itself around. It is now dismantling its negative reputation and is a haven for travellers and expats alike. It ranks as many people’s favourite South American country, and I can’t help but agree with this. Colombia’s strength is in its variety. Every place you visit feels like a different country. In one small country you get beaches, jungles, glistening snowy mountains, lush coffee plantations, thick subtropical forest, vibrant and interesting cities, adorable colourful towns, loads of history and culture, very friendly people, and so much more! Here’s my 1 month itinerary for Colombia covering the very best bits.

 

A non-rushed itinerary for Colombia

There is so much to do in Colombia. Often travellers get a little overwhelmed and end up trying to do way too much. I’ve read a lot of travel bloggers who do try to do everything in a month. They end up moving every single day and spending zero time in each place. 

 

I’ve created an itinerary for Colombia that covers most of the best bits without rushing too much. I just don’t think you can really get to understand a country if you zoom around it, changing places every single day and spending all your time on buses. But that’s just me. 

 

In this itinerary for Colombia, I’ve given a recommended minimum amount of days for each place, remember this is a minimum. As I spent 4 months in Colombia, I stayed in most of these places longer. I’ve also given you a few extra days to play with and recommended a few extra places you can go to if you’d like to extend your time in a certain region. Because let’s face it – when travelling, flexibility is great! You never know when you might meet someone you want to spend a bit more time with or discover a place you never want to leave.

 

 

 

Things you must know about Colombia

Colombia is turning itself around

Many still assume it’s full of drugs, kidnappings, guerrillas and violence. Yes, Colombia is not the safest country in the world. But much of the stuff people hear of Colombia is in the past or at least rarely impacts the tens of thousands of tourists that now head there. 

 

This is not to say Colombia doesn’t still have it’s problems. The drug trade and paramilitaries still exist, a high percentage of the population live in poverty and petty crime is common. And social leaders and politicians who are trying to implement change are still targeted and assassinated.

 

However, the days of all powerful cartels are no more. Major crime rates are decreasing, kidnapping has been reduced by over 90% since the cartel days and poverty rates are reducing. Colombia is a country turning itself around. 

 

Warm, kind people

Colombians are friendly, warm and kind. During my 4 months in Colombia, I experienced countless moments of kindness. Despite the horror faced by their country’s dark and bloody history, Colombians are on the whole unexpectedly up-beat people, who love to explore Colombia, party and spend time with friends and family. 

 

When I asked a Colombian how this could be, the explanation given was that Colombians had so little joy in recent memory that they hold onto these moments as they are precious. As this guy pointed out, if Colombians can find some joy even in the darkest days, maybe we all can.

 

The papaya rule

Colombians have a little saying, “no dar papaya”. This saying is referring to petty crime. “No dar papaya” is not actually about tasty fruit, it’s about your valuables. If you have your valuables out on show (your tasty papaya), someone will want your valuables (your tasty papaya) and potentially take it. So do as Colombians suggest, keep your phone, camera, wallet, money or whatever possessions you hold dear away! Here are some awesome products you can get to help you stay safe and secure whilst travelling. We followed the papaya rule in Colombia and had no issues. 

 

 

 

1 month itinerary for Colombia

This itinerary for Colombia is a baseline, with the days adding up to less than a month. You can then choose the extras you want to do from suggested nearby areas or from the further list at the bottom. This means if you are a chilled out traveller like us, you can spend longer in places, or if you want to do loads, you can also do that!

Itinerary for Colombia: Map

 

Stop 1: Bogota (3 days, 2 nights)
things to do in bogota
Learn about Bogota’s amazing street art through a Bogota Graffiti Tour

First on our itinerary for Colombia is Bogota. Bogota is the vibrant capital of Colombia, and usually the starting point for travellers. It’s a city travellers seem to love or hate. I spent 5 weeks learning Spanish in Bogota, and loved the city despite the noise and traffic.

 

Trundling through La Candelaria (the old town), I admired the colourful houses and street art. Within La Candelaria there is a pretty square, which is where the city of Bogota grew from. It’s often packed with musicians, a market and comedians. In La Candelaria there are plenty of cosy restaurants and vibrant bars. 

 

In Bogota, you can explore the stunning Simon Bolivar Park and take a trip up Monserrate Hill on the cable car, which is totally worth doing for the views. The museum and gallery scene is impressive. The Gold Museum explores the meaning of gold for Colombia’s indigenous communities historically and the cosmological beliefs of these communities. Did you know some groups believed in three worlds and that humans can become animals through wearing certain decorations?

 

Fernando Botero is probably Colombia’s most famous artist. Seeing his work in the flesh at Museo Botero really makes you appreciate the talent of this artist. Both the War and Peace Tour by Beyond Bogota and the Bogota Graffiti Tour are totally worth doing and the guides are truly experts on their subjects. 

 

Yes, Bogota traffic is awful and you should keep your valuables hidden (phone theft is rife) but this shouldn’t detract from what Bogota offers. Here are 18 awesome and unique things to do in Bogota, Colombia. 

 

Where we stayed in Bogota: 

We stayed in CGH Hostel and Casa Del Arbol in Bogota. Both had super friendly owners, were comfortable and very well located in La Candelaria. I do recommend only staying in this area to get the best experience from Bogota. 

 

Stop 2: The Santa Marta area (1 day, 1 night)

colombia travel guide

Second on our itinerary for Colombia is Santa Marta. Santa Marta is by the sea and is hot, it’s not a bad place but it is more a passing through place for travellers heading to Tayrona National Park and Minca so you only really need a night there. In Santa Marta you can chill by the sea, explore the city, eat in the many food places and scuba dive in Tayrona National Park. Or you can head to nearby Taganga to do that, although Taganga is a bit of a mixed bag (see both).

 

Optional Extra: Taganga

Taganga felt unsafe and after a massive rainfall, the beach ended up covered in plastic waste from the town. I know some people like it there. It’s raw I guess (aside from the main touristy street along the front) but I felt on edge. 

 

James visited Taganga 5 years ago, and said it was very different. He said that the town had been left to fall into disrepair. It’s been neglected by the authorities, it barely has roads and no running water. I felt sorry for the place, but it also wasn’t somewhere I felt comfortable. 

 

Santa Marta was nicer  and the best location to go to Tayrona, Minca and the Lost City Trek. Compared to Taganga, there are a lot more restaurant options and it feels safer. 

 

Stop 3: Tayrona National Park (3 days, 2 nights)

tayrona national park

Next on our itinerary for Colombia is Tayrona National Park. Tayrona National Park is a beautiful national park and a must see on any itinerary for Colombia. Shakira even sings about how beautiful it is in some of her earlier songs! 

 

The scenery is stunning. It’s a mix of jungle, beach and sea. It is touristy as the beaches are very popular, but not tourists-covering-every-square-inch-of-the-beach touristy! The most popular beach takes a fair few hours to walk to, so that probably manages the flow of people. 

 

I do not recommend just doing a day trip to Tayrona National Park, you won’t be able to appreciate it properly. I recommend staying 1 or 2 nights. Despite all the tourists, for me it was really worth a visit. We got extremely lucky and spotted a jaguarundi (a type of big cat) just outside our campsite when we walked back through the jungle at night. We met monkeys, swam in the sea and did a number of walks within the park. Sadly we couldn’t visit the Mini Lost City as the route was closed when we visited in April 2019. 

 

There are a number of places you can stay in Tayrona National Park. We chose to stay in a tent in Don Pedro, but you can also stay in hammocks. You don’t have to bring your own tent, all campsites in Tayrona National Park have pre-set up tents. The campsite was fine, much better than Cabo San Juan (the most popular campsite) in my opinion as the tents weren’t in the direct sun and it wasn’t such a trek from the entrance. 

 

Don Pedro campsite isn’t right next to the beach, but it’s closer to our favourite beach which was La Piscina, which is far less busy than Cabo San Juan and swimmable. 

 

If you want more luxury, EcoHabs are available too but come with a hefty price tag. Quite a few of the beaches in Tayrona are not swimmable, so check out which beaches are swimmable and don’t put yourself in danger. There are some violent looking waves! 

 

You can get a bus to Tayrona National Park directly from Santa Marta Central Market where you will find buses that leave approximately every 30 minutes. Make sure you get there early by either 8am – 9am as the park can get full and has a certain capacity. 

 

The bus will take you to the first entrance, where you will pay for a ticket and collect your wristband. You then need to either walk to the second entrance of the park or catch the collectivo (mini bus). If you decide to walk it’s about an hour, and then from the second entrance it was about an hour and a half to Don Pedro campsite and a couple of hours to Cabo San Juan. 

 

You can get a horse though if you don’t feel like walking, but I did think the horses didn’t seem in amazing condition.

 

Optional Extra: Lost City Trek

As an add on for this itinerary for Colombia, from Santa Marta, you can also do the famous Lost City Trek. This is a 4-6 day trek in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. 

 

During this trek, you venture through dry and dusty dunes and then jungles to get to the Lost City. The Lost City (called Teyuna) was built by the “Taironas” in 800 AD, way before the arrival of the Spanish in the region. It has unique terrace architecture. 

 

If you’d like to do this trek, you need to get yourself a guide. It costs around $300 – $350USD per person. 

 

Make sure you bring clothes for all weather. The first bit can be dry and hot, but it can also be rainy in the jungle so bring a spare set of clothes. Oh and get a good pair of trekking shoes (I have an awesome pair of Salomon shoes, remember to go a size up though!). 

 

Stop 4: Minca (4 days, 3 nights)
colombia itinerary
Get your quintessential Minca instagram shot

Just a mere 45 minutes along a windy mountain road from Santa Marta is Minca. Minca is nestled in the jungle covered mountains and is a completely different world from Santa Marta. This little town should be on your itinerary for Colombia.

 

It’s a great place for independent trekking, visiting waterfalls and coffee plantations. A lot of people take motorbikes around to see the different attractions, but I genuinely loved walking up and down the hilly paths and taking in the beauty of the area. 

 

El Paraiso Coffee and Chocolate Finca has some beautiful views and you can learn about the coffee and chocolate making process, along with getting a chocolate face mask. Casa Elemento is up a massive hill, but worth the trek as it has big hammocks you can sit in, drink beer and admire the views. If you head slightly down from the main hammocks you might even get a hammock all to yourself.

 

Cascada Marinca is a pretty waterfall. It has two tiers, one in which you can jump in. Cascada Marinca is also a two-tiered waterfall in the area. Whilst Casa Pozo Azul is free, Cascada Marinca waterfall is not. I don’t think it was worth the money though as there isn’t any pool to swim in and you can only just duck your head under the waterfall.

 

Minca is unique in the sense that it is at the cutting edge of modern tourism in Colombia. 10 years ago you would not have considered visiting this little village, despite being so close to Santa Marta and Tayrona National Park. The area around Minca was a no-go zone battleground for some of the most violent aspects of Colombia’s civil war. It really shows how much the situation in the country has changed, as Minca is safe and very popular with tourists these days. 

 

Where we stayed in Minca: 

Coco Bomgo was lovely. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms are basic but affordable. The breakfast changed up everyday and always is a traditional Colombian one. Other guests at the hostel were friendly and the hostel in general just had a welcoming atmosphere. 

 

Stop 5: Cartagena (3 days, 2 nights)

cartagena

Cartagena is on most people’s travel itinerary for Colombia. It is probably the most visited place in Colombia and is popular with cruise ships. It was one of the few places in Colombia which was visitable throughout the years of conflict. It’s friggin boiling hot and by the sea. Despite being touristy, Cartagena’s old Town really is a feast for the eyes. You can wander around the colourful streets and admire the cute balconies, windows and climbing plants covering the streets…until you almost suffer from heatstroke and desperately have to find some aircon. 

 

We heard negative things about the islands off Cartagena, that the beaches were packed with tourists and you get hassled a lot. If you want lovely Colombian beaches, see the ones at Tayrona National Park. We decided to give the Cartagena islands a miss, partly because of this information and also because I picked up a vomiting bug so couldn’t leave the guesthouse. 

 

Cartagena Fort is very impressive. It has been kept in amazing condition (it was rebuilt after falling into disrepair in the 1900s). Don’t miss the informative (and at times ridiculous/hypocritical) video, shown in a hut at the top, to the left of the fort. The air conditioning in the hut is also incredible!

 

Stop 6: Medellin (4 days, 3 nights)

travel colombia

Next on our itinerary for Colombia is Medellin. Medellin was once known as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Medellin isn’t the prettiest city, but has lots to offer. It’s a favourite city amongst expats, this is probably to do with the trendy and wealthy area known as Poblado. 

 

The Museo de Antioquia, which holds the biggest collection of Botero paintings in the world and the Botero Plaza is totally worth visiting. Botero is one of Colombia’s most famous and loved painters. Seeing his work in real life really makes you appreciate the uniqueness and talent of this artist.

 

One of the top things to do in Medellin is a walking tour. But not a Pablo Escobar Tour; considering the death and destruction Escobar caused during his life and the sorrow many people in Medellin still experience from the loss of loved ones. For a balanced, nuanced and insightful tour of the city and its dark history, go for Real Tours Medellin and take a downtown tour. I did a lot of walking tours in Colombia, and this one was one of the best. It’s brutally honest, funny, but also heart breaking in parts. 

 

The Museum of Memories Medellin has been set up in memory of the lives lost or destroyed during the conflict in Colombia. It’s powerful stuff. If you aren’t a fluent Spanish speaker, make sure to download the app and the English guide before you venture around the museum.  

 

It’s worth taking the very long cable car all the way up to Arvi Park. The cable car gives you spectacular views across the city and then you get to travel over the forest canopy for several kilometers. To do the walks in Arvi Park you either need a guide or you need to download Maps.Me. The routes are really badly marked. I’ve also pulled together a guide for a very scenic walk in Arvi Park, it was like walking through a fairy tale. 

 

Optional Extra: Guatape
colombia travel
Guatape has lots of great doors

Often visitors take a day trip from Medellin to Guatape. This is a long day, but I don’t really think Guatape is worth spending any longer than that. We stayed for 3 days and this was too long. It is colourful and pretty, but so touristy and a bit trashy.  I can imagine that back in the day it was pretty special, but now you get touted endlessly at shops and restaurants (which isn’t actually that common in Colombia). Guatape has lost its authenticity. 

 

Many people visit Guatape to climb the staircase up to the Rock of Guatape. I am sure the view is lovely on a clear day, but it was absolutely tipping it down when we visited.

 

Stop 9: Jardin (4 days, 3 nights)

colombia travel

The hidden gem that is Jardin is a mere few hours away from Medellin, but most tourists don’t know about it so miss it out on their itinerary for Colombia. What a mistake. Deep in cowboy country, Jardin is authentic, colourful and quaint. It’s surrounded by lush green mountains.

 

In Jardin, you can soar through the air like a bird as you try out paragliding, visit enchanting waterfalls such as the one in Cueva del Esplendor, drink beers in the plaza with the local cowboys, horse ride past coffee and banana plantations and so much more. Jardin was one of my favourite places in Colombia (and probably the world) and a wonderful place to relax. Here are 11 unmissable things to do in beautiful Jardin

 

Stop 10: Salento (4 days, 3 nights)

Colombia travel guide

Salento is next on our itinerary for Colombia and is home to the famous Valle De Cocora, where the mountainside is lined with palm trees. Salento is far more touristy than humble Jardin, but both are beautiful. 

 

The countryside surrounding Salento is divine, as is the laid-back feel and the colourful Salento houses. Salento is in ranching country, so locals wear cowboy hats and drink coffee from massive vats set on the counter of bars. We were only meant to spend 3 days here, but extended it to 5. Opps! 

 

Salento is famous for trekking and horse riding, with the most famous trek being in the Valle De Cocora. This trek through the jungle to the palm trees is so pretty it almost made me drool. Many people skip doing the whole trek through the jungle, but it’s worth doing, particularly to visit the hummingbird sanctuary. Another glorious (and often missed) trek is to Santa Rita La Cascada, which you can do directly from Salento. 

 

Salento also has some beautiful coffee plantations, which you can visit and have a tour. We visited one of the more popular ones, Finca El Ocaso Salento. If you visit, make sure you have a coffee in the cafe afterwards as it has a spectacular view. I recommend walking to this finca if you can, it’s along a peaceful road with breathtaking views. 

 

Where we stayed in Salento: 

El Zorzal is a low key guest house in a delightful setting. The garden is full of clucking chickens and a strong willed rooster, not too mention Toni the friendly giant tiger-skinned dog! The staff are friendly and the rooms are basic but comfortable and you can while away the hours in the garden watching the amazing birds that Colombia is famous for. 

 

Optional Extra: Los Nevados National Natural Park

Paramo Salento

From Salento, you can do a multi-day trek into Los Nevados National Park to see the out-of-this-world páramo (high mountain plains). This trek should have been amazing, but for us it rained for the entire 4 days. The accommodation is super basic, so we couldn’t dry our clothes and the whole experience was pretty cold, wet and miserable.

 

It’s tricky to trek in Los Nevados National Natural Park without a guide, as the guest houses get full and the guides call ahead. We did our trek with Paramo Trek Salento. This company is good, but in the terrible weather and cold, I found some things were overlooked.

 

Check the weather. If it’s good and you love trekking, a trek into the paramo is an amazing experience. So include it in your itinerary for Colombia.

 

 

Itinerary for Colombia: Other places in Colombia worth visiting

Colombia has so much to offer. We loved it so much and there was so much to do, we spent 4 whole months there. I’d go back again in a heartbeat. In fact it is one of my favourite countries on earth. Other places worth visiting in Colombia are:

 

Tatacoa Desert:

colombia travel

Whilst the Tatacoa isn’t technically a real desert, it’s a semi-desert around 6 hours by bus away from Bogota. You can access it from Salento but it’s a tricky journey to the nearby town of Neiva. From Neiva, you’ll need to get to Villavieja. This semi-desert has an otherworldly landscape, and is full of rocky canyons and tall cacti. In the Tatacoa desert, you can stargaze at the Tatacoa Observatory and explore the desert by foot, tuk tuk or bike. 

 

Villa De Leyva for colonial architecture:

travel colombia

Villa De Leyva is a 4 or 5 hours bus ride away from Bogota. It’s got cute, whitewashed colonial buildings and a scenic plaza. The town has numerous museums, one being a dinosaur and fossil one (Museo Paleontológico). You can climb up to the Jesus Statue on a hill to a viewpoint. Or you can venture to the nearby La Periquera and trek past 7 waterfalls. Pozo Azules are a series of bright blue sulphuric pools and are a short trek just outside of Villa De Leyva.

 

San Gil for adventure sports:

extreme sports travel

If you are an adventure sports enthusiast and adrenaline junkie, San Gil is for you. You can kayak, white water raft, paraglide, go canyoning and caving, try out waterfall repelling and so much more. Once you’ve worn out your adrenaline levels, you can visit the local Barichara to wander around the colonial town and hike the Camino Real. Parque El Gallineral (also known as Bosque El Gallineral, Isla Del Amor and Bella Isla) is worth taking a stroll around, it has some pretty interesting and ghostly looking trees.

 

Cali for nearby Pance:
swim in the river pance
The city of Cali is nice, but nearby Pance is gorgeous.

Cali is in the Southwest of Colombia. It isn’t the most happening Colombian city, but it’s got a lovely old town and is generally a pleasant city. The zoo is popular, as is the park with a number of cat statues including El Gato Del Rio. The teeny town of Pance just outside Cali is a hidden gem and is virtually undiscovered by Western tourists. It’s stunning, and is a great place for trekking and birdwatching. Here’s how to visit the breathtaking Pance

 

Popayan for food and culture:

things to do in Popayan

Popayán (known as La Ciudad Blanca or The White City) is in western Colombia. It’s renowned for its whitewashed colonial buildings and Easter week parades. It’s a little off-the-beaten track, and there’s so much more to this historic city and its surrounding area than what most travel blogs flag up. Here are the best things to do in Popayan

 

San Agustín for archaeology:

How to get from Popayan to San Agustin

San Agustin is home to various archaeological sites, such as the pre-Columbian statues, burial sites and various other artifacts from indigenous communities dating back 6,000 years ago. You can see the beautiful surrounding countryside on multi-day horse riding trips and explore the Magdalena River, with its various canyons and waterfalls. Or you can chill the F out like we did in one of the best hostels we found on our South American trip.

 

Leticia for the Amazon Jungle:
leticia colombia
The Amazon jungle is full of incredible wildlife

The town of Leticia itself is nothing to write home about, it’s what surrounds it which matters. Colombia has literally everything – snowy mountains, beaches, cool cities, quaint towns AND the Amazon jungle. I’d say you can’t visit South America without going to the world’s largest rain-forest. It’s full of incredible plants and animals, and obviously lots of killer bugs and snakes. You can get excursions into the Amazon in Leticia, these usually involve staying in a jungle lodge, going on jungle treks and boat trips. Leticia is the point where Colombia meets Peru and Brazil, you can access both these countries easily from here. And even take the 1 week amazon boat to Manaus like we did.

 

Whilst in Leticia, do make sure you visit the Parque Santander at 5:15pm to watch the millions of birds come to roost. It is absolutely mind-blowing.

 

San Andrés for beaches:
beaches colombia
This Caribbean island is popular with scuba divers and beach lovers.

San Andrés is a teeny little island nearer to Nicaragua than Colombia. It’s got more of a Caribbean vibe than a Colombian one, and has white sand beaches with crystal clear waters. San Andrés is more English speaking than the rest of Colombia. It’s popular with scuba divers, but it is extremely popular with Colombian tourists more than anything so can get pretty busy.

 

Popular activities on the island include cruises to see manta rays and tropical fish, diving, renting a bike to explore the island or just chilling on the beach. San Andrés can be a little pricey, particularly compared to other parts of Colombia. And obviously being an island in the middle of the Caribbean ocean, you have to fly there. You can fly from most main city airports in Colombia.

 

Getting around Colombia: Transport

I absolutely love Colombia, but at times it can be a little bit of a pain getting around. It’s pretty small compared to other South American countries (such as Brazil and Argentina) however still a lot bigger than somewhere like the UK. Transport however is pretty affordable, whatever you decide to do.

 

Planes

Planes are affordable, but beware of weight limits for bags or you will end up spending a lot of money.  I recommend Latam airlines, although they are not the cheapest they tend to not have lots of hidden costs. Latam are safe and well managed.

 

Buses

You can get between most destinations by bus, but journeys can be long and tiresome. They often take far longer than expected, on uncomfortable buses. The buses in Colombia are certainly not the worst in the world, particularly compared to those in Asia (*cough* Nepal), but they aren’t the best. They are often sticky, hot and a bit broken.

 

Trains

Sadly, there are no working train lines in Colombia.

 

Taxis

In most cities (Bogota, Medellin and Cali) you can use Uber. Although Uber is not strictly legal (the driver will ask you to sit in the front seat), it’s often safer than getting a taxi. In the main cities, do avoid getting taxis off the street. You can pick them up from bus stations and airports at the taxi points. Some places such as Jardin and Guatape you can take tuk tuks (auto rickshaws).

 

Safety 

We spent 4 months in Colombia and felt very safe. Keep your valuables out of sight as petty crime is the most common offence against tourists. Oh and try not to wander around the cities at night at 3am on your own. Largely Colombia is pretty safe and plenty of tourists visit without any issues. Do always check the Foreign Office Colombia travel advice page, as Colombia is a bit of a mixed bag. Some areas are safe, whilst there are others you should probably avoid.

 

Cost of travelling in Colombia

Colombia is a pretty affordable South American country. We spent £880 ($1,030 USD) per person per month which included all activities, transport, accommodation and food. Obviously as a couple our costs are reduced slightly as we can share the cost of a room, but we also didn’t go for the cheapest accommodation.

 

We stayed largely in budget private rooms with an en-suite and paid £10 to £20 ($13 to $26 USD) per night. You can get budget dorm beds from £5 to £10 ($6.45 – $13) per night depending on where you are in Colombia. Both Cartagena and Bogota (La Candelaria) can be a little bit more pricey then the rest of Colombia. The accommodation, even the budget stuff, tends to be of a high quality. If you’ve got a bit more money to spend, you really can get some absolutely gorgeous hotels.

 

Also, most activities such as learning Spanish, scuba diving and paragliding are very affordable and a lot cheaper than you can get elsewhere (in Brazil or Peru for example).

 

A few things to note about Colombia

Venezuelan crisis 

As you may know, the situation in Venezuela has escalated in recent years. Over 4 million people have left Venezuela, with millions ending up in Colombia. 

 

On the streets of many Colombian cities, you’ll see Venezuelans selling sweets or begging, often young couples with children. These aren’t the usual homeless people, where it is advised that you donate to homeless charities to avoid them using the money for abuse substances which could lead to their death. 

 

Giving money to Venezuelans

We often gave money to Venezuelans. Although, I understand that it’s not a long-term solution. It’s something to help make day-to-day life easier. Colombians often do the same and have historically been welcoming to Venezuelans, as Colombians (and other Latin American citizens) often fled to Venezuela during their own decades of violent conflict. 

 

Although due to the sheer level of people entering the country, Colombians are becoming less welcoming and aid agencies struggle to keep pace with the swell of refugees. Sadly attacks on Venezuelans are escalating. As is the level of people taking advantage of the situation through human trafficking and slavery. The UN Refugee Agency continues to urgently seek funding to help support countries like Colombia

 

Sexual exploitation

Colombia recently has had a surge in tourism. This is fantastic news for a country recovering from years of civil conflict and violence. Many Colombians express delight that tourists feel safe to visit and are often proud of the progress Colombia is making as a country. 

 

Sadly, with tourism there has been a surge of sexual exploitation of children. In Cartagena, a “rape tour” has recently been exposed, where tourists were taken around the city to rape children. Some Westerners and other tourists, rather than spending their money on positive things within a country use their power and money to abuse locals. It’s disgusting and sickening. 

 

The Colombian government has launched a scheme to protect children from sexual exploitation and asks tourists (and locals) to report anything they see that involves a child and seems suspicious. 

 

Report anything suspicious 

If you do see anything suspicious during your travels in Colombia, report it or call the Colombian police on 123. If you can’t speak Spanish, ask your hotel or a local tour company to help you out. As all hotels and legit tour companies have also signed up to the scheme to help tackle the abuse. 

 

 

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2 comments on “Perfect 1 Month Itinerary For Colombia [Colombia Travel Guide] 

  1. Great blog Lara. I have a friend that is going to go to Colombia so will forward your blog to her. Maybe one day I’ll be able to get there too.
    Your links within your blogs are really useful.
    Enjoy planning your next trip!

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