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You could say that about most South American countries, but few have as many or as diverse terrains as Colombia, which is why the country is so full of exciting opportunities for travelers. Colombia has two coastlines, the Caribbean and the Pacific, as well as the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Jungle. This country will stimulate your mind, body, and soul in numerous ways.
People do not automatically think of this country when they consider exciting experiences, which is why we are working to change that perception. No matter what type of adventure you seek—trekking, climbing, scuba diving, or even flying—everything about Colombia feels epic.
This country will never let you forget what you see and do, whether you’re paddling out on your surfboard to catch a wave or hiking along an ancient trail to a view that words cannot describe. Both of these activities will stay with you for the rest of your life. The following is a list of the most exciting places to visit and activities to enjoy in Colombia.
Colombia’s most exciting adventure destinations
If you want to base yourself in a large city in Colombia, such as Bogotá or Cali, adventure is only a little more than an hour away. However, if you’re looking for things to do in Colombia that will give you a genuine adrenaline rush, the following locations are your best bets for adventure travel.
Because of the abundance of extreme sports and other adventure activities that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping and your heart racing, San Gil has earned the title of “Colombia’s Adventure Capital.” The town’s rapids offer some of the most exhilarating white-water rafting anywhere in the world, but the area is also great for paragliding and trekking.
Rock climbing, hiking, and white water rafting are just a few of the activities available in the mountainous landscape that surrounds Suesca, which is only an hour and a half from Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city. It is said that this is where the Columbian rock climbing scene began, which is not surprising given the hundreds of different routes to choose from.
This historic city is an excellent location for people who enjoy engaging in exciting activities because of its proximity to everything else that is just a hop, skip, and jump away. Beyond this sprawling metropolis’s historic enclaves lies the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, where hikers can enjoy meandering through the wilderness and along trails brimming with dazzling plants and animals.
Tucked away in this coastal mountain range are both the small village of Minca, famous for its birds and waterfalls, and the lost city of Ciudad Perdida, which was built many centuries before Machu Picchu. Tayrona National Natural Park is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, which run along the Caribbean coast.
Colombia’s most exciting adventures
1. Hang gliding
There are a few locations in Colombia that have ideal weather and topography for paragliding. Because of the thermal winds and elevated cliffs, it is possible to fly a paraglider across the country. And, given how beautiful the country’s coastline is, is there any other way to explore those landscapes that could be more enjoyable?
The best part is that you can participate in this extreme sport even if you have never tried paragliding before because the majority of flights are conducted in tandem with an experienced pilot who will take care of everything so that you can simply relax and enjoy the ride. If you want to learn to fly on your own, Colombia has several flying schools where you can get certified.
Paragliding-friendly areas include
- Chicamocha Canyon is located in the Bogota region, along with San Gill, Sopó, and Guasca.
- Territorio Paraiso is near Cali, while San Felix, Jericó, and Jardn are near Medelln.
2. Trekking and hiking
Hiking in Colombia is possible across a wide range of terrain, from the dizzying Andean heights and desert terrain to the Amazonian jungle and Caribbean coastline. Colombia has a diverse range of landscapes. If you’re looking for something a little bit off the beaten path in South America, Colombia is your best bet. Especially when you consider that some of the most beautiful trails on the entire continent can be found right here.
If you want to avoid the crowds on the more popular Inca Trail, consider the Lost City Trek in Peru. This challenging 44-kilometer trail, also known as Cuidad Perdida, rewards hikers with unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains and forest. Because it is still relatively unknown outside of Colombia, you will not encounter large crowds of tourists when visiting. Hikers who take the well-known path to Cerro Kennedy in Santa Marta’s Sierra Nevada will also have the opportunity to see a large number of local and migratory birds.
Travel to the Lost City
Canyoning Visit the Amazon Jungle, Tayrona National Natural Park, Santa Marta’s Sierra Nevada, and the Tatacoa Desert to get to the heart of Colombia’s nature. Canyoning involves exploring natural wonders such as waterfalls, gorges, and massive rock pools using a variety of techniques. Walking, scaling, scrambling, jumping, abseiling, and even swimming are examples of these techniques.
This physically demanding and adrenaline-pumping adventure sport is already thrilling, but Colombia’s topography allows for some truly spectacular canyoning. Visit the Juan Curi waterfalls in Santander, which are close to San Gill, or travel to Ibagué and Minca for an epic experience.
4. Riding the Waves
Even the most basic activities, such as surfing, will take you off the beaten path in Colombia. Colombia, despite having two coastlines, one along the Pacific Ocean and the other along the Caribbean Sea, is not particularly well-known for its surfing.
However, there are many incredible spots on both coasts, as well as some even more remote locations, where you can get on your board and catch a wave or two, not to mention kite surfing. You might be surprised to learn that Colombia has some of the best surfing spots in South America for surfers of all skill levels.
The beaches along the Caribbean coast are typically more crowded, even though they are easier to access and provide a more welcoming environment for beginners. Because they are more difficult to access, popular surf spots along the Pacific coast tend to be quieter. The months of December to March and July to September have some of Colombia’s best surfing conditions.
Surf-friendly beaches include
- Playa Guachalito is one of Colombia’s best surfing beaches, located on the Pacific coast.
- Pradomar, near Barranquilla, is a fantastic location for surfing on Colombia’s Caribbean coast that is suitable for surfers of all skill levels. This location is a popular hangout on weekends, but it is quiet during the week.
- CosteoCostco Beach is without a doubt the most well-known surfing destination on the Caribbean Coast. There won’t be any monster waves here, but it’s a great place for beginners, and the atmosphere and scenery are stunning.
- El Valle is a picturesque fishing village on the Pacific coast with waves ideal for beginner and intermediate surfers.
- Punta Sur, San Andres provides visitors with the opportunity to go surfing on multiple beaches and experience Caribbean island life.
Mountain biking is number five
Biking is a popular pastime in Colombia, and many residents enjoy it in their spare time. Large cities like Bogotá and Medellin are crawling with cyclists on weekends, pedaling their way through the streets on two wheels. There will be plenty of them. One of the best things about this country is that it allows avid cyclists to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and ride on some of the most breathtaking trails in the world.
The paved mountain roads are ideal for both novice and experienced riders looking to enjoy the country’s breathtaking scenery and tranquil atmosphere. Hiking on isolated mountain paths or traversing the countryside on one of Colombia’s many well-maintained trails are both options. Because the weather remains relatively consistent throughout the year, you will be able to participate in this adrenaline-pumping activity in favorable conditions all year.
Mountain biking best of the best
- Armenia, Chicamocha’s Canyon Trail, and San Gill Peas Blancas Santa Elena Trail in Medelln Salento, as well as the Simon Bolivar Flow Trail.