If you are planning a trip to Colombia it just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Caribbean coast. Depending on how much time you have to spare I have put together a 1-week, 2-week, and 3-week itinerary. So keep reading for my 3 week itinerary for Colombia’s Caribbean Coast.
As this is a 3-week itinerary there are things you may want to skip like doing the Lost City, it’s a hard trek and not for everybody. So feel free to extend anyplace you arrive and like. Most places along this coast there is no need to book accommodation a long time in advance. I normally book the night before on booking.com unless it is peak season and then you might want to book a little earlier.
Day 1-2 Cartagena
As much as I enjoyed Cartagena 1-2 days here was enough for me. Plus if you are planning on returning here to catch a flight or bus to your next place you can always extend your stay if you want to!
Day 3-4 Santa Marta
I actually preferred Santa Marta to Cartagena. As beautiful as Cartagena is it is the most expensive place I’ve been to in Colombia and has a very different more touristy vibe. Gringos vacation in Cartagena and Colombians vacation in Santa Marta. Here is the best place to buy anything you need for the best prices. There are also some great beaches, museums and neighboring villages to explore.
For my guide to Santa Marta including accommodation, recommendations click here.
Day 5-8 Lost City Trek
If you want to do the Lost City tour all of the operators pick up from Santa Marta so it makes sense to do it while you are here. You are going to want a day or so to rest after the hike so you can either do that in Santa Marta or head to Taganga for a few days.
For my guide to The Lost City click here.
Day 9 -10 Taganga
I haven’t written a full guide to Taganga as although I went there three times I don’t feel like I got to know the place enough to write a full guide. I have written about it in my Santa Marta Guide though and here are my accommodation recommendations.
Day 11 – Parque Tayrona
You can not visit the Caribbean coast and not visit Parque Tayrona if you can I recommend staying 3 nights. If you can’t cope with camping they do have eco pods available, although they are on the expensive side!
Day 12-13 Minca
I loved Minca! Many people say just stay there for a day, but if you have the time I would stay longer. It’s a lot cooler than the rest of the coast and I really enjoyed escaping the heat of the beach for a few nights. There are coffee farms and waterfalls to explore so you won’t get bored! It actually reminded me a little of Guatemala which is probably why I loved it so much.
Day 14 -16 Palomino
If you prefer a less crowded beach and more laid back beach vibes then Palomino is likely going to be somewhere you won’t want to leave! I would stay for at least 3 days here chilling on the beach and tubbing on the river!
Day 17 -19 Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas
This and the Lost City were my favorite things I’ve done in Colombia. It really was an incredible trip! I mean, just take a look at the pictures in my guide.
For my guide to Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas click here.
Day 20-21 Return to Santa Marta/ Cartagena
Where to next?
If you need help getting to your next destination take a read of my transport guides: