Colombia Trip: 20 Days
The Secret of South America
This South American secret has been hidden from view for far too long, but it is ready for us now! With fun hostels, a great backpacker scene, a feeling of safety, incredible adventure sports, funky bars, and restaurants scattered through the country, you’re in for a wild ride through this stunning country!
Starting in Medellin, a jungle city with a vibrant life force, down through the rainforests boasting incredible views and adrenaline-pumping action, to the beaches and pristine nature along the Caribbean, to our final stop in Cartagena, an unbelievable city jutting out into the Sea: this non-stop trip (with some hammock time, of course) will satisfy your need for culture, history, nightlife, cuisine, adventure, hiking, and breathtaking landscapes. Join us in Colombia for a trip of a lifetime!
I just got back from the 20-day Colombia trip and am still on cloud 9. The itinerary was a perfect combination of activities & free time and covered so many beautiful spots to see and adventures to experience: history, culture, vibrant and colorful cities, secluded beaches, Jurassic Park scenery, hiking, paragliding (OMG!!!), surfing, scuba diving, chilling in hammocks, having a mudbath in a volcano together, tubing (what a party floating down a river), massages, bumpy truck, boat & motorbike rides, partying, shopping and of course checking out great restaurants and bars... Unlike other travel agencies, FnEZ challenges you to push your limits and try out new things - however, if you‘re not up to it, the leaders will go above & beyond to organize an equally enjoyable alternative.
- Larissa, July 2018
Day 1-3 (Medellín)
Group flights arrive throughout the day. We will spend three nights in this jungle city and get settled into the Colombian lifestyle. Prepare to get hit with some amazing culture, history, and nightlife! We will take a private bus to Guatapé on the last day.
Day 4-6 (Guatapé)
Arrive during the day. It's time to have your mind blown with some of the world's best views and indulge in the colourful community and sites of Guatapé. Get on a private bus on the last day to Salento.
Day 7-9 (Salento)
Arrive in the evening, spend three awesome days in this beautiful, chill stop. The highlight being Cocora Valley National Park with the world's tallest palm trees!
On the last day take a shuttle to the airport for a short flight to Santa Marta.
Day 10-14 (Costeño Beach)
Land in Santa Marta and take a shuttle down the coast and through the jungle to Costeno Beach where we get to enjoy four nights on a beach paradise. We get to experience bungalow-style beach rooms, a swimming pool, beach volleyball, surfing, and many more activities.
While we are here you have the opportunity to take a day trip into Tayrona National Park*.
Day 15-16 (Palomino)
Enjoy a late check out in Costeno and get ready to head out by motorbike to Palomino. We have two days here close to a beautiful beach with a little artisan town to explore shops and enjoy the pool and bar at our guesthouse.
Palomino is where we will head into the rainforest and float down the Palomino River back to the Caribbean sea and our beach at Palomino.
Day 17-20 (Cartagena)
On or way to Cartagena we make a pit stop to get weird in a man-made mud volcano. After our clay bath we head to the colourful city of Cartagena.
We stay in the walled part of the city and make sure to walk around and catch the sunset over the ocean before we start our night. Check out some cool roof top pools, world-class SCUBA diving, a boat ride to our own beach for a BBQ, and more.
Don't forget about Cartagena's famous nightlife and shopping! We finish the trip off with a fun trip around the city on a Colombian Chiva bus (picture a school bus that has been pimped out to be the ultimate fiesta bus) for one last celebration before saying goodbye. Cartegena is sure to blow your mind!
Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure.
IMPORTANT: If you are doing a combo trip and booking your own flights, please contact us to confirm the start and end point of your trip.
The Free & Easy Commitment
We strive to ensure everyone who wants to travel has the opportunity to have the most epic experience ever. Free & Easy delivers awe-inspiring travel experiences and creates lifelong connections between incredible people + incredible places.
See below for more details about what else is included in this amazing adventure.
Included Experiences: Colombia 20
- Medellin City tour
- Culture and graffiti tour of Medellin including District 13
- Transport and entrance to Cócora valley
- Learn how to play tejo, Colombia’s national sport
- Tubing on a Rainforest river to a Caribbean beach
- Sleep in Colombian Eco-Habs on a secluded beach
- Cartagena City and Fortress walking tour
- Enjoy beverages and the sunset on the old city walls of Cartagena
- Experience the tranquility of Colombia's beaches, wild life, and city cultures
- Bathe in Tulum Mud Volcano (man made clay bath volcano)
- All Free & Easy travelers will have access to our industry leading app to help manage your trip. This provides pre-trip planning advice, itinerary management, activity suggestions for free time, maps, chat support and more!
Accommodation: Colombia 20
All accommodations - We send our trip planners to each of our destinations so they can do on the ground, research. Checking for the best location, comfort and vibe that we can get for our budget while also supporting local businesses.
Transportation: Colombia 20
All transport - This trip will find us taking private A/C vans, A/C bus, public transport and a plane.
Leaders: Colombia 20
1-2 group leaders - Our staff is consistently ranked as the #1 reason that people loved their trips. We meet most of our leaders while traveling with them so we can see in person if they are fun yet responsible, cool yet down to earth, professional yet laid back. This creates that perfect mix which makes our "tours" feel like a group of friends.
Optional Experiences: Colombia 20
- Colombian Coffee Tour
- City Bar Hopping
- Mountain Biking
- Waterfall hike
- Food and Exotic fruits tour
- Horseback riding
- Surfing (depending on weather)
- SUP boarding and kayaking
- La Popa Monastery tour
- Fortress tours
- Scuba in Military Ship Graveyard
- ATV tour
- Chiva party bus tour of Cartagena
- Spa day
- Sky Diving
- Resort and roof top pool lounging
- Hike ancient trails & experience an indigenous village with history dating back 500 years
- Day trip to Tayrona National park (closed in February/March)
- Day trip to Minca (a town in the mountains)
- Volleyball, beach Olympics and other daily beach activities
- Beach BBQ on a private beach with snorkeling
- Salsa lessons
- Shopping inside the walled city
- Beach Bonfire
- and so much more! If you're interested in something that isn't on the list just ask us, if it's possible we will find you some options. We are here to try and help you find your ideal trip!
- All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
- Activities outside of the ones listed above (optional activities are not included)
- Any Visa or Visa fees
Find out how much spending money you will need here.
Wax Palms in Cocora Valley
Located in Los Nevadas National Park and a short drive in a Jeep or locally named “Willy’s” with 8 of your closest travel buddies to the entrance of this Valley.
Here you will find rolling hills with giant Wax Palm trees. These trees are now protected within this region and can grow +60 meters. Various other plants and animals can be found in this area.
Ever want to be a tree hugger? Hug one of these giants and check that off your bucket list! These Jurassic sized trees will get your imagination going, we’ll show you!
Spend the morning exploring and if you too keen continue deeper into the park with an extended loop hike, with a coffee break at a hummingbird sanctuary. Slightly challenging but worth every step.
Hike to an Amazing Viewpoint in Guatapé
Looking for the best views in Colombia? Well get your camera ready and head on up to El Peñón de Guatapé! Put on a comfy pair of shoes, fill up a water bottle, and grab your hiking partner: we’re going to a viewpoint!
Here at Free & Easy, we’re huge fans of viewpoints, and this is one of our favourites, so that’s saying something! In Guatapé, there are amazing rock formations all around, but El Peñón (The Rock) is made of a type of granite, and has avoided erosion. Former indigenous inhabitants of the region worshiped the monstrous formation, and today it is a National Monument in Colombia.
Up we go! The hike takes you up concrete stairs, 740 steps to be exact. Not exactly grueling, but a feat none-the-less, and you are well rewarded! Overlooking beautiful, flourishing islands in all directions across the lake, this peaceful viewpoint is totally worth the climb! Take a deep breath, take it all in, and take a selfie! There are also locals selling their handicrafts at the top, giving you a chance to pick up a souvenir before heading back down!
Tubing on a Rainforest River
This incredible activity is a must do. That’s why it’s included on your trip! Woohoo! On this day trip, we’ll see the awesome rainforest that makes Colombia so unique. So grab your TFF, a few cold ones, and get ready for a chill afternoon floating down the river!
You’ll be floating through jungle landscapes with prehistoric-like rock formations. Take in the view and just be! We’ll spend a few hours floating under a canopy of trees, with nothing but sunshine, the sounds of birds, and your new FnEZ Family to keep you company. If you ever wanted to define ultimate zen and relaxation combined with an unforgettable experience, this day pretty much does that for you!
The river runs into the Caribbean, so we’ll stop at a beach and check out a local BBQ restaurant for some great food and a couple of drinks to carry us where ever we want to go into the afternoon and evening. From reeds to waves, this day is nothing short of adventurous.
With FnEZ, you’re always getting the best bang for your buck, and you’re always getting the best activities available! What more could you ask for? Join us in Colombia, you just might find what you're searching for!
Walking Tour with Metrocable Ride
Take a mud bath in a volcano
Take a mud bath in a volcano: this is for real! At FnEZ we’re always looking for unique experiences, and we think we nailed this one! El Totumo Mud Volcano is located about 45 minutes outside of Cartagena so naturally, it makes sense that we will stop in for a quick splash on our way by. The small 49-foot man-made Volcano.
We’ll take the quick stroll up the side of the Volcano and hop in! Plus, you can opt-in for a massage while in the volcano. If you'd rather just float in the mud and absorb the wild feeling that’s totally cool too. If you’re looking for a true Colombian experience this is it, and it boasts some amazing lakeside views of the beautiful Santa Catalina region.
Let the minerals and revitalization of a natural mud bath take over and once you’ve finished you can walk just a minute to the nearby lake and rinse off. It is said that the mud has anti-aging properties, so take your time and soak it all up!
Foodies Get Ready!
If you like food, you’ll love Colombia! Especially in the city centres, Medellin and Cartagena, the food scene is unreal! These great culinary experiences won’t break the bank, either! You will have some of the best meals of your life for a fraction of what you’d pay at home.
The restaurants range from great local eats, to funky cafes with specialty items, to cool bars with signature cocktails, to amazing fusion restaurants with brand new flavour combinations that will blow you away! The food is a major highlight in the two cities that bookend our 20-day trip in Colombia. Throughout Colombia, there is a definite European vibe, and it extends into the food.
From street meat to classy and artistic restaurants, you won’t be disappointed with your dinners here. Plus, in classic Colombian fashion, there’s more than meets the eye. Many establishments will have live DJs, street terraces, hidden gardens out back, and a really cool vibe that will remind you that you aren’t in any rush. Just eat, drink, and be happy!
Experience Colombian Nightlife
A trip to Colombia is not complete without letting loose and enjoying some of the nightlife! The cities that book end our trip, Medellin and Cartagena, both offer unforgettable experiences.
Nightlife in Colombia has a unique Latin flare that is unlike anywhere in the Americas. All over the country, bars offer vibrant nightlife with amazing food and drinks, and the dancing will keep you grooving until the wee hours of the morning. While you’re out, you have to try some locally brewed beer, and of course, the rum!
Famous for its rum, Colombia even has whole bars dedicated to the local brew! In Cartagena, try out some of their cocktail bars, focused on perfecting their unique recipes. In Medellin, just grab your favourite drink and hit the streets!
It’s hard to explain, you have to see it to believe it, but the colourful streets are filled with happy people, all evening long, enjoying food, drinks, and a uniquely vibrant social atmosphere. You’ll see street performers, eat fresh street food, and join people dancing everywhere! So if you’re looking for a good time, join us in Colombia, and we’ll show you around!
It becomes clear upon arrival why the colonial city of Cartagena is an essential stop while in Colombia as you’re hit with the colourful streets lined with street performers, food carts, amazing restaurants, and cocktail bars. Also, the architecture is awesome, you feel like you’ve stepped into a piece of European explorer past, you can sense the history that exists in the ancient buildings and streets.
We love it so much that we include a guided tour of the city to take it all in at a FnEZ pace. You can expect to have your mind blown while sitting atop La Popa Monastery overlooking the entire city with your group, or walking the walled old city with a fresh coconut in hand.
We love Cartagena so much that we dedicate 3 days to properly explore this Caribbean gem, once you’ve arrived we dare you to take the smile off of your face!
Experience Colombian Coffee
It’s smooth, it’s aromatic, it’s bold: it’s coffee and your life wouldn’t be the same without it. Heck, a lot of things probably wouldn’t exist without it (that project you’re working on, for example).
Luckily for you, Colombia is the world’s 3rd largest coffee producer! If you’re a coffee fan, you could be at the source of it all. Once you try good, Colombian coffee, you’ll find it hard to go back to your regular brew. Colombia has a reputation for having a mild, well-balanced flavour to their coffee beans, and it’s darn delicious.
If you are into coffee at all, you’ll love what they’re brewing down here! If you aren’t, that’s because you haven’t been drinking this! Give it a try, trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Pour yourself a cup of joe every morning, and bring some beans home with you when you sadly have to leave this beautiful country. Just make sure you bring enough: once you share it with your friends, you’ll have them begging for more!
Practice Yoga on the Beach.
Practicing yoga on the beach in warm, tropical weather provides you with the perfect environment to learn how to find a calm within yourself and feel your mind truly relax.
Listening to the sounds of the jungle and the crashing of the waves onshore only adds to the bliss of this experience. You can experience practicing yoga in a beautiful and isolated setting under the expert guidance of yoga instructors on several of our trips.
So take an hour or so out of your day to stretch, breathe and enjoy one of the best yoga sessions of your life in paradise!
Surf a Wave.
Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, you'll know, because you'll be more excited than the first time you had sex and probably more addicted to it, too!
Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you'll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. It's no coincidence that 6 of the countries that we run trips to (Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru & Colombia) have wicked surf scenes because there's nothing quite like it.
Go Paragliding in Colombia!
There may be no better way to get a feel for how beautiful a place is than by slowly soaring above it. As backpackers, an excursion like paragliding often gets neglected by the need for things like rum and more rum.
But when you get to a place that is just so visually incredible that it defies description then we highly recommend forking out the extra dough to get yourself high and enjoy a view like none you've ever had.
There are plenty of places in the world where you can paraglide, but Colombia is one of the best and when you're flying through the sky and staring down at the beauty below, it's easy to see why.