The 20 Best Things to See and Do in Colombia in Your Twenties

Brranquilla Carnival, Colombia | © Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock
Brranquilla Carnival, Colombia | © Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock
Photo of Chris Bell
30 October 2017

Colombia is a fantastic country to visit no matter your age, but there are definitely some things to see and do in Colombia that are easier or more appealing to a younger crowd: long distance treks, extreme sports, dancing until dawn—here are the best things to see and do in Colombia in your twenties (and even in your thirties!)

Trek to the Lost City

The Lost City in Colombia | © william.neuheisel / Flickr

Trekking 28.6 miles (46 kilometers) round-trip through the jungle to the Lost City is an amazing experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages; however, anyone with bad knees will attest to the advantages of being in your twenties while slogging up 1,200 slippery stone steps to arrive at ancient ruins.

Dance until dawn

Dancing Salsa, Merengue, Bachata | © COD Newsroom / Flickr

Colombians love a good party, and plenty of excellent nightclubs throughout the country keep the party going until the early hours. Whether it’s salsa, electronic, reggaeton, it’s just not a trip to Colombia without dancing as the sun comes up.

Extreme Sports in San Gil

Paragliding over the Chicamocha Canyon | Chris Bell © The Culture Trip

Bungee jumping, canyoning, white-water rafting, paragliding, and much more—San Gil is an adventure playground for adrenaline junkies, and it’s definitely worth scheduling three or four days there to make the most of all of the activities on offer.

Write off Sunday with a boozy Bogota brunch

Caldo de Costilla, the Bogota Brunch | © Peter Angritt / Wikimedia Commons

Several nice hotels in Bogota offer excellent all-you-can-eat brunches, even a few all-you-can-drink ones. W Hotel, best of the lot, runs an excellent Saturday and Sunday brunch 12–4pm for just COP$72,000 (about $25) with amazing food as well as all-you-can-drink Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.

Hit up the Barranquilla Carnival

Barranquilla | © Studios / Flickr

Not to be confused with Rio’s famous festival, Barranquilla Carnival is a week of nonstop dancing, drinking, and general merrymaking, so it’s the perfect twenties travel experience. While numerous great festivals can be experienced in Colombia, this one is definitely the best.

Go to a music festival

The Killers performing at Estéreo Picnic | © Todolector / Wikimedia Commons

If you happen to be in the country at the same time as one of its exciting music festivals is taking place, then make sure to grab a ticket! Rock al Parque, Baum Fest, Estéreo Picnic, or Storyland Festival are great places to enjoy live music in Colombia.

Learn to kitesurf in La Guajira

The surreal desert landscapes of the Guajira | © Axel Rouvin/Flickr

The calm waters of Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira are one of the world’s premier kitesurfing destinations, with several kitesurf schools operating in town. Whether you sign up for an intensive course or just a few lessons, kitesurfing in La Guajira is an unbelievable experience.

Meet new people at Gringo Tuesdays

Bogota’s most popular weeknight event is Gringo Tuesdays at La Villa. Between 5pm and 9pm, it’s a conversation club giving you the chance to practice your Spanish; then it becomes a buzzing nightclub until 3am—plenty of time to dance with your new friends. Plus, it’s a great place to meet people if you’re looking to date on your trip to Colombia.

Discover Bogota’s gig scene

Ghetto Kumbé | Courtesy of Olivier Hoffschir

Bogota has a thriving underground live music scene ripe for discovery. Head out to hip clubs like Boogaloop, Latin Power, Marino/Submarino, and many more to enjoy the best underground sounds from excellent underground bands and artists.

Play tejo

Tejo has been around a while | © JuanGris (Lucía Estévez) / Wikimedia Commons

Colombia’s official national sport basically involves throwing heavy chunks of metal at gunpowder until it explodes, all while drinking loads of beer! It’s a crazy fun experience best enjoyed with friends (and no plans the following day—the beer really does flow).

Learn to surf

Colombia might not be famous for surfing, but there are some great places to catch some waves nonetheless. The best place for young travelers is definitely Costeno Beach Hostel, a surf camp on a private paradise beach on the Caribbean coast, where you can sip cocktails in between learning some surfing skills. Check it out in this awesome Bomba Estéreo music video.

Do the Septima Challenge in Bogota

A post shared by BP (@travellibee) on

A fun Sunday activity from tour company Bogota & Beyond, Septima Challenge is a bit like the Amazing Race: during Sunday markets and ciclovia (a weekly event when streets are closed for cyclists), teams rush around the city trying to find certain items and complete tasks. It’s great fun and a brilliant way to discover more of Bogota and practice your Spanish.

Have some fun at Parque Explora in Medellin

Parque Explora | © Averpues / WikiCommons

This excellent interactive science and technology park also has a 3D theater, aquarium, and museum. It might seem aimed at children, but it’s great fun for young adults as well and offers a fantastic place to spend a day in Medellin.

Stay at Casa Elemento in Minca

The famous Casa Elemento hammock | © Chris Bell / The Culture Trip

Casa Elemento, a hostel in the mountains above Minca, has become Instagram-famous in recent years due to its amazing giant hammock (read: world’s biggest) offering stunning views over the distant Caribbean. It’s also a great place for a party, so make sure to visit.

Be a TV extra

If you can’t hang around all day for $30 in exchange for a 10-second non-speaking role on a dramatic Colombian soap opera in your twenties, when can you?!

Get muddy at Volcan del Totumo

Getting muddy at Totumo | © Mark Rowland / Flickr

Who doesn’t want to get covered in mud at an mini mud volcano before getting hosed down in warm Caribbean waters? …Probably quite a few people, but forget them and head to the Totumo Mud Volcano for a great day trip from Cartagena. Just don’t wear your best bathing suit.

Take the Bogota Craft Beer Tour

Bogota Beer Company | © Andres Rueda / Wikimedia Commons

Bogota’s best beer tour visits excellent bars and craft breweries throughout the city, exploring the culture of craft beer in Colombia (and sampling a fair few ales along the way). While this tour works for any age group, being in your twenties definitely helps with the inevitable hangover!

Ride roller coasters at the National Coffee Park

The beautiful National Coffee Park | © Diego Cambiaso / Flickr

A theme park dedicated entirely to coffee? Yep. At the National Coffee Park in the Coffee Region, you can learn about the history of coffee in between riding roller coasters, bumper cars, and log flumes! It’s the perfect day trip for caffeine lovers and thrill seekers alike.

Visit Cine Tonalá

Cine Tonalá | © Dirimpacta / Wikimedia Commons

Bogota’s best alternative cinema is a great place to check out local independent film, eat some delicious food, enjoy a cocktail, and even dance the night away to soul and funk in the attic club. Tonala has something great going on every day, but check listings for more details on screenings and club nights.

Adventure off the beaten path

Make your own adventure in Colombia | UlisesCasarez / Pixabay

Your twenties are the time to be adventurous, so go beyond guidebook-endorsed travel destinations and explore a bit of alternative Colombia. You’ll be virtually the only tourist in many places and get to enjoy unique experiences.

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