13 days in Colombia & Costa Rica Itinerary

13 days in Colombia & Costa Rica Itinerary

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Cartagena, Colombia
— 4 nights
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Bogota, Colombia
— 4 nights
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San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
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4
nights
Cartagena, Colombia

City of Heroes

The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
Get in touch with nature at Aviario Nacional de Colombia and Playa Puntilla. Centro Historico and Cathedral Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria will appeal to history buffs. There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Barrio Getsemani, make a trip to Baluarte de Santo Domingo, steep yourself in history at Plaza de la Proclamacion, and explore the historical opulence of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Cartagena tour itinerary maker tool.

San Francisco, USA to Cartagena is an approximately 14-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time to Colombia Standard Time is 3 hours. Traveling from San Francisco in May, things will get warmer in Cartagena: highs are around 90°F and lows about 79°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

4
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Athens of South America

Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Zona G Bogota and Gold Museum (Museo del Oro). Escape the urban bustle at Laguna de Guatavita and Monserrate. Get out of town with these interesting Bogota side-trips: Parque Natural Chicaque (in Chicaque) and Centro de Memoria El Cuartico (in Valledupar). And it doesn't end there: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de San Francisco, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at La Catedral Primada, see the interesting displays at Museo de Trajes, and walk around Parque Metropolitano Simon Bolivar.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Bogota trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Cartagena to Bogota in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or take a bus. Expect cooler temperatures when traveling from Cartagena in May; daily highs in Bogota reach 67°F and lows reach 50°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Bogota

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

3
nights
San Jose, Costa Rica

A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): play a few rounds at Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then admire the masterpieces at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, and finally stop by Chieton Moren. Keep things going the next day: get a new perspective on nature at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, then stroll through Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and finally get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, use the San Jose day trip planning site.

You can fly from Bogota to San Jose in 6.5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Bogota to San Jose. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Bogota in June, with highs in San Jose at 81°F and lows at 67°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Spas · Parks · Golf

Side Trip

Colombia travel guide

4
Historic Sites · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
Diverse in terms of landscapes, climates, and cultures, Colombia remains one of South America's least explored tourist destinations, overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbors. Combining the best of what the continent has to offer, a vacation in Colombia allows you to blend outdoor adventures with tours of picture-perfect cobblestoned towns dating back to the colonial era. Tourists on a Colombia holiday can easily hop from sun-kissed coastal spots to the hilly coffee-growing region, where thriving plantations quickly give way to a landscape of snow-covered volcanic peaks and the paramo--alpine ecosystems sheltering some of the rarest plants growing above the continuous forest line.

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.