I’m traveling with 7 of my friends to Colombia in early May. Unfortunately we only have a week and want to make the most of it without spreading ourselves too thin. We fly into Cartagena and back from there exactly a week later. Our priorities include hiking/exploring natural beauty with a mix of some good nightlife. We aren’t particularly interested in tourist attractions like museums, churches, historic landmarks etc. After reading through travel guides and the excellent posts on this subreddit including the “Destination of the Week” thread, we have only been able to decide how we want to spend the first few days:
Day 1 (Saturday): Arrive in Cartagena in AM. Take bus to Santa Marta and from there travel to Tayrona where we’d stay in an airbnb. As we’d arrive late at night, plan to eat some good food and rest up.
Day 2: Explore Tayrona for a full day, do some hiking and spend some time on the beautiful beaches. Stay in same airbnb.
The next day (Monday), we would get back to Santa Marta in the AM and from there go to either Medellin or Bogota. Many people seem to recommend Medellin for its authenticity, and it does seem like a great place to visit (El Guatape day trip looks amazing), but our issue is that I’ve read many times that nightlife is non-existent during the week. Our plans are limited by the fact that we’d have to return to Cartagena on Friday for our flight on Saturday. Would Bogota be a better option during the week as far as nightlife goes? I’ve heard Cartagena has solid nightlife as well, so the Friday before we depart our plan is to explore Cartagena (especially Old City) and then go out that night. Any advice would be appreciated on how we can best spend Monday-Thursday! Also, plans are nowhere near set in stone so other suggestions are welcome!
PS: We were also hoping to visit the Eje Cafetero, but due to time constraints and its relatively remote location, we aren’t sure if its worth it. Are there any alternative authentic coffee farms closer to major cities?