Top 7 Locations Every Nature Lover in Colombia Should Visit

Love nature tripping? Here are the top seven nature destinations in Colombia that you should never miss.

If you’re passionate about natural wonders and looking for custom-crafted journeys, Colombia is your ultimate destination. Known as a biodiverse paradise, this country is a feast for your senses, offering lush jungles, exotic beaches, and mesmerizing mountain ranges.

As the second most biodiverse country in the world after Brazil, Colombia is a must-visit for anyone who cherishes the great outdoors. Leave behind the hustle of city life and dive into nature’s wonders.

At The Colombian Trip, we specialize in weaving tailor-made itineraries to give you the most immersive Colombian experience. Below, we have curated a list of the top 7 nature spots in Colombia that should be on every adventurer’s bucket list.

1. Mavecure Hills: Colombia's Best-Kept Secret

Imagine ascending a mystical set of hills that rise dramatically from the Amazon basin, each step you take accompanied by the gentle flow of the Guaviare River below and the chorus of Amazonian wildlife around you. Welcome to Mavecure Hills, Colombia’s awe-inspiring hidden treasure that promises a travel experience unlike any other.

Located far from the well-trodden tourist paths, Mavecure Hills stand as a trio of monolithic wonders: Pajarito, Mono, and Mavecure. Each of these hills possesses its own unique character, yet they all share the same captivating quality of making you feel like you’ve stepped into a land lost in time.

As a site sacred to local indigenous communities, Mavecure Hills offer more than just hiking treks. They provide a spiritual journey that connects you deeply with the land and its ancestral stories. Indigenous local guides, well-versed in the cultural and ecological significance of the area, lead the way, interpreting the rich tapestry of legends that surround these ancient formations.

This off-the-beaten-path marvel isn’t just for hikers; it’s a sanctuary for sustainable travel and cultural immersion. Here, eco-tourism is not a buzzword but a way of life, with community-run initiatives ensuring that your visit leaves a positive impact. Activities include canoeing on the Guaviare River, wildlife spotting—which ranges from howler monkeys to colorful parrots—and even fishing using traditional indigenous techniques.

But the true show-stopper is the summit. After a challenging, yet invigorating climb, you reach the top of these giant rock formations. The view from here is nothing short of extraordinary, offering a panoramic vista of the sprawling Amazon basin below—a reminder of the untouched beauty that still exists in the world.

For those keen on photography, the visual spectacle is unparalleled. From the golden glow of sunrise to the soft hues of twilight, each moment spent here feels like a living canvas, urging you to capture its majesty.

2. Damas Del Nare Lake: A Wildlife Watching Paradise

Set against the lush backdrop of San José del Guaviare, Damas Del Nare Lake is a nature lover’s playground and a hidden paradise for those keen on wildlife watching. Imagine gliding on placid waters amidst pods of pink dolphins, so friendly they swim up to greet you. This pristine aquatic sanctuary is also home to piranhas, giant otters, and even the elusive manatee—providing a rich canvas of biodiversity that beckons explorers of all ages.

To elevate your adventure, engage in eco-guided boat tours that offer enriching insight into the area’s ecological significance. Expert guides narrate the delicate balance that sustains this thriving wildlife haven. For those looking to eternalize the experience, the area is a treasure trove for nature photography. The vibrant aquatic life and lush scenery are perfect for capturing through your lens.

3. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: Where the Andean Peaks Meet the Caribbean

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is so much more than just a mountain range. With elevations ranging from sea level to over 5,000 meters, its ecosystems are incredibly varied. Begin your adventure at the base in the town of Minca, sipping some of the finest Colombian coffee, and then proceed up to the ‘Lost City,’ an archaeological wonder comparable to Machu Picchu. Along the way, meet indigenous communities like the Kogi and learn about their connection to Mother Earth.

Hiking trails here lead you through indigenous villages, making it a prime spot for cultural tourism as well.

The landscapes you traverse are as diverse as they are grand—from tropical jungles to cloud-shrouded peaks.

The Colombian Trip ensures that your hiking routes also bring you through these captivating villages, transforming your adventure into a rich tapestry of cultural tourism and natural exploration.

4. Rio Claro Canyon: The Hidden Jewel of Antioquia

Situated just a couple of hours from Medellin, the Rio Claro Canyon unfurls as Antioquia’s natural jewel. Hidden from the crowds, this gorge is an intricate network of marble caverns formed over millennia, each nook and cranny telling tales of geological splendor. Adventure seekers can explore the intricate labyrinth of caves, their walls shimmering with unique mineral patterns. Snorkel in waters so clear they seem like liquid glass or opt for tubing for a relaxing float down the river.

But the wonders of Rio Claro extend well into the night. Embark on guided night hikes and discover the ethereal world of bioluminescent fungi and glowing insects that illuminate the dark. It’s as if the forest dons its jewelry after dusk. Apart from the geological wonders, the area teems with exceptional flora and fauna—rare orchids, howler monkeys, and exotic bird species—making it a hotspot for botany enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.

Unique flora and fauna, such as rare orchids and howler monkeys, populate the area, making it a hotspot for botanists and wildlife enthusiasts.

5. Rio Nambi Natural Reserve: A Melting Pot of Biodiversity

Step into Rio Nambi Natural Reserve and you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world—where nature’s palette is richer, its sounds are more melodious, and its mysteries are manifold. Situated in the lush cloud forests of Colombia’s Pacific region, this reserve is more than just a biodiverse sanctuary; it’s a slice of paradise for nature enthusiasts who crave the extraordinary.

With more than 300 species of birds fluttering amid its canopy, Rio Nambi is a haven for ornithologists and casual birdwatchers alike. From the rare long-wattled umbrella birds to vibrant hummingbirds, the air is filled with a symphony of avian calls. And for those who fancy themselves photographers, the opportunities for capturing these winged beauties are limitless.

The excitement in Rio Nambi doesn’t end when the sun sets; it merely changes form. Nightfall heralds the appearance of bioluminescent fungi, casting an ethereal glow on the forest floor. Guided night walks are the way to explore this nocturnal magic, with experts pointing out hidden critters like tree frogs, owls, and other creatures that come alive in the dark.

Adding to the reserve’s allure are its numerous waterfalls and natural pools. Trek through jungle trails to stumble upon secluded waterfalls where you can revel in the invigorating embrace of pure mountain water. Don’t miss a chance to dip into natural pools for a refreshing swim, surrounded by the untouched beauty of nature.

6. Los Nevados National Park: A Heavenly Retreat in Colombia's High-Altitude Paradise

Elevate your Colombian experience—quite literally—with a visit to Los Nevados National Park. Located in the central Andean region, this park is a must-visit for those intrigued by the wonders of high-altitude ecosystems. From paramo to snow-capped peaks, this place is a microcosm of Colombia’s geographical diversity.

Start your exploration from Manizales or Pereira, and venture into the dramatic landscapes that comprise Nevado del Ruiz, Nevado del Santa Isabel, and Nevado del Tolima. These volcanoes are the titans of the park, providing not just scenic beauty but also an array of activities such as mountaineering and glacier trekking.

The park is particularly famed for its unique flora like the Frailejon, a plant adapted to the harsh high-altitude conditions. Fauna is equally intriguing, with rare sightings of the Andean Condor, a symbol of Andean mythology.

Hiking and horseback riding are popular ways to explore the vast landscapes, and thermal baths are a heavenly end to an adventurous day. To enrich your experience, engage with local coffee farmers and understand the nuances of coffee production, right from bean to cup, as this region is part of Colombia’s Coffee Triangle.

7. Caño Cristales: The River of Dreams

Caño Cristales is surreal. The colors in the river change depending on the time of year, thanks to the unique plants that grow in the riverbed. Besides the colors, this river offers excellent opportunities for freshwater snorkeling and nature photography. It’s a must-see, even for the most seasoned traveler.

Witness the superb beauty of Colombia through Cano Cristales, also known as the Liquid Rainbow or the River of Five Colors. This is one of the favorite natural landmarks in the country among nature lovers and visitors. It is something you should never miss when you visit beautiful Colombia.

The Macarenia Clavigera (red plant) grows in the riverbed that contrasts magically with the vibrant colors of the river such as the yellow sand, green algae, blue water, and black rocks. This combination produces an iridescent effect that is sure to make your jaws drop like you just found a real fantasy world on the planet.

The river is located just outside of the small town of La Macarena. If you encounter it in person, then you are fortunate enough!

When it comes to delivering unparalleled travel experiences in Colombia, The Colombian Trip is your go-to boutique travel partner. With our 24/7 personal concierge service, we're committed to making your journey as luxurious and effortless as possible.