Ever since travelers switched from storing photos of their adventures in shoeboxes to posting them on social media, Colombia has been the star of an increasing number of eye-catching Instagram posts.
As intrepid instagrammers started taking notice of the Latin American country’s spectacular seascapes, enchanting colonial towns, photogenic skylines, pristine beaches, and ever-evolving culinary scene, Instagram has been blowing up with photos showing off Colombia’s diverse backdrop and culture.
Got your smartphone handy? Here are the 9 most Instagrammable spots that have helped bring Colombia into the limelight of global tourism:
Hop on a bus from Medellín and whiz on over to Guatapé, one of Colombia’s most colorful towns.
The star of this captivating destination is the famous Rock of Guatapé, or El Peñol—a 200-meter-high granite rock that towers over the lake.
Devoted instgrammers can take the 740-step staircase to the top to snap up the incredible view of the sprawling, sky-blue lake speckled with emerald islands.
Continue down into the town itself, where every home and business is brightly painted with zocalos—bas-reliefs depicting locals, animals, flowers, landscapes, and tales of the town’s history.
Comuna 13, Medellín
Once considered the most dangerous neighborhoodin Medellín – which itself was once named the world’s most dangerous city – Comuna 13 has undergone an incredible rebirth.
Local government efforts to rebuild the brick houses, erect community centers, and install a series of outdoor escalators to connect the formerly isolated barrio to the city below resulted in the birth of one of the most colorful destinations in Medellín.
Today, vacationers, backpackers, and instagrammers alike visit Comuna 13 to ride the elevator and gape at the captivating graffiti. On walls once dotted with bullet holes, local artists have painted intricate murals remembering the story of Communa 13, honoring fallen heroes, and brightening the once-troubled community with art.
We recommend going with a local guide to hear the area’s compelling history first-hand.
The Coffee Triangle
Colombia’s Coffee Triangle, or Zona Cafetera,is renowned for producing some of the world’s best beans.
Encompassing the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, and a small part of the Valle del Cauca, the Triangle abounds with Instagramable colonial towns, cloud forests, hot springs, and lush fields of coffee, plantains, and bamboo.
Top ‘gram-worthy spots include the Cocora Valley (home to the awe-inspiringly tall and endangered Quindio wax palm), the historic towns of Salento, Manizales, and Buenavista, and the Santa Rosa de Cabal Hot Springs.
Every major Colombian city features a “Centro,” or downtown district, that acts as its beating heart.
Venture into the Centro areas of Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, or Cartagena to capture photos of bustling street markets and plazas, historic architecture, and vendors hawking everything from leaning towers of traditional hats to fresh sliced mango with lime and salt.
But be forewarned: Centros tend to see a higher occurrence of pickpockets and robberies, so keep your wits about you if you plan on snapping pictures with your phone and avoid these areas after dark.
A sleepy village just half an hour uphill from the coastal town of Santa Marta, Minca has become increasingly beloved by instagrammers over the past few years.
Picture magical mountain streams, swimming holes, and waterfalls where colorful endemic birds soar through the cool jungle air and spectacular sunsets that usher in the nightfall.
Instagrammers, in particular, tend to flock to Casa Elemento, a hostel that is famous for its massive hammock offering incredible views.
Islas Rosario, Cartagena
About an hour away from the tourist-loved town of Cartagena on the Colombian Carribean Coast, the Islas Rosario archipelago is comprised of 27 islands—some inhabited, others not.
You can book a boat to tour the still waters and coral reefs, stopping to snap up perfect pictures of picture-perfect beaches, enchanted lagoons, and platters of deliciously Instagrammable fresh seafood.
The Colombian department of La Guajira is a diverse treasure trove of enormous sand dunes, salt flats, lush jungles, crystal-clear rivers, crashing-wave beaches, and ancient indigenous culture.
If you’re an instagrammer you won’t want to miss a selfie opportunity among the bright pink American Flamingos of the Flamenco Sanctuary or the waterfalls, sand dunes, and elfin cloud forest of the Macuira National Natural Park.
Hire a moto taxi to explore the classic tourist circuit through the beaches of Ojo de Agua and Play del Pilon, the Pilon de Azucar hill, and the El Faro lighthouse.
One of Latin America’s largest fashions events, Colombiamoda is held every July in Medellín. This fashion fair draws thousands of attendees and hundreds of designers from around the world.
Hit up the festival to capture photos of some of the world’s top models on the runway’s or perhaps a celebrity selfie if you’re lucky!
Feria de Las Flores
Another world-famous paisa festival, Feria de Las Flores is Medellín’s largest annual festival.
The 10-day celebration of flowers occurs every August when tourists journey to the city to marvel at flower-studded displays from silleteros, traditional Colombian flower vendors who come from far and wide to display their wares.
With events like processions of thousands of horses, epic music concerts, and antique car parades, you’ll never be hard-pressed to find an Instagramable moment during this fantastic festival of flores.
In the diverse, burgeoning country of Colombia, Instagram photo opportunities are endless.
We’ve listed only a handful of the many sights worthy of Instagramming and exploration. We hope we’ve inspired you to venture out, camera in hand, and hunt down your own favorite Instagram opps in this scenic and surprising country.