Nature offers activities that can strengthen the bonds with your kids, and also provide them with impressions they will carry with them forever.
Colombia has many offers of this type. However in this post I will tell you about the safest and most enjoyable nature experiences in Colombia for your kids (from 4 to 18 y/o)
The Coffee Triangle for Kids
The coffee triangle is a major destination in Colombia, despite its size, there is a great diversity of thermal floors and landscapes. For this reason, three of our recommended destinations are found there.
In addition, this is one of the safest regions in Colombia and with the friendliest people.
1. Hacienda Venecia Coffee Farm in Caldas
The department of Caldas is a coffee destination par excellence. There you can go with your kids and learn about the process of coffee production and also about cocoa, i.e. chocolate!
There are farms like Hacienda Venecia, which have different types of accommodations, several experience tours, different walking trails, and a swimming pool!
What to do?
It is a very safe place, and you will be able to take tours on foot, by bicycle, visit the plantations, get to know the most beautiful birds and butterflies of the coffee region, and enjoy with your kids the coffee landscape.
Explore the Surroundings
Caldas has to offer several destinations for birdwatching. In our post 9.5% of the Birds of the World: Main Spots for Birdwatching in Caldas, you will find the main birding destinations in Caldas.
From Hacienda Venecia you can also explore the surroundings, and visiting the city of Manizales and the Eco park Los Yarumos.
You can also visit the Los Nevados NNP to get to know the paramo, one of the most important ecosystems in Colombia. Know more about this park in our entry Best Things to Know Before Visiting Los Nevados National Natural Park.
You can visit Los Nevados Park towards the Brisas sector, where there is a special platform for bird watching. From there it is possible to watch the Buffy Helmetcrest, and endemic hummingbird of Colombia.
On the way down from there you will find the Hotel Termales del Ruiz. The gardens of this hotel offer a a fun activity that consists of feeding hummingbirds from the palm of your hand.
The sensation of feeling one of these birds landing on your fingers is a beautiful, touching and unique experience that your kids will always remember! If you want to know more about hummingbirds I recommend you to read our entry 17 Unique Hummingbirds of Colombia and Where to Find Them.
Finally, spend a day in places surrounded by plenty of wildlife and nature such as:
- The Tinamu Nature Reserve where you can walk in the forest and do some birdwatching. Know more about Tinamú in our entry The Nicest Bird-lodge of Colombia: Tinamu Birding Nature Reserve;
- Hacienda El Bosque, where you will visit a dairy farm and have the chance to see and learn about the high mountain birds; and,
- Finca Romelia, a place where you can visit an immense collection of orchids and bonsai.
2. Botanical Garden, Panaca Park and the Wax Palm in Salento in Quindío
Quindío is a department where you can have a lot of fun with your kids! You can stay in the city of Armenia, where there are many country hotels with swimming pools. I recommend you the Hotel Sazagua.
Quindío Botanical Garden
From your hotel in Armenia, you can make a day visit to the Botanical Garden of Quindío.
This Botanical Garden holds the most complete and beautiful collections of palms, heliconia, and butterflies of Colombia.
Afterward, you can dedicate another day to visit the Panaca Park. If you prefer, you can stay in this park for several days at the Hotel Decameron that is inside it.
Panaca is a park dedicated to country life. There your kids will be able to have interactive experiences with farm animals, attend fun animal shows, go on carriage rides around the farm, and participate in adventure activities such as canopying or crossing tibetan bridges, among others!
The Cocora Valley in Salento
Finally, you can go to Salento and get to know one of the most emblematic landscapes of Colombia: the wax palm fields of Quindío!
Know more about the wax palm in our entries The Unique Wax Palm Forests Landscape Destinations in Colombia and The Wax Palm and Why it is a Must to See When Visiting Colombia.
3. Ukumari Park, the Hot Springs in Santa Rosa, and Otún Quimbaya Sanctuary in Risaralda
Leaving Manizales or Armenia, you can continue to the city of Pereira, and visit one of the most beautiful and oldest zoos in Colombia, the Ukumari bio park.
There your kids will be able to meet the most representative animals of the Colombian Andean forests, such as the Jaguarundi, the Chachalaca, the Black Spider Monkey, the Tapir and the Andean Spectacled Bear.
Afterward, you have two options: visit the Santa Rosa de Cabal hot springs or go to the Otún Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary.
Hot springs in Santa Rosa de Cabal
The Thermal Eco park has a spa where you will live a plan full of rest and fun with all your family. There are a 95-meter-high waterfall and five cold water streams that bathe the mountain, forming a dreamlike landscape.
In addition, you will be able to enjoy the Thermal Expedition. This expedition will be fantastic for the kids to know how the thermal waters are born. You will walk in the middle of the mountains of the Coffee Cultural Landscape, through the central Colombian mountain range.
There you will discover the water births, where it emerges from the earth at high temperatures. You will also see a spectacular waterfall of cold water and you will get to know different species of fauna and flora unique in the world. It is an experience full of adrenaline and fun.
Otún Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary
The other option is the Otún Sanctuary. This is a more remote place, but don’t worry, it is perfectly safe. This park protects a sample of the sub-Andean jungle, one of the richest in Colombia.
It is a perfect place to get in full contact with nature, and to walk a lot. You can also observe the native flora and fauna.
4. The Eastern Plains for Kids: Lagos de Menegua
Lagos de Menegua is a hotel-reserve in the heart of the eastern plains of Colombia. It is also a very safe place and has a spectacular landscape. It is home to more than 800 species of mammals, fish, reptiles, and birds, including the traditional chigüiros (or capyvaras), yamus, pumas, crocodiles and lizards of the eastern plains.
What to do?
There you can go on hiking routes, safari, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, spend an afternoon at the pool, and more, all in one place!
At night you can go to see the stars, this is a unique experience since light pollution is very low in this region.
The Lagos de Menegua Bioreserve is one of the few privileged places that still have black skies. It is frequented by astronomers and amateurs from all over the world, for observation and photography of constellations, the Solar System and the Milky Way.
Its privileged location allows the simultaneous observation of the northern and southern hemispheres – a great experience for the whole family!
Explore the Surroundings
Additionally, from Lagos de Menegua you can go to the city of Puerto Gaitan and there embark on an aquatic safari along the Meta, Manacacias, and Yucao rivers.
You don’t need much luck to be able to see monkeys, turtles, otters, reptiles, and especially the Toninas, the river dolphins. An unforgettable trip for the whole family!
There are two more places that you can visit from Lagos de Menegua: the Obelisk, which is the geographical center of Colombia, and the Ostrich Park, where you will know everything about these birds.
5. San Cipriano Nature Reserve in the Pacific
This is a destination little known by foreigners, but worth visiting with your whole family.
San Cipriano is a natural reserve located in the Colombian Pacific, in the department of Valle del Cauca. This place has one of the purest and cleanest crystalline rivers in Colombia. It is a perfect place to swim and float on tires (tubing) while the slow current drags you through the dense subtropical jungle.
The huge reserve also has numerous hiking trails, which you can walk through day and night.
One of the most exciting parts of the trip is the entrance to the reserve. You will enter in some small carts, called Brujita, which is attached to a train track, and moved by a motorcycle. It is a 30-minute ride where you will feel like you are being engulfed by the rainforest tropical jungle.
What to do?
Spend a day in San Cipriano bathing in the rivers and natural lagoons, walking, and admiring the fauna and flora of this region. There are plenty of animals to see there as toucans, sloths, turtles, and many special birds. You can also stay in the town of San Cipriano, but the hotels offer very basic services.
I recommend you to stay in Cali, or in a closer hotel called Hotel la Huerta. From there, you can go and return on the same day to San Cipriano, and there you will have all the comfort for you and your family.
La Huerta Hotel
This hotel has a swimming pool, a small nature reserve and a vegetable plantation. The hotel manages a farm to table meal plan. There, your kids will learn the processes of organic agriculture, from sowing to eating.
They can also walk among the plantations, observe birds in the forest and surroundings, or simply relax in the pool.
Another advantage of La Huerta Hotel is its proximity to other nice places you can visit with your kids, such as the Yotoco Reserve, where you will meet the howler monkeys; or the Calima Lake Nautical Club, where you can practice water sports such as sailing.
6. The Chicamocha Canyon in Santander
The Chicamocha National Park is another recommended destination if you travel with kids.
You will visit one of the largest and most impressive canyons in South America, while having a lot of fun. Know more about the Chicamocha Canyon in our entry The Chicamocha Canyon, the 1st Largest Canyon in Colombia.
What to do?
There you can enjoy extreme activities such as driving buggies, zip line, paragliding, swinging, and rappeling or canyoning. There are also other activities such as interaction with farm animals, virtual reality experiences and 4D movies.
The park also has an aqua park with large pools and slides. Perfect to ensure fun!
It is a place very close to the city of Bucaramanga, only one hour from Bogotá by plane.
7. Bio-park Guátika and Chicaque Park – Near to Bogotá
If you are in Bogotá, there are many places you can visit with your kids. However, I recommend two places that they might love.
First, Chicaque. It is about an hour from downtown Bogotá. This park is a very recommended place for visiting with your kids and meet the high Andean cloud forest of Colombia.
The park has seven thematic trails where you can visit waterfalls, discover butterflies and birds, oaks, and breathtaking views.
There you can also do the zip line and canopy activities, horseback riding, bird watching, and even spend the night at the park’s hotel.
Sleeping in a tree house!
In Chicaque you will find something unique, the possibility of sleeping in the treetops. At this moment, it has two rooms called Nests, with accommodation for 4 to 6 people.
This is a dream experience, as well as unforgettable for the kids, because who didn’t want to sleep in a tree house?
On the other hand, there is the Guátika biopark, Only three hours from Bogotá, this zoo has everything for family fun.
Guátika is a place that houses, in the best possible way, animals that for various reasons can no longer be in their natural habitat.
More than 500 animals are kept there, diverse species of domestic, exotic and wild fauna, in beautiful open and naturalized spaces.
There, your kids will understand the value of rescuing wildlife and why it is not good to take animals out of their natural environment.
They will also be able to enjoy adventure activities such as climbing, buggy tours, zip-lining and horseback riding.
You can stay at the biopark hotel, which has beautiful country architecture and the best view of the Sugamuxi Valley.
- Santa Marta – Minca
- Medellín – Guatapé
- Cali and the Cali Zoo
If you want to know more about the most incredible natural destinations in Colombia, plan your trip with us!
About the author
Current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism – environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.