San Gil , 5hrs from bogota or Medallin, is a must ,laid back town with an extreme side.US$12 bungee jumps ,$17 rappels down waterfalls,$30 parasails and much more.If you're into the backpacker scene then stay at the Macondo Hostel ,you will need to book www.macondohostel.com.The owner ,Shaun, is an Australian and he will help you orgonise all your adventures.If you are like me and enjoy closing your door at the end of the day then stay at the "Hotel San Carlos" ph 724 2542.It is only about US50c a night more than the hostel and you get private room ,double bed ,cable TV with many English Channels and private bathroom.If you stay here tell them I sent you and still go to see Shaun ,at the hostel ,to orgonise your adventures
Tacanga ,suburb of Santa Martha ,about 12hrs from Cartagena, is a fun little village with the second cheapest SCUBA course in the world.The only cheaper are in Honduras and there the cheap courses are in a lake so quite boring.If you do do a SCUBA course here I would suggest "Poseidon Dive School" the oldest ,most experienced and ,in my opinion, the friendliest.Ask for Desi to be your instructor.Also Tacanga is the starting point for the "Lost City" trek.Its not my thing but many people do an extra day on this trek to see a working cocaine factory.
1 of my favourite places in the world is a little village ,about 5kms from Panama border, named Capurgana.I am trying to buy a block of land here ,in the jungle, I love it so much.1 of the most relaxing and most beautiful places on earth.To get here you travel to Turbo ,about 8hrs from Medallin or 12hrs from Cartagena, , then get a "Lancha" ,speed boat, to Capurgana.Stay at Cabañas Darius here and tell Joey and Nery I sent you.Joey is a native Hawaiian and Nery is his Colombian wife.Great people and good friends of mine.From here you can walk through the jungle to "La Miel" ,in Panama, along the beach to Aguacate ,through the jungle to incredible waterfalls or you can do guided horse treks deep into the Darien Wilderness.Also you are only a short boat ride to Puerto Aboldia ,Panama, and a 50min plane ride to Panama City.Joey will help you orgonise any of these excursions or he will walk with you along the treks.Just be warned he's like a mountain goat so you will be exhausted at end of the day.
Medallin is a beautiful and exciting town.I always stay at the "Hotel Lyon" .A short train ride ,on the Metro, from the bus terminal to Estacion Esadio" and it is about a 100metre walk.Ask at the "Information Booth" at the terminal for a "Things to do" in Medallin Brochure and you will easily fill your time being a tourist.
There are MANY other places to see in Colombia but you have a very short time so I have only written my favourites.You asked about safety.Always ask your hotel if street taxis are safe,eg I live in Bogota and with my Colombian GF we just grab taxis on the street but by myself I have to call for taxi and get special code to be safe.Express kidnappings are still a problem here.As in any country ,there are dangerous parts of Colombia but most people are friendly and loving and if you do wander into a dangerous district ,by mistake, everyone will warn you and point you in the safest direction.All the horror stories you hear of Colombia are either by people who've never been here or haven't been back for 10years.The USA has invested billions here to help establish stability ,and get a base in socialist Sth Am, but it is having the desired affect.Colombia is an incredible friendly country and as they say in tha ads "The only risk you take is wanting to stay"
Any other Qs you might have please feel free to message me and ENJOY COLOMBIA .I love it