When is the best time to visit Colombia?
Set on the equator, most of Colombia experiences a tropical climate with a few seasonal variations. In the low-lying coastal areas to the North, especially near Cartagena and Barranquilla, expect temperatures ranging around 86°F throughout the year. As you journey towards the mountains, the temperature naturally changes according to the altitude – the higher you climb, the colder it gets. Colombia experiences dry weather in the months between January to March and June to August, except in May. However, you can still expect at least a few hours of bright sunshine every day even in the rainy season.
As a thumb rule, the high season usually falls between December and February.
Expect several sunny days across the country, which makes it one of the best times to visit Colombia. Do remember to book well in advance as this is one of the busiest times of the year as well!
- Discover the lush Coffee Region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with flora and fauna, plantations and villages
- Live the El Dorado dream at the Museo del Oro of Bogota, where ancient artifacts and 55,000 pieces of gold find pride of place!
This is one of the best months to visit Colombia. Remember, the country being close to the equator means that the weather changes based on the altitude rather than the season.
- Be part of the Barranquilla Carnival, where, four days before Ash Wednesday, there are parades, dancing and of course partying!
- Make a trip to Santa Marta, the oldest colonial city of South America,
The weather is largely steady, though expect some chill in the higher altitudes, while the Amazon region will be hot and humid.
- Head to the ‘White City’ of Popayán to witness the spectacular religious processions during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) especially on Maundy Thursday
This is usually around the time that the rains start making their presence felt in the country especially in Bogota and the Amazon region.
- Spring-like conditions make this a good time to visit Medellin with its hip nightlife, public art installations and sculptures of celebrated Colombian artists
Bogota is cool without too much rainfall this month, but expect hot and humid weather in the Caribbean lowlands.
- Discover, Villa de Leyva – surrounded by Andean peaks and foothills, the peaceful little town is a popular weekend getaway from Bogota
June is the start of high season in Colombia so make sure you make your plans to visit around this time well in advance and book early!
- See Cartagena’s lively, cobbled streets, architecture, colorful facades, trendy cafes and boutiques
- Cartagena is also one of the best places for whale watching – from June to September, migrating humpback whales give birth off the Pacific coast
This is peak tourist season in Colombia and one of the best times to visit the Amazon region, since it is the low-water time, with most areas largely accessible.
- Lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, tranquil lagoons, hidden coves and archaeological wonders await you at Tayrona National Park
- Step back in time at Colombia’s colonial cities such as Barichara, Finlandia and Salento
Expect cool, wet and chilly nights in Bogota, hot and humid conditions near the coast and low-water season in the Amazon region.
- Not much rainfall makes this a good time to hike in the Cocora Valley with its majestic wax palm trees and picturesque valleys
- In Medellin, witness the Feria de Flores or the Flower Festival. Expect streets dotted with magnificent flower displays, live music and festivity!
This is usually the off-peak month between two high seasons, with tropical weather on the coast and more chilly weather in Bogota.
- Visit the San Agustin Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to the largest collection of megaliths and monuments in all of South America!
This is the time that fall begins to make its presence felt, so expect shorter days, with varying degrees of rainfall.
- Follow in the wake of the Magdalena River – one of the greatest rivers in South America and the lifeline of Colombia
- Visit the town of Pitalito – renowned as the largest producer of coffee in Colombia – in the fertile Magdalena River valley.
This is an off-peak month in Colombia; with most of the summer crowds gone, so expect lower fares and cooler temperatures, especially in Bogota. But always remember to dress in layers as it will warm up when you head to the coast!
- The first two weeks of October in Cartagena are full of festivities, parades and parties, celebrating Independence in the city
This is one of the best times to visit Bogota as rainfall is low during the month and is considered one of the most festive times to visit the country overall!
- See Bogota’s numerous national monuments and cultural landmarks and vibrant markets, and feast on local delicacies
- With the rains receding, visit the pulsating city of Bucaramanga with its numerous parks, art galleries, churches, museums and delightful shopping and eating experiences
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Best Time to Visit Colombia by Season
October to November (Low Season) – Due to heavy rainfall, flash floods are common in Cartagena and the Caribbean shore. This is a great time for hiking in the Amazonas due to the low water levels.
March to September – Some cities such as Cali, Bogota and Medellin suffer a second bout of rainfall at this time, especially in the month of May. April is the best time for whale-watching in Cartagena, when the beautiful humpback whales travel here to nest and rear their young.
December to February (High Season) – Expect gorgeous sunny skies and warm weather, especially in the Andean regions.
What to Pack
Due to the wide range in temperatures between each region, we advise you to bring several layers of clothing for your Colombia tour, which you can quickly put on or pull out according to the weather.
In the cities: Light dresses are perfect for the city or for excursions during the day.
In the jungles: Please wear long-sleeved tops, shirts and pants to protect yourself and bring a light umbrella. It is a good idea to carry a small, waterproof backpack during walks and hikes, along with sturdy shoes, swimsuit, a small towel, sunblock and insect repellent.
Discover the best time for your Colombia vacation with further inputs from our experts. We’ll advise you on when to visit and plan an unforgettable vacation customized entirely to your interests.
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Set at an altitude of over 2,000 meters in Colombia’s Eastern Andean range, Bogota boasts wonderful highland climate and natural beauty.
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The oldest colonial city of South America, Santa Marta was established by the Spanish in the 16th century.
Also known as La Ciudad Blanca in Spanish, or 'the White City', Popayán was an important 16th and 17th century Spanish settlement in the colonial era.
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