The Best Time to Visit Colombia by Season
The best time to visit Colombia depends on where you travel & your bucket list. We’ve broken it down into seasons to make it easier to plan
Wondering what month you should book a trip to Colombia? The country’s proximity to the equator makes it a beautiful year-round destination. When you visit depends on your preferred locations, the activities on your bucket list and any annual festivals. Below we will break down the best time to visit Colombia by season.
Colombia in Winter: December, January and February
These months are considered the busy season with travelers from Europe and America looking to escape the colder temperatures. Most areas are dry with little to no rainfall.
Due to its high altitude, the winter months are the best time to visit Bogota. You will experience pleasant conditions with little rainfall. Expect temperatures of around 68°F during the day, dropping to 46°F during the evening. These conditions are perfect for visiting places within the city, such as the Gold Museum and Plaza Bolivar.
Looking for something outside a major city? Then definitely include a trek to the Lost City or enjoy a beach day along the Caribbean coast. Key beach destinations include Baru and the Rosario Islands, which are easy to reach from Cartagena. From Cartagena to the Rosario Islands (starting at $10), it will take 1 hour and 15 mins by bus and speedboat.
Two incredible festivals take place during the winter months.
The first is Carnaval de Barranquilla, the second largest Carnival in the world, after Rio de Janeiro. It’s a feast of color! People wearing traditional masks and costumes dance next to vibrant floats throughout the streets. The festival in Barranquilla runs for four days in February and is one of the most popular events in the country.
Book ahead to ensure you don’t miss out!
If you are visiting Colombia in December, you must attend the Feria de Cali. This festival started in 1957, a year after a terrible explosion killed more than 4000 people. Authorities planned this fair to reactivate Cali after falling into recession. Today, you can expect music, parades and, of course, salsa dancing. Cali is the capital of salsa!
If you wish to visit Tayrona National Park, keep in mind that during the first half of February, it is closed for park maintenance.
Colombia in Spring: March, April and May
With Easter falling in March or April, these months experience a buzz in the leadup, particularly in the 5 major cities. Visiting Colombia in March will see less rainfall than in April and May.
For Holy Week or Semana Santa, visit the colonial-era town of Popayán. The Tuesday to Sunday before Easter, processions take place along the two-kilometer route through the town center. Expect costumed parades with flower-decked wooden statues.
The beginning of Spring is a wonderful time to visit Tayrona National Park. At this time, temperatures are ideal, with fewer crowds than in December and January. Santa Marta is an excellent place to base yourself before/after exploring the beaches and hikes within the park. You can even camp inside the park, which is an incredible experience once the daytrippers have left. Traveling from Santa Marta to the Park will take you 40 minutes.
Are you a coffee lover? If so, make sure you check out Zona Cafetera, between Medellin and Bogota. Harvesting takes place from April to June as well as October to December. Start by visiting an organic coffee finca (farm), where you will learn about the process of coffee making. You will really appreciate your morning cup after seeing all the work that goes into it!
While in the area, you can hike to the Valle de Cocora to see the towering palms and explore traditional villages.
Colombia in Summer: June, July and August
The summer months are a great time to visit Colombia. It’s the second dry season experienced in the country.
For animal lovers, head to the Pacific Coast. July to October is the best time to visit for whale watching. For a once in a lifetime experience (if you are lucky to witness it), head to Isla Gorgona, where whales come to reproduce and give birth to their calves. Besides this, the Gorgona National Natural Park is truly beautiful with hiking, bird watching, diving and cultural heritage tours.
If you’re a flower enthusiast, don’t miss the flower festival in Medellin. During a week in August, the streets will be filled with colorful floral celebrations. The main event is the flower parade, when hundreds of local growers march through the city with large floral displays.
While in Medellin, check out Comuna 13 and Pablo Escobar’s abandoned mansion.
Take a day trip to Guatapé, an authentic village with vibrant colors and houses. From Medellin to Guatapé, it will take approximately 2 hours by car.
Colombia in Autumn: September, October and November
While it may not be the best time to visit Colombia due to the weather, these months are perfect for travelers looking for lower prices and fewer crowds. Temperatures throughout the country will remain constant. However, Medellín, Cartagena and the Caribbean coast experience their rainy season. It’s a great time to visit the Amazon as there is less rainfall than from November to June.
The Amazon River levels are low, meaning it’s an excellent time for hiking, trekking, canopy climbing, ziplining, and wildlife spotting. Base yourself in Leticia, located on the border of Brazil and Peru. From there you can easily explore the forest and take an excursion up the river.
You can even hop across to Brazil or Peru for the day.
If you are traveling in Colombia in September, check out Caño Cristales in La Macarena National Park. Known as the River of Five Colors, the name speaks for itself. Besides booking a tour to visit the river, check out the incredible rock formations, jungles and bird and mammal watching.
Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Santa Marta, and Medellin
While the official language is Spanish, nowadays, many people speak English.
The local currency is the Colombian peso, with ATMs available in most cities.