The best time to visit Colombia is during the months of December to March and July to August.
The highest rainfall is from Late September to November, so many people say the best time to travel in Colombia is from December onwards because the wildlife and plant life is green and blossoming just after the rainy season.
Peak tourism season in Colombia coincides with the dry season, which means that the best time to travel in Colombia is July and August, or at at the start or end of the wet season in December/March. This can also give you a great chance to avoid large crowds.
Colombia is a vibrant and diverse South American gem, which offers a huge variety of unique experiences for travelers year-round. Whether you're an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or a history buff, this country has something to offer for everyone. However, choosing the best time of year to visit Colombia takes a little more research. In this comprehensive blog, we'll delve into the weather, peak and low tourism seasons, and the most exciting events and festivals throughout the year to help you better understand the best months of the year to travel to Colombia.
Weather in Colombia
Colombia's geographical diversity and its proximity to the equator contribute to a climate that remains relatively consistent throughout the year. However, the country's weather is influenced more by altitude than by distinct seasons. As a result, Colombia can be divided into three distinct regions in terms of weather:
Caribbean coast and Santa Marta
These regions, including cities like Cartagena and Santa Marta, boast a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures ranging between 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F) year-round.
Light rainfall is common, but the driest period is from December to March.
With turquoise waters and sandy beaches, is a very popular destination for sun-seekers during peak tourism season in Colombia.
The Pacific coast
More off-the-beaten-track than Santa Marta and Cartagena, the Pacific coast of Colombia offers a unique and authentic experience for nature enthusiasts, as it is rich in biodiversity and home to lush rainforests.
It is also home to some of the best surf spots in Colombia which include El Valle, El Almejal, El Cantil, Juanchaco and Ladrilleros.
Medellin, Bogota, and Cali
Being situated in the mountains, the best time to visit Medellin cities experience a more moderate climate with average temperatures of 14°C to 20°C (57°F to 68°F), though their rainfall pattern is roughly the same, with the dry season occuring from December to March and July to August. The pleasant weather and clear skies during these months make it an excellent time for hiking and exploring Colombia's picturesque landscapes.
The best time to visit Colombia’s coffee region is from October to December. This period marks the peak of coffee harvesting and processing. Plantations are nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes Mountains, and come alive with a flurry of activity as coffee farmers carefully handpick the ripe coffee cherries.
The coffee season in Colombia not only sustains the livelihoods of thousands of coffee growers but also showcases Colombia's deep-rooted coffee heritage to the world.
Tourists and coffee enthusiasts flock to the region during this time to witness the vibrant coffee culture and indulge in freshly brewed cups of some of the world's finest coffee.
The best time to visit Leticica, Colombia in the Amazon is up for debate, but many people prefer April to July and October to November as they are the wettest months of the year.
Although it might seem counterintuitive, during these months, the lush rainforest is in its full splendor and travelers will encounter fewer tourists.
During the wet season, river levels rise, allowing for more extensive boat explorations and wildlife sightings. However, keep in mind that heavy rains may lead to temporary limitations in outdoor activities, so it's essential to plan accordingly.
Peak and Low Tourism Season in Colombia
The best time to travel in Colombia largely depends on your preferred activities and tolerance for crowds. Here's a breakdown of the peak and low tourism seasons:
High Season (Peak Tourism)
The high season in Colombia (peak tourism) coincides with the country's dry periods of December to February and July to August. During this time, many visitors flock to popular destinations, resulting in higher prices for accommodations and attractions
High season in Colombia is particularly vibrant, with numerous festivals and events, making it ideal for those seeking an energetic and bustling atmosphere.
Some examples include: Carnaval in Barranquilla (February/March), Feria de las Flores in Medellín (July/August), and the Fiesta del Mar festival (July/August)
Low Season (Off-Peak Tourism)
The low tourist season in Colombia corresponds to the rainy months, which some travelers believe are the best months to travel to Colombia as they present a great opportunity for budget travelers and those seeking a more tranquil experience.
During these months you'll encounter fewer tourists, enjoy discounted rates, and witness the lush beauty of Colombia's landscapes in full bloom.
While some areas may experience heavy rainfall, the showers are usually short-lived and can offer a refreshing break from the heat. For birdwatching enthusiasts, there will be a myriad of colorful species in their natural habitats during the rainy months.
The Pacific coast's off-peak season coincides with the breeding and migration season of humpback whales, providing a fantastic opportunity to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Events and Festivals in Colombia:
This country is renowned for its vibrant festivals and cultural celebrations. Planning your trip around these events can add a unique and unforgettable dimension to your trip. In fact, many travelers have said that festival season is the best time of year to visit Colombia. Here are some of the most prominent events and festivals in Colombia:
Carnaval de Barranquilla is held during February and/or March
One of the biggest carnivals in the world. This vibrant event showcases a kaleidoscope of colors, music, and dance. Carnaval in Barranquilla typically takes place in February or March, attracting both locals and international revelers.
The Carnaval de Barranquilla is recognized as a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and it's an unmissable celebration for those seeking an authentic and lively cultural experience.
Feria de las Flores is held in Medellín during the first two weeks of August.
This flower festival celebrates the city's rich history and culture with parades, concerts, and the world-famous "silleteros" (flower carriers) procession.
The Feria de las Flores highlights Colombia's connection with the natural world and passion for the outdoors, as well as offering a glimpse into the country's profound agricultural history.
Festival de Vallenato is held during April.
The Vallenato Festival in Valledupar is a must-attend event for all music-lovers. It celebrates Colombia's traditional Vallenato music with lively competitions and performances.
During the festival, you'll witness skilled accordionists, caja vallenata players (a drum-like instrument), and singers competing for the coveted title of "Rey Vallenato." The festival's atmosphere is infectious, and it offers an authentic experience of Colombian music and dance traditions.
Semana Santa is held during March/April (Easter weekend)
Cities like Santa Marta and Mompox come alive with processions and elaborate rituals. This time of reflection and celebration is an opportunity to witness the unique blend of indigenous traditions and Catholic customs in Colombia.
Semana Santa is a deeply meaningful time for Colombians, and participating in the ceremonies can be a moving and memorable experience for travelers.
the best time to travel Colombia
Colombia is a captivating country offering a diverse range of experiences year-round. The ideal time to visit depends on personal preferences for weather, crowd size, and events. December to February and July to August boast comfortable weather and lively atmospheres, while April to June and September to November offer budget-friendly options and lush landscapes.
Colombia's appeal lies in its natural diversity, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, making it a top destination for unique experiences in South America. Travelers can explore ancient archaeological sites, witness incredible natural beauty, indulge in world-class cuisine, and dance to infectious salsa rhythms.
No matter the time of year, Colombia's beauty, warmth, and culture are sure to create cherished memories for any foreign visitor. Colombia leaves a lasting impression on every traveler that sets foot here, solidifying its position as an up-and-coming tourism destination.