Colombia offers charming countryside, historical treasures, busy cities and astounding natural beauty. Most visitors head for this culturally rich country between December and February. Just before Easter for Semana Santa tends to be the most popular time to go.
A visit here can be greatly affected by the weather, so the best time to visit Colombia depends on what you hope to do while there. There's a lot to do in this fascinating country - Colombia offers charming countryside, historical treasures, busy cities and astounding natural beauty.
Located so close to the equator, temperatures stay fairly stable both inland and on the coast. The main variable in this tropical country is how much it rains depending on the season. There are two wet and two dry seasons in the Andrean region, with the driest periods falling between December and March, and July and August. Head to the lower lying areas further south and you can expect more regular rain, with short showers.
Best time to...
Enjoy the festival spirit
If you’re looking for a party then February is the best time to go. In February, in the lead up to Holy Week, one of the country’s most important folkloric celebrations, Barranquilla’s Carnival transforms the city’s streets into a lively party venue for four days. There are dancers, live musicians, and masquerade parades celebrating the history, vibrant culture and traditions of the city. But the festivities extend beyond Barranquilla itself. You’re bound to find celebrations in many of the smaller villages around Colombia.
Visit the coast
Give the crowded beach a skip, and rather spend time at the port city of Cartagena beside the Caribbean. Wander down cobbled streets between bright colonial buildings, in this walled old town that dates back to the 16th century. When the weather is good, take a day trip to the Islas del Rosario and marvel at the coral reefs. And made time to explore the nearby Mud Volcano. The busiest times of year in this popular city are December to the middle of January, over Holy Week, and from the idle of June to July. On the other hand, the weather from August to November can be uncomfortably hot and humid. If you’re wanting to enjoy the good weather and miss some of the crowds, aim for the middle of January to April.
Water sports in Colombia
The best times to catch a wave or two in Colombia are between December and March, and July and September. Surfing in the Caribbean is suiting for a variety of skill levels, and some of the best spots are Playa de Pradomar, Playa El Muelle and Punta Sur. If you are looking for more of a challenge, head for the Pacific coast – but be warned the surf on that side can be dangerous and is not suitable for inexperienced surfers.
That said, fishing enthusiasts will find great sport on both coasts. Head to the Caribbean coast between October and March, or engage in deep sea fishing off the west coast. You can even try your hand at fishing along the Amazon River, or at various inland lakes.
As with surfing, the diving conditions vary between the two coasts. The waters of the Caribbean are shallower and calmer than the Pacific, and are therefore more suitable for inexperienced divers. Visibility is best in weaker currents, from April to November. Only experienced divers should contemplate the colder, deeper water of the Pacific.