When is the Best Time to Visit Colombia?
Because it sits on the equator, temperatures in Colombia don't very much by season, making it an excellent place to visit all year round. The driest months are between December and March, although these tend to be a little busier, too.
In a country boasting tropical rainforests and mountains alongside beaches and savannah, there can be big differences in weather and conditions between regions. So if you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit Colombia depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. Read on to find out more...
The Best Time to...
Visit the Coast
As you might expect, Colombia's Caribbean coast is hot all year round – even during rainy season, from September to October. Colombia doesn't fall within the Caribbean hurricane belt, though, which means showers aren't too drastic and usually happen in the afternoon or at night – so if you're happy to plan around them, travelling at this time can be a great way to avoid the crowds.
If you want to go to Tayrona National Park, be aware that it's often closed to tourists throughout February, when local indigenous communities perform rituals and clean the park.
The best time to go surfing in Colombia is between December and March, or July and September. For divers, visibility on the Caribbean coast is best from April to November, when there are weaker currents.
Head to the Pacific Coast from July to November for a chance to see humpback whales, who migrate there from Antarctica to mate and give birth.
Head to the Mountains
The best time to go to the Andean region is between December and March, in line with the dry season across the country. But there is a second mini-dry season in August, if you want to avoid travelling during peak time.
Rainy season in the Andes brings daily heavy showers (though they are usually followed by sunshine) from May to July, then again from October to December.
In the highlands weather is generally cooler, especially at night – so whenever you go, make sure you pack a jacket!
Explore the Jungle
The Amazon is warm and wet all year round. However, there is some let-up in the region around Leticia in July and August – a bonus being that it's easier to spot wildlife at this time, as the rivers recede and animals come to the riverbanks to hunt or drink.
If you want to learn more about the traditions and culture of the Amazon region, Festival de la Confraternidad is held in July in Leticia.
Experience the Festival Spirit
Often considered the most famous festival in Colombia (and in fact the second largest carnival celebration in the world), the Carnaval of Barranquilla takes place on the Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday – although the festival spirit kicks in long before the actual celebration.
Semana Santa (Holy Week) happens in the week leading up to Easter Sunday and is an important celebration in deeply Catholic Colombia. Expect elaborate yet sombre street processions taking place across the country.
If you're travelling in the first two weeks of August, check out the Feria de las Flores (the Flower Festival) in Medellín, which lasts around 10 days.