The best time to visit Colombia for a Perfect Vacation Experience

The best time to visit Colombia for a Perfect Vacation Experience

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With its lush tropical rainforests, gorgeous old colonial architecture and infectious Latin rhythms, Colombia attracts more and more travellers each year. This South American country has well and truly shaken off the negative image it once had —and today, it’s a vibrant, exciting destination for both backpackers and luxury travellers. But what’s the best time of year to visit Colombia? Let’s take a closer look and make sure you don’t spend your tropical holiday shivering in the rain.

The climate in Colombia

Let’s start with some good news: Colombia is an excellent year-round destination. This is a tropical country, so it doesn’t have the traditional four seasons you’ll find in other parts of the world. There are some seasonal differences, though, and you’ll see that certain regions are more suitable than others for holidays at particular times of year.

Before you start planning your holiday, there are a couple of key points to take into account. First of all, Colombia has very different regions, and the climate changes significantly depending on where you’re going. If you’re heading to the highlands, you’ll probably need to bring a jacket, no matter what time of year. Nights are always pretty chilly, and as you travel to higher altitudes, they get even colder.

On the other hand, Colombia’s lowlands —and yes, that includes its fabulous coastal destinations— have a tropical climate. This means that you can leave your coat and scarf at home, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for the rain. There may be showers all year round, but in general, there are two main rainy seasons: from April to May and from October to November. If you’re visiting the Pacific Coast, be aware that it’s one of the rainiest places on earth, so showers are very likely at every

The best month to go to Colombia

January in Colombia

Many travellers think that January is the best time to visit Colombia, as it’s the driest period of the year across the country, particularly on the Caribbean coast. The weather is mild and pleasant in the highlands, making this a good time for hikers to travel to Bogotá. However, be aware that January can see crowds of tourists in Colombia. In the Spanish-speaking world, the Christmas break continues until the 6th of January, so the start of the year is always particularly busy.

February in Colombia

Fancy a party? Then February may be the best time of the year to visit Colombia! Not only is the weather dry and pleasant, but you’ve also got the delights of the Barranquilla Carnival. The dates vary each year, but it usually takes place in February. This is the country’s biggest celebration, so put on your dancing shoes, stick some feathers in your hair, and get ready to salsa the night away!

A vibrant and colorful parade during the Barranquilla Carnival in Colombia
A vibrant and colorful parade during the Barranquilla Carnival in Colombia

March in Colombia

Avoid the Andes and the highlands in March, as the rainy months are starting. There’s good weather in the coastal regions, though, so it’s still a good time to visit the country if you’re planning a beach getaway.

A stunning view of a tropical coastline in Colombia

April in Colombia

The weather in April is similar to March: wet in the highlands and dry in the lowlands. Easter usually falls in April, which can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and admire the colourful processions that fill the streets. On the other, you’re likely to see far more travellers in the biggest tourist destinations, including both Colombians and other South Americans.

May in Colombia

By this time of year, the rainy season has also hit the Caribbean coast. You can still have fun exploring the country, but make sure to bring a raincoat with you!

June in Colombia

Lots of travellers reckon that June is the best time to visit Colombia. The weather is dry, especially if you come in the middle of the month onwards, but the peak summer months —with their peak prices and peak crowds— haven’t kicked in yet. This is the best time to go whale watching on Colombia’s Pacific Coast as families of humpbacks begin their annual migration.

A humpback whale breaches the surface of the water near the Pacific coast of Colombia

July in Colombia

Prices can be high in July, at least when it comes to flights, but once you’re in the country, you’ll find that it’s no more expensive than the rest of the year. There may be more crowds than usual, but apart from that, July is a great month to visit Colombia, with dry weather in most of the country.

August in Colombia

This is the last reliably dry month before the wet season returns. One of the best things about visiting Colombia in August is the chance to join in with some local festivals. Head to Villa de Leyva to see the spectacular, colourful Festival of Kites, or go to Medellín for the Flower Festival.

September in Colombia

September is a good time to visit Colombia. The weather is still good for the first half of the month, but you’ll start seeing some rain in the second half, particularly on the Caribbean Coast and in the Andes. With a bit of luck, you can still see whales on the Pacific Coast at this time of year.

October in Colombia

If you love rain, then October might just be the best time to visit Colombia! This is the wettest month of the year in Cartagena and much of the Caribbean coast, and it’ll also be raining heavily in the Andes. You can still have a good holiday, but activities like hiking won’t be much fun at this time of year.

November in Colombia

The rain continues in November, posing problems for travellers who intend to visit the Andes. The coasts are still a good choice, though. This is your last chance to see the famous colourful algae in Caño Cristales, and there are generally fewer travellers and not many crowds at this time of year.

Caño Cristales, also known as the "River of Five Colors

December in Colombia

December marks the return of the dry season, so it’s a great time to go hiking in the Andes or along the Caribbean Coast. As Christmas approaches, you can expect to see more travellers, particularly in popular destinations. Prices increase, and you may need to book your accommodation well in advance. On the plus side, you’ll be able to join in with all the fun of a Colombian Christmas celebration.

The best time to travel to Colombia for scuba diving

Want to see Colombia under the sea? You’re in luck. This South American nation has some great diving on both its Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

Colombia’s Pacific coast has stronger currents and more challenging dive sites, but you’ll be rewarded with the chance to see hammerhead sharks, silky sharks and huge schools of tuna. The best time to visit Colombia for Pacific diving is from January to March or again in mid-August. If you travel in August, you also have the chance to see whales out in the water.

silky sharks in Colombia

On the Caribbean side, you’ll find the third-largest coral reef in the world. To really appreciate it, you’ll need to head out to the islands of San Andres and Providencia, some 750 km from the mainland. The best time to go diving here is between April and November.

The best time to go to Colombia for hiking

Colombia’s Coffee Country and Andes Mountains offer some truly spectacular hiking routes, but they are highly seasonal. We strongly recommend avoiding a trekking holiday during the wet season. The highlands tend to get quite a bit of rain. It’ll put a damper on your mood, but worse than that, it can transform trails into muddy, dangerous slides.

With that in mind, stick to the dry season. Travel between December and the middle of March and again from July to August. Keep in mind that whatever time of year you’re going, the highlands always have cold nights —and when we say cold, we mean cold! Temperatures regularly drop below freezing after the sun goes down. If you’re going on a multi-day trek, make sure you’ve got a suitable sleeping bag to snuggle into.

The best time to visit Colombia for the Amazon Rainforest

Who doesn’t dream of a trip into the Amazon Rainforest, one of the most thrilling, untouched places on earth? The Colombian Amazon is popular with adventurous travellers and is a true bucket list destination. In fact, it’s a good option all year round, but you’ll have a very different experience, depending on when exactly you travel.

Unlike the rest of the country, the Amazon has two important seasons: high water and low water season. Basically, water flows into the Amazon from the mountains in neighbouring Peru. When there’s a lot of rain there, the river is high —during the Peruvian dry season, it’s low. Simple, right?

In Colombia, the low water season runs from July to December, and is the best time if you want to go hiking and trekking in the rainforest. The trails are easier to access and the rivers are lower. On the other hand, the high water season from January to June is perfect if you’d rather take a boat trip down the Amazon. Due to the high water levels and overgrown trails, hiking can be awkward at this time of year, but it’s an ideal season to chill out in a boat, trying to spot wildlife on either side of the river.

A breathtaking panoramic view of a mountainous valley in Colombia

Enough chatting —now it’s time to see Colombia for yourself! Our group trip to Colombia lets you explore some of the most interesting parts of the country, including Bogotá, Cartagena and Medellín. In 13 days, you’ll have the chance to throw yourself into the Colombian way of life. We reckon you’ll fall in love with the country just as much as we have!

WeRoad Team
Written by WeRoad Team