The Best Time to Visit Colombia

When is the best time to travel to Colombia?

 

The best time to visit the Caribbean coast is from December to April. Any time outside of these months and you will get the Colombian rainy season. The heaviest rainfall occurs during October so its best to avoid travelling then. The Amazon region is, of course, hot and humid all year round, but July and August are drier than the remaining months so you might want to consider travelling then. The optimal time for whale watching on the Pacific coast is from July to November.

The months of July and August are recommended for trips to the southern Pacific coast. June and September bring slightly more rain and therefore belong to the best travel season of this region. The Northern Pacific coast is hot all year-round but sees rainfall throughout the year but December and April are relatively drier months.

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About Colombia

Touching both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Colombia is located in the north of South America. This ethnically and linguistically diverse country borders Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela. When it comes to flora and fauna, Colombia is the second most biodiverse countries in the world. The magnificent Amazon Rainforest flows through a third of Colombia and a good place to see a protected section of the forest is at the Amacayacu National Park. In west Colombia, Baudó and the Pacific Ocean,  you can observe whales, dive and surf. With coastlines that stretch along the Pacific Ocean and Carribean Sea (the only South American country to do this), you can relax on one its many beautiful, lonely beaches.

The tourism peak season in Colombia is between December and March. You’ll see an increased number of tourists from abroad and domestically so save your money and book a holiday to Colombia in advance! However, If you fly to Colombia during the rainy season, your holiday will be considerably cheaper. Luckily, the showers are strong but short so you’ll experience rain for only one to two hours a day. Take a look below at the climate charts for Colombia’s different regions and be prepped for your holiday!


What is the climate like in Colombia?

Colombia makes for an ideal holiday destination all year round. Given Colombia’s proximity to the equator, you won’t get a huge change in temperature during the year, only a difference of about three to five degrees. However, the higher the altitude, the cooler the temperatures are, with the nights experiencing freezing temperatures in the Andes. This country only has two seasons, winter and summer as well as a dry and rainy season. To avoid getting caught up in some heavy rainfall during your travels, the best time to visit is during the dry seasons from July to August and December to March.  The months of April, May, October and November see increased precipitation.

Region Klima
Carribean coastal area Tropical climate
1000 to 2000 metres above sea level Temperate climate
Up to 3000 metres Cold climate
3000 metres and over Páramo climate

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What is the climate like in the Andes region of Colombia?

As mentioned before, the climate in the Andes region varies greatly depending on the altitude, latitude and proximity to the sea. In higher altitudes, the temperatures are lower and humidity decreases. The southern section of the Andres is rainy and cool while the central area is dry. The northern Andes are typically rainy and warm. The Andes region is amazing for the dramatic climate change you can find in a short proximity. Just a few miles away from snow-covered peaks, you’ll find a hot and humid rainforest.

The capital city of Bogotá sits on a high plateau of the Andes mountains, 2,640 metres above sea level. Bogotá has a temperate oceanic climate, meaning you will get warm summers and mild winters. An average of 830mm of rain falls during the year and the sun shines over 1600 hours. The average temperature is 14.5 degrees Celsius. During the winter months, you’ll get the highest temperatures during the day, but the nights are crisp. For example, January is the warmest month, but also the coolest.

Climate table for Bogotá

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 19 19,5 19 19 18,5 18 17,5 18 18 18 18,5 19
Min. Temperature in °C 7 7,5 8,5 9 9 9 8,5 8,5 8 8,5 8,5 8
Hours of sun per day 6 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 6 5 5 7
Days of rain per month 9 12 14 16 12 9 4 4 8 13 15 8
Precipitation in mm 34 44 70 115 103 65 50 52 71 120 115 61

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What is the climate like in the Amazon?

The Amazon region has a tropical rainforest climate that’s humid throughout the year. The southernmost city in Colombia, Leticia, best exemplifies this climate. Leticia borders Peru and Brazil and is hot all year round with average maximum temperatures of 30.5 to 31.5 degrees Celsius. The lowest values are between 21 and 22 degrees. The rainy days per month range from 10 days in July and August to a maximum of 18 days in May. Rainfall here is high all year round. In March, the values reach their maximum. June and September see the least rainfall. From July to September, you’ll see the most sunshine with 6 and 6.5 hours per day. Due to the lower rainfall, I recommend July and August as the best travel time for the Amazon region.

Climate diagram for Leticia

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 31 31 31 31 30,5 30 30 31 31 31 31,5 31
Min. Temperature in °C 21,5 21,5 22 21,5 21 21 20 21 21 21,5 21,5 21
Hours of sun per day 4 4 4,5 5 5 5 6 6,5 6 5,5 5 4,5
Days of rain per month 16 17 17 17 18 13 10 10 12 15 14 16
Precipitation in mm 315 280 320 300 250 177 130 139 190 220 250 261

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What is the climate like on the Caribbean coast?

The Carribean port city of Cartagena de Indias is a good example of the climate typical to this region. The temperature on the Caribbean Coast barely fluctuates. The maximum temperature is between 31 and 32 degrees Celsius. The city’s minimum temperatures are pleasantly warm at 23 to 25 degrees. January sees the most hours of sun with nine hours a day. October has the least, with 5.5 hours of daily sunshine. From January to March you’ll see very little rain. In October you can expect the rainiest time with 14 rainy days and 245 millimetres per month. The best time to go on holiday on the Caribbean coast is from December to April  when you can enjoy sunny skies with no rain. You can lounge on the beach or take part in water sports all year-round, with sea temperatures of 27 to 29 degrees Celsius.

Climate table for Cartagena de Indias

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 31 31 31 31,5 32 32 32 32 32 31,5 31 31
Min. Temperature in °C 23 23,5 24 25 25 25 25 25 25 24,5 24,5 24
Hours of sun per day 9 8,5 7 6,5 6,5 7 7 6 6 5,5 7 8
Days of rain per month 0 0 0 2 6 9 7 8 10 14 8 3
Precipitation in mm 8 1 1 32 90 120 95 120 145 245 130 35

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What is the climate like on the Pacific coast?

The city of Pasto – located in the southwest of the country – is a good example of this the climate typical to the Pacific coast. Like the Caribbean, the temperature fluctuations are only small. The minimum temperatures are between 13 and 14 degrees Celsius, the maximum between 23 and 25 degrees on average. The daily sunshine hours range between 4.5 and 7 hours. The sunniest month of the year is July. The wettest months in the south of the Pacific coast are February to May and October to December. November sees the most rainfall with 15 days per month. The best travel time for Colombia’s southern Pacific coast is July and August. During this period, the weather conditions are ideal for travelling in this area. June and September are also suitable – the probability of rain is only minimally higher in these months.

Climate table for Pasto

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 24 24 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 24 23 23
Min. Temperature in °C 13 13 14 14 13 13 13 13 13 13 14 13
Hours of sun per day 5 5 5 4,5 5 6 7 6,5 6 5 5 5
Days of rain per month 11 10 11 13 12 8 4 4 6 14 15 13
Precipitation in mm 85 105 100 160 130 60 30 33 65 170 177 140

In comparison, the northern part of the coast has a tropical climate with humid air and high rainfall. Take a look at the weather in the municipality of Nuqui. This region is hot all year round with average temperatures of 30 to 31 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperatures are 21.5 to 22 degrees. The sun shines in this part of the country with 3 to maximum 4.5 hours per day comparatively little. With 20 to 27 rainy days per month, it rains frequently in Nuquí. In May and August rainfall is almost daily. Looking at the rest of the country, the amount of rain in this region is extremely high. Between December and April you’ll see frequent rain but these are drier compared to the rest of the year. In August the rainfall reaches its absolute maximum of 740 mm per month.

Climate table for Nuquí

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 31 31 31 31 31 30,5 30,5 30,5 30 30 30 30
Min. Temperature in °C 22 21,5 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22
Hours of sun per day 3 3 3 3 4 4 4,5 4 4 4 4 3
Days of rain per month 23 20 21 23 27 25 26 27 26 26 25 26
Precipitation in mm 410 350 360 470 570 575 645 740 630 601 590 483

My tips on the best travel time for Colombia

If you want to explore the Andes regions of the country, then I recommend travelling between July and August. With its warm temperatures and low rainfall, these summer months are perfect for a trip. Don’t forget to bring warm clothes for the cold nights, particularly in Bogota when it gets chilly after sunset. Due to the altitude, there is a risk of sunburn even at pleasant temperatures, so don’t forget to bring your sunscreen. Do you want to go to the city of Leticia in the Amazon region? Then I recommend the months of July and August. On the northern Pacific coast it is rainy and hot all year round. The best travel time for the southern Pacific coast is from July to August. June and September are also suitable for trips to this area. The Caribbean coast is best visited between December and April.

Looking to experience the exotic flora and fauna of this megadiverse country? Then choose the beginning of the rainy season as your travel to everything in full bloom. Towards the end of the rainy season, flooding is not uncommon in parts of the country. Exceptions are the Caribbean coast and the region around the capital Bogotá. During the rainy season, the country experiences strong but short rainfalls. From 4,500 metres above sea level, the mountain peaks are snow-covered, so you’ll want to bundle up the higher up you get.

More information on Colombia

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