The best time to visit Colombia depends on your priorities: places visited, weather, availability, preferred activities, local seasonality, local festivals and events.
Colombia is an all-year destination, but its variety of landscapes from Caribbean and Pacific coasts to high Andes, pampas and lowland Amazon jungle means that the weather may be optimum for a visit at different times in the various locations. There’s a rich indigenous and Spanish colonial heritage on show in a number of fiestas: you may wish to factor them into the timing of your holiday in Colombia.
- The mountainous region of the Andes, including Bogotá, has a spring-like climate year round. It is at its best from May-Oct, when the sun shines with just a little rain. Temperature varies with altitude rather than time of year. Bogotá itself has a microclimate with a mix of sunshine and showers most days and temperatures of 14-20°C. The capital hosts many events: you may want to catch the cultural carnival in Aug, the biennial theatre festival or the jazz festival held in Sept.
- During the Amazon’s wet season (Dec-Jun) it’s easier to get round by boat and the cloud offers a protection from the strong sun. The somewhat hotter dry season (Jul-Nov) is sunnier and better for wildlife-spotting from jungle trails.
- The Caribbean coast and islands, including Cartagena enjoy plenty of sun throughout the year. The rainy season is Aug-Nov when showers can be torrential. Dec-Apr should be pretty rain-free. The beaches can be very busy – and lively – during holidays and festivals, especially Jan-Mar and Easter.
- The coffee region enjoys a pleasant, temperate climate all year round with plenty of sun and enough rain to keep the landscape verdant.
- Festivals abound in Colombia, the best time to go for a fiesta lover might be geared around one or two of them, such as the Cartagena Hay Literary Festival which is held in January while Barranquilla’s over-the-top Mardi Gras carnival is in Feb/Mar before Lent. More unique is the flower festival of Medellin in Aug or the international jazz festival held in Bogotá in Sep.