Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It has mountains, jungles, beaches, and more than a thousand birds that you can find nowhere else on Earth! There are many reasons why it is gaining popularity among travelers. Colombia’s population also has an incredible diversity with Spanish-speaking descendants from the coastal region of Barranquilla to the Salsa capital of Cali. Read on to discover the best time to visit this spicy Latin American nation.
Why should I visit Colombia?
There are many reasons to visit Colombia. The people are friendly. The food is good, but not quite as good as Mexico. The landscapes are incredible, and the climate offers both hot summers and cool winters, so you can visit at any time of year!
Colombians love to dance and go out. Colombia has some of the best nightlife in South America. You’ll find plenty of bars and a salsa club in every neighborhood. Colombia also has some breathtaking landscapes throughout the country, so from Bogota to Cartagena, Medellin to Cali; Colombia offers an exciting experience no matter where you go or what season you are there during.
Best time to visit Colombia
The best time to visit Colombia is during their dry season which runs from December through April. This has two benefits: first off, there will be fewer insects for you to fight with because it’s not hot enough for them yet! Second, if you want a break from the sun or rain, Colombia has plenty of options indoors that offer everything from museums to coffee shops in case the weather tries your patience too much.
The Colombia travel bureau recommends tourists visit Colombia in the winter for the best weather conditions, though if you can’t make that time of year work they also say Colombia is a great country all year round with many attractions worth visiting.
Visiting Colombia in the winter
Winter is a great time to visit Colombia because you’ll find the weather is perfect for exploring. The days are warm, but not too hot and while it’s raining in Bogotá a lot of Colombia remains dry so you can still go on those long hikes or visit some of the historical sites without being caught in a tropical downpour.
A few things to keep in mind when visiting Colombia:
- Don’t drink tap water outside of Medellin
- If you’re going on a hike make sure you have plenty of sunscreen with SPF 30+ and wear lots of insect repellant (especially if there’s been recent flooding)
- Street food is delicious but isn’t always safe so be careful what you’re eating
Visiting Colombia in the summer
In the summer, you will enjoy beautiful weather, no rain for the most part and you can see many of the country’s attractions. If you want a more cultural trip pay attention to what month has holidays that celebrate their culture.
The summer weather in Medellin is warm and sunny. The rainy season doesn’t start until August, so you have plenty of time to enjoy nature and the many hiking trails that surround the city. They call Medellin the city of eternal spring and it’s hard to disagree.
The summer months in Bogota can be a little uncomfortable as the heat sometimes spikes above 35 degrees Celsius. But your reward will be plenty of opportunities to party at one of its many bars or clubs! The February holiday known as Carnaval fills up every hotel room in Cartagena so book early if you plan on visiting this popular coastal destination around that date.
Bogota’s busy streets come alive at night, it doesn’t matter if you’re out seeking traditional street food or dancing in one of the clubs lining Carrera Septima; this is where Colombia’s vibrant culture comes into full view. Bogota offers visitors everything they could hope for in terms of entertainment during both day and night hours. If partying all weekend isn’t enough there are plenty of museums near neighborhoods.
Don’t forget about Cali! The city is known for its beautiful weather and the many outdoor activities you can enjoy here that are not too far from town. The Colombian coffee region also has a great variety of good restaurants to explore with your friends!
Visiting Colombia during the rainy season
Colombia has two rainy seasons. The first one stretches from March-May and the second one from September-November.
The rainy season is not all bad – in Colombia rain helps keep temperatures from getting too hot and it makes for some of the most beautiful vistas, like when the sun sets over Bogota’s mountains or lights up Medellin’s skyline as seen from El Poblado.
Just because it’s called the “rainy season” doesn’t mean that it rains all day every day. The rain usually falls for an hour or two during the day, leaving plenty of sunshine throughout both days and nights. This means Colombia might be a good destination any time of the year!
Visiting Colombia during the dry season
Visiting Colombia during the dry season is ideal. Colombia’s dry season is from December through March, when Colombia enjoys more sunny days than cloudy ones. This makes Colombia the perfect time to visit for those who like their weather nice and warm! Also it doesn’t rain much during this time so you can enjoy more time outside. Colombia’s dry season is Colombia’s high tourist season and Colombia’s busiest time.
What to expect during peak travel season in Colombia
The peak of the tourist season in Colombia is during Colombia’s winter months which are from December to March.
There aren’t that many tourists in Colombia, so not many changes. You may see a few more gringos running around the city, but it won’t affect day-to-day life.
This time of the year also means Colombia’s beaches are in perfect condition and still have plenty of sunshine for you to soak up all day long.
What to expect during low travel season in Colombia
The low travel season in Colombia is Colombia’s summer months which are from April to November.
During this time, Colombia has warm weather and a lot of sunshine so it is perfect for those who want to spend their days swimming in the ocean. But be warned: Colombia does get some rain during this time! And because there aren’t as many tourists, prices go up on hotel rooms and flights. One good thing about Colombia’s low travel season though- it will give you more opportunity than usual for Colombians or other foreigners to interact with locals (which can be very rewarding).
How long to stay in Colombia
How long you should say in Colombia depends on what you want to do. Colombia is a huge country so it takes time and effort to see everything it has to offer well. Colombia’s most popular cities, Medellin, Bogota or Cartagena are good places to start.
If you go to one of these cities, a five-day stay in Colombia would give you enough time to explore one of Colombia’s most popular cities and see some of its beauty, but it won’t be nearly enough time if your ultimate goal is to experience Colombia fully. If you’re only coming for a week, I’d recommend going to Medellin. Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city, Colombia’s most popular destination for tourists, and Colombia’s party central. Medellin is a great place to start if you don’t have much time or money because of its affordability and nightlife.
I went to Bogota for a week and don’t recommend it. It’s a sprawling, congested city. It’s much colder than Medellin. And, in my opinion, the people aren’t nearly as friendly.
Some people visit Colombia just because it has great coffee. If you plan to visit this region as part of your trip, make sure to extend your trip by at least 3 days to get the full experience.
Getting around in Colombia
Getting around in the city is fairly easy in Colombia. However, Colombia does not have the best public transport Uber or DiDi the best options. It may also be a good idea to rent or if you plan on traveling long distances. But there are also great intercity buses if you don’t want to take on the liability of renting a car.
Safety tips for Colombia
I lived in Colombia for 6 months and never felt unsafe, but there are a few guidelines you should follow. Don’t walk alone after dark. If you are traveling after the sun goes down, it is a good idea to call an Uber to your destination. Don’t use your cell phone while walking on the street. If you’re using your cell phone while walking down the street, you’re an easy target for motorcycle robbery. Only carry as much cash as you need only a daily basis.
Packing tips for your Colombian vacation
For the most part, the temperature in Colombia remains the same throughout the year. You should pack clothing that can be layered because Colombia’s climate is warm year-round and it might get chilly at night.
You should bring:
- light rain jacket
- bug spray
- Day bag with your items (phone charger, wallet)
- Comfortable walking shoes for exploring Colombia’s exciting cities on foot or by bike
Where is the coffee region and when is the best time to visit?
Colombia coffee is Colombia’s national drink and Colombia beans are often exported to over 50 countries worldwide. If you’re staying in Medellin and want to visit the coffee region, then you should head to Pereira.
The best time for you to visit the coffee region in Colombia, where it all begins, would be from October through November so that you can see the harvest taking place at its peak of freshness. If you’re looking for variety in your Colombian coffee experience, then visiting during these times will allow you to not only have a more personalized perspective on Colombia but also taste different variations that are unique to each region. It is easy to find a coffee tour in town that will show you how Colombia’s most well-known export is processed.
What is the best time of year to go to Cartagena?
Cartagena is a popular beachside Colombian city. The best time to visit Cartagena is during Colombia’s dry season, which is from December to April. The hot summer months (April-August) can get up into the 90s so they’re less popular as visitation periods unless there’s something about Colombia that interests you specifically during those times like festivals or unique celebrations.
What are some things to do in Medellin?
During a week-long stay in Medellin I recommend:
- Visiting Guatape
- Going to Communa 13
- Visiting Parque Arvi
- Climbing Tres Cruces
What are Colombians like?
It can be tempting to see Colombians as just being any other Hispanic culture until you spend more time with them and realize that there are nuances between different groups from all over Colombia. One of the great things about Colombia though is how diverse it is! Generally, Colombian people are kind, warm, and energetic. But beware, due to the recent economic downturn, more people are looking to take advantage of gringos.
What Colombia is known for?
- Coffee- Colombia has some of the best coffee in the world. It is the country’s biggest export.
- Weather- Colombia is called the land of eternal spring and has great weather year-round.
- Nightlife- Colombia combines Latin American culture with European influences to create something truly unique in the world.
- Landscapes- Colombia has a variety of climates from tropical rainforest to Andean peaks, desert coastlines, high altitude Pacific coastal valleys, Caribbean coastline, and more!
What’s special about Colombia?
Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Colombia has over 50 different ecosystems and is home to around 300 species of mammals, more than 1200 bird species, 1800 types of butterflies, and 3000 plants. Colombia’s diversity extends beyond the range of animal life- Colombia also contains a variety of climates from tropical rain forests in the Amazon basin to Andean peaks with glaciers in Colombia’s highest mountain ranges.
How long can I stay in Colombia?
As an American citizen, upon arrival, you can stay in Colombia for up to 90 days. If you want to stay for longer you can apply for a visa extension online for a total of 180 days per calendar year.
Colombia: A spectacular travel destination
I hope this blog post has given you some insight into what Colombia can offer for your next travel destination. Though it’s hard to narrow down the best time of year to visit, there are a few things that should be noted about Colombia to maximize your experience and have an enjoyable trip. Take advantage of the safety tips mentioned. To get around town when you first arrive make sure to download Uber if available or rent a car. Colombians are some of the friendliest people on Earth, you’ll find them eager to share their culture. And don’t forget to enjoy the coffee.