The best time to visit Colombia will depend on the focus of your holiday. Will you be hiking the incredible landscapes around the Andes? Or would you prefer to hop from city to city experiencing the vibrant Colombian culture? On the whole, the best time to visit Colombia is from December-March, during the dry season. This is also high season, so expect prices and crowds to be at their peak. The shoulder season runs from July-September which is also predominantly dry, but with much smaller crowds. Offseason, also rainy seasons, runs from April-June where prices will be at their cheapest.
Did you know?
Colombia is the 2nd most biodiverse country in the world.
Due to Colombia lying very close to the equator, the country enjoys consistent weather conditions year round, so can always find a good place to go. Unlike the majority of the world, the four seasons in Colombia tend to be more differentiated by the amount of rainfall, rather than any distinctive changes in temperature.
Colombia does however experience dry and rainy seasons throughout various regions of the country. Rainy season is cold in the Andes region and occurs between May-July & October-December, with heavy rain on a daily basis. Whereas, the Caribbean coast will be much hotter. This region receives the most rain during September-October. The key takeaway – pack lots of layers if you’re planning on travelling around!
Best time for spotting
wildlife in Colombia
Picking the right time for your Colombian safari can make all the difference to your experience. Thousands of whales migrate to the Pacific Coast of Colombia during June-October, making it the best time of year for whale watching. As for the Amazon, it tends to be pretty wet all year round but is at its driest during July and August. As the rivers dry up in the summer heat, wildlife can be easily spotted gathering at watering holes and riverbeds.
Four Seasons in Colombia
As previously mentioned, temperatures hardly change from season to season but remain at a pleasant high of 19°C. The beginning of spring in Colombia signals the end of the dry season and the start of Colombia’s intense spring showers. Not usually regarded as a great time to visit Colombia.
June – August
Summer time in Colombia generally means more rain. The heavy onslaught of rain in the majority of regions begin at the start of June. While the temperatures during the day remain much as they were in spring at around 18-19°C, nights can be much colder at around 5-10°C, so be sure to pack accordingly.
September – November
The rainy season finally begins to end during the middle of autumn, gradually reducing the amount of rainfall up until December. The Caribbean coast however has the most amount of rain during this time of year, however the sea still remains warm enough to swim. The Andes also experiences another rainy season during October-December.
December – February
Winter is dry season making it one of the best times to visit Colombia. Dry season continues until March with the average temperature floating around 32°C. Bogota and other higher cities have temperatures around 25°C. Lots of traditional festivals and events happen during winter making it one of the busiest times in the cities.
Festivals & Events
With a combination of Spanish and Afro-Caribbean influences, Colombia has a rich culture which jumps at any opportunity to celebrate. The diversity of Colombian traditions mean there are a wide variety of festivals and events, every month. To help you decide when to visit Colombia, here’s a quick glance at some of the best festivals and events happening in Colombia throughout the year.
Medellin Flower Festival
(2nd – 11th August)
The famous Medellin Flower Festival dresses the entire town in colour. Flower displays fill the streets, competitions are held and processions course through the streets showcasing the local fauna.
All over Colombia
(5th – 12th April)
Colombia, like most of Latin America, celebrates Holy Week in the lead-up to Easter. Night processions occur on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday where thousands gather for the religious ceremony and music festival.
(22nd – 25th February)
Barranquilla Carnival is the second largest Carnival in the world and the biggest street party in Colombia. Dancers, actors, singers and musicians parade the streets in masks and flamboyant costumes to the sound of traditional Colombian music.
San Pacho Festival
(19th Sept – 5th October)
Two weeks of wild partying, drinking, costumes and dancing make this one of the best street parties in Colombia. Catholic and African traditions join together to parade through the streets whilst flags are flown and fireworks erupt over the city.
Day of the Candles
All over Colombia
The Day of the Candles marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Colombia. Houses, shops and streets everywhere are filled with hundreds of candles and paper lanterns. Celebrated all over the country with towns often holding firework shows and concerts.
Carnival of Blacks & Whites
(2nd – 7th January)
The Carnival of Blacks and Whites is the largest event in southern Colombia. The festival is a showcase of cultural exhibits appreciating the different races in South America. This is a wild party where people drench each other in water wearing black and white masks.
Wayuu Culture Festival
Wayuu Culture Festival celebrates the native cultures around Colombia. Dances, performances, competitions and speakers are held in the town. You’ll find traditional food and locally made handicrafts being sold.
(25th – 30th December)
The end of year celebration of Cali Fair is a spectacular festival showcasing the country’s love of salsa. Salsa performances, concerts and shows are held all over town, most of which are public, and classes, parties and music fill every street.
Other public holidays to be aware of when planning your trip to Colombia
- 1 January – New Year’s Day
- 47 January – Epiphany
- 25 March – Saint Joseph’s Day
- 218 April – Maundy Thursday
- 19 April – Good Friday
- 1 May – Labour Day/May Day
- 3 June – Ascension Day
- 24 June – Corpus Christi
- 1 July – Sacred Heart
- 1 July – Feast of Saint Peter & Saint Paul
- 20 July – Independence Day
- 7 August – Battle of Boyaca Day
- 19 August – Assumption of Mary
- 14 October – Columbus Day
- 4 November – All Saints’ Day
- 11 November – Independence of Cartagena
- 8 December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- 25 December – Christmas Day