Because of its proximity to the equator, Colombia’s temperatures vary according to altitude rather than season. In high altitudes, days are cool and nights can dip near the freezing mark. In lowlands, expect a tropical, humid climate with little difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. As a general guide, the average temperature in Bogotá is 57°F (14°C), in Cartagena 87°F (31°C), and in Medellín 75°F (24°C). The rainiest months are October and November. In the Andean region, the dry season falls between December and March and July and August. If possible, avoid Colombia in October and November, as these are the rainiest months, and flooding and poor road conditions are common.
Christmas is a particularly festive time in Colombia, though prices often rise and hotel rooms fill up quickly in Cartagena and the Atlantic Coast, as well as in other popular tourist destinations. During the Christmas holiday, Easter, and summer vacation, you’ll have to book hotels in advance and be prepared to pay a bit extra.
The best place to head online for a detailed weather forecast is www.wunderground.com.
When You'll Find Bargains
The cheapest time to fly to Colombia is usually during the off season: from late August to November and in May. Though that mostly coincides with the rainy season in the highlands and coast, it rarely rains all day. Remember that weekday flights are often cheaper than weekend fares.
Rates generally increase in early December, then hit their peak in high travel season from Christmas until the end of January. In mid-June through August, when most Europeans take their holidays, there are more crowds and limited availability for the best hotel rooms.
You can avoid crowds, to some extent, by planning trips for the shoulder season, from about February to April, though you should be mindful of the uptick during Semana Santa (Holy Week). In general, the shoulder season offers the best combination of fewer crowds and good weather. Be mindful of major Colombian holidays, particularly at places like Cali and Cartagena, which are major destinations for Colombians as well as international travelers.
Colombia has more public holidays than any other nation except Brazil. Usually, if a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is celebrated the following Monday. Public holidays are New Year’s Day (Jan 1); Epiphany (Jan 6); St. Joseph’s Day (Mar 19); Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (Mar/Apr); Labor Day (May 1); Ascension (May); Corpus Christi (May/June); Sacred Heart (June); Day of St. Peter and St. Paul (June 29); Independence Day (Aug 7); Assumption (Aug 15); Discovery of America (Oct 12); All Saints’ Day (Nov 1); Independence of Cartagena (Nov 11); Immaculate Conception (Dec 8); and Christmas (Dec 25). Bogotá and other major cities empty out during holiday weekends, and many businesses close early or don’t open at all.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.