As when you are planning any vacation, you generally pay attention to the weather, events going on at the time, transportation costs, and availability for taking vacation time at work. Planning a trip to Colombia is no different. All of the aforementioned variables should be kept in mind when planning your trip, and today I am going to try to give you a little bit of information that may make your decision of when to visit Colombia a little easier.
First of all, something you should know about the weather in Colombia is that it is consistent year-round in terms of temperatures. Because Colombia is so close to the equator, changes in temperature are minimal and sometimes not even noticeable. In a nutshell, temperatures in Colombia are connected to the altitude of a location. For instance, due to the altitude at which they are found, you can always count on Bogotá to be a cool city, Medellín a warm city (not too hot, not too cold), and Cartagena a hot city—i.e., in general, the higher the altitude of a place the colder it will be and the lower the altitude the hotter a place will be. Thus, in relation to temperature, deciding where you want to go is more important than when, as the temperature will be relatively the same whenever you decide to go.
Even so, there is a weather component that you should bear in mind: the rainy season(s). While there are no significant temperature changes, there are periods where almost all of Colombia experiences substantial rainfall. The past few years have been a bit unpredictable due to the “el niño” and “la niña” phenomenon, but in general the rainy season occurs between March and June and again between September and November. From my experience, it rains more in April and the end of September/beginning of October than at any other time of the year, but that’s just based on my own personal experience and not on the “official” rainy season.
In relation to events, there is always something going on in Colombia. If you are looking to enjoy one or some of the most famous festivals and events, you may want to consider the following:
- In January, you have the Feria de Manizales as well as the Carnival and Blacks and Whites in Pasto.
- In February, you have one, if not the, most famous celebration in Colombia—Barranquilla’s Carnival celebration.
- March and/or April (depending on when Easter and Holy Week fall) may be the best month(s) to come if you are looking to celebrate multiple festivals in different cities as you will encounter Holy Week celebrations throughout the country (the most famous ones being in the cities of Mompox and Popayan), the biannual Iberoamerican Theatre Festival (Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro) in Bogotá, the International Film Festival in Cartagena, and the Vallenato Festival in Valledupar.
- At the end of May, beginning of June, you have the Wayuu Cultural Festival in Uribia, La Guajira.
- In June, you have the Bambuco Festival in Huila and the Joropo Competition in Villavicencio—both festivals centered on different traditional music and dance.
- In July, you have the Rock in the Park event in Bogotá.
- In August, you have the very famous Flower Festival in Medellin.
- In September, you have Jazz in the Park in Bogotá.
- In November, you have independence celebrations in Cartagena as well as the national beauty pageant.
- In December, you can see the unique and varied displays of Christmas lights throughout Colombia (the most famous ones being in Medellín) as well as taste traditional holidays foods and drinks. You also have the Festival of Cali in December.
Hopefully bearing this information in mind will help make your decision of when to travel to Colombia a little easier.
Happy travels and happy trip planning,
Paige M. Poole,
About the author:
Paige M. Poole is an Alabamian and traveler at heart who has settled, for now, in Barranquilla, Colombia, and earns her living as an English professor at the Instituto de Idiomas (Language Institute) at la Universidad del Norte (University of the North). When not teaching English, she enjoys blogging, traveling, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with her partner and two cats, Milo and Sophie. You can see more of Paige’s traveling experiences in her personal blog http://www.trotamunda.wordpress.com
- Two reasons Colombia should be at the top of your travel destinations (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- The main cities in Colombia (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- A Few Tips for Travelling in Colombia (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Beyond Rio: Party and experience multi-cultural Colombian carnivals and festivals (www.uncovercolombia.com)