According to softwareleverage, Colombia is an increasingly popular travel destination enjoying stability and economic prosperity after decades of conflict. The country is a mixture of Andean cities, rainforests, colonial cities and stately haciendas. Although Colombia is world famous for its coffee, there is much more to discover.
In the Zona Cafetera (where you can taste one of the best coffee in the world) wax palms rise up like ship masts in the landscape. The Caribbean city of Cartagena and Colombia’s capital Bogotá are not only very different, they can also be wonderfully combined into one trip. You can marvel at beautiful coffee plantations, visit Inca ruins or venture into the Amazon for adventures and explore the jungle.
Best travel time
December – March
There are many sunny days in Colombia during the high season. The months are ideal for exploring the country’s charming cities, coffee regions and relaxing on the beach. Planning well ahead is crucial when vacationing between December and January, as it has seen a huge influx of domestic vacationers and international visitors.
The beginning of the rainy season brings somewhat wetter weather in some places, but persistent rain is rather unusual. You should plan in advance if you plan to visit the country over the Easter break, as this is also a popular time to visit for regional tourism.
In many areas, a small dry season is returning to the country, which in turn offers wonderful conditions for visiting Colombia’s cultural highlights, the beautiful landscape, the jungle and the beaches. Some airlines increase their airfares according to the European and North American holiday seasons.
September – November
This is the low season in Colombia. Due to the unique geographic location, visitors are not disturbed by extended periods of rain, even at the main attractions in the country. There are still longer dry spells and many use off-peak travel to find a larger selection of cheap hotels than in the following months.
Climate in Bogota
The maximum temperature in Colombia is 21 ° C. In June, July and August the thermometer rises to a maximum of 19 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 19 ° C mild . In the winter months it is around 21 ° C warm . During the day, the temperature in Colombia is an annual mean of a pleasant 20.1 ° C.
At night it gets coldest with 7 ° C in January, February and December. The thermometer rarely falls below 10 ° C in April and May. While the nights in summer are averages of a mild 8 ° C, the thermometer drops to a cool 8 ° C at night between November and March. The temperature averages 8.3 ° C at night over the entire year.
With 18 rainy days, April and October are the rainiest months of the year. The February is the driest month of the year . From June to September Colombia is relatively humid with an average of around 12 rainy days each, the winter (November to March) is also relatively humid with 11 rainy days. Rain falls on an annual average of 13.0 days per month.
The official language in Colombia is Spanish. English is spoken very often in the most important tourist areas and larger cities and helps with communication.
Food and drink
The Colombian national dish is the “bandeja paisa” (“paisa plate”). The meal consists of white rice, red beans, minced meat, sausage, plantain, morcilla, chicharron, arepa, avocado and a fried egg. Colombia is world-famous for its coffee and rum. Another favorite is Aguadiente, a variant of the Spanish alcoholic drink “Anisette”.
- Catedral de Sal
A special highlight in Colombia is the Catedral de Sal . It is a cathedral in the Zipaquirá salt mine . Week after week this church attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists.
Bogota is 2,640 meters above sea level on a high plateau in the Andes of central Colombia. The capital of Colombia has a lot to offer travelers, the old town of Candelaria is full of small cobblestone streets, colorful buildings and some excellent museums.
The Parque 93 , Zona Rosa and Usaken districts are home to excellent restaurants, great shopping opportunities and inviting bars. You can take the cable car up Mount Monserrate and see the skyline of this crazy city.
In addition, the city has a lot of parks that spread across the city (e.g. Simón Bolívar Park, where large free concerts and festivals take place).
- Caribbean coast
The jewel of the Colombian coast is Cartagena , where many tourists come to see and enjoy the romantic old town. Another beautiful place is Taganga , a small fishing village in a bay south of Santa Marta.
If you are touring the Caribbean coast you should definitely make a detour to the Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona . The landscape of the national park varies from the sandy beach in the north to the dense rainforest in the south, which was once a settlement of the Tayrona Indians. The beaches of Tayrona are very popular with travelers and are considered to be the best in Colombia as they are located in large coves lined with palm trees.
Cartagena is a coastal city in the Caribbean. It has few real sights to offer, but a visit to Cartagena is more about enjoying the atmosphere and ambience. The old town is surrounded by a relic of the Spanish colonial empire and one of the most famous colonial buildings in South America: 11 km of zigzag walls made of coral stone, which are criss-crossed by Moorish bastions. Behind it are small alleys with brightly painted buildings.
Medellín is the second largest city in the country and it is located between the fertile green hills of the Antioquía region. In the 80s and 90s, the city was closely associated with drug trafficker and terrorist Pablo Escobar, but luckily that time is now far back. Today Medellín is known as the “City of Eternal Spring” with a pleasant climate and temperate weather almost all year round. This can be a welcome change from the subtropical climate in other parts of Colombia.
- Tayrona National Park
The paradisiacal Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona is located about four and a half hours by car along the coastal road in the northeast of Cartagena .
The park is located on the edge of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest coastal mountains in the world, and stretches for 56 kilometers from Santa Marta in the west to Rio Piedras in the east. The national park offers what you would want from a postcard. Beaches lined with palm trees and golden sand. This tropical beach paradise is set against a backdrop of lush green rainforest.
This is a fantastic place to sit back and relax, stroll on the beach and jungle trails, and spot the local wildlife. There are several swimming spots where you can cool off from the tropical heat. For photographers, the area is a dream with many fantastic landscapes and photo opportunities. The national park was once home to the indigenous Tayrona Indians and archaeological remains can still be found. The best preserved is the pre-Hispanic village of Pueblito, which was believed to be an important Tayrona settlement.
The Tayrona National Park covers an area of 37,000 hectares and has a dry tropical climate with temperatures between 15 ° C and 29 ° C. Most of the park is covered by pristine tropical forests and is inhabited by over 100 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, and 50 species of reptiles. The paujil, a type of hen, is often represented in Tayrona’s gold works and is native to the region, as is the majestic condor that lives in the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Please note that a valid yellow fever vaccination is required to enter the Tayrona National Park.
- San Agustin
The world heritage site of San Agustín is a ten-hour drive south of Bogotà . It is an archaeological site of which only around ten percent has so far been uncovered and explored. Huge pyramids and ruins are suspected. In addition to amazing statues, burial chambers, ritual buildings and rock art can be found everywhere in the valley.
- Zona Cafetera
Colombian coffee is considered second to none. The terraced slopes of this region provide the perfect environment for coffee to grow as the climate and rainfall are ideal.
The lush, green vegetation in the Zona Cafetera not only has a temperate climate for travelers but is also home to the snow-capped peaks of Parque National Los Nevados.
There are three larger cities in the region with Manizales, Pereira and Armenia. None of them are particularly beautiful, but they provide a good base from which to visit the lush green valleys and spectacular Andean peaks.
Tips for good service are welcome. The amount is at your own discretion, we recommend approx. 10% of the invoice amount.
The Colombian currency is the peso. ATMs are particularly widespread in the big cities. Most machines accept all credit cards as well as Cirrus and Plus cards. Visa and Master Card are widely accepted, as are debit cards.