Why the rainy season shouldn’t affect your travel plans
Being a tropical country with vast mountain ranges, large plains, lush untouched jungles, mighty rivers, an abundance of wildlife, differing cultures dating back hundreds and thousands of years, historical and heritage locations, amazing people, and beautiful beaches, visiting Colombia at any time of the year will provide you a wonderful and unique experience.
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Although there are reasons to visit Colombia at different times of the year due to the varying seasonal costs of airfares, hotels, and seasonal experiences such as whale watching, leatherback turtles, and Caño Cristales. Read on to discover these seasonal dates… The wet and dry seasons should not be a factor that affects your decision. Due to the mountainous geography, shape, and the fact Colombia is a tropical country, predicting with great certainty the climatic forecasts can be extremely difficult. And in reality, should always be taken with a grain of salt. It’s also a case that different regions enjoy conflicting climates simultaneously. Such as during the wetter season of the Amazon, the Caribbean and central Andes region will generally be dryer – but not always. It’s also interesting to note, that during the rainy season it doesn’t rain every day. And when it does rain, it may very well be a short storm and nothing more for the remainder of the day!
When You Should Avoid Travel to Colombia
The high seasons in Colombia for international travel often coincide with the high season for domestic travel. During these times you can expect to pay more for your flights (sometimes double), and hotels and some tours can often be booked out months in advance. You’ll also find that beaches, national parks, streets, small towns, and roads are all much busier. This also affects your travel time between destinations, and in some cases can add an additional hour or 2 to transfers between cities. The main high seasons in Colombia are during the Easter holidays, and from December to mid-January. This is not to say you will not still have a simply amazing time during your Colombian vacation if you come during the high season. But our recommendation is to try and avoid this time of year for your travel if you can.
When You Should Travel to Colombia / The Best Time to Travel to Colombia
Some experiences in Colombia can only be enjoyed at certain times of the year. We call these our seasonal experiences, and the following is a list of where to visit in Colombia, and the dates to bear in mind if you’re interested in enjoying some of these fantastico tours during your holiday here in Colombia.
- Tayrona National Park: This national treasure and one of the most popular destinations in Colombia is closed for the first 2 weeks in February, the first 2 weeks in June, and the last 2 weeks of October until the 2nd of November. The reason for these closures is to allow the park a break to breathe and recover, and for the local indigenous to perform cleansing ceremonies. This initiative should guarantee the long-term sustainability of this tropical jungle with amazing beaches. *You’ll find tours to Tayrona Park and Cabo San Juan along with other day tours and private transportation from Santa Marta right here!
- Leatherback Turtles: On the beaches of Acandí and in Panama every year between February and July you’ll discover giant leatherback turtles slowly making their way up the beach to lay their eggs. The incubation period for these eggs is 2 months meaning you can see baby hatchlings clumsily make their way down the beach to the waiting ocean waters from April to September. You can almost guarantee to view the giant turtles laying eggs any night of the week from March to the 2nd week of June. And the best time to see both the adult turtles during the night and the hatchlings breaking free of their shells in the morning is during April and May. The ocean waters can be quite rough during February and March, so if you’d like to combine this experience with calm ocean swims and relaxing on the Caribbean beaches, it’s better to avoid these months. *Looking for a Turtle Watching Tour? You’ll find the best customizable package tour right here!
- Whale Watching in the Pacific Coast: During the months of June to November, every year humpback whales migrate up into the warmer tropical waters of the Colombian Pacific Coast. The reason is breeding and giving birth to newborn whales. The best time to enjoy the whales frolicking in these waters is July to October. *Planning on traveling to Colombia to experience these beautiful Whales up close and personal? Then check out one of our fully customizable package tours including Whale Watching right here!
Caño Cristales: A beautiful river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta, in the South-East of Colombia. Often called the River of 5 Colors or the Liquid Rainbow River, this location attracts tourists from across the world to view its crystal-clear waters and the amazing Macarenia clavígera water plant. Colombia is the only country in the world you can view this remarkable plant that only flourishes and produces its bright reddish-pink colors during the rainy season. During the dryer months of the year, the plant shrinks back and becomes dormant waiting for the rains to arrive again. Although visible from June to November, the best time to enjoy Caño Cristales is between the months of July to October.
- El Guaviare: Located next to La Macarena, and famous for its rock paintings dating back 12,000 years, pink dolphins, rock structures, and caves, which can be enjoyed all year long. Included in this area you’ll also discover the beautiful Macarenia clavígera water plant. And just as in the neighboring department of La Macarenia, where you’ll discover Caño Cristales, it is only visible from June to November, with the best times to see these water plants being between the months of July to October. *Like to visit El Guavaire on a 3-6 day tour? Then be sure to check out our fully customizable package tour to El Guaviare right here!
- The Amazon: As far as I’m concerned there is never a bad time of year to travel into these wonderful jungles. But there are different benefits for traveling during different seasons. *Interested in visiting the Amazing Amazon in Colombia? Check out one of many fully customizable package tours we offer to the Colombian Amazon right here!
- During the dryer seasons, there are more areas of land to hike through and explore, and you may see more wildlife at the riverbanks looking for a drink or looking to eat those who are drinking. As a general rule, the driest season is July to September.
- During the wet seasons, there are more tributaries to follow in a canoe or boat, and less land for wildlife to hide. So, although the areas for hiking are restricted, the areas for wildlife are also. Meaning if you’re a quiet walker, you may also spot wildlife. The rainy season runs roughly from mid-December to mid-May.
- To try and get the best of both worlds the best time to visit is at the start and end of the rainy seasons. Of course, as mentioned previously predicting the weather in Colombia is near impossible to do. But by traveling between November and mid-December or May and June, you should hopefully experience some flooded areas and some dry areas to trek through. If traveling at the end of the rainy season, when things are starting to dry up, you should also see more wildlife venturing out, that were hiding away during the rains.
To save some pesos and to enjoy more relaxation with fewer people, traveling during the low season is a great idea for many. It is much easier to book hotels and tours are almost always available. Not only this but generally your flights and accommodation costs will also be much lower, as opposed to the high season. The lower seasons in Colombia run from August to mid-November and during the month of May.
If you’re unable to take a vacation during the low season we recommend traveling just before or after the high season. By doing this you’ll be saving those pesos with lower airfares and beating the crowds that will arrive shortly after or have already departed. The best months for these adjacent seasons are February, March, and November.
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