Colombia: Essential Information

Colombia is situated in South America, bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean as well as the countries of Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. The Andes Mountains extend into the country in three ranges running south to north, dipping finally into the lowlands of the Caribbean coast.

Local Time: GMT -  5

Currency: Colombian Peso

Weather

The weather in Colombia is difficult generalise about. On the one hand, Colombia sits on the equator so there is little variation throughout the year. On the other hand, the great variety of landscapes means that the country is home to a startling array of climates, from dry, hot desert to humid jungle and freezing mountainous regions ​

The higher up you are, the more you will notice a marked difference between day-time and night-time temperatures. You could be enjoying blazing sunshine during the day and then have to wrap up in several layers to stay warm at night.​

Dry and wet seasons also vary according to region, making Colombia’s climate a tricky one to pin down.

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Bogota

Weather in Bogotá is fairly consistent year-round. The temperature rarely falls below 10 celsius or climbs much higher than 20. There are days when the strong sun can raise the temperature more but be prepared for mild nights. December, January, July and August tend to be the driest months while the wet season generally runs from April to May and then again from September to November

Caribbean Coast

As you might expect, the weather on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is much hotter and more humid. The average temperature in places such as Cartagena, Baranquilla and Santa Marta is between 24 and 33 degrees. There is significantly less rain than in the capital, but September and October are traditionally the wettest months.

Caribbean Coast

Suggested Clothing

Light clothing suitable for warm to hot weather. However, Bogotá and other high-altitude places get cold at night, and even in the shade during the day. You’ll definitely need at least a warm jumper and trousers for destinations such as these, preferably a jacket. ​

If you are hiking, you’ll need boots in the colder mountainous regions and good walking sandals for the Coffee Region to keep your feet cool but still give support. Very light clothing for the Amazon Basin is required, but long-sleeved tops and trousers for the evenings to prevent mosquito bites. If visiting during the rainy season, pack a light waterproof jacket.

Safety

Colombia was once considered a dangerous country but over the past 10 years much has changed. The vast majority of crimes encountered by tourists involve pickpocketing or bag-snatches and can be avoided with a few common-sense safety precautions.

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Posted by Rosanna Young

Rosanna is Travel Direct's Content Editor. Though she is Londoner, born, bred, and based, her wanderlust has led her to many far-flung destinations. Rosanna has visited over thirty countries with extensive experience of travelling through Latin America.

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