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Weather in Colombia

weather-in-colombia-1Colombia is located right on the equator, so for people from Europe, North America, and Australia who are used to seasonal climates and changes, Colombia is unique: it does not have winter and summer in the traditional sense. However, the weather and climate vary in Colombia a great deal depending upon altitude, geography, and month.

Colombia features just about every type of geographic terrain that one can imagine: from tropical jungles in Leticia, to the Tatacoa Desert in Huila, to vast plains beginning in Villavicencio stretching out to Venezuela, to beautiful beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, Colombia has something for everyone. But more than anything, Colombia is an extremely mountainous country. Thus, elevation plays a huge factor in temperature.

Colombia is also characterized by two wet seasons and two dry seasons. The first wet season roughly corresponds to Spring in the northern hemisphere: March, April, and May. The second roughly corresponds to our Fall: September, October, and November. The dryest months are December, January, and February. 

Central Colombia, including Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and the Coffee Zone, conform to these seasonal patterns.

On the coast, however, in Cartagena and Santa Marta, you'll find a tropical wet-dry climate, and the weather changes a bit.

Basically, Bogota and the surrounding areas, and to a lesser degree Medellin, are deluged with rain during the two wet seasons. It's not so bad that it will keep you from having a good time, but it is something you need to carefully consider. Bring appropriate clothing for wet weather, and keep an umbrella handy. The nice thing about Bogota is that whenever it starts raining, entrepreneurial individuals spring out from the woodwork selling umbrellas: you'll soon get used to their famililar cry "sombrilla, paraguas, sombrilla, paraguas". Don't pay more than $5.000 to $8.000 for an umbrella.weather-in-colombia-2

Remember that weather is largely a function of latitude and altitude. Thus, up in the mountains (Bogota, Tunja, Manizales for example) the climate is quite temperate, and even cool at night. Coastal Colombia (Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Buenaventura) can be scorching hot. 

Always bring weather-appropriate clothing, sunglasses, sunblock, and stay properly hydrated. That's the key to having a great trip in Colombia!

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