Weather In Colombia – When’s the best time to go for a ride?

Being such an expansive and topographically diverse country means there’s no definite ‘best time’ for motorcycle touring in Colombia. The upside is that as long as you’re not set on visiting one specific region of the country, you could visit at ANY time of year and will find one (or more) areas at their absolute prime, weather-wise. The downside is that if you are set on exploring one specific area, like the Eastern Mountain Ranges, you may want to time it just right. Or maybe not…

 

Off-season travel can also have its perks and although Colombia is not exactly overrun with masses of tourists visiting by the busloads, there’s no denying some places are more enjoyable when it isn’t peak travel season. Moreover, who are we to say you don’t love a motorcycle riding challenge?! 

Here’s a lowdown of weather in Colombia and then you can decide the very best time to visit…for you.

When are the best months to visit Colombia?

Colombia is a year-round destination, particularly along the Caribbean coast and in Medellin (where I am based) where warm, dry weather is prevalent for almost the entire year.

 

  • Dry Season -  The dry or “hot” seasons normally occurs December – January & July – August. Colombians refer to this as their Summer season.

  • Rainy Season - The rainy or “wet” seasons normally take place from April – May & October – November. Colombians refer to this as their Winter season.

Climate in Colombia – By Altitude 

  • Altitude beats latitude: In Colombia it’s the altitude that determines the climate, not the latitude. To keep it simple: mountains are cool to freezing, the Amazon jungle is steamy to really steamy and the two coastlines (Caribbean and Pacific) play a game of rain-tag, whereby when one is very wet the other is less so

Weather In Colombia Varies By Altitude

Climate in Colombia – By Region

 

Colombia is considered a year-round travel destination because most of the country enjoys idyllic warm and dry days, most of the time.

  • Medellin: Given this is our headquarters and best base-point for motorcycle trips through the south and on to Ecuador, as well as the wonderful mountains to the east, likely start off your motorcycle tour, we thought you might like to know about the weather in Medellin. The City of Eternal Spring is a pretty self-explanatory nickname although you should expect heavier rains in April and May, and again in September and October. With an ideal climate all year and little rain, for the most part, Medellin is the perfect and most livable Colombian destination, which is why you’ll find us right here​.

  • Caribbean Coast – The low-lying areas of the Caribbean coastline enjoy a dry season during the first three months of the year. Head here between mid-December and March and you need not worry about experiencing the kind of downpours that can make motorcycle riding fell like SCUBA diving instead. It’s pretty rainy the rest of the year here, except for a mini-dry season in June/July, which mainly consists of slightly less rainy days

 

  • Pacific Coast – Renowned as the wettest region of Colombia, the Pacific coastline is pretty ‘lush’ all year-round. Hint hint wink wink – pack a wetsuit and some flippers. January and February, however, boast quite dry and sunny days – in the last few years, the first two months of the year have been getting progressively drier. The wettest months continue to be October and November and, outside these times, your guess is as good as ours. Oh and you know how we previously said it never rains for days on end? We lied! On the Pacific, during the wettest months, this is not uncommon

 

  • Amazon Rainforest – Many people seem to totally overlook the ‘rain’ part of the word ‘rainforest’ and it only dawns on them, when they’re ankle-deep in sludgy mud, that the most prolific and biodiverse ecosystem on earth is precisely that for a reason. Rain. Lots of nourishing rain! With high humidity and at-times unbearable heat, the Amazon region is one of the most challenging for biking around although one does get used to be consistently drenched, from the inside out, all the time. For general travel through the region, the Amazon is defined by high water levels (Dec-May) and low water levels (June-Nov), which refers to rivers either overflowing and facilitating river cruising, or drying base and facilitating lodge-based adventures

  • Andes Mountains – A motorcycle rider’s heaven, the Andes mountains are Colombia’s #1 playground – winding roads through enigmatic remote areas, cloud-drenched peaks, and temps cool enough to keep you on your toes. The Andes are simply magical. Traversing Colombia in a north-east to south-west direction, this spine of exceptionally beautiful mountains offers adventures galore and temperatures depending on how high-up you ride. The above altitude weather range really is the best determiner of climate.

 

  • Plains of Los Llanos – The tropical grasslands of Los Llanos rest on the eastern side of the Andes. It’s fed by the Orinoco, the country’s biggest river, and the one that marks the natural border with Venezuela. This is one of the country’s most biodiverse regions, one that floods periodically during rain season (May to October), nourishing an untold number of exotic wildlife species 

 

  • Páramo: Colombia’s alpine tundra is a unique ecosystem, a tropical high-altitude wilderness that exits north of the tree-line but south of the snow-line. The Colombian section of the Central American páramo, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, is a fantastic place for motorcycle riding and hiking, and is also home to some of the most distinctive towns in the whole country (we experience this region on our Colombia & Ecuador tour). Although the altitude temp-range does also play a role in the páramo, other variables mean you’ll experience higher-than-usual humidity up here and at-times dramatic daily fluctuations. Unpredictability, we’re afraid, is the name of the riding game up here but, as long as you’ve packed accordingly (wet weather gear + some warm layers) you’ll handle anything that’s thrown at you.

Weather in Colombia – Some Tips

 

  • Colombia is equatorial: Colombia doesn’t suffer dramatic seasonal changes and huge shifts in temperature. In most of the country, in fact, the temps barely shift a few degrees either way, all year-round

 

  • Tropical means rain is considerable: Those luscious jungles and verdant valleys need to get fed somehow and that’s where rain comes in. Some months, lots and lots of rain. For many prospective riders, wet and dry months are about the best determiners of ‘great times to visit’ and this is, indeed, the biggest fluctuating weather pattern in the whole country 

 

  • Altitude beats latitude: This is not to say that Columbia boasts the same temperatures everywhere only that here it’s the altitude that determines the climate, not the latitude. To keep it simple: mountains are cool to freezing, the Amazon jungle is steamy to really steamy and the two coastlines (Caribbean and Pacific) play a game of rain-tag, whereby when one is very wet the other is less so

 

  • Colombia boasts five micro-climates: When talking about climate, it’s easiest to divide Colombia into five regions – the Caribbean coast, the Pacific coast, the Amazon rainforest, the Andes Mountains and the plains of Los Llanos

  • Each region is consistent: All these regions may, at different times of the year, boast very diverging temperatures and riding conditions yet, within themselves, they are all quite consistent – so at least that part’s easy! High-altitude roads in the Andes are always going to be cold, Amazon trails is always going to be a sweat-fest and if you think you’ll ever suffer nipple-freeze in the Caribbean, you shall be sorely (but happily) mistaken 😊 

 

  • Anything above 2,000masl = cold: Nights are always cool at high-altitude (hello, Captain Obvious!) so always pack some warm riding gear if you’re planning to explore those winding mountain roads

 

  • Wettest months, on average: Don’t hold us to this BUT, by and large, Colombia receives more rain in April, May, October, and November, than at any other time of year

 

  • The real meaning of wet season: If you’ve traveled to the tropics before, you’ll know that wet season doesn’t mean it’s raining, all day long for 17 days in a row. Rains usually come in the early-mid afternoon and are short but intense – as long as you keep your riding stints to the morning you can enjoy a stunning motorcycle tour, even in rainy season, and still keep to your intended itinerary (most of the time)

 

  • Don’t trust weather apps: That’s the reason weather apps aren’t to be trusted. If even a single drop of rain is expected on a certain day, it’ll show rain clouds for the whole day and that’s just not realistic. A whole month-long row of rain and clouds simply can’t convey the reality – that it’s stunning most of the time with a few interspersed but predictable downpours at a certain time of day

 

  • High tourist season: The climate isn’t the only determiner of tourist crowds – most of the time, high tourist numbers are determined by religious holiday and whatnot. In Colombia, Easter Week is INSANE, followed closely by Christmas (all the way to March) and again in June-August, which is when Europeans take their summer vacation. If you’re anti-crowds, watch these times but remember that as long as you ride off the beaten trail, you’ll actually be just fine

 

  • Cheapest travel months: Now here is something that is determined by weather, as well as a lack of tourist crowds. The periods between April and June, and again September to November, are the cheapest months to hop over for a visit

 

  • The best sneakiest months to visit: Cunning you has probably already ascertained that arguably the best months to visit, when considering weather, crowds, and prices, are March, April, June, and September. Those shoulder months can be absolute gold, all things considered.

CONTACT JEFF

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+ 57 321 491 7060

 

+57 321 491 7060

jscremer@gmail.com

US Number: 

(786) 623 4393

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