Colombia Santa Marta Landscape Caribbean Coast

When is the Best Time to Visit Colombia’s Caribbean coast?

User Avatar Author: Daniela Vaca
5 months ago - January 19, 2024

Reading time: 6 mins

Colombia’s Caribbean coast is a well-known tourist destination because of its turquoise waters and stunning beaches. This region is home to some of the best beaches in Colombia, the beautiful colonial city of Cartagena, and the Sierra Nevada. It offers a variety of activities, from birdwatching to water sports. 

Still, with an average temperature of 89 °F (32 °C) year-round, it can be challenging to decide when to visit. Every season has its pros and cons, and it all comes down to what you want in a vacation. If you wish to witness carnival celebrations or escape the crowds, this blog will guide you through the best time to visit Colombia’s Caribbean coast. 

Colombia Santa Marta Landscape Caribbean Coast

Colombia Santa Marta Landscape Caribbean Coast


December to February

If you’re looking for warmer and drier weather, the best time to visit Colombia’s Caribbean coast is from December to February. Although there’s still a possibility of rainfall, the weather is usually sunny and dry. During this season, the ocean is calmer and ideal for water-based activities such as snorkeling, diving, and surfing. Daytime high temperatures reach the low 90s °F (32 °C) and cool down to mid-70s °F (21 °C) at night. 

During these months, the Caribbean coast is at its most beautiful yet rather busy. It’s a popular time to visit, so booking well in advance for hotels and flights is essential. Hiking is perfect during January, thanks to the clear skies offering amazing views. Also, this time of year is ideal for exploring what the Caribbean Coast has to offer—the warm weather makes it perfect for sunbathing and swimming at one of the many beautiful beaches.


One of Latin America’s most impressive colonial cities, Cartagena was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. It offers a one-of-a-kind experience thanks to its history, architecture, and museums. Despite its well-preserved historic center, modern restaurants and boutique hotels can still be found throughout the city. The climate is characterized by high temperatures, and most of the region’s precipitation is seen in April and May. The average daytime temperatures are typically 86 °F (30 °C) to 92 °F (33 °C) all year round. 

La Guajira

La Guajira is a region up in the northern Colombian Caribbean coast, the most prominent cities of which are Palomino and Riohacha. The climate, especially along the peninsula itself, is dry, with high temperatures that are sometimes influenced by the ocean breeze. Rainfall here is rare and usually occurs from September to November. The wet season is overcast, while the dry season is windy and partly cloudy. Throughout the year, the temperature typically varies from 75 °F (24 °C) to 88 °F (31 °C). 


Mompox, also known as Santa Cruz de Mompox, is a famous town in Colombia. It is located along the banks of the Magdalena River and is known for its historical and cultural legacy. Mompox has hot and humid weather, with daytime temperatures frequently exceeding 91°F (33 °C), whereas nighttime temperatures may drop below 75 °F (24 °C). Rain showers can occur; however, they are frequently followed by sunny skies. The town’s charming colonial architecture and picturesque river views make it a fascinating place to explore year-round.

Colombia Caribbean Coast Cartagena

Colombia Caribbean Coast Cartagena

March to September

Colombia’s Caribbean coast sees a lot of rain from March to September, which can be somewhat of a challenge to plan around, especially if you’re hoping to catch some sun. However, if you enjoy birdwatching and would like to experience the wilderness in a more authentic way, then the rainy season is perfect for you. During these months, hundreds of species of migratory birds visit the island, with the greatest migration of parrots happening out on the island of San Andres. 

And if you’re looking for a fun and lively atmosphere, this is the best time to visit Colombia’s Caribbean coast. During these months, the Grand Carnival of Barranquilla is held, which happens to be the world’s second-largest carnival after Rio de Janeiro’s. The carnival features colorful floats, music, and dancing, attracting tourists worldwide. 


Barranquilla is a thriving port city in Colombia. Known for its vibrant carnivals and rich cultural past, it’s an amazing city with plenty to offer. Barranquilla’s weather is tropical and humid, with high temperatures year-round. Average daytime temperatures are generally around 85 °F (29 °C), with evenings being somewhat cooler at around 80 °F (27 °C). Rainfall is limited, making it ideal for outdoor activities. Winds from the northeast usually provide a cool breeze. The city’s warm weather is frequently accompanied by a clear sky, giving plenty of opportunities to explore the city’s sights on foot.

Castillo de Salgar in Barranquilla, Colombia

Castillo de Salgar in Barranquilla, Colombia

October to November

This is the off-season in Colombia’s Caribbean coast, with occasional rain and temperatures ranging from 75 °F (24 °C) to 82 °F (28 °C). If you’re looking for a somewhat less crowded experience of the region, then this is the best time to visit. These coastal cities have significantly less rain than is seen up in the mountains. Only September and October are considered rainy months. “Aguaceros” (downpours in Spanish) are common during these months. The rest of the year typically only sees a small amount of precipitation.

Santa Marta 

The oldest colonial city in Colombia, with a beautiful contrast consisting of sand, crystal clear waters, and snow-capped mountains that make this destination the perfect place for day hikes. Santa Marta tends to be less humid due to the cool breezes that flow down from the snow-covered Sierra Nevada Mountain. The climate is tropical semi-arid, with a rainy period from May to November. Average temperatures range from 82 °F (28 °C) to 85°F (30 °C) and only vary slightly. 


Santa Marta city in Colombia

Santa Marta city in Colombia

The Sierra Nevada 

To relish the serene beauty of Colombia’s Caribbean coast, consider exploring Tayrona Park. This park provides a fantastic opportunity to experience and enjoy nature. Home to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, its landscapes vary from sandy beaches to lush rainforest. It is full of unique flora and fauna, from tamarins to howler monkeys, and provides an enriching experience that is sure to gift you a lifetime of memories.Tayrona National Natural Park in Santa Marta, Colombia

Tayrona National Natural Park in Santa Marta, Colombia

Tayrona National Natural Park in Santa Marta, Colombia

The Ideal Vacation 

The ideal time to visit Colombia’s Caribbean coast will ultimately depend on what type of vacation you are interested in enjoying. While some people seek energetic events, others prefer the peace and tranquility that’s found away from the crowds. It is also necessary to note that the weather can be unpredictable, but with some planning, you can nail an unforgettable experience. All seasons have something unique and beautiful to offer on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. In the end, with its array of unique experiences, gorgeous views, and vibrant tropical culture, the Caribbean coast is perfect for visiting any time of the year.  

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