Colombia weather in January
|Avg. temperature: 24.5°C / 76.1°F||Sun: 8 Hrs (sunshine) / 12 Hrs (daylight)|
|Rain: 70 mm per month||Avg. humidity: 64.2%|
Visiting Colombia in January
Need some winter sun? Then consider Colombia in January!
For many travellers, the best time to go on vacation is largely dictated by the weather. Particularly in a country like Colombia where much of the attraction revolves around outdoor activity, we can certainly understand why the weather is such an important factor!
Colombia straddles the northern, southern and western hemispheres, to which it gives thanks for year-round warm temperatures. With coastlines along the Pacific ocean and the Caribbean sea, it is the perfect place to enjoy some winter sun.
With highs of 29.7°C / 85.4°F and an average of 24.5°C / 76.1°F, the temperature in Colombia in January makes for the ideal time to explore this diverse country. Not to mention, it is dry season, too.
The Caribbean coast presents the hottest weather suitable for a beachy vacation, whilst the capital Bogota offers cooler temperatures ideal to use as a base for hiking in the Andes mountain ranges. For something in-between, the region around Medellin has a hint of spring with lovely warm temperatures.
Things to do in Colombia in January
If you are visiting Colombia in January, you’ll be there for party season!
Start the New Year with a bang with street parties, parades and a fun-packed trip filled with festivities by attending one of the annual festivals.
The Cali Fair
This annual traditional Spanish bullfighting festival begins in December in Santiago de Cali, and extends through the New Year to the first few days of January. Once a humble local festival the event is now an annual extravaganza when the streets fill with locals and tourists who come to join in the festivities. Salsa dancing, bullfights and musical performances can be expected at the Cali Fair.
The Black and White Carnival
Celebrated from 2-7 January each year, this 5 day carnival is the largest such celebration in South Colombia and a UNESCO declared Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The carnival originated when slaves in 1607 started a rebellion against the Spanish Crown to seek a declared “rest day” and took to the streets to perform African street dances to traditional music. Today, it is an exuberant display of bright and bold colours, art and creativity and weird and wonderful costumes, floats and performative art.
The Manizales Fair
This one is for coffee lovers and caffeine addicts! Each year around 6-13 January, the Queen of Coffee hosts the International Coffee Pageant in Colombia’s coffee district, which is without doubt the highlight of the festival. Other traditions include bullfighting displays, sporting activities and arts and crafts to be admired to the soundtrack of traditional folk music and orchestral concerts.
Visit the Caribbean region for sun, sea and sand
Given the warm temperatures and dry climate in January, it is the perfect time to enjoy the best the Caribbean coast has to offer!
Tayrona National Park
The Tayrona National Park is not to be missed during your visit to Colombia in January. The dry, sunny weather makes for a fantastic time to explore all the biodiversity the 30km area has to offer. From snorkeling and swimming in the crystal clear waters, to hiking and trekking through the rainforest, there is plenty to keep you occupied at the park. The golden sand beaches also make for a great place to simply relax and unwind.
Some of the best beaches in Colombia sit on the tropical Caribbean coast, and the best beach town in Colombia is frequently said to be Santa Marta.
One of the best beaches in the area is Playa Cristal. A quiet beach with calm, gentle waves is a favourite for those looking to relax and take in the tranquil surroundings that the local landscape has to offer. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia, and has made many top twenty lists for the most beautiful beach in the world.
This is thanks to its mountainous backdrop, coral filled waters and stunning marine life, that can be explored by swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters.
A colorful port city on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, Cartagena is one of the countries most visited destinations. Old town Cartagena is a declared Unesco World Heritage sight, so visitors can expect to soak up the history as well as the sun!
As a coastal colonial city, Cartagena has a lot to offer visitors from beautiful scenery and remarkable restaurants, to colourful architecture and a rich culture and history. This fun and fascinating city boasts a vibrant energy combined with a laid-back charm typical of Caribbean coastal towns. The colourful buildings in this fortified city entice visitors to explore and there is no greater place to do so.
When you’re thinking about places to visit in Colombia, Barranquilla may not be immediately on your radar. Colombia’s principal port and second largest city, Barranquilla is nestled on the Caribbean Coast, and as a primarily industrial city it is a less obvious choice for travelers.
As the underdog for your Colombian vacation, it is a cheaper alternative to the likes of Cartagena or Santa Marta, making for less costly transport and budget-friendly accommodation, all the while in close proximity to the true jewels of Colombia.
Get lost in the clouds in Chicaque National Park
Just 30 minutes outside of the Colombian capital is the Chicaque Natural Park, one of the top spots for hiking, birdwatching, horseback riding or just exploring the natural wonders of the Cloud Forest.
January is the height of summer at Chicaque and typically a dry month, so it’s a great time to visit for an adventure undisturbed by the rain and fog. More than 300 species of birds provide the soundtrack to your exploration as they sing in the trees.
Take a trek to the Lost City
This is a hike not for the faint hearted and the weather will certainly dictate the best (or worst!) time to undertake the journey. January and February are the driest months in the Lost City so this is the best time to trek the 42km trail through the jungle, river streams and steep stepping stones. Just remember to pack bug spray – unfortunately, the bugs are not seasonal! See our full guide to the Lost City.
Hotels in Colombia in January
Colombia in January is the peak tourist season, so you can expect bigger crowds and higher prices. If you are visiting Colombia in January, you’ll want to plan in advance and book your accommodation early to secure some of the best deals. Furthermore, during the high season many hotels require a minimum duration stay so you might need to shop around if you only plan on staying in one place for a day or two.
With so much on offer you can choose from budget hotels and hostels, quirky B&Bs and apartments, off-the-beaten-track cabins and villas, luxury all inclusive resorts and upscale hotels and more. There is something to suit all travellers and all budgets, so you won’t be short on options!