Weather in Colombia is pleasantly reliable. The nation’s position near the equator means weather patterns change depending on altitude rather than season. The rule of thumb says the higher you are in altitude in Colombia, the colder it is. Therefore you can expect Bogotá, which is located in the central Andes, to have highs in the ‘60s Fahrenheit and lows in the ‘40s.
Now, in the central Andes Cordillera, you’ll find Medellín and coffee country, which enjoy more temperate climates. And If you’re planning a coastal adventure to take advantage of the beaches and parties, expect the entire Caribbean lowland area to be hot and humid, with temps in the 86°F range.
Note: if you do plan on visiting the capital, you’re in luck as February falls outside of the traditional rainy season. That means you can expect a bit more sun and less rain in Bogotá than you would in October and May.
Crowds & Costs
Much of the month of February is a low tourist season, so you can take advantage of cheaper hotels and possibly find cheaper airfare as well. The exception to this is the end of the month during carnival festivities (more on this below). If you are planning on visiting the city of Barranquilla during carnival, make hotel reservations far in advance. Even though it’s a big city with many lodging options, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
Where to Go
Late February in Colombia coincides with at least the start of carnival celebrations (if not the entire holiday, depending on the calendar year) in Barranquilla. If you are going to be here during this time—why not make the most of it and plan a Caribbean holiday? You can start off in the well-preserved Spanish colonial city of Cartagena. Not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but there are plenty of nearby beaches, like Playa Blanca, where you can relax with your feet in the sand. Then you can travel a short distance east to take part in Barranquilla’s carnival before winding down in the colonial town of Santa Marta (Colombia’s oldest city).
What to Do
As mentioned above, if you’re visiting during late February, you’ll definitely want to attend carnival. These celebrations are held every year in the coastal city of Barranquilla and kick off the Friday before Ash Wednesday. In fact, it is the largest carnival celebration in South America outside of Brazil. Each day is filled with floats, parades, and an endless procession of locals decked out in elaborate costumes.
If you stop in Santa Marta afterward, you'll need to save the adjacent Tayrona National Park for another visit—the Kogi people (direct descendants of the ancient Tairona tribe), oversee this protected area. During the month of February, they shut it down in order to perform a spiritual cleansing according to their beliefs. Although you won’t be able to visit during this month, there are some other options for excursions, like this city and island adventure.
Events in February
Barranquilla Carnival. This is one of the biggest carnival celebrations in South America. People flock to downtown Barranquilla where, four days before Ash Wednesday, parades and dancing lead to copious amounts of partying.
Traveling in Colombia in February? Consider these great itineraries.
Colombia's Urban Cities & Zona Cafetera Trek. This active South American adventure spotlights trekking in the high, snowy mountains of Los Nevados National Park.
Explore Colombia's Caribbean Coast. This adventurous two-week itinerary covers major highlights along Colombia's stunning and diverse Caribbean coast with plenty of opportunities to get in the water. Swap the two days in Tayrona with extra time in Barranquilla to take advantage of carnival.