June kicks off the summer travel season, and there are few better destination in which to enjoy it than Colombia. From arid deserts to tropical beaches and everything in between, there's something here that will appeal to any traveler—though you should expect bigger crowds and higher prices than you'll find in shoulder season months.

Weather

The weather from region to region in Colombia depends on the topography and altitude. This nation is so close to the equator so there aren't really seasons in the strictest sense of the word. Bogotá's high-altitude location in the central Andes means it sees highs in the mid-60s and lows in the 40s year round, with frequent showers and cloudy skies. Cartagena and the Caribbean coast is typically hot and humid with the average temp being around 86°F. In southern Cali and the Cauca Valley, you can expect a tropical savanna climate and average highs in the '70s. And of course, Medellín's enjoys a perpetual springlike climate.

Crowds & Costs

June is the start of Colombia's high tourist season. Expect airfares and hotel prices to be more expensive than at other times of the year. This is especially true of Cartagena, which sees much tourism during these summer months. In fact, some hotels may require a minimum stay of two or three nights. In major cities, you can expect prices for lodging to be higher as well. That said, there typically is no increase in admission to Colombia's national parks during peak tourist seasons, although booking private tours to the parks might be more expensive.

Where to Go

Without a doubt, the highest concentration of travelers and tourists during the summer months will be in Cartagena. It's a hub for international flights and its well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage city center is a top draw for anyone who loves culture and Spanish-colonial history.

If you do visit Cartagena and want to also experience something a bit more tranquil, why not make a road trip out of it? Head east along the Caribbean coast to Santa Marta (Colombia's oldest city) and tack on a trip to the postcard-perfect beaches, jungles and indigenous ruins of Tayrona National Park. Further east is the surf village of Palomino, perfect for relaxing on the sand away from the mass crowds.

Consider visiting the south of the country, too. You can start in Cali, in the Valle de Cauca, a metropolis known for being the global capital of salsa dancing. After shaking your hips on the dance floor, head to the far south and visit the colonial city of Popayán, with its wide plazas, white-washed buildings, and old bridges. You're also near to the ancient archeological site of Tierradentro, which contains underground Pre-Columbian burial chambers decorated with motifs and which date from the 6th-10th century. There are also a number of stone idols here.

Also nearby is the department of Huila. The region's biggest festival takes place here, in the city of Neiva, starting in mid-June. More on this below.

What to Do

June kicks off whale-watching season (June-October) on Colombia's Pacific coast. This region is less populated and less accessible than many other parts of Colombia, so it's a great place to come to relax away from the crowds and commune with nature. There are many coastal villages and national parks abounding with marine life. If you do want to take part in the whale watching, come to the village of Nuiqui. Here you can spot humpbacks on their migratory journey south to the warmer of the equator.

June is also the start of the low-water season in Colombia's Amazon region. So if you'd like to indulge your inner Indiana Jones on a jungle holiday, you can hop a flight from Bogotá to Leticia, the biggest city in the region, located on the Amazon River on the tri-borders with Pery and Brazil. The low-water season denotes water levels on the river, so lower water means more places are accessible for tours and there's better wildlife spotting.

June Events

Festival Folclórico y Reinado Nacional de Bambuco. From mid-June to early July the biggest festival in Huila Department takes place in Neiva. There’s live music, floats, traditional dances, and many eye-catching dresses and costumes.

Festival Internacional de Tango. For the last two weeks in June, Medellín plays host to a tango festival featuring live music and dance performances. 

Traveling to Colombia in June? Check out these great itinerary ideas. 

Journey Across Colombia: North to South. Start off in national park with white-sand beaches and tropical rainforests. Continue through Cartagena, Medellín, and Bogotá, eventually heading south towards lesser-known areas known for gorgeous Baroque architecture, salsa dancing, and a Gothic church built into a gorge.

Medellín & the Pacific Coast. This week-long trip begins in a dense rainforest where you'll spend three days exploring tiny villages and partaking in a variety of activities like canoe rides, hiking, cooking with locals, whale watching, and soaking in hot springs. End with exploration of Colombia's cities.

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