Colombia is a country as pious as it is fun-loving, and March features one of the biggest religious celebrations: Semana Santa. Aside from Holy Week, there's also the chance that Carnival lasts into the beginning of the month. Let this guide direct you to the biggest celebrations (and best locations) for a March trip to Colombia.

Weather

Colombia's weather in March is, generally speaking, as steady as it is throughout the rest of the year. The reason for this is Colombia's proximity to the equator—weather only really changes depending on altitude.

Expect high altitude locations like Bogotá to be chillier while lowland areas, especially those on the coast or in the Amazon region, can be hot and humid. The many places in the Cordillera Central (central Andes mountain range) feature famously temperate spring-like climates. This includes cities like Medellín and, further south, Popayán, as well as the coffee region of Colombia.

Crowds & Costs

Much of March falls outside the high travel season in Colombia, so you can expect lower fares and hotel fees. That said, Holy Week is as high a tourist season as any other time of year. Not only that, but you'll be contending with vacationing locals who've been itching to take time off work and live it up over Easter. If you're traveling during this period, make sure you book all reservations well in advance.

Where to Go

If you're traveling to Colombia during Semana Santa (Holy Week), you'll quickly realize that there are celebrations and processions throughout the country. Whether you're in Medellín, Cartagena, Cali, the coffee region, or anywhere else, you can expect a celebration. That said, you'll find that that Easter week is particularly festive in a few different cities.

You can visit the town of Villa de Leyva, which lies about four hours north of Bogotá. Not only is it an incredibly well-preserved colonial town but during Holy Week it hosts a music conference featuring live concerts and forum talks. The conference celebrates ancient music, typically from the 15th-17th centuries.

Popayán, located in the far south, is another model of Spanish colonial heritage in Colombia, with its white-washed buildings and expansive plazas. It's also the place to be during Holy Week. It seems the entire city is out in force, lining the cobbled streets and filling the plazas as ornate religious processions celebrate the Passion from Good Friday until the night of Easter Sunday. That entire timeframe is full of parties and revelry.

What to Do

Do take part in the Holy Week celebrations in the cities and towns mentioned above. However, if you're arriving in Colombia earlier, consider traveling to the Caribbean coastal city of Barranquilla and partaking in that city's carnival celebration, which is the largest one outside of Brazil.

The party starts on the Friday before Ash Wednesday, and during that time there are countless floats and costumed participants parading the major thoroughfares of this city. It's an incredible party, but know that if you do attend you can expect to get hit with your fair share of spray foam.

Events in March

Carnival. Depending on where the beginning of Lent falls on the calendar, Carnival could spill over from late February into early March. If it does, head to Barranquilla, where you'll find the biggest carnival celebration outside of Brazil.

Semana Santa. The traditional Holy Week is a big event throughout the country. Most cities and towns will feature processions, but the pageantry is particularly notable in places like Popayán.

Traveling to Colombia in March? Check out these great itineraries. 

Off the Beaten Path in Southern Colombia. Go off the beaten path and discover the highlights of southern Colombia, from cultural treasures to diverse landscapes and stunning vistas. 

Bogotá and the Colombian Highlands. On this 7-day tour, you'll explore the historic and cosmopolitan side of Bogotá before heading north through the scenic Colombian highlands towards two of the country's most photogenic, cobblestoned towns.

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