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January is the end of the summer holidays in Colombia, but the streets are still abuzz with parties and celebrations. But away from the bustling cities, Colombia invites travelers to explore diverse landscapes, from its shimmering Caribbean beaches to the mighty Andean mountains. Traveling to Colombia in January can be a tad heavy on your pockets, but you will be amply rewarded with a unique experience that you can hardly get at other times of the year.

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Colombia Weather in January

Volcano Tolima in Los Nevados National Park, Colombia in January
The weather in Colombia varies depending on where you are in the country.

With a wide range of geographical regions, the weather in Colombia in January will depend on where you are. For instance, Bogata, which is located 2,640 meters above sea level, sees a temperature range from 20°C to 26°C. In the Amazonian city of Leticia, January sees a temperature between 22.5°C and 30.5°C. It also rains a lot here, with around 24 rainy days during the month. If you travel to Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, expect a daytime temperature high of 30°C and a low of 24°C with almost no rainfall.

For a seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Colombia.

Weather in Colombia in January - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)181918
Avg Nightly (°C)697
Avg Daily (°F)656765
Avg Nightly (°F)434945
Avg Rainfall (mm)503040

Why Visit Colombia in January

Colombia's La Candelaria in January
Enjoy the sights of the vibrant facades of La Candelaria in Bogota.
terraces of the Lost City, Colombia in January
The ancient ruins of Ciudad Perdida have been described as older Machu Picchu.

Despite the chaotic holiday crowds, January is one of the best times to visit Colombia, especially if you are prepared to get off the beaten track and explore the country’s interior or its lesser-known coastal regions.

  • The Colombian Coastlines: The Caribbean coast of Colombia features long stretches of white, palm-fringed beaches. If you visit Cartagena in January, you can find the city’s beaches teeming with local holidaymakers. The beaches of the Atlantic coast, on the other hand, are quieter, making them a good option if you want to escape the January crowds and experience a more authentic side of Colombian life.
  • Get Offshore: Colombia has hundreds of offshore islands ranging from tiny coral atolls to large volcanic archipelagos. January is a great time to go shark sighting in the blue waters around the Rosario and San Bernardino islands or sunbathe on the many beaches on Tierra Bomba, near Cartagena.
  • Trek to the Lost City: The ancient ruined city of Ciudad Perdida sits high in the rainforest mountains near Santa Marta. Accessible after a four-day (return) trek, the ruins have been described as an “older Machu Picchu”. The dry weather of January makes this a perfect time to visit the Lost City in Colombia. But you will need to book well in advance to guarantee a place on a guided trek.
  • Bogotá Street Life: Colombia’s sprawling capital is redolent of the country’s long history. You can find vibrant streets, café, and museums here. Relish the sights of impromptu street performances and markets as you hang out in The Plaza Bolivar in January. Likewise, you can take in the impressive street art of The Plazoleta Chorro de Quevedo and Calle Del Embudo. When you need a break from the January crowds, there are numerous cozy cafes where you can enjoy a cool refreshing drink and chat with the locals.

Where to Go and What to Do

Rock in Guatape, Antioquia in Colombia
You can visit the town of Salento, west of Bogatá, and use it as a base for exploring the Los Nevados National Park.

Colombia in January is party time. Celebrate the Christmas festivities with locals that last well into the new year In Bogotá. You can take a cable car to the summit of Cerro Monserrate to watch the sunset surrounded by thousands of glimmering Christmas lights.

In the southern city of Pasto, the annual Brazilian-style carnival kicks off in early January with three days of revelry. Likewise, Manizales celebrates the coffee harvest with a three-day carnival featuring stunt shows, tango dancing, and street parades. Also, check out the Cartagena Hay Festival, which celebrates literature, cinema, music, political discourse, and the environment.

To escape the January crowds, you can visit the town of Salento, west of Bogatá, and use it as a base for exploring the Los Nevados National Park. The park features an active volcano hemmed with glaciers and vast, dry upland savannahs, teeming with many bird species.

Visiting Colombia in January is one of the best times to see and experience vibrant Colombia and celebrate the country’s festival and holiday season with its exuberant locals. The country’s top destinations are also at their top conditions as January is part of the country’s peak season. Plan and book your trip in advance to see Colombia in its most joyful form.

Not sure how to plan an ideal trip to Colombia? Check out our guide on how many days to spend in Colombia. If you need help with planning a customized trip to Colombia in January, you can always reach out to our local travel experts. For more information and instant inspiration, check out our Colombia tours in January.

Published by Will Cooper, updated on September 9, 2022

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