Colombia in November: Travel Tips for Varying Weather

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The diverse landscapes Colombia flaunts provide something to see or do year-round, but the cooler weather in some areas of the country makes November a quiet month for traveling. The low tourist season month of November can be wet in certain areas in the Andean region, but the Caribbean coast remains pleasant and warm with far less rainfall. Your best bet to avoid the heavy rain is to head to Bogotá or the charming city of Cartagena on the coast if you are planning a trip to Colombia in November.

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Colombia Weather in November

Old town La Candelaria in Bogota in Colombia in November
A steep climb to the old town of La Candelaria gives you a panoramic view of Bogota.

November sees considerable rain throughout Colombia. The downpours are constant and heavy in the Andes. So if you are traveling in the region by road, take extra caution, as flash floods can hinder your travel plans. Still, the weather in Colombia varies from one region to another. Cities along the Caribbean coast like Barranquilla, Cartagena, and Santa Marta remain warm with their fair share of tropical showers. Bogotá and the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes experience chilly highs of 18˚C. As you move towards coastal cities like Medellin, you can enjoy milder temperatures ranging from 21˚C to 25˚C. In Cartagena and Barranquilla, prepare for hot and humid conditions with temperatures hovering around 30˚C.

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

Weather in Colombia in November - Rainfall and Temperatures

OctNovDec
Avg Daily (°C)192018
Avg Nightly (°C)876
Avg Daily (°F)676865
Avg Nightly (°F)474543
Avg Rainfall (mm)1107050

Why Visit Colombia in November

terraces of the Lost City, Colombia in January
Ciudad Perdida is often compared with the ruins of Macchu Picchu in Peru. 
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira in Colombia in November
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is a Roman Catholic Church built in the tunnels of abandoned underground salt mines.

Despite the rains, particularly in the high-altitude regions like the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes, Colombia has plenty of activities to offer during November. Here are some reasons why traveling to Colombia in November can be a worthwhile experience:

  • Celebrate Independence Day in Cartagena: This celebration of independence from Spain takes place every November in the streets of Cartagena. Praising the city's declaration of independence from Spain in November 1811. A huge carnival with vibrant parades, street parties with music and dancing, and a beauty pageant, is held to mark the occasion, which attracts visitors from across Colombia.
  • Festival Pirarucú de Oro: Held in mid-November in the city of Leticia, Festival Pirarucú de Oro celebrates Amazonian popular music and highlights its influence on music throughout the continent. Festival-goers gather in the Concha Acústica - Francisco de Orellana Park de Leticia to enjoy an array of Amazonian music and cuisine and learn more about the rich cultural traditions of inhabitants of the Amazon of Colombia, Brazil, and Peru.
  • Visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá: Located in the small town of Zipaquira in Cundinamarca, near Bogota, the Salt Cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and well worth visiting. The Roman Catholic Church is built in the tunnels of an abandoned salt mine some 200 meters beneath the Earth. The church is impressively designed and features three naves and one of the largest crosses in the world.
  • Surf the Caribbean Coast: November is one of two surfing seasons along the Caribbean coastline when the wind shells on the seas have a brief wave period, resulting in almost perfect waves. Head to the beaches of Buritaca, Cartagena Jetty, Pradomar, or Punta Sur if you are a beginner and El Muelle, El Bolsillo, and Punta Roca for more challenging conditions.

Where To Go and What to Do

Cabo San Juan is one of the best beaches in the continent.
Cabo San Juan is two adjoined beaches that give you double the best beaches in the continent.

Head to the southern regions of Colombia for warmer climes and a quick escape from winter. Spend a few days in Cartagena to explore the enchanting city, enjoy sunbathing and swimming on one of the many beautiful beaches along the coast, or hit the waves for some world-class surf. Cartagena also celebrates its independence from Spain this month. You can plan your trip to the city around this fun festival.
The Caño Cristales River puts on a fascinating display of color during November when it becomes a liquid rainbow. Also known as ‘The River of Five Colors’, the river, which runs in the Serranía de la Macarena mountains transforms into an amazing kaleidoscope of hues. Hire a guide and book a spot for a once-in-a-lifetime swim in the river of rainbows.

Whatever the weather, visiting the Amazon is always a must. November is particularly good as the water level is at its lowest in the river, and there are excellent opportunities for game spotting. The best way to explore the rainforest and its vast wealth of wildlife is to hop on a guided tour from the city of Leticia or Puerto Nariño. You can also enjoy boating and fishing on the river, hiking through the jungle, and learning more about indigenous cultures like the Huitotos, Ticunas, and Yucunas.

Another lovely city to explore in November is Barranquilla. Also known as Curramba la Bella (Curramba the beautiful), it is home to iconic musicians, writers, and painters of Colombia. The city is a cultural hub with museums, art galleries, churches, and a beautiful historic city center. Be sure to try out the many delicious dishes with influences from all parts of Colombia. Try delicacies such as sancocho de guandú con Carne Salada (pigeon pea soup with salted meat) and bollos de yuca (cheese-filled cassava balls).

Colombia is one of the best countries to visit on a budget
The colorful streets of Cartagena are filled with architectural wonders.
Cooking classes are another fun thing to do in Colombia
Ajiaco soup is a chicken soup made with corn on the cob, potatoes, and a special herb. It is a beloved dish in Bogota.

Rain or shine, Colombia offers a diverse and fascinating array of things to see and do. November allows you to explore the jungles of the Amazon, celebrate Independence Day with the people of Cartagena, surf some of the best waves on the Caribbean coast, or swim in the rainbow river of Caño Cristales.

If you need help planning a trip to Colombia, you can check out our guide on how many days to spend in Colombia for instant inspiration. You can also chat with our local travel expert to design a customized trip to Colombia. For more information, check out our Colombia tours in November.

Published by Will Cooper, updated on September 16, 2022

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