Is September a good month to visit Colombia?

If you wonder whether September is a good time to visit Colombia, wonder no more. 

In 2023, I travelled to Colombia, spent the entire month of September in the country, and got to experience first-hand how the weather was. 

From Cartagena to Medellin and Bogota, I will tell you how the weather was in the most touristy places in the country so you know what to expect when you travel to Colombia in September. 

Was September a good month to visit Colombia?

September was the best month to visit Colombia. The weather was still dry across the country, with highs of well over 30 degrees Celsius, especially on the Caribbean Coast. 

Touristy cities like Cartagena and Santa Marta are significantly less crowded so you can enjoy everything at your own pace. And everything in terms of tourist activities is still open and run like in the high season, with the difference that everything is more affordable now than during the high season. 

I was in Colombia from the end of August until the beginning of October and I thought September was the best month to visit this country. 

How is the weather across Colombia in September?

The weather in September is still pleasantly warm, even hot in some places. You can experience very hot temperatures on the Caribbean Coast and Cali and nice, spring temperatures in Medellin, Bogota and Salento. 

Let’s have a closer look at the main tourist locations in Colombia and see what the weather is like in September. 

How is the weather on the Colombian Caribbean Coast in September?

September is a good month to visit the Colombian Caribbean Coast. Locals told me that the temperature on the coast does not drop below 30 degrees Celsius all year round. This is perfect for someone who loves hot climates. But it can be tough for those who have a hard time coping with hot and humid places. 

The days were hot, with a minimum of 30 degrees Celsius, but also a maximum that some days reached almost 50 degrees Celsius. I would not advise anyone to be out on such hot days. I was lucky I travelled on that day and did not have to be outside for most of it. Yet, I was surprised to witness such a hot day in September.

As I already stressed, the coast can be hot all year round, but it is also humid. September is no exception to that. I must say the humidity can be quite high during the daytime. You can have quite a hard time being out and about in cities like Cartagena, Santa Marta, and Barranquilla in September. 

Make sure you pack long-sleeved, light clothes because you can end up getting some really bad sunburns. I ended up looking like a lobster in the first days on the coast, although I did apply sunblock. 

September is the first month of the rainy season

While September is still quite hot, you must know that it is also the first month of the rainy season on the coast. The locals told me that, in general, the rainy season on the coast only lasts for 3 months, from September to December. It rains very little on the Colombian Caribbean coast. 

If you go at the beginning of September, you will barely get any rain. And if you do, it only tends to last for 1h or so. Sometimes because it is so hot, you won’t even notice it rained because the rain water evaporates quickly.

Something else I noticed about the rain. Somehow, it tends to rain in the afternoon or during the night. It rarely rains in the morning or the middle of the day. So, plan to do most of the things in the morning. This way you will not risk being caught outside if it starts to rain.  

Since September is the beginning of the rainy season on the coast I believe it is a good opportunity to enjoy Colombia without worrying too much about the weather. Plus, you will benefit from lower prices and less crowded beaches than in other months of the year. 

How is the weather in Medellin in September?

It is a reason why Medellin has been nicknamed the city of the eternal spring. The weather in Medellin is ideal for spring weather lovers. It is not too hot, yet warm enough to push you out of your room to explore the city. 

The weather in Medellin was perfect in September. The highs never went over 30 degrees Celsius, and it did not rain while I was in the city. 

Out of all the places I travelled to in Colombia, Medellin had the perfect type of weather for me. After having to cope with the extremely high temperatures on the coast, the weather in Medellin felt like a breeze of fresh air. 

Medellin is nested in a valley surrounded by nature. Because the city is surrounded by greenery, Medellin is the perfect escape from the scorching tropical heat typically felt on the coast.

How is the weather in Salento in September?

The weather in Salento is not too different from Medellin’s weather. Salento and the Valley of Cocora are situated at a high altitude (approximately 1996 meters), so temperatures will be cooler. It will still be T-shirt weather, don’t worry. 

One thing that was different about the weather in Salento in 2023 was that they experienced more rain in this part of the country. This is what the locals told me. I was also told that too much rain hurt the coffee plants which usually would need more sun and higher temperatures. 

When I was in Salento, I noticed that when it rained, it tended to do so in the afternoon. A piece of advice here will be to organise any activity early in the morning to avoid cancellations due to possible afternoon rain. 

How is the weather in Cali in September?

The weather in Cali is very similar to the weather on the coast. When visiting Cali in September, expect high humidity and high temperatures, usually well above 30 degrees Celsius too. You might get some short sessions of rain, usually at night or late afternoon. 

Expect the same type of weather in Neiva, Villavieja and Tatacoa Desert where highs of around 40 degrees Celsius are common around this time of the year. Similar to the coast, the rain is sporadic and when it does rain is for a short time. But be prepared for some heavy rain, especially in the desert, where it rained while I was on a tour. The rain did not last long though, but it was intense and it started in the afternoon. 

How is the weather in Bogota in September?

Bogota was the coolest city I went to in September. The temperature during the day was around 23 degrees Celsius while during the night it could drop to a digit value. Towards the end of September when I arrived in Bogota it dropped to around 6 or 7 degrees Celsius at night time. 

Yet, Bogota is known for being colder than the rest of the country. Everyone warned me about this before getting there. Although it can get quite chilly and it also rains a bit in September, Bogota was again a breeze of fresh air for me after a few days in Cali and the Tatacoa Desert, so I did not mind the change. 

It depends on what type of person you are. If you prefer hot climates more than colder climates, then you will like Cali and the coast more than Medellin and Bogota. I tend to do better in cooler climates so the weather in Medellin, Salento and Bogota was perfect for my taste. 

More reasons to visit Colombia in September

We’ve already agreed that the weather in September is perfect for visiting Colombia. Yet, there are other reasons why you should visit the country around this time of the year. Let’s find out what are these reasons: 

Colombia is (even more) affordable in September

Generally speaking, Colombia is one of the most affordable countries in Latin America. If you are interested in a comparison, I compared my Colombia vs. Costa Rica travel expenses in this blog post. You will be surprised to read how much cheaper Colombia is compared to Costa Rica.

Imagine if you could get an extra discount for travelling to Colombia during their low season. It would be the perfect deal for any budget traveller. 

During my travels in Colombia, I was able to book one-day trips for as low as 22£. I even got a meal included in the deal. 

What really helped secure most of the deals was that I could speak Spanish. It also helped that I booked my tour with the local tour agency directly. There were no further intermediaries like Viator or to inflate the price. I talked about my experience and how to get good deals on booked tours in this blog post. 

Plenty of availability of tours and accommodation across the country

Whenever you go on holiday, especially if you go during the high season, there is always a risk of coming across things that are fully booked. 

Whether it is a hotel room or a ticket for a certain tour, these things are always harder to get during the high season. 

I did not have any issues booking last-minute tours, purchasing a bus ticket or finding a place to stay sometimes on the day I was checking out from another place. 

I remember being so easy to get everything because there were not many tourists around in September. Hostels are usually half-full around September which is nice because you still have some company, but at the same time, a place was never overcrowded. 

I never had to worry about booking my day tour days in advance. There were always places, including tours in the most touristy places in Colombia, like Cartagena and Santa Marta. 

Booking yourself an intercity bus was a piece of cake too. I booked most of my inter-city buses the night before the trip. They never seemed to run out of seats. From what I noticed, many bus companies are operating on the most popular routes anyway, so I believe that even during the high season they don’t run out of bus tickets that easily. 

Flight tickets are affordable in September

During my 1y travel in Latin America, I learnt that flight tickets can be expensive (when compared to Europe) where you can find flight tickets for even 20£ sometimes. It is true though that in Latin America travel distances are bigger which does impact plane ticket prices. 

Nevertheless, when I flew in September I was able to get some decent flight tickets. A low-cost flight from Panama to Colombia was around 100£ whereas a flight from Colombia to Paraguay was below 200£. It might read expensive, but compared to other options I had at the time, these were actually decent prices considering I purchased them 1 month in advance. 

Flying in Latin America should not be your go-to option, especially if you travel on a low budget. Here, the bus is the best way to get you to places even if it takes considerably longer. 

If you choose to fly in September, you can find decent flight tickets, even if you book everything on short notice. 

In Conclusion, is September a good month to visit Colombia?

Based on my experience, I would say September is a good month to visit Colombia. The weather is still good across the country, and with so much availability in terms of accommodation and tours, you can only have the best time here. I definitely found it so easy to travel around Colombia in September and even managed to underspend because I was in the country during their low season.       

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