The best time to visit Cartagena de Indias is from December to March. But, if you want a quieter vibe and save some money, May or September could be cool too. No matter when you go, make sure to wear comfy clothes and get ready to soak in all the charm this city has!

Cartagena, Colombia – Workers start their day near the Clock Tower Gate in Cartagena’s old city.

Cartagena Seasons and Weather Conditions

To experience the magic of Cartagena, you’ve got to time your trip just right. Let’s dig into what makes each season special – from soaking up the sun to dancing to the local fiesta beats.

Summer Sun Bliss from December to March

As the northern hemisphere gets chilly, Cartagena revels in summer’s glory. Imagine temperatures hitting around 88°F (30°C), perfect for beach enthusiasts and sun-seekers. With less chance of rain, the Caribbean waters become serene for swimming and diving. Summer is the ideal time for:

  1. Enjoying beach activities at Playa Blanca and other coastal paradises.
  2. Exploring the city without worrying about rainy season downpours.
  3. Trying out water sports like snorkeling and jet skiing.

While it’s the most popular time for tourists, the high season also means higher prices and bustling crowds. Make sure to book in advance to secure your spot in the sun!

Young woman making heart shape with hands in colorful street decoration in Getsemani Cartagena Colombia- a historic district of the city.

Spring & Autumn: The Golden Medians

Cartagena has a more balanced vibe between Spring and Autumn (April to June and September to November). The weather cools a bit, ranging from 85°F (29°C) to a comfy 77°F (25°C), bringing a nice breeze to the coastal air. This is the best time to visit Cartagena:

  1. Save money on places to stay and tours compared to busy times.
  2. Enjoy the spring blooms or the calmness of fall in the walled city.
  3. Check out the main tourist spots without the big crowds.

April still has a bit of dry weather left, while October might see a few showers starting the wet season. It’s a nice break from the heat and a chance to see the landscapes turn all lush and green.

Street in walled city in Cartagena Colombia with people walking in the walled city and old town.

Winter, May You Dance in the Rain: June to August

While the summer holidays in the West are in full swing, Cartagena is blessed with a break in nature’s waterworks. The rainy season (known as “invierno”) blankets the region from May to November, with June and July receiving the most precipitation. Despite the frequent showers, this period holds its own charm with:

  • Lush, green landscapes, rejuvenated by the tropical downpours.
  • The chance to partake in local dance and music festivals that celebrate the rain, like the “La Candelaria” festival in early February.
  • Quieter beaches and the perfect backdrop for romantic strolls under the rain.

However, be prepared for some activities to be unavailable due to weather conditions, and keep an eye on the rain if you plan to explore the city by foot.

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Cartagena Festivals: Timeless Traditions and Tropical Beats

In Cartagena, festivals are a big deal, and your visit won’t be complete without joining the city’s lively rhythm. Every month brings cool events, from religious processions to lively music and dance parties:

  1. January has “Fiesta de San Sebastian” with awesome Afro-Caribbean music and dance.
  2. February’s “La Candelaria” marks the end of rain with a big carnival celebration.
  3. November’s “Independence Day” is a huge national party with fireworks, parades, and street festivals.

If you plan your trip around these dates, you’ll get to dive deep into Cartagena’s vibrant culture and have an unforgettable experience and for culture lovers, it might be the best time to visit Cartagena.

Portrait of Palenqueras woman, the symbol of Cartagena city.

Seasonal Prices: Budgeting for Sun and Festivities

While Cartagena’s enchantment is a year-round affair, your wallet may have a differing opinion. Prices fluctuate according to the season, with the high season peaking from December to March, and exception periods like Christmas and New Year commanding premium prices.

The shoulder seasons offer a considerable reduction in costs, ideal for the cost-conscious traveler unwilling to compromise on experience.

For those in favor of high adventure and hedonism, the summer months offer the perfect backdrop, albeit with the heftiest hotel and tour prices.

Conversely, the rainy season promises lower rates but with the weather caveat. Balancing cost and comfort, the best time to visit is often in the more temperate spring or autumn, when the crowds are thinner, and prices are friendlier this might be the best time to visit Cartagena for you.

Cartagena, Colombia. The old city is a tourist destination inside walls that were initially built to protect the town from pirate attacks. The streets, seen here, are cobblestone and full of pedestrian traffic. Horse and carriage rides are a popular way for visitors to see the city.

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Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the best time to visit Cartagena depends on your preferences. For clear skies and festive energy, December to April is ideal. For lower prices and smaller crowds, consider May to November. And if cultural events excite you, plan your visit around the city’s renowned festivals.

Cartagena awaits with open arms, offering a blend of historic wonders, sandy beaches, and a warm local spirit that makes any time a great visit. Now that you have the scoop, why wait? Start planning your trip to Cartagena today!

Frequently asked questions

What is the best month to visit Cartagena, Colombia?

For the ultimate Cartagena experience, aim for a visit between December and March. The tropical weather here keeps temperatures in the mid-80s most of the time. However, the rainfall can be quite different in each season.

What is the best month to go to Colombia?

The perfect time to explore Cartagena de Indias is from December to March. But, if you want a quieter vibe and save some money, May or September could be cool too.

What are the rainiest months in Cartagena?

The rainy period starts from May to November and a dry period from December to April.

How many days do you need in Cartagena?

We recommend staying for at least four days to soak up the endless summer vibes and explore the nearby islands.

Worst time to visit Cartagena?

Avoid visiting Cartagena from May to November due to heavy rainfall and higher humidity, making it less ideal for outdoor activities.

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