Practical Information when visiting Colombia
80% of the country lies below 1.000 m above sea level, and the characteristic warm, sunny weather encourages travellers to enjoy activities such as whale watching in the Pacific; admiring the pink dolphins of the Amazon and observing the hummingbirds in Tayrona National Nature Park.
With an average temperature above 24 ° C the sunny beaches of San Andres and Santa Marta are places where you can go diving. This tropical climate is also characteristic of the Orinoco plains and parts of western Antioquia where mangos, papayas and other fruit cultivated.
Those who travel to destinations ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 meters above sea level will enjoy a temperate climate in places such as San Gil (Santander) where adventure sports activities including caving, rafting and rappelling abound.
10% of Colombia is located on the lower slopes of the mountains, with temperatures ranging between 17 and 24°C, where travellers can visit the Guácharos Cave National Nature Park. There is great guácharo bird watching here, a bird discovered by Alexander von Humboldt.
The cold climate of the Otún Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary makes it possible to observe many species of birds, including the Cauca peahen and the crested eagle. This Sanctuary is also a haven for butterflies and wildlife such as the howler monkey.
This climate, with an average temperature ranging from 12°C to 17°C is characteristic of high mountain areas ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 m. Travellers to cold weather sites such as the Corota Island Fauna and Flora Sanctuary can see sparrows, blackbirds and wrens, among other birds.
White-tailed deer, rock cockerels, condors, anteaters and spectacled bears inhabit wilderness areas of moorland, located between 3,000 and 4,000 m At this height the average temperature ranges between 6°and 12°C, and is typical on mountaintops, with freezing winds, low rainfall and frequent snowfall.
Chingaza National Park, part of the 2% of Colombia with type of climate is a place where visitors come to hike, camp and watch the wildlife, among other activities.
Above 4,000 m the climate is glacial. At that point it is difficult to breathe, but some travellers rest their eyes on views of snowy landscapes and walking trails where rivers are born from melting snow, flowing into the Magdalena and Cauca valleys.
In places like Los Nevados National Natural Park and Cocuy National Park where the temperature is below 6 ° C, visitors walk alongside pristine lakes, watching condors and eagles and tackling the challenges of scaling icy walls and rock formations.
The heat and humidity are characteristic of tropical rainforest climate, where temperatures exceed 27 ° C. This is the environment that greets visitors to these areas of heavy rains like the jungles of Catatumbo in Chocó, the forests of the Amazon basin, the central region of Magdalena, the Pacific coast and the eastern slopes of the Eastern Cordillera.
In several of these places bird watching is important, as in Bahia Solano, where the ‘Cottinga nattereri’ lives; or the Amazon, home to the Spotted puff bird.
Tropical steppe climate is characterized by high temperatures and is present in areas with little vegetation and minimal rainfall.
These are the conditions that greet travellers who visit the savannahs of Bolivar and northern La Guajira; the central area of Llano (Meta and Guaviare rivers); highlands and ridges bordered by mountains.
With temperatures rising above 29 ° C, the tropical desert climate is typical of the least rainy part of the country, with seven months of drought per year.
These difficult conditions are part of daily life in the upper Guajira, the northernmost region of Colombia. However, the contrast between the Caribbean Sea and the desert area makes this region very attractive because of the scenery. Pink flamingos bound in places like Punta Gallinas where visitors can enjoy lobster and other seafood.