CARIBBEAN

Along the Caribbean northern coast, the terrain is mainly flat and characterized by very diverse ecosystems going from white lush tropical forests to white sand beaches and the Guajira desert. Major cities include Cartagena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta. The climate in the region is particularly hot and tropical, with temperature raging between 24-33ºC. September and October are traditionally the rainiest months, however mornings still tend to be quite sunny. The best time to visit the Caribbean is between December and April, when there is no rain and Trade Winds from the north make the heat and humidity more tolerable. The Caribbean region also includes the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, an isolated mountain range bordering the sea, which contains hills covered with coffee fields and exotic flowers and Colombia’s two highest snow-covered peaks.

ANDES REGION

It includes major cities such as Bogota and Medellin, making it the most populated region of Colombia. The climate in the capital city is very mild and confortable, with average temperatures ranging between 10-17ºC and rising above 20ºC on the occasion of sunny days. Bogata tends be rainy throughout the year, and is in the highest climatic zone (above 3,000m). Meanwhile, the rest of the Andes region, including Medellin and the coffee zone, lies 2,000m-3,000m above sea-level with temperatures ranging between 18-24ºC. Nonetheless, the Andes region also has alpine tundras at 3,900m-4,600m, and volcanoes and peaks with permanent snow reaching up to 5,750m high.

PACIFIC COAST

This region is located adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, from the Panamanian border to the Ecuadorian border. The region is characterized by untouched tropical rainforests that host a spectacular diversity of fauna and flora. It is also well known for its virgin beaches, world-class scuba diving and marine biodiversity, particularly due to the humpback whale migration and marine turtle nesting that takes place every year. In general, the coast along the Pacific Ocean has a tropical climate that is rainy and humid all year round, with average temperatures of 23ºC. With an average annual rainfall between 3,000 and 6,000mm and, it is one of the rainiest areas on Earth. The climate becomes friendlier and dryer in the southern parts of the coast near Cali.

AMAZON REGION

It is located in the southern part of Colombia, where it shares the Amazon rainforest with Peru and Brazil. This region is affected by a constant rainy and humid climate throughout the year. Accounting for 35% of Colombia’s total territory, this region largely contributes to making Colombia the second most bio-diverse countries in the world. One in ten species in the world live in the Amazon, including jaguars, crocodiles, manatees, pink dolphins and hundreds of monkeys, reptiles and exotic birds. This region is sparsely populated by over 70 ethnic groups that have inhabited the area for thousands of years. The ethnic groups and the rainforest are protected via a network of natural reserves.

ORINOQUIA PLAINS

The most oriental region of Colombia, also called Los Llanos as it is an ecoregion of tropical grassland plains. The average temperature is 23ºC in this region, characterized by only two defined seasons: the dry season between December-March, and the rainy season between April-November. The climate change between rainy and dry season is extreme as parts of this region can flood up to one meter, turning the grasslands into a temporary wetland. The region is sparsely populated, rich in oil and very suitable for extensive ranching and farming. Cattle raising is one of the primary activities in Los Llanos since the Spanish Colonial era, which gave rise to the Llaneroculture in Colombia, a cowboy culture similar to the gauchos of the Argentinian Pampas.