Weather in Cartagena in March

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 14.03.2024

Falling towards the end of the dry season, visiting the Colombian city of Cartagena in March means you’ll enjoy average daily highs of 30°C (86°F), and minimal rainfall. Sitting in a shoulder-season, crowds are moderate in March. This, coupled with the sun and warmth, means it’s a good month to visit to make the most of exploring the Caribbean coastline and cultural treasures. Read on for more detail on the weather in Cartagena in March, along with inspirational itinerary ideas.

Is March a good time to visit Cartagena?

In a word: yes. March is a great time to visit Cartagena. During this month, the city sees plenty of sunshine and clear skies — all the better for exploring the city’s historic UNESCO-designated treasures, blissing out on beaches, and heading further afield on nature and culture tours.

Sitting in the tropics, the weather in Cartagena in March means you can expect daytime highs of 30°C (86°F), and very low rainfall as a result of this being a dry season month.

March is also shoulder season in Cartagena, which means you’ll get to enjoy all that warm weather without peak season crowds — and peak season prices — before the wet season kicks off in late April/May.

All that considered, March might be one of the best months to visit Cartagena if you’re looking to find a sweet spot between avoiding the big crowds and big prices of the high season, while also evading the rain of the wet season.

Keen to visit Cartagena? Talk to our local Colombia experts to kick-start creating your dream trip. 

Travel Guide Colombia Rough Guides - Cathedral San Pedro Claver in Cartagena

 The weather in Cartagena in March is warm and sunny, with minimal rain © Shutterstock

Average temperatures in Cartagena in March

With a tropical climate, the weather in Cartagena in March is warm, typically ranging from night-time lows of 24°C (75°F) to daytime highs of 30°C (86°F).

These averages are in line with temperatures experienced in January and February.

For comparison, April to June are more humid and slightly hotter, averaging 26°C (79°F) to 31°C (88°F).

Sitting at the end of the dry season, March still sees little rain. As in January and February, rainfall averages a mere 1mm (0.04 inches), in comparison with 206mm (8.11 inches) falling in October.

March also sees a moderate breeze, with increased humidity as the month moves towards the wet season that runs from late-April/May to November.

Editor’s tip: for a bigger picture of the weather, read up on the best time to visit Colombia.

What about the crowds and cost?

As mentioned above, March is shoulder season in Cartagena. For a bigger picture, these in-between periods run from February to April, and again from late-November to early-December. 

During shoulder season months, expect more moderate prices for accommodation and tours than during peak season periods. These run from mid-December-January, and during Easter week.

On that subject, note that when Easter falls in March, you can expect the city to attract more visitors, and greater demand for accommodation, so it's best to book early.

If travelling for less is your main priority — and small crowds — consider visiting in the June-November low season, bearing in mind this is also rainy season. 

Still not sure where to go? Discover some of the best places to visit in March.

Happy, smiling Palenquera fresh fruit street vendors in the Old Town of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia © Shutterstock

Fruit vendors in Cartagena © Shutterstock

Unforgettable customisable Colombia itineraries

If you fancy seeing a rewarding range of Colombia, consider taking a trip that’s been curated by a Rough Guides' local expert.

As revealed in our guide to backpacking Colombia, going it alone takes some planning and can present challenges. In contrast, taking the Rough Guides’ route means our experts will take care of planning an unforgettable trip that’s been 100% tailored to your preferences.

Here are a few sample itineraries to spark inspiration:

  • Magnificent Colombian Highlights (11 days): from exploring bustling Bogota and charming Cartagena to uncovering the natural wonders of Puerto Narino and Medellín’s vibrant culture, this trip is rich in experiences and magnificent in nature. 
  • Fascination Colombia - Medellín and Cartagena (11 days): this immersive two-centre trip will see you divide your time between Medellin and Cartagena, with each base offering opportunities to experience a richness of Colombian culture, from taking authentic cooking classes to exploring the great outdoors on horseback.
  • Unforgettable Colombia - cities, coffee, and islands (13 days): encompassing Colombia's three main areas, including the capital, Bogotá, the beautiful colonial town of Villa de Leyva, and Cartagena, this diverse trip will see you uncover coffee culture in lush hillsides and valleys before blissing out on the idyllic Islas del Rosario.
Metropolitan cathedral church in Medellin, Colombia © Shutterstock

Book a Rough Guides' trip to take your from Medellín (pictured) to Cartagena, and beyond © Shutterstock

What to do and see in Cartagena in March

Being warm and dry, with moderate crowds (and pretty moderate costs), March is one of the best months to max out your time in Cartagena.

Read on to find out about a few fabulous things to see and do in the city — and beyond — during your visit. 

Tour the Walled City

It’s fair to say that exploring Cartagena’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Walled City and Old Town is a must-do no matter when you visit.

Alongside taking in its colourful colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, and pretty plazas, spend time visiting the likes of San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the Palace of the Inquisition, and the Santo Domingo Church.

Editor’s tip: cap off a captivating day with a sun-downer and meal at Café del Mar.

Bliss out on beautiful beaches and islands

If you’re visiting Cartagena in dry-season March, you’ll want to make the most of the tropical temperatures and bath-warm water by spending time on the beach. 

Take your pick from Bocagrande, Castillo Grande or La Boquilla. Better still, visit them all.

Editor’s tip: book a day-trip to the Rosario Islands. Famed for their clear waters and coral reefs, the snorkelling is out-of-this-world. You can also dive around these parts.

Take a hiking trip from town

Given that it’s easier to hike in the dry season, consider taking a trip to Tayrona National Natural Park.

The four-hour drive from Cartagena is more than worth it if you’re into walks on the wilder side and love nature.

Editor’s tip: one of the park’s most rewarding routes is the trail that leads to Cabo San Juan beach via the indigenous village of El Pueblito.

Tayrona National Park in Colombia

Tayrona National Natural Park © Shutterstock

Be rejuvenated by volcanic mud

Around 1 hour 20 minutes from town, visiting the Totumo mud volcano makes for a fun and — quite possibly — restorative day out. 

After climbing into the crater and floating in the warm, therapeutic mud baths for a while, you might just feel all your troubles wash away with said mud.

Book a La Boquilla mangrove tour

If you love nature, be sure to take a trip to the lush and serene La Boquilla mangroves.

It’ll see you board a traditional wooden canoe in the company of a local expert who’ll point out local and fauna, with birdlife being especially bountiful. 

Some tours also include a local lunch, demonstrations of local crafts, and opportunities to participate in community projects.

Still making up your mind? Read up on the best things to do in Colombia, and get the Rough Guide to Colombia.

View of the marina and tall apartment buildings in the modern section of Cartagena, Colombia

 Cartagena's modern marina © Shutterstock

Visit Cartagena in different months

To be better informed before booking your trip, find out what to expect of the weather in Cartagena around the year.

  • January: expect hot, dry weather and average temperatures of 31°C (88°F) in this peak season month.
  • February: similar to January, shoulder-season February sees hot, dry conditions with temperatures averaging 31°C (88°F), and fewer tourists than January.
  • April: this marks the start of the wet season, with increased humidity, occasional showers and fewer visitors as the shoulder season shifts to low season.
  • May: expect more frequent rain showers as the wet season progresses, while temperatures remain warm, averaging around 31°C (88°F).
  • June: the wet season continues with regular rain in this low season month, though there are still plenty of sunny intervals. 
  • July: similar to June, July offers a mix of rain and sunshine, with daytime temperatures still hitting an average of around 31°C (88°F).
  • August: another mix of rain, and hot, sunny days. Expect visitor numbers to remain low, and look to mix the beach with indoor cultural activities.
  • September: this low season month sees the city enter the peak of the wet season, but it remains hot.
  • October: this is usually the wettest month, so expect significant rainfall and prepare to be flexible with your travel plans.
  • November: the rain starts to decrease during November as the region shifts back to the dry season, with visitor numbers increasing as the month wears on.
  • December: the dry season begins with less rainfall and more sunny days. Temperatures average around 31°C (88°F), making it a popular time for visitors.
Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 14.03.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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