Weather in Colombia in May

The weather in Colombia in May is defined by this month sitting right in the wet season. While rainfall is especially high in the Andes and Amazon regions, the entire country sees increased precipitation, and low visitor numbers. As a result, visiting Colombia in May affords tourists the opportunity to enjoy less crowded, less expensive experiences, but you should bear in mind that some adventure activities and wild-watching trips might be hampered by the rain. For example, parts of the Amazon could well be cut off. Read on for more detail on the weather in Colombia in May.

What is the weather like in Colombia in May?

As a result of the country’s varied topography, visiting Colombia in May means your experience will differ depending on where you choose to visit. 

Being in the country’s rainy season, May means all regions experience increased precipitation, and low-season visitor numbers. 

Read on for detail on the weather in Colombia in May across a few regions that might be on your travel radar.

Andean region

The weather is mild in the Andean region in May, with a higher chance of rain, especially in the afternoons.

Temperatures across the region usually range from 10-22°C (50-72°F), and cities like Bogotá, the Colombian capital, and Medellín showcase lusher, greener landscapes during this time.

Note that Bogotá will be cooler while Medellín, “City of Eternal Spring”, will be a little warmer, as revealed in our guide to the weather in Medellín in May.

Caribbean coast

Including Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia’s Caribbean Coast experiences hot and humid weather in May, with clearer skies early in the month. 

So, visit early in the month to fully enjoy beach activities before the rainy season peaks in June.

Editor’s tip: read up on the weather in Cartagena in May.

Pacific region

While the Pacific region is pretty rainy around the year, precipitation is even more pronounced in May — expect high humidity, high rainfall and an average high temperature of 29°C (84°F).

Amazon region

Having a tropical climate, the likes of Leticia in Colombia’s Amazon region sees consistently hot and humid weather, and frequent rain showers.

Come May, rain fall reaches its peak in this region, usually exceeding 350 mm (13.8 inches). For context, March experiences about 320 mm/12.6 inches), while it drops to 220 mm (8.7 inches) in August and September.

Insular region

On islands like San Andrés and Providencia, May brings warm weather with a mix of sun and brief showers. 

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

cartagena-de-indias-colombia-shutterstock_1184905477

The weather in Colombia in May is defined by wet season conditions © Shutterstock

Temperatures in Colombia in May

As a result of significant differences in altitude, temperatures in Colombia in May also see notable variations. 

Here we give detail on the average low and high temperatures in a few key regions. One thing’s for sure, if you’re planning to visit a few regions in May, you’ll want to pack for a variety of temperatures, and come armed with a raincoat.

Andean region: in May, this region sees average lows of 9-12°C (48-54°F) and average highs of 18-24°C (64-75°F). Note Bogotá will be on the cooler side of these ranges.

Caribbean coast: this area is warm-to-hot in May, with a low temperature range of 24-26°C (75-79°F), and an average high range of 30-33°C (86-91°F).

Pacific coast: with significant rainfall and high humidity in May, expect a temperature range of 23-25°C (73-77°F) and 29-31°C (84-88°F) .

Amazon region: consistently hot and humid, with frequent rain showers, temperatures in May range from 22-24°C (72-75°F) and 30-33°C (86-91°F).

Insular region: tropical with a blend of sunny and rainy periods, expect average lows in the range of 25-27°C (77-81°F), and average highs of 29-31°C (84-88°F).

Want an overview of the weather in Colombia around the year? Read up on the best time to visit Colombia.

Things not to miss: Johnny Cay In San Andres Island, Colombia.

Head to Johnny Cay, San Andres Island, in May for less rain and a greater chance of sun © Shutterstock

 

Is May a good time to visit Colombia?

Similar to April, visiting Colombia in May makes for an interesting experience. 

Whether it’s a good time to visit will depend on which region/s you most want to explore, what you what to see and do, and your personal preferences e.g. can you handle rain?!

May is one of the wettest months in Colombia, with the highest rain seen on the Pacific Coast and across the Amazon region. While the tropical rainforests are gloriously lush at this time of year and teem with wildlife, these conditions can make exploration tricky, with some areas rendered inaccessible by the rising of the Amazon River. 

At the same time, on the Caribbean Coast rainfall tends to be limited to shorter bursts in the afternoon or evening. With that in mind, you might want to save the Amazon region for a less rainy months like July, August or September, and instead base yourself in the likes of Cartagena. 

Here you can mix enjoying the Caribbean coastline and snorkelling idyllic islands with exploring UNESCO Heritage Site marvels and museums when the rain strikes.

Finally, note that pretty much anywhere you go in Colombia in May will be less crowded as it sits in the heart of the low season.

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

Colorful houses in Guatape Colombia

Guatape, Colombia © Shutterstock

What about crowds and costs?

As mentioned above, May is a low season month in Colombia. Coinciding with the rain, this runs until June, with a second low season seen in September, October and November.

As a result, crowds will be smaller and costs lower — all the better if you’re not a fan of jostling for space and budget is one of your top priorities. 

Just be mindful of the rain, and balance the benefits of cheaper flights and accommodation with the cost the rain might have on your dream plans.

That is to say, if you’ve always longed to delve deep into Colombia’s Amazon region, you might be better off visiting during December-April, when you'll have better access to hiking trails.

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

Cartagena Colombia © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Colombia in May

While the rain in May might hamper some of your outdoor adventure plans, it doesn’t rain on a number of parades, and it definitely doesn’t dampen Colombia’s festive spirit.

Read on for a run-down of a few events and festivals that take place through the month.

Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata

Held in Valledupar at the end of April and running into early May, this festival celebrates Vallenato music — a key element of Colombian culture that has UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status.

Expect music competitions, concerts, and dazzling dance performances.

Feria de las Flores, Medellín

While the main Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival) is held in Medellín in August, pre-festival events and preparations begin in May. 

Early floral displays and cultural events provide a pretty preview of the festival — without the crowds that come here for the main event.

Fiesta de San Isidro

Held in various rural areas around the country, the Fiesta de San Isidro is celebrated in honour of Saint Isidore, the patron saint of farmers.

Processions, music and dances reflecting Colombia’s agricultural traditions are all part of this lively, long-held event.

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

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

Fruit vendors in Cartagena's Old Town © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Colombia in May?

Keen to experience a rewarding range of Colombia in May? Consider taking a trip that’s been curated by a Rough Guides' local expert.

As revealed in our guide to back-packing 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
Bogota, Colombia © mehdi33300/Shutterstock

Bogotá, Colombia © Shutterstock

Visit Colombia in other months

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

  • January: this peak season month is packed with festivals, with low rainfall in most regions. It's mild in the Andes, and hot on the Caribbean coast.
  • February: the weather is similar to January, with minimal rainfall (especially in coastal and Andean regions) and slightly fewer visitors than January.
  • March: with moderate visitor numbers, this transitional month remains dry in the north as it becomes wetter in the south.
  • April: with low visitor numbers, this is the beginning of the wet season in the Andean and Pacific regions.
  • June: while the drier season starts in the Andes, the Amazon remains rainy. Visitor numbers increase as school holidays begin.
  • July: it’s dry season in the Andes and Caribbean, while Amazon is still wet, and visitor numbers are high due to summer vacationers. 
  • August: similar to July, it’s dry in the north, wet in the south, and summer peak season continues.
  • September: as the second rainy season starts in the Andes, visitor numbers decline.
  • October: wet in most of the Andean region, October sees fewer tourists due to rain, though it’s drier on the Caribbean coast.
  • November: this month sees the approach of the end of the rainy season in many regions, and visitor numbers increase through the month.
  • December: as the dry season kicks in across most of the country, expect sun and high visitor numbers in this peak season month.
Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 27.03.2024

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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