Often perceived as a melting pot of cultures from every corner of Colombia, Bogota has made a name for itself thanks to its gastronomy, heritage, and entertainment.
It’s one of those destinations that fuse both the present and the past so masterfully that you don’t know where one ends and the other begins.
Whether this is your first time visiting or you’re already eagerly planning your return, chances are you’re wondering when the best time to visit Bogota is.
While our initial reaction is to scream, “There’s no bad time to visit” from the top of our lungs, we’re very well aware not every season works for everyone, nor are the budget limitations and weather preferences the same.
With that in mind, our guide might just be the help you need. We’re ready when you are.
The Best Time to Visit Bogota
The absolute best time to visit Bogota is during the dry period (December–February). Come December, Christmas fairs are in full swing, and excited visitors flock to buy something from local artisans, head to the nearest church, attend some concerts, and soak in the holiday vibes.
That said, note that prices may be higher at this time, given that January marks the summer vacation for students and families. Also, it’s right after New Year’s Eve festivities, so people move around the country to visit their families and spend the holidays together.
Then, there are the foreign travelers flocking to Bogota in an attempt to escape the harsh winter conditions in the northern hemisphere.
To avoid the large tourist crowds, visit the Monserrate Sanctuary, boasting majestic city views. We also suggest taking a cable car ride to the Cerro de Monserrate for an even more majestic experience.
Cheapest Time to Visit Bogota
If you’re on a budget, consider heading to Bogota in July. Previous travelers’ data reveals it’s the least expensive month. This means you stand a chance at securing affordable flights and lower hotel rates in July, more than any other period of the year.
Plus, July visitors get to celebrate Independence Day (July 20) with locals. Marking the day when Bogota residents started protesting against Spanish rule in 1810, this national holiday is one of the most significant holidays in the entire country.
Celebrations typically feature parties, parades, folk music, and local food. That said, if you’re trying to enjoy Bogota on a budget, there are ways to do so, even if you can’t make it in July.
As it turns out, cheap hotel rates and airfare deals aren’t the only things that will make your stay affordable — festivals such as Rock al Parque offer three days of free concerts.
A Bogota-based rock festival, Rock al Parque draws in both locals and visitors with its exciting lineup and dynamic atmosphere.
Least Busy Time to Visit Bogota
The least busy time to head to Bogota is in April. Just because this is the least busy time to visit Bogota doesn’t necessarily mean there’s little going on — it just means that everything is less chaotic because it’s not the official peak season.
There’s the Ibero-American Theater Festival, one of the biggest cultural events in Colombia. Taking place every other year, the Ibero-American Theater Festival unites some of the most eminent theater companies worldwide.
From pantomime, art, and concerts to puppetry, circus, and drama, the theater can cater to every visitor’s taste. With the chance to meet many popular authors and get immersed in books, visitors just rave about the International Book Fair.
Running since 1988, the fair displays both domestic Colombian and international literature (hence its name), with a special focus on a specific country each year.
Featuring European films for different types of audiences, Eurocine is a cinematic haven for all cinephiles. Visitors can choose from animated, science fiction, documentary, short, and feature films.
On the whole, April is the perfect month to take advantage of the lack of crowds, enjoy major attractions with more elbow room, and get some bonafide cultural enrichment given the truly amazing events.
Worst Time to Visit Bogota
The worst time to find yourself in Bogota is during the wet season, that is, October and November. Roadblocks are common due to the weather, leading to postponed (or worse, canceled) plans and unhappy travelers.
The weather can get rather unpredictable, but if you wish to visit Bogota at this time, there are ways to make the season cooperate with your plans.
For instance, most rainfall takes place in the afternoon, so if you start your day early in the morning, chances are you’ll be able to make the most out of your stay and “sacrifice” some of your evenings.
That said, there’s no guarantee there will be rain at all to begin with. Thanks to “La Nina” and “El Nino,” the climate may experience drastic changes from one year to the other — being quite rainy and wet one year and then really dry the following.
In any case, if it rains, you always have museums, galleries, major tourist attractions, and indoor activities to find refuge in. When the weather’s good, however, you can enjoy some of the popular events during this time, such as Hip Hop al Parque — it’s free!
Things to Consider
We already told you all there is to know about the best time to visit Bogota, but to truly organize your Colombian itinerary like a pro, here are some additional tips:
- If you’re an American citizen, you can stay in Bogota for holiday/business purposes lasting less than 90 days. This stay may be extended for additional 90 days, as long as it doesn’t accumulate more than 180 days in the entire year.
- There are officially two rainy and two dry seasons in Bogota, with the former corresponding to the March–May period and the months of October and November. The latter encompasses the December–February and the June–September periods. The rainiest months are October, April, May, and November; the driest are July, August, and January.
- Temperatures in Bogota are fairly mild and consistent — minimal differences occur slightly upon transition from one season to another. Otherwise, the average temperature is around 58°F.
- That said, when it comes to rain, the weather changes fast, so don’t rely too heavily on weather forecasts and have an umbrella with you at all times, especially during the rainy season. Experiencing all four seasons in a single day is possible too, so carrying a light jacket for the evenings is highly advisable.
- On Sundays and public holidays, visitors can go biking or take a stroll at Bogota’s Cycleway — around 75 miles of road.
- Sundays and public holidays are also great for paying the Flea Markets a visit. Situated downtown and in Usaquen, these markets are full of antiques, books, and authentic items you can’t find elsewhere.
- Throughout the city, you’ll notice plenty of information stands aimed at tourists. Don’t hesitate to stop by one of the stands and ask for recommendations — the people working there will be more than pleased to assist you.
- Reapply sunscreen frequently — after all, you’re at nearly two miles of altitude. Also, give yourself time to adjust. It’s not uncommon for visitors to experience altitude sickness, either.
- In terms of public transport, there’s an integrated Public Transport System (more commonly referred to as SITP in Spanish initials). You can organize your itinerary by downloading the Moovit app or heading to the TransMilenio site.
- If you need a taxi, make sure you order one from a reliable company, such as Taxis Libres or Easy Taxi. Applications such as Uber or Beat are also available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some interesting facts about Bogota, Columbia?
Here are five interesting facts about Bogota that will make you even more excited about visiting:
1. Bogota is home to the world’s largest collection of gold, with the well-known Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) housing over 55,000 items.
2. Bogota has streets with no names — what they do have is numbers.
3. The city has the “pico y placa” driving policy in place to reduce traffic congestion, so locals choose their registration plates based on the days they’ll need their cars the most.
4. Bogota is home to the first astronomical observatory of the Americas, built sometime in 1802–1803.
5. The Metropolitan and Primate Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Peter of Bogota has been rebuilt four times. First it, collapsed in 1560, then it was rebuilt in 1785 and 1805 because of earthquakes, and the final time was in 1807 under the direction of Fray Domingo de Petres.
Is Bogota cheap for tourists?
On the whole, Bogota is a fairly affordable destination. If you go on a three-day trip to Bogota, you’ll need $420 if you’re heading there solo, $715 if you’re with a travel partner, and $925 if you’re on a family holiday (four people).
Hotel prices in the city center vary between $65 to $165 — the average being $85 per night. Set aside $60 per day per person for public transportation and taxi purposes, as well as eating out.
Last but not least, keep in mind that these prices are based on previous visitors’ data, which means that they’ll likely change at some point, so check for the latest budget-related information before you head to Bogota.
What food is Bogota famous for?
Known for its finger-licking cuisine, Bogota visitors can enjoy the following dishes:
1. Ajiaco, Bogota’s signature dish
2. Tamales, made up of corn flour, rice, and chicken
3. Changua, typically a breakfast dish
4. Arepa, a tortilla-like treat
5. Caldo, which may be calde de costilla or caldo de carne
6. Obleas, a street snack, loved by both locals and visitors alike
7. Buñuelos, Christmas food
8. Feijoa, egg-shaped fruit
9. Lechona, a must-try
Is three days enough for Bogota?
While this is entirely up to you, we believe three days is enough to see most of Bogota, and also cover major tourist attractions, see some galleries and museums, and get a taste of the nightlife.
If you’re interested in day trips, however, and wish to see more of Colombia, we suggest staying for at least a few more days to properly enjoy your stay.
What are the best places for day trips from Bogota?
If you’re trying to expand your Bogota trip, here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Chicaque Natural Park
2. Guatavita Lake and Salt Cathedral
3. Salt Cathedral Zipaquira
4. Chingaza National Park
5. Parque Jaime Duque
6. Villa de Leyva
7. opt for a coffee farm experience in Choachi
8. La Chorrera waterfall
9. paragliding in Sopó
Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!
|👍 Best Time to Visit||December-February|
|💲 Cheapest Time to Visit||July|
|🗓️ Least Busy Time to Visit||April|
|👎 Worst Time to Visit||October-November|
All in all, the best time to visit Bogota is during the dry period (December–February). This period abounds with holiday markets, festivities, and entertainment.
With everyone trying to take advantage of the dry season, note that prices may be slightly higher at this time. If you’re on a budget, visit in July. Being the most affordable month in the entire year, July entices visitors with lower hotel rates and attractive airfare tickets.
The least busy time to visit Bogota is in April. That said, just because crowds dwindle at this time doesn’t mean you’ll run out of places to visit, festivals to attend, and people to mingle with.
The worst time to visit Bogota is during the wet season, that is, October and November.
A lot of things can happen that can affect your itinerary during Bogota’s wet season — from roadblocks to floods and rather unpredictable weather, Bogota’s wet season poses challenges even for the most flexible of travelers.
Finally, although we suggest that you see as much as you can in Bogota, we also recommend heading to some other regions in Colombia to experience as much as you can of the country.
How about the historic Medellin or Cartagena, Colombia’s most popular city? Both have to offer so much in terms of culture, history, and stunning views.
One thing’s certain, though — wherever you go in Colombia, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to visit this absolute gem of a country. So, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!