ViaHero · Updated June 26, 2018
Cartagena is an absolute paradise, and awesome to visit year-round. But if you’re wondering when the very best time is to travel, take the advice of our local travel experts below—and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out directly.
If the weather’s your main concern, come early
The locals agree: weather-wise, January–March is the best time of year to visit Cartagena.
Pros: January through March is the best time to explore Cartagena’s beautiful beaches and landscapes. The weather is warm, but not too humid during the day, and the ocean breeze makes for a cool evening.
Cons: None to be had, say the locals!
Peak seasons are great if you want to meet new people
According to our local trip planners, Cartagena has two busy travel seasons: December through January and Holy Week (the week before Easter).
Pros: December–January boasts some of the best weather outside late winter, and both peak seasons are great for meeting new people. Some locals claim that peak season is the best time to go out since clubs and bars are packed. And though Cartagena is generally a little more relaxed than other cities in Colombia, all this energy apparently turns the nightlife into a real highlight!
Cons: Due to the seasons’ popularity, trips are more expensive. During Holy Week, Cartagena can also get very humid. Some of our local Heroes also dislike the crowds and say they make it too hard to visit popular points of interest in the city.
Off-season is the choice for travelers on a budget
Cartagena’s off-season is August through November, and our locals report that the city largely clears of travelers during these months.
Pros: Since not many people are looking to travel to Cartagena from August to November, you’ll
Cons: The reason why August–November is the least popular travel season is that you’re most likely to get rain—though our locals are mixed on how significantly this affects travel itineraries and beach safety.
Our locals agree: you need to catch a festival when you’re in Cartagena
Cartagena isn’t just known for its picture-perfect beaches—it’s also chock-full of phenomenal festivals. Here are the dates for Cartagena’s most popular festivals so that you can plan around them:
- Storyland (January): For all EDM enthusiasts who love to travel, forget EDC and come to Storyland! The locals were unanimous with this one.
- Hay Festival (January): A literary and arts festival that promotes international cultural exchange, debate, education, and development. One travel expert pointed out
thathis is best for Spanish speakers, but is accessible for all.
- Festival del Dulce (March–April): Cartagena’s sweetest festival features homemade candy and treats from the Caribbean. Once again, we got unanimous approval for this one. Apparently, you can’t beat a candy festival. Who knew?