How To Pack Like A Pro For Colombia

Planning a trip to Colombia means packing is a relative cinch!

How To Pack Like a Pro, Colombia

Planning a trip to Colombia means packing is a relative cinch! Colombia boasts a very diverse array of microclimates – from arid deserts, snowy mountaintops, hot coastlines, wet rainforests and humid jungles– which means weather remains relatively steady year-round, all depending where you go. In other words, expect hot and humid along the Caribbean coast; warm days and cold nights in the high altitude of Bogotá; mild and temperate weather in the central region (coffee triangle); and plenty of rain and humidity in the Amazonas region.

SEE ALSO: Colombia Tips & Tricks: Every FYI You Need To Know

The best time to visit Colombia is during the dry months (December, January, July and August), but keep in mind that July and August are also the hottest months, so sunblock and a hat are must-pack essentials. During the wet season (April-May & September-November) expect lots of rain with some humidity. Clothes are inexpensive in Colombia, so feel free to buy whatever you need while there. In general, follow the list below and you’ll be ready for the trip of a lifetime!

14 Bogotá, Bogota Colombia

Here’s a list of must-pack items for every season:

  • For going out drinking and dancing at night – Women: dresses and heels. Men: button-up shirt, slacks and nice
  • Umbrella (only if you’re in Bogotá, Medellín or any other high-altitude city)
  • Warm sweater/jacket (only if you’re in Bogotá, Medellín or any other high-altitude city)
  • One pair of comfortable walking shoes.
  • Swimwear (heat and humidity means quality time in the hotel pool or ocean!)
  • Shampoo
  • Soap/shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste + toothbrush
  • Razor + shaving cream
  • Comb or brush
  • Underwear (Ladies: bras)
  • Socks
  • Voltage converter, if necessary (electrical voltage in Colombia is the same as in US/Canada – 110V at 60Hz)
  • Computer/phone chargers
  • External battery (camera)
  • Hard drive (if you want to back your photos).
  • Money
  • Debit/credit cards
  • Passport
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone (minutes are cheap to buy in Colombia)
  • Ear buds
  • Laptop (especially if you’re a business traveler)

In addition, here’s what else you’ll need:

Spring & Autumn:

Colombia during spring or autumn is beautiful and should not be missed. If you’re looking to relax in a more temperate (and more pleasant) climate, make sure to stop by Salento located in the Colombia’s coffee triangle region (temperatures range from 17-25°C or 63-77°F). And don’t forget to visit the ‘City of Eternal Spring’, otherwise known as Medellín, where many consider it to have perfect, all-around weather. And expect plenty of rain when visiting the Amazonas region, which has an average year-round temperature of 23°C (73°F) and high humidity.

Here are some things to pack specifically for either spring or autumn:

  • Sunscreen (men & women)
  • 1-2 lightweight scarfs (men & women)
  • 1 hat (men & women)
  • 1 pair of sandals or flip-flops (men & women)
  • 3-4 short-sleeve shirts (men & women)
  • 1 pair of dress shoes & 1 pair of sneakers (men)
  • 1-2 pairs of jeans
  • 2-3 skirts (women)
  • 2-3 lightweight long dresses and/or long skirts (women)
  • 1 pair of walkable flats (women)

Summer:

Colombia is located along the equator, so expect a near uniform tropical climate year-round, regardless of which region you visit. July and August are the hottest months in Colombia, which can feel like you’ve been packed inside an oven (seriously!). In cities along the Caribbean coast, including Cartagena and Santa Marta, expect 24-33°C (75-90°F) along with mild to unbearable humidity levels (68-95%). Anywhere along the Pacific coast will be tropical, humid and rainy (between 3,000-6,000mm or 118-236in of annual rainfall).

Flip-flops and shorts are all you’ll ever wear here! I highly recommend bringing some t-shirts, skirts, sunblock, shorts, hats and an umbrella (buy it there but it’s very useful if you’re planning to lounge on the beach for a long time).

  • Sunscreen (men & women)
  • 1 hat (men & women)
  • 3-4 skirts (women)
  • 1 pair of walkable flats (women)
  • 1-2 pairs of sneakers (men)
  • 1 pair of sandals or flip-flops (men & women)
  • 3-4 short-sleeved shirts or tanks (men & women)
  • 2-3 lightweight long dresses and/or long skirts (women)

Winter:

Winter may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Colombia, but trust me it does get cold! Due to high elevation (2,625m or 8,612ft), Bogotá has a mild winter and steady climate year-round (10-20°C or 50-68°F) and in the daytime expect warm temperatures, cold (even frigid) nights and infrequent showers. Expect similar weather (though not as bad) in other high-altitude cities. If you plan to visit during the wet season, make sure to bring a waterproof jacket. During the dry season a warm fleece/sweater and gloves are an absolute must!

Checklist of essentials:

  • Sunscreen (men & women)
  • 1 winter coat (men & women)
  • 1 waterproof coat (men & women)
  • 1 lightweight coat (men & women)
  • 2-3 thick sweaters (men & women)
  • Several long-sleeved shirts (men & women)
  • 2 pairs of pants (men & women)
  • 2 pairs of jeans (men & women)
  • 1 winter hat/beanie (men & women)
  • 1 pair of winter boots for trekking (men & women)
  • 1 pair of sneakers (men & women)
  • 1 pair of gloves (men & women)
  • 1-2 thick scarves (men & women)
  • 1 bottle of lotion (men & women)

Have you been to Colombia? What else would you add to the list?

Jerry Leon contributor profile

 

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