What to Wear in Colombia

Cartagena, in January

Cartagena, in January

Medellín in January

Medellín in January

Zipaquirá in February

Zipaquirá in February

Bogotá in April

Bogotá in April

Street food, in June

Street food, in June

Cartagena de Indias, in September

Cartagena de Indias, in September

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, Cartagena, September

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, Cartagena, September

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • Our advice for men and women alike would be to concentrate on trekking/outdoor clothing.
  • A lightweight, casual wardrobe of loose fitting, natural fabrics eg. linen, silk, bamboo or cotton is recommended.
  • Our advice is to dress in layers that can be shed as the day really heats up. light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) too, with a wide-brimmed sun hat and sunglasses.
  • Jeans are always popular and will serve as a versatile base to your city wardrobe. Wear them with a t-shirt or camisoles for the summer, a long-sleeved shirt and sweater in the cooler months.
  • As in many countries some parts feel safer than others. Use common sense and don't flash your money or valuables around. You may want to consider a money belt, and leave expensive jewelry at home.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Your exploration of the stunning wonders of this country is likely to involve a good deal of walking, so be sure to carry good, lightweight walking shoes or sandals (Hotter shoes are very good).
  • Save your high heels for the evenings dining out in Bogotá or dancing in Cali, salsa capital of Columbia.
  • Or try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit, as will some simple costume jewelry.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish casual wear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts and polos.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • The weather is dependent on altitude rather than seasons here but it can rain at any time and our advice would be to pack a lightweight raincoat and travel umbrella whatever time of year you visit.
  • The heaviest rainfall is likely to be April, May and October.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Colombia

  • Bogotá is cool to moderate all year round and more so at night and in the winter, so pack a pashmina or light sweater.
  • If you are planning to hike to higher altitudes be sure to take warm clothing and layers.
  • Once you are out in the countryside, you really need to be sure you take everything you need including insect/mosquito repellent, extra batteries, adapter plugs and converters for electrical appliances (or pack a solar powered charger to cut down on plugs and cables). As laundry facilities may be few and far between on your travels, pack a small supply of detergent for hand laundry too.

Other Things To Pack

  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage and is especially useful in busy cities or when trekking.
  • A microfiber travel towel is another great item to pack - these are designed specifically for trekking: they fold really small so you can pack a larger size and they dry really quickly too.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step up voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (110V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Colombian coffee is of course famous, or if that's not your taste there are plenty of artisan crafts to choose from including vibrant hammocks, bags and basketware.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.