Colombia

Climate

Colombia is totally within the tropics, mostly the northern tropics between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. The Equator crosses the country in the south near the intersection of the borders of Ecuador, Peru and Colombia in the west and crosses the eastern border with Brazil south of the latter’s border with Venezuela. Add the facts that Colombia has both Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea coast lines, three major mountain ranges and many river valleys and it is fully understandable that the climate varies from Alpine to rain forest with everything in between including desert, savanna and steppe climates. Most regions also have a distinct division into a wet and dry season. All of these factors make any generalizations impossible but some weather statistics give an impression of conditions which is useful for tourists.

It is altitude which has the major effect on climate and this is reflected in the climatic regions into which the country can be divided. It is also what determines the climate and weather in the main centres and cities. Bogota is a cold city although sunny and without great variations in humidity and temperature. Medellin, a city much favoured by expatriates and retirees, is warmer, sunnier and less humid than Bogota. It is known as the city of eternal spring. Leticia is a hot place with a pronounced differentiation between the wet and dry seasons. It is in a very typically low-lying tropical area. Cali is sunny, constantly hot and humid with two clear wet seasons. Cartagena and Barranquilla are both on the Caribbean coast and this shows in their climate compared with other centers. Auraca is in the Orinoco basin and its climate reflects its geographical location. (The "ColombiaInfo.org ” web site has some clerical errors but there is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the climate information provided.) Buenaventura is the largest city on the Pacific Coast and it has been noted as the country’s most dangerous and violent place. The “open weather” site is useful for current weather conditions in places round the world.

The links at the "Resources" tab of this site and the book "How to Retire in Colombia" by Les Johns will prove to be a good starting point for research into the climate for intending retirees. The book can be bought directly from this site

Time

Natural or Sun time is a function of the earth’s rotation on its axis. As the earth turns from west to east so the Sun rises later in locations west of any given location. Amanda Briney describes the relationship between longitude and time in more detail than is needed here. There are a number of web sites that allow a display of time at various places around the world.

Colombia, although not a small country, does not spread across many degrees of longitude. The precise location of the country is demonstrated on the Maps of World site. The whole country is in the same time zone. There is no daylight saving in Colombia as is usual in countries in tropical areas. A useful facility for keeping track of time can be found at the WorldTimeServer.com site and another site provides time information on a more country specific basis. However, the World Clock remains a "standard" in this field of information. The name of a particular Colombian city can be entered in the search rubric.

The links at the "Resources" tab on this site will add to this dicussion on longitude as will the book "How to Retire in Colombia" by Les Johns which can be purchased from this site.