Fill out your data to get our latest news and publications

    Colombia’s Diverse Mountain Climates

    Colombia is famed for its great climates diversity, including its deserts, tropical rainforests, savannas, prairies and mountain ranges.

    Its mountainous regions are so diverse, they are often described as tierra caliente (hot land) tierra templada (temperate land)  fria (cold land)  helada (frozen land) and paramo. that’s why climatic diversity is one of the main features in the country. 

    For example, the climates in these mountainous areas, including the Andes and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, are usually categorized according to their elevation, known as “steps” or pisos termicos in Spanish. These are the five categories most commonly used:

    The Warm Zone

    Warm zone lies between sea level and 1,000 meters. This step is all about the tropics – tropical plains, heavy rains and high temperatures. Colombian cities including Santa Marta, Cali, Neiva and Cucuta sit in this zone. Temperatures often top 29C, which means it is not unusual to find jungle here either. The warm zone is the best place in Colombia to find birds (almost 50 species)  mammals (17 species) and reptiles (13 species) It is also excellent for agriculture and is ideal for cultivating bananas, pineapples, cacao, mangoes and watermelon, among other crops.

    Colombia's indigenous culture, la guajira, wayuu, mochila

    The Temperate Zone

    The temperate zone lies between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level and the average temperature drops to between 17 and 22C. Most Colombians living here enjoy the benefits of the temperate climate, particularly in Medellin which is known as “The City of Eternal Spring”.

    Other temperate cities include Popayan, Armenia, Ibague and Pereira. While temperate zones are great for humans, they also suit mammals, birds and some reptiles – although not as many as the warm zone. The temperate zone is better for some key Colombian crops though, including coffee, flowers, avocadoes, cereals, apples, peaches and papayas.

    Colombia temperate zone, square with monument accompanied with trees and people, medellín, botero, plazoleta de botero

    The Cold Zone

    Colombia’s cold zone lies between 2,000 and 3,000 meters above sea level and its here that Colombia’s cloud forests begin. Average temperatures lie between 10 and 17C, although there is marginally less rainfall than in the upper reaches of the temperate zone. Bogota is found in this climate step, alongside Tunja and San Juan de Pasto. The cold zone is home to plenty of bird species, around 25, but fewer mammals and almost no reptiles are found here. It’s perfect, though, for growing potatoes, corn, carrots, onions and plums.

    Colombia cold zone, square with monument, birds and people. In the back the Cathedral, tunja, plaza de Bolivar

    The Paramo Zone 

    Life gets cold in paramo zones, 3,000 to 4,000 meters above sea level, where temperatures fall below 10C. There may be little rain, but there are icy winds and frequent snowfall. Colombia has one of the world’s largest paramo zones, the Sumapaz Paramo in the Cundinamarca/Boyaca area of the Andes.  It’s a Colombian National Park, a biodiversity hotspot and the Bogota Savannah’s main source of water. Paramos do tend to hold a lot of water, which means most Colombian rivers are born in these zones. Potatoes, beans, quinoa, wheat and corn are all grown here.

    Paramo zone Colombia climate, nature and plants surrounding wetland, many clouds and mountains, frailejones

    The Glacier Zone

    Colombia’s glaciers sit 4,000 meters above sea level. Global warming has caused them to reduce in the past century and, if they disappear altogether, this will affect the water supply. Most Colombian glaciers rest high in the Andes, where very few people and animals live thanks to the extremely cold weather.

    Glacier zone Colombia, big mountain with snow on the top, nature and blue sky, nevado

    It’s clear that in Colombia there’s a climate for everything; animals, humans, birds, reptiles and crops have all found their place here. That’s why, when it comes to climatic diversity, the answer is Colombia.

    If you liked this article, please feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.

    Related articles:

    Colombia’s pacific region: A unique experience for ecotourism

    Colombia is one of the 17 megadiverse countries of the world

    Colombia: Floral paradise

    5/5 - (1 vote)
    Artículos recomendados
    Colombian music, Calixto ochoa, vallenato, colombian culture

    Five songs to celebrate the life of Calixto Ochoa

    Vallenato is one of the cornerstones of Colombian music and vibrates with the sentiment, tradition and folklore of the country’s...
    Colombia, Independence day, Colombian flag, August 7th, flag day

    Why is August 7th Flag Day?

    Flag Day is celebrated on the same date as one of Colombia’s most important historic events. What’s the story behind...
    Edible insects, food, rare dish, Colombia

    Colombian Insects You Can Eat

    Colombia is a rich food-producing country, abundant in everything from coffee and bananas to potatoes and avocados. But as the...

    Is Colombia safe?

    Every year, millions of visitors are seduced by Colombia’s charms. The country is home to lively cities, stunning landscapes and...
    Colombians who found ways to be more eco friendly - Colombia Coffee Cultural Landscape | Colombia Country Brand

    Learn how to be eco friendly from these Colombians on World Environment Day

    Find the inspiration you need on World Environment Day from Colombians dedicated to environmental conservation and eco friendly projects.
    ginger-tea, colombian remedies, natural remedies, grandmother remedies, spearmint tea, herbal tea, calendula, aloe vera

    Five Colombian grandmother remedies you will be offered

    Colombians have access to some of the finest doctors and medical practitioners in the world, yet your average Colombian grandmother...
    Colombian beauty pageants, Queen of beauty, Tourism, Colombian women

    Colombia’s Twelve Most Unexpected Beauty Pageants

    Appearances can be deceiving and that’s particularly true when it comes to beauty pageants, which are not all about looks....
    Cogi, Indidenous, Colombian ethnic groups

    Colombia’s indigenous groups

    With some 87 ethnic groups and 65 different languages, Colombia is the second most ethnically diverse country in the Americas, after...
    Colombian football

    The Colombian football team’s World Cup journey

    Colombia’s football team first played in a World Cup in Chile in 1962 and the national side has competed for...

    Five talented Colombian women you must know about

    Talented Colombian women are changing the world, winning international acclaim and dominating fields as diverse as sports, film, food, science...