Interesting facts about Colombia

colombia flag

Colombia, at the northern tip of South America, is a country of lush rainforest, towering mountains and coffee plantations.

The official name of Colombia is the Republic of Colombia.

Colombia is a transcontinental country largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in North America.

Colombia is bordered on the northwest by Panama, on the east by Venezuela and Brazil, and on the southwest by Peru and Ecuador. It shares maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

The official language is Spanish.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Colombia was estimated to be 48,481,028 people.

Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth-largest country in South America after Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.

Bogotá is the capital and largest city in Colombia. A melting pot of people from around the country, it is diverse and multicultural, with a blend of modern and colonial architecture.

bogota

Through the western half of the country, three Andean ranges run north and south. The eastern half is a low, jungle-covered plain, drained by spurs of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, inhabited mostly by isolated tropical-forest Indian tribes. The fertile plateau and valley of the eastern range are the most densely populated parts of the country.

Pico Cristóbal Colón is the highest mountain in Colombia, with an estimated height of 5,700 meters (18,700 feet).

pico cristobal colon

Colombia is the only country in South America that has a coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Its 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) of coast to the north are bathed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea, and its 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) of coast to the west are washed by the Pacific Ocean.

Colombia is classed as a “megadiverse” country, ranking as the 2nd most biodiverse country in the world after only Brazil which is 10 times its size. It has the highest amount of species by area in the world, including the most endemic species of butterflies, the most orchid species, the most amphibian species and more species of bird than all of Europe and North America combined.

colombia birds

Colombia 58 nationally protected areas which cover about 142,541.443 square kilometers (55,035.559 square miles) and represent more than 11% of the country’s area.

One of Colombia’s most popular national parks, Tayrona grips the Caribbean coast in a jungly bear hug at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The park covers approximately 12,000 hectares (29,650 acres) of land and 3000 hectares (7,400 acres) of sea.

tayrona national park

San Agustín Archaeological Park is an archaeological site in San Agustín, Huila, Colombia. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The site contains the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in Latin America and is considered the world’s largest necropolis.

san agustín archaeological park

Colombia has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress in the city of Cartagena. It is the most extensive
fortifications in South America. The fortress was built by the Spanish during the colonial era. Construction began in the year 1536, and it was originally known as the Castillo de San Lázaro, It was expanded in 1657. In 1984, UNESCO listed the castle, with the historic center of the city of Cartagena, as a World Heritage Site.

castillo san felipe de barajas

Monserrate is a mountain that dominates the city center of Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. It rises to 3,152 meters (10,341 feet) above the sea level, where there is a church (built in the 17th century) with a shrine, devoted to “El Señor Caído” (Fallen Lord). The hill is a pilgrim destination, as well as a tourist attraction.

monserrate

The Archbishopric Cathedral of Bogotá is a Roman Catholic cathedral located at the eastern side of Bolívar Square in Bogotá. The Cathedral was built between 1807 and 1823.

archbishopric cathedral of-bogotá

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters (656 feet) underground in a halite mountain near the town of Zipaquirá.

salt cathedral of zipaquirá

La Piedra Del Peñol, Spanish for “The Rock of Guatapé“, also known as El Peñol Stone or simply as La Piedra is a massive rock located in the town and municipality of Guatapé, in Antioquia. It rises 200 meters (656 feet) from the surrounding plain. The rock, which is almost entirely smooth, has one long crack running top to bottom on one of the faces. Across this crack, is wedged a 740-step masonry staircase, that appears like a giant stitch holding the split rock together.

la piedra del peñol

The Tequendama Falls is a 132 meters (433 feet) high waterfall of the Bogotá River.One of the country’s tourist attractions, the falls are located in a forested area 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Bogotá.

tequendama falls

Caño Cristales, also referred to as the “River of Five Colors” or the “Liquid Rainbow” is considered the most colorful river in the world due to ins rock formations and diversity of flora and fauna.

caño cristales river of five colors

Colombian coffee is often regarded as some of the highest quality coffee in the world. Colombia’s average annual coffee production of 11.5 million bags is the third total highest in the world, after Brazil and Vietnam.

Colombia is also known as an important global source of emeralds, while over 70% of cut flowers imported by the United States are Colombian.

Colombia’s national dish is considered to be bandeja paisa. It consists of white rice, red beans, ground beef, plantain, chorizo, morcilla, chicharron, arepa, avocado and a fried egg.

bandeja paisa

Aguardiente, the official national drink of Colombia. It is derived from sugarcane and flavored with anise. Its alcohol content hovers around 29%.

aguardiente

Notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar reportedly offered to pay Colombia’s national debt of $10 Billion to improve his reputation and escape the crosshairs of justice.

The area covered by modern day Colombia was originally inhabited by the indigenous tribes Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. In 1499 the Spanish arrived making the area a Spanish colony called New Granada.

The traditional national sport of Colombia is called Tejo. It is a team sport that involves launching projectiles at a target.

According to the WIN/Gallup International Association’s annual end of year survey, Colombia is home to the happiest people in the world. ~ in 2015 ~

The name “Colombia” is derived from the last name of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

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