The Republic of Colombia is a country in South America with an insular region in North America. It is the fifth-largest country in Latin America and home to the world's second-largest population of Spanish-speaking people. Discover interesting facts about Colombia that will make you put the country on the top of your travel wish list.
Have you ever wondered what Colombia is famous for? What should you know before visiting? Colombia boasts many natural resources, modern cities, and diverse culture. It is home to striking mountain vistas, tropical coastlines, powerful rivers and a portion of the great Amazon rainforest.
Interesting facts about Colombia
Colombia is an amazing country, bursting with vibrant cities, unmissable tourist attractions and hundreds of things to do. It offers something for all types of travellers with its Caribbean beaches, snow-capped Andean mountain peaks, rainforests, and national parks.
The country's stunning mountain landscapes, diverse culture and the friendliness of its people will captivate you right from the start. Check out some interesting facts about Colombia below.
It is a biodiverse country
It is the most biodiverse country in the entire world, only second to its massive neighbour Brazil. It has one of the highest numbers of endemic species by area in the world. It is the second most diverse in plants, fish, and amphibians, third in palm trees and reptiles, and fourth in mammals worldwide.
It has the most diverse birdlife on the planet
If you love nature, Colombia is the place to experience it. It is the country with the highest number of bird species in the world, with more than 1,900 native and migratory species, thanks to its geographic location and its topography.
Has a portion of the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest. Almost ten per cent of the Amazon forest lies in Colombia. The rainforest covers about 1/3 of the entire country.
Boasts the world’s most beautiful river
Cano Cristales is a Colombian river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta. This beautiful river is best known as the river of five colours or liquid rainbow. The river is alive with brilliant red, yellow, green, blue, and black colours from the blooming aquatic plants.
Colombia has 60 national parks
It has 60 national parks, with Tayrona National Park being the most visited tourist attraction park for locals and foreigners. These parks are home to many diverse species of animals and plants.
The country has the most orchid species in the world
Colombia has the most number of orchids in the world, with more than 4,000 different species and 1,543 of which are only found here. The orchid Cattleya trianae, or the Christmas orchid, is its national flower.
Colombia has two of the world’s largest festivals
The Carnival of Barranquilla is not only the second-largest carnival celebration in the world after the one in Rio de Janeiro. It also boasts the most prominent public and street celebration in the globe.
Third-largest coffee producer in the world
Colombia is the largest and most influential producer of mild Arabica coffee worldwide, behind only Brazil and Vietnam. Its mountainous terrain, tropical location, high rainfall and relatively mild climate make it an unbelievably perfect coffee-growing country.
Second in flower exportation
Due to their ideal growing climate, Colombia can produce billions of popular flowers like roses, tulips, and orchids, making it the second-largest producer in the world, behind only the Netherlands.
It has over 30 kinds of exotic fruit
Its diverse climate and prime equatorial location make it perfect for growing wide varieties of delicious tropical fruit. Some of the exotic fruits you have to try in Colombia include Lulo, Guanabana, Granadilla, Chontaduro and Maracuyá.
It is a country of celebration
Colombians are better known for their love of relaxation. Every Colombian employee is entitled to 2 or 3 weeks of vacation per year and 18 official public holidays in their account per year.
It is home to the pink river dolphins
One of the rarest species of dolphins is found in the country. The pink river dolphin or Amazon River dolphin is an endangered and unique species of toothed whale born grey and turns pink as it ages.
Has access to coastlines
Colombia is the only country in South America with access to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The Pacific Coast is a dense jungle with the world’s most biodiversity, while the Caribbean coastline is popular among travellers for its beaches.
Two or no-seasonal country
It is a tropical country that passes the equator in the South. It means the country doesn’t have four seasons. Since the temperature is stable throughout the year, the rainy season is the only seasonal change.
It is among the highest major cities in the world
The capital city of Colombia is Bogota which happens to be the third highest capital in the world. It lies at an elevation of 2,640 meters above sea level.
The largest producer of emeralds
Over 50% of the world’s emeralds originate from Colombia. The Colombian emerald is highly esteemed in the gemstone world because of its deep, bright green hue. It's the standard for quality gemstones.
The national anthem is played twice every day
It is mandatory for radio and public television in Colombia to play the national anthem every day at 6 am and 6 pm.
It is among the world’s happiest countries
It is said to be the most welcoming place on Earth. The warmth and kindness of their people are beyond imagination. It claimed the title of the World's Happiest Nation in 2013 and 2014 and regularly features near the top of the list.
The national drink of Colombia is Aguardiente
Aguardiente, or firewater, is a Colombian national spirit, distinct by its soft notes of anise layered over tropical fruit and a perceivable sweetness.
Fun facts about Colombia
Here are some additional fun facts about Colombia:
- In Colombia, it is normal for children to drink coffee after meals. Coffee con Leche is an after-dinner treat for little ones, while strong black coffee is the norm for adults.
- The traditional national sport of Colombia is called Tejo, a team sport that involves launching objects at a target. However, the most popular sport in Colombia is soccer.
- Colombians are taught that saying no is rude.
- Colombia has an entirely functional underground church made of salt. Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is located 656 feet below ground.
- Colombia has the tallest Palm trees in the world, which can grow up to 60 meters.
- The country is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the east, Brazil to the southeast, Ecuador and Peru to the South, the Pacific Ocean to the west and Panama to the northwest.
- It is the 29th most populous country in the world. It is a sovereign state largely situated in the North West of South America and with territories in Central America.
- One of the most well-known Colombians was Pablo Escobar.
- The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Santa Marta is the 2nd Highest Coastal Mountain Range in the world.
- The official language of Colombia is Spanish.
- The area covered by modern-day Colombia was originally inhabited by the indigenous tribes Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. In 1499 the Spanish arrived and colonized the area, calling it New Granada.
- Colombia has a vibrant music scene. Two of the best-known Colombian musicians are Shakira and Juanes.
- Colombia has a long history of democracy. Like the United States, the country is run by a president elected every four years. Laws are made by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
- The official name of Colombia is the Republic of Colombia. The name is derived from the last name of the explorer Christopher Columbus.
- Colombia is famous for the mountain range that runs through it, the Andes. The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world and has the second-highest peak in the world.
- The primary language spoken in Colombia is Spanish. However, English is also official in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina.
- The national currency of Colombia is the Peso (COP).
- The country is the home to the largest bicycle route in South America and one of the longest in the world. It's also one of the toughest climbs on earth for cyclists.
Colombia's culture is authentic in many ways. The above interesting facts about Colombia give you a glimpse of the country's attractive side. Hopefully, the facts will inspire your trip to the "gateway of South America".
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