50 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Columbia | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- The official name of Colombia is the Republic of Colombia. The name “Colombia” is derived from the last name of the explorer Christopher Columbus.
- 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.
- Colombia has a population of over 45 million people. 99% of the population speak Spanish which is the official language of Colombia.
- Colombia covers a land area of 1,141,748 square km around the same size as Spain, Portugal and France put together.
- It is bordered by five countries: Venezuela to the East, Brazil to the South-East, Ecuador and Peru to the South and Panama to the North-West.
- Amazingly Colombia is the only country in South America that has a coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
- Bogotá is the capital of Colombia which is the second largest capital city in South America and at 2640 m (8661 feet) it is one of the highest capital cities in the world with a population of more than 3 million. It is one of the smartest cities.
- Colombia has vast stretches of beautiful Atlantic and Pacific coastline over 3200 km. It has 300 beaches.
- Colombia has the highest coastal mountain range in the world, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Its highest peak is also Colombia’s highest mountain, Pico Cristobal Colon standing at around 5,775 meters (19,058 feet).
- Colombia is part of the Ring of Fire, a group of countries in the Pacific Ocean vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
- Colombia only has summer as there is no winter near the equator. It has sunlight throughout the year. It is dark by 6 pm.
- River Caño Cristales is famous for it’s diverse colors formed by the rock formations and the diversity of flora and fauna. River appears blue, green, orange and red at various places earning the nickname ‘The Liquid Rainbow’.
Flora & Fauna
- The near-empty eastern jungles of Colombia hold 54% of its land but only 3% of its population. The area is largely closed to tourists due to guerilla activity. In fact 1/3 rd of Colombia is covered by Amazon jungle.
- Colombia is classed as a “megadiverse” country, ranking as the 2nd most biodiverse country in the world after Brazil.
- It has the highest number of species by area in the world, including the most endemic species of butterflies, the most orchid species and the most amphibian species than all of Europe and North America combined.
- Colombia has most species of birds in the world, it is the habitat of more than 1879 species of bird.
- Colombia has more endemic species (species that exist only in one country) than any other country in the world!
- The national bird is the Andean Condor, a highly endangered species in Colombia. It is the heaviest bird capable of flight on the planet. They have a wing span of up to 3.2 meters across.
- The national tree is the Colombian Wax Palm which is the tallest palm in the world, reaching heights of up to 60 meters.
- Columbia has 58 National Parks that cover more than 11% of entire Colombia. You have over 55,000 square miles for you to explore!
- The Battle of Boyaca in 1819 was the rebellion led by Simon Bolívar that led to Colombia gaining its final independence from the Spanish Monarchy. The event is celebrated on August 7 every year.
- After independence, Colombia was actually Gran Colombia, which also included the territories of Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela, as a single, unified nation which was split later.
- Colombia was the first country in South America with a constitutional government.
Places / Architecture
- Colombia’s ‘second city’ Medellin was once the murder capital of the world with 17 murders every day in 1991. It has since undergone a sea change and is now one of the country’s main cultural hubs.
- Capital Bogota has South America’s largest network of bicycle routes measuring over 300km stretching from slum areas and suburbs to the city center.
People Customs & Culture
- Colombia is the happiest country in the world according to the survey.
- Colombian ladies are often voted the most beautiful on the planet. Plastic surgery is common to alter curves.
- Colombia has the biggest salsa festival, biggest theater festival, biggest outdoor horse parade, biggest flower parade and second biggest carnival all over the world.
- 90% of the country is Catholic.
- Amazingly you will find many People sell phone minutes on the street and you can make a phone call from someone else´s phone for a fee. You will find all types of items sold on the street including movie tickets.
- Amazingly almost any building has his own doorman.
- The men bringing cash to the banks always carry pump action shotguns. For high withdrawals of money from the bank, policemen will walk you home.
- Punctuality is not really part of the culture. People often say they will do something, but don’t always expect them to keep their word. They are just polite.
- You will find that every price has to be negotiated.
- Buses and planes are the main means of transportation. There are no trains.
- Amazingly the busetas (small buses) stop wherever you want them to.
- The Colombian flag is identical to the Ecuadorian flag, the only difference being that the Colombian flag removes the coat of arms.
- Colombia is rich in education having literacy rate of 93% which has been possible due to the basic education being compulsory by law. Education expenditure as a % of GDP is one of the highest in Latin America.
- At school, you will be charged if you fail at a subject.
- There are policemen and military men everywhere.
- National anthem is played on radio at 6am & 6pm.
Economy & Corporates
- The currency of Colombia is called the Colombian peso.
- Colombia is rich in natural resources, with major exports including petroleum and coal, accounting for a total of 40% of exports.
- Colombia is the world’s leading source of emeralds and its coffee is world renowned.
- Colombia accounts for 70% of cut flowers imported to the United States.
- Medical tourism especially cosmetic surgery is popular in Colombia due to the high quality of treatment and relatively low cost.
- The traditional national sport of Colombia is called Tejo. It is a team sport that involves launching projectiles at a target.
- The most popular sport in Colombia is football (soccer). The Colombian national team won the 2001 Copa América (South American Championship).
- Colombia has a vibrant music scene, two of the most well-known Colombian musicians are Shakira and Juanes.
- Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar could make $20 billion annually. Amazingly 5% of the cash ($1 billion) was eaten by rats. His empire was widespread in the 80s and 90s.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team