Colombia is considered to be one of the countries in the world with the most beautiful and rich of animal and plant species wild nature. It holds great prospects for the tourism development, since natural resources are combined with exclusive local culture that thrives in these places more than 3 000 years.
Geography. Colombia is located in the north-western parts of mainland South America. It is located between 12° north latitude and 4° south latitude. Equator cross it in the southern part.
The country borders to the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the north. To the south it borders with Ecuador and Peru, Brazil to the southeast and to the east and northeast it borders with Venezuela.
The northwest border of the country is with Panama. The country has an area of 1 138 910sq.km.
Relief. The landscape of Colombia is very diverse. To the west the country is intersected by the Andes mountain chain.
The mountain is divided into two parts – Sierra Occidental and Sierra Oriental. Here is the highest peak, Cristobal Colon.
It is located in the northernmost parts of the country, not far from the border with Venezuela and rises to 5775 m above the sea level.
East of the mountains lie vast plains, covered with equatorial rain forest. In the west of the Andes, also the plain relief predominates, but this is only a narrow strip that runs around Pacific Beach.
With the lowest altitude are the southern parts of Colombia as well as the coastal areas, where the altitude is usually about 100 to 200 meters.
Nature. The biggest part of Colombia is covered with dense and impassable equatorial forests. Most of them are still unknown and unexplored.
This is valid especially about the southeast part of the country, which are occupied by the Amazon. There’s incredible diversity of plant and animal species.
Colombia is among the ten countries in the world with the greatest biodiversity. Species such as jaguar, puma, anaconda, alligator, cayman, capybaras (the largest rodent in the world) as well as dozens of species of monkeys inhabit this area.
It is believed that many species of animals and plants are not yet discovered. The dense equatorial forests occupy also and the Pacific coast.
The Andes are also covered with dense vegetation, but the mountains are overgrown mainly by cold loving plants, as the temperatures are considerably low.
In the northern parts of the country, the plant species are typical for the subequatorial climate zone. The nature is of type “savannah”.
Forests are a little more rare, more easily accessible and can often be seen open grassy spaces. Colombia is rich in waters.
One of the reasons is that most of the territory within the equatorial climate zone, which is very humid with almost daily rain, and the second reason is that the western part of the country is occupied by very high mountains.
Larger rivers are Magdalena, Meta, Guaviare, Caquetá and so on. The major rivers run to the Amazon or the Caribbean. Rivers flowing to the Pacific Ocean are relatively short and fast.
Colombia has stunning beaches, which are not yet part of the world tourism map, as in many places lack proper infrastructure and accommodation facilities.
In the western Pacific coast has many beautiful beaches with calm waters, cinnamon sand and dense vegetation, which almost reached the water.
Better known and with certainly much more popular are the white sandy beaches in the northern parts of the country.
Some of the most popular beaches are in the resort town of Santa Marta, located on the north coast. Northeast of the town there are gorgeous secluded coves with clear and calm waters.
The equatorial climate occupies the southern half of the country and the subequatorial –the northern parts. The climate of the mountains does not affected by the location, but the altitude.
In the higher parts is cold all year round. However, apart from the Andes, Colombia is one of the hottest countries on the planet. The city of Barranquilla is located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea.
Here the climate is typical subequatorial. The daily temperatures are 32 to 34°C throughout the year. The nights are always around 24 – 25°C. There are two seasons – dry and rainy.
From November to April lasts the dry season. The precipitation ranged from 0 mm (in February) to 80 mm (in October). From May to November is the rainy season.
Then the rains are constantly above 80 mm. In October, reaching its maximum of about 180 – 200 mm. In the plains, located in the southern parts of the country, the temperatures are around 30°C throughout the year. The night temperatures are 25°C all year around.
Rainfall is almost daily. No dry or rainy season. Rains are usually sudden and heavy, but brief and vary slightly in the different parts of the year.
The rainiest place is located on the Colombia’s Pacific coast. Sometimes the rainfall here is over 4000 mm. The dense and lush vegetation as well as the cloudy skies dominate the local landscape for most of the time.
The rainfall is daily. The daily temperatures here are around 28°C all year around and the night temperatures are around 23°C.
Population and settlements. Colombia has a population of about 42 500 000 people. Much of the population is concentrated in the mountainous areas of the country.
The largest and most densely populated Colombian cities are located at high altitudes, because the climate of the country is too hot and humid.
For example, the capital Bogota, which has a population of about 7 000 000 people is situated at an altitude of approximately 2550 meters.
Some suburbs of Bogota, however, have 100 – 200 meters bigger altitude. The other two Colombian metropolis – Medellin (2 500 000) and Cali (2 100 000) are also situated at high altitudes.
Medellin is located about 1470 meters, and Cali (or Santiago de Cali) about 960 meters. The jungles in the east of the country are very sparsely populated.
Here, the villages are mainly from rural type. The lifestyle is almost unchanged by the modern civilization.
Economy. Colombia’s economy is growing. This country can be characterized by enormous social contrasts that are typical for South America as a whole.
In the hands of a small part of the population is concentrated a large part of the financial resources of Colombia. The country is dependent mainly to the agriculture and mining.
The country gains precious stones (mainly emerald), oil, gold and many other. Colombia relies also to the wood processing as one of the countries, in which the forests represent the highest percentage of the territory.
The agriculture is very important for the local economy, especially the coffee production. Of the stock-breeding the country relies most to the cattle.
Tourism is at an early stage of development. For this purpose, the country first must to cope with its reputation as a country with high crime caused by the social inequality.
Otherwise, Columbia has a promising future in the tourism, because the natural resources are enormous. Colombia produces enough electricity to meet its needs. Most of the electricity (about 2 / 3) is produced in WPP.
History. The history of Colombia began on the 20th of July 1810, when Columbia refused to recognize the power in Spain and declared independence.
Eleven years later, several South American countries have merged into one. Few people know that Columbia has called Gran Colombia and the countries into its borders were Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador and, of course, the present-day Colombia.
Simon Bolivar was able to create this country with a huge territory in 1821. The first president of the new state has been, of course, Simon Bolivar.
This union, however, lasted only few years and its collapse has happen in 1830. From the recent history of Colombia, the most important moments are the series of civil wars, which the country has experienced in the late 20th century.
Today the country try to turn its back to the past and to develop its promising future.