Photo Courtesty of Rory O’Bryen and thisiscartagena.com
Yep, we know that Colombia produces lots of coffee and mines lots of emeralds and that Pablo Escobar used to spend $2500 a month on elastic bands to keep his wads of cash together. But what about all the other records, wonders and astonishing surprises that Colombia has more than its fair share of? When it comes to nature and biodiversity, no other place on Earth comes close to Colombia other than its neighboring giant Brazil. Here are just 10 interesting facts about Colombia to arouse your curiosity and have you jumping on the next flight here:
Interesting facts about Colombia #1
Colombia´s capital city has a lower murder rate than the USA´s capital city.
In 2011 the homicide rate in Bogotá fell to 21.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 21.9 in Washington D.C. Now you don´t see that on Fox News…
Interesting facts about Colombia #2
Per square meter Colombia is the most biodiverse country on the planet
Colombia´s varied ecosystems are home to about 10% of all of the species on Earth. Vibrantly bursting from Colombia´s fertile hills, humid jungles, vast savanas, deep canyons, baking deserts, snowy mountains, dry tropical forests, dense mangroves, sandy beaches and colorful coral reefs are:
- Around 1/5th of all the plant species that exist on Earth, including the world´s largest variety of orchids (3,500).
- The largest variety of bird species in the world (1754 in total – more than in Europe and North America combined).
- The world´s second largest variety of amphibians and third largest variety of reptiles.
- The world´s most poisonous frog, which can kill 15,000 humans with one drop of its poison.
- The world´s largest variety of butterfly species (around 3000).
- Over 150 different types of commercial fruits.
- The tallest palm tree in the world, the Quindio Wax palm, also the National Tree of Colombia.
Sadly, parts of Colombia´s breathtaking biodiversity is threatened today by deforestation, animal collection and pollution. Learn more about Eco-tours in Colombia.
Interesting facts about Colombia #3
Colombia is home to the biggest theater festival, biggest salsa festival, biggest flower parade, biggest outdoor horse parade and second biggest carnival in the world.
Colombian´s clearly love to celebrate and their hundreds of amazing yearly festivals are an attribute to the countries cultural and ethnic diversity, made up of a colorful mix of European, African and Indigenous heritage.
Interesting facts about Colombia #4
Bogotá has the most extensive network of cycle routes out of every city in Latin America and almost the world.
With around 400km and growing, Bogotá is a great city for cycling. Every Sunday many of the cities main roads are closed to traffic for the ´Ciclovia´, a day where cyclists, joggers and roller bladers take over the tarmac.
Interesting facts about Colombia #5
Colombia is the worlds third largest manufacturer of womens lingerie.
It´s also one of the largest producer of lingerie models (I´m guessing…)
Interesting facts about Colombia #6
Colombia ranked #2 in the 2006 Happy Planet Index (HPI) and #6 in 2009.
The HPI combines the average happiness of the population, life expectancy and the ecological footprint of the country. In the 2009 report Germany came in at #51, the United Kingdom #74, USA #114 and Zimbabwe in last at #143.
Interesting facts about Colombia #7
Colombia has the tallest seaside mountain in the world.
At 5770 meters above sea level, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest seaside mountain on the planet and is an incredible and undiscovered destination for hiking, mountaing climbing, birdwatching and archeological tourism. It was once the realm of a vast chiefdom of indian tribes, and 30,000 indigenous people still inhabit the 383,000 hectare national park that UNESCO has claimed a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.
Interesting facts about Colombia #8
Colombia has 84 different Indigenous tribes spread out across the country.
Many of them still live in isolation from the modern world while others have become world-renowned for the spectacular regional artesania that they hand-make. Sadly, some indigenous people in Colombia have been displaced by violence and forced to move to the big cities where they seem to be cut off from their natural world and true identity.
Interesting facts about Colombia #9
Colombia is home to the world´s most colorful river.
Caños Cristales has been kept a secret from the world up to now due to its location in a historically hostile part of Colombia. Yet as the countries security situation continues to improve, more people are journeying to the Macarena National Park to gaze upon the dazzling river of five colors that is said to have ´run away from paradise´.
Interesting facts about Colombia #10
Colombia is the only country in South America to have two different coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean (1448km) and the Caribbean Sea (1700km).
It is largely this unique bridging between South America, Central America and the Caribbean that gives Colombia its abnormally ample diversity of culture, food, music, people and nature.
If you want to experience the Caribbean, go to the Bahamas.
If you want to experienc the Pacific coast, go to Chile.
If you want to experience the Andes, go to Ecuador.
If you want to experience Precolumbian civilizations, go to Mexico or Peru.
If you want to experience sophisticated culture and cosmopolitan cities, go to Argentina.
But if you want to experience all of these things, then go to Colombia!
If you like our blog, don´t forget to´like´ us on facebook and follow us on twitter.Curious about tours to Colombia? Browse through our suggested itineraries or get in touch with one of our travel advisors.