10 Astonishing Facts about Colombia to Arouse Your Curiosity

 

Facts about Colombia, a wharf in Cargatena

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…

 

facts about colombia, colonial bogota

 

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.

 

facts about colombia, colombian biodiversity

 

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.

 

colombia facts, festivals in colombia

 

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.

 

facts about colombia, bogota cycle paths, photo by skyscraperlife2.com

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…)

 

facts about colombia, colombian lingerie

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.

 

facts about colombia, among the happiest people in the world

 

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.

 

facts about colombia, Sierra-Nevada-de-Santa-Marta-National-Park

 

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.

 

facts about colombia, colombian tribes

 

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´.

 

facts about colombia, the most colorful river in the world

 

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.

 

facts about colombia, the only country in south america to have 2 coastlines

 

So…

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.

Muchas gracias!

 

  • Joeshmo

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    Very Interesting!

  • Arne Svendsen

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    Astonishing facts; I’ll say. There are several countries with Pasific and Caribbian coastlines. I guess Panama, Costa Rica and others are considered North America in Colombia!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Drew-Sullivan/680231510 Drew Sullivan

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    More considered Central America I´d say.

  • Anonymous

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    Great post Drew. The Lost City is called to be the next hot destination in Latin America

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Drew-Sullivan/680231510 Drew Sullivan

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    Thanks Camilo! I haven´t been to the Lost Ciry myself yet but I hear that it´s absolutely spectacular and far less commercial than the Inca Trail.

  • Colombiano

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    “Colombia has the only seaside mountain in the world that is covered in snow” is not true. It is the highest for sure, but not the only one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Drew-Sullivan/680231510 Drew Sullivan

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    Interesting. Do you know any other mountain specifically? Regards.

  • Alex_sim8

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    You forgot include the amazon, another thing that Colombia has, and everybody can enjoy

  • Heclavoe

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    The only country in South America bathed by the two oceans is Colombia. The region from Panama to Mexico is considered Central America.

  • felipe

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    There is a little misinformation here. Yes it is the only and highest snowy mountain next to the sea -all around the tropics!!-… you dot find any other scenario of its kind so close from the typical tropical beach. the article is wrong saying its the only… off-course there are more, like in Chile and Norway for example.
    but non the less Colombia is a place TOTALLY worth to visit!

  • Iraniantrouble

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    Colombia could be a very nice country but the infrastructure is not very good, there is rubbish everywhere and worst of all, there is a lot of insecurity. Second happiest in the world?? I’d much rather be happy somewhere else with less poverty and where people are more educated, that is ridiculous. I think Colombians lack a lot of “self criticism” which is a shame because the country is very pretty and there is a lot of nice people. But there is still a lot of work to do. Being so proud with the way things are at the moment will not help. Things should and could be better. Seeing what is wrong with your country and wanting to do something about it is also a very patriotic thing to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Drew-Sullivan/680231510 Drew Sullivan

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    Felipe & Colombiano – thanks for the correction. The post has been updated now. Que esten bien : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Drew-Sullivan/680231510 Drew Sullivan

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    Interesting comment. Colombia is obviously not perfect. It´s infrastructure cannot compare to Hong Kong nor its security to New Zealand. As you said there is still a lot of work to do. The reality is that ´things should and could be better´ all over the world. I agree that self-criticism is important but Colombian´s are proud people because they have so very much to be proud of. The point of this post was not to claim that Colombia is 100% perfect and flying at the top of its game. It was to show forerigners that Colombia is much more than cocaine and guerillas; that there are countless astonishing things about Colombia that the vast majority of people don´t know. Colombia has an X-factor that I can´t entirely put my finger on but I´m certainly not the only one to say it. It is this X-factor, a combination of everything, that makes Colombia one of the top destinations to visit in the world right now. Never-the-less I respect your opinion and agree with a lot of it. I look forward to hearing from you again.

  • CoVam

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    Well said!

  • W Conreur

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    Quite interesting and in any case, a good promotion of your country

  • Mario Rengifo

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    YES!!! Our country it’s a wonderfull one!

  • Angelica D

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    Thank you Drew for your wonderful article!!!

  • RUPIA

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    Very good article.

  • nataly

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    I’m pretty sure u can say that about every country since none of them are perfect. Only because u rather be happy somewhere else doesn’t mean people cant be happy there, and u are just ignorant for saying just a stupid thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tania.nino2 Julieth Nino

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    Agree!

  • XavierD

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    Agree totally with Drew. I’m living in Europe because of my wife but I’m Colombian. I was born there. I grew up there and I know that we as Colombians don’t want to hide that our country had big problems and nor so nice history to be proud of (guerrillas or drug dealers)

    But at the same time We have to remember that Colombia is a big country: with more than 45 millions of people and approx. 3 times bigger than Germany… and in Colombian history, this bad people have been only some people or groups.

    In the other hand, Colombia has experienced a big change in the last decade: more secure, more opportunities, continuous improvement in different aspects including quality of life, more positive expectations in front of the near future and significant economical growing.

    It’s true that this country is still having a lack in infrastructure but they’re working on it to be a very globalized country.

    It’s true that maybe Colombia is not the best country in the World (which is?? ) but we Colombians have this spirit to do the things better, to smile instead of complaint, to be hard workers and to have passion in what we do everyday.

  • Josephina 1

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    someone ate my cat in columbia
    I WILL GET REVENGE

  • guest

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    That appealed to my eyes. Thank you for posting these pictures.

  • AJ

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    Great post! My background is Colombian and it’s really nice to see the great things Colombia has because the media only talks about the bad.

  • AJ

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    “Iraniantrouble”, you obviously have never been to Colombia and don’t know the educational rates there. Yes people are very happy there, but they are also way more politically savvy about issues in and around the country and are way more involved in the process than North Americans and people from other places. Take a moment to put your obvious prejudices aside, and read information on the country’s contributions, their REAL infrastructure, and their debt repayment to the World Bank. Making assumptions and putting them down on a webpage really has no weight because your statements aren’t backed up. Maybe you should invest some time in learning why Colombians are happy and take that into consideration so you can improve your obviously pessimistic and negative view of other countries and the world.

    Website owner, please change the font colour for comments. You have to highlight the words to see anything.

  • johnny

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    liked that nude

  • johnny

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    you mean the nude

  • juancolombiano

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    I think Colombia has enough self criticism we just don’t say everyone the bad things about our country but we are always complaining about every single problem the nation has when we’re talking with other Colombians. I think that you should think about every bad thing about your country that I’m sure is not perfect before criticize Colombia or it’s people.

  • Noah

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    Haha swear

  • Laura

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    correction :
    Colombia ranked #1 happiest country in the world for the last two years.

    Colombia is just the most amazing country in the world , can’t wait to be back.

  • mdefra

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    Can you please tell me why the most of the text of this article is written in grey letters against a grey background???