You binge-watched Narcos on Netflix and saw a few jaw-dropping travel photographs on Instagram, and now you’re curious about this country.
Today’s country is a long cry from the dramatized portrayal of 1980s Colombia depicted in Narcos. So, let’s get inspired by travel and look at some entertaining and interesting facts.
Here are some of the fascinating Colombia facts.
Interesting Colombia Facts
2nd the largest biodiverse country
Colombia is the world’s second most biodiverse country, trailing only its huge neighbor Brazil. Colombia is also one of only 17 countries in the world that have been designated as “megadiverse.” Colombia is home to one out of every ten species.
1/10th of ALL SPECIES ON THE PLANET! Its diverse ecosystems are the key. Colombia features deserts, rainforests, Andes cloud forests, and wide-open savannahs that support nearly every type of life.
Colombia is the most biodiverse country regarding birdlife, followed by plants, fish, amphibians, palm trees, reptiles, and mammals. If you enjoy nature, this is the place to be.
Colombia is the world’s leading exporter of emeralds
Colombia produces 70-90% of the world’s emeralds! Because of its vivid bright green tint, Colombian emerald is highly valued in the gemstone market.
It is the gold standard for high-quality gemstones. Competing emeralds mined in Zambia have a brighter blue-ish green color, a less conventional coloration.
Colombian coffee ranks third in the world.
Although beans from Brazil and Vietnam are more widely available, I like Colombian coffee’s rich, strong flavor.
With almost 500,000 farming families, it’s no surprise they’re at the top of this list. Regrettably, most of the beans depart the nation due to great demand!
Simply look for cafés that serve single-origin coffee, or visit Colombia’s coffee regions such as the Cocora Valley and Santa Marta.
But here’s the major secret: coffee isn’t native to Colombia. Despite being ideal for creating the energetic elixir, it wasn’t naturally occurring. It was first imported in the 1700s, and subsequently, production skyrocketed.
Colombia is ranked as one of the world’s happiest countries
In fact, according to the Barometer of Happiness and Hope Foundation, Colombia was named the “1 Happy Nation in the World” in 2013 and 2014. Colombia is consistently at the top of the list.
Colombia ranks second in flower exports.
Every year, the United States orders 4 billion roses from Colombia (many for Valentine’s Day). Its location on the equator provides some of the world’s straightest stemmed roses.
Colombia is also home to over 4,000 orchid species. Roses grow directly up to the sun, which is an interesting fact. This implies that the perfectly straight-stemmed roses synonymous with romantic gifts must come from somewhere.
Colombia has a Rainbow River that occurs naturally
Cao Cristales, also known as the River of Five Colors, is a vibrantly colored freshwater river whose aquatic plants and algae have created a flowing stream of red, blue, orange, yellow, and green. The bright water is one-of-a-kind, with colors like this found in no other streams on the planet.
Colombia hosts the second-largest Carnival celebration.
Carnaval in Rio is well-known, but few visitors know that the second greatest celebration is in Colombia’s Caribbean city of Barranquilla.
And what a party it is. Parades, dancing, and celebrations of everything Colombian occur on the streets. It’s a musical and visual cultural eruption. If you’re in the area in February, don’t miss it.
Colombia is home to around 30 different types of exotic fruits
Colombia is a fruit lover’s heaven, whether combined into a fruit smoothie or plucked straight from the tree. Here are just a few unusual tropical fruits available at local markets.
Colombia is a Land of Celebration
With only 2-3 weeks of vacation each year for the ordinary Colombian worker, they desperately needed some public holidays! And, with 18 government-approved holidays (most of which fall on Monday), India is the only country with more.
Colombia has a portion of the Amazon Rainforest, in fact, 10% of the Amazon Rainforest. And they’ve gone to tremendous lengths to protect it and the indigenous peoples that live there. The rainforest spans almost one-third of the country.
Colombia’s national sport is “Tejo.”
Throwing heavy metal disks into clay pits filled with gunpowder landmines while downing huge amounts of local beer is a favorite activity among Colombian males. It’s a little like an exploding horseshoes game made immensely more enjoyable with a little drink.
Colombia has 102 distinct indigenous groups.
The original inhabitants lived in Colombia 14,000 years ago. Humans lived in Colombia long before Christopher Colombus (the country’s namesake) arrived. There are still 102 of these groups in rural Colombia today.
Shakira is Colombian
Shakira is unquestionably Colombia’s most popular performer, although Grammy Award Winner Carlos Vives and Juanes are also at the top of the list. Colombia’s essence is music.
There’s Salsa, Reggaeton, Cumbia, Vallenato, Bachata, and so on. Most Colombians appear to be born with a sense of rhythm.
The Pink River Dolphins live in Colombia.
Yep, you read that correctly. The pale pink faces of the Pink River Dolphins can be found deep in the Amazon rainforest in the dark water rivers.
Another one of Colombia’s unusual animal species. Colombia has coasts on both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans.
Begin fantasizing about beaches right now.
Colombia has two coastlines and numerous minor coastal islands to the north and west.
With bustling Cartagena in the Caribbean and laid-back Cali in the Pacific, the opposing coastlines offer two distinct Colombian experiences.
Bogota is one of the world’s highest major cities
It is located at 8,360 feet above sea level. Expect to spend your time acclimating to Colombia’s capital city’s cooler, thinner mountain air. Bogota is a city in the sky, which is unusual for a metropolis of its size.
Colombia has 60 national parks covering more than 10% of the country.
Only one less protected area than the United States, yet just as diverse! Tayrona National Park is the most visited by residents and visitors from other countries.
The combination of stunning white-sand beaches and the Sierra Nevada mountain range creates a panorama unlike any other on the planet.
These parks cover vast swaths of terrain and are home to jungles, rainbow rivers (La Macarena), glaciers (Los Nevados), high-altitude lakes (Sierra Nevada del Cocuy), and some of the world’s oldest rock paintings (Chiribiquete).
The deserts in Colombia’s northwestern region are significant
The red rock formations and undulating barren terrain approximate what a lunar landing would look like.
Even though the region is remote and home to various indigenous people, several trips provide access to the region’s unique scenery.
Altro de Letras
Colombia also features the longest bicycle route in South America, the “Altro de Letras.” This route is ideal for cyclists, with a length of almost 300 kilometers.
Yet, this is not a beginner’s road. It’s also regarded as one of the world’s most difficult hills for cyclists. The road climbs 80 kilometers, from 468 meters above sea level in Mariquita to 3,663 meters above sea level in the Paramo de Letras Pass.
Bogota is a top city in the world for graffiti art.
Artists from all over the world come to paint the streets of Bogota.
The city is covered in colorful murals expressing complicated societal themes, protest art, tributes to Colombian heritage, and playful cartoons. You’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for the medium.
One of the best for cosmetic enhancement
Colombia ranks fourth worldwide for cosmetic enhancements such as breast augmentation, stomach tucks, and liposuction.
Over 75,000 tourists visit Colombia annually to take advantage of lower prices and widely available cosmetic operations.
With Colombia’s appreciation of the curvaceous female shape, plastic surgery has become a huge industry and a widely accepted part of daily life.
Colombia is the world’s 25th-largest country.
It is larger than France or Spain and with the same length of coastline as the United States’ Pacific coast. It is, in essence, a vast country.
Fortunately, with its numerous public transportation routes and charter services, getting about is very simple. It simply takes time. Get used to those long, scenic bus rides.
Wax Palms are found here.
The world’s tallest palm trees, known as “wax palms,” may be found in Colombia. These Dr. Suess-like trees grow up to 200 feet tall in the damp Andes forests of the Cocora Valley.
They look stunning when enveloped in a misty damp fog and provide an ideal habitat for several of Colombia’s endangered bird species.
The mythological city of gold and wealth was based on a group of Colombian indigenous peoples.
It is the city of gold and unfathomable riches. Indeed, it is a myth, but it is based on a man rather than a hidden city. According to legend, he coated himself with gold daily and rinsed it in a nearby lake every afternoon.
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I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.