Interesting Facts About Colombia
Location: Colombia is situated in the northern part of South America, between Panama, Ecuador, and Venezuela. It borders the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean.
Area: 439,735 square miles (1,138,910 square kilometers). Slightly less than twice the size of Texas.
Geography: Colombia consists of flat lowlands around its coasts, which lead to highland areas—as far as the high Andes Mountains—in the center of the country. There are lowland plains to the east of the country.
Climate: Colombia’s climate is tropical along its coast and eastern plains. Temperatures start to get cooler as you move into the highlands.
Currency: The legal currency of Colombia is the Colombian peso (COP). $1 = 2,941 COP (January 2017).
Government: Colombia’s government is a Republic. It has three separate branches: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative (made up of a 162-member House of Representatives, and a 102-member Senate of the Republic). Members of each of the Legislative branch’s two chambers are elected for a four-year term by proportional representation.
Unlike many judiciary systems, Colombia’s judicial branch does not have a single supreme entity that oversees the lower courts, but rather four high courts: Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Council of State, and Superior Council of Judicature.
Head of State and Government: President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon (since 7 August 2010). The presidential term lasts for four years and can only run for two terms, whether consecutive or non-consecutive. The president is elected by popular vote.
Language: Spanish is the official language of Colombia.
Religions: A huge majority of the Colombian population identify as Roman Catholic (90%), while the other 10% follow other religions.
Time Zone: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
International Country Code: +57
Internet Country Code: .co
Life Expectancy at Birth: 75.7 years (Male = 72.6, Female = 79)
Exports: $33.64 billion
Imports: $47.15 billion
Gross Domestic Product (Purchasing Power Parity): $690.4 billion
GDP per Capita: $14,200
Inflation Rate: 7.8%
10 Fun Facts About Colombia
- Oldest surviving city in Latin America – Santa Marta. Founded by the Spanish conquistadors in 1525
- Snow-capped mountain near the ocean – Sierra Nevada in Santa Marta is 18,700 feet above sea level. It is only 26 miles from the Caribbean Sea.
- Lost City. The ancient city was constructed 650 years before Machu Picchu in Pero but only rediscovered in 1976. The city is hidden in dense jungle on the Sierra Nevada mountain in Santa Marta. It takes six days to do the hike from the nearest town to find the ruins of the lost city.
- Only IGY (Island Global Yachting) destination marina in South America – Santa Marta. 256-slip modern marina with helicopter landing pad, boat lift and full amenities.
- Underground Salt Cathedral. Not too far from the capital city of Bogotá is the colonial town of Zipaquirá, home to an underground salt cathedral. The cathedral is carved from the salt deposits beneath the town. It is one of Colombia´s most popular attractions and is a pilgrimage site for many Catholics.
- Bio-diverse. Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world.
- 75% of the flowers in the U.S. come from Colombia
- 1,900 species of birds in Colombia. 20% of the world´s species are found here.
- Dry law. Local government prohibits the sale or public consumption of alcohol during elections and some sporting events.
- Bi-coastal. Only south American country with coasts on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.