Explore Colombia in South America

Colombia
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Colombia with its capital Bogotá is located in South America (Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea). It covers some 1,138,911 square kilometres (slightly less than twice the size of Texas) with 45,013,000 citizens. Spanish is the language commonly spoken by people in Colombia. Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Brazil and Venezuela are bordering countries.

Colombia is the only country in South America with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Traveling in Colombia is definitely worthwhile, however: it is really important to understand that there are still many areas of the country that are considered too dangerous for tourism. The climate is tropical along the coast and eastern plains; cold in the highlands. Much of Colombia is in the Andes, which means there is very nice mountainous scenery to be found. On the other hand, there are also nice beaches to be found in the lowlands. The currency of Colombia is the Colombian peso. Most banks and money changes will accept major world currencies such as the US dollar and the Euro. Be sensitive. Colombians are a proud people, and are proud of the progress they've made. Do not make jokes about the drug trade in Colombia, as it has ruined many innocent citizens' lives. Drink only bottled water outside the major cities. The water in major cities is safe. Anywhere else, never get drinks with ice cubes in them. Clothing, including lingerie is particularly well-regarded as high quality and very affordable. Leather garments, shoes and accessories are also of interest to foreigners.

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Pictures from the Colombian capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Bogotá is like. We have selected more pictures from Bogotá on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

National Tourism Office

Website: Colombia Tourism

Carrera 8
N260 9-83 Bogota
Colombia

Phone: +57 327 4900

The terrain offers flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains. The average density of population is about 40 per km². The climate in Colombia can be described as tropical along coast and eastern plains with cooler in highlands. Possible natural disasters include highlands subject to volcanic eruptions or occasional earthquakes or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Colombia dial +57 prior to a number. There are 7,500,000 installed telephones. And there are 42,160,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 850, 1900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".co". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 110V - 60Hz.

Learn more on our Colombian Facts page.

Description of the flag of Colombia

Three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830; various interpretations of the colors exist and include: yellow for the gold in Colombia's land, blue for the seas on its shores, and red for the blood spilled in attaining freedom; alternatively, the colors have been described as representing more elemental concepts such as sovereignty and justice (yellow), loyalty and vigilance (blue), and valor and generosity (red); or simply the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity
note: similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center.

National administrative regions of Colombia

Historical background information

Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A nearly five-decade long conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) heavily funded by the drug trade, escalated during the 1990s. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia as a formal organization had ceased to function. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, emerging criminal groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. The insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, but continue attacks against civilians. Large areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces. In October 2012, the Colombian Government started formal peace negotiations with the FARC aimed at reaching a definitive bilateral ceasefire and incorporating demobilized FARC members into mainstream society and politics. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments. Despite decades of internal conflict and drug related security challenges, Colombia maintains relatively strong democratic institutions characterized by peaceful, transparent elections and the protection of civil liberties.

Learn more on our Colombian Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.