Beyond the events that have dominated international news during the last few decades, Colombia has an intriguing and fascinating culture and history. When combined with the up and coming modern society that has been flourishing of late, there is a lot to learn about the country before you visit. Keep reading for ten fun facts about Colombia.
1) Bogota has South America’s largest network of bicycle routes, almost 200 miles of paths are spread out around the city. Every new street that is built must also include a bike lane. Each Sunday, over 60 miles of roads around the city are closed for Ciclovia- people from all over town take to the streets on their bikes for fun afternoons in the sun.
2) After Brazil, Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world with close to 10% of the Earth’s plant and animals living within its borders. One out of every five butterfly species in the world is found in this country and 10% of the Amazon rainforest lies within Colombian territory.
3) Colombia has 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Of these sites, 6 are cultural, 3 are natural. These sites are the coffee region, Santa Cruz de Mompox, Cartagena, San Agustin archaeological park, Los Katios National Park, Tierradentro archeological park, Qhapaq Nan, the Andean Road system, Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary and Chiribiquete National Park. Chiribiquete National Park was the most recent to be added to the UN’s list in 2018.
4) The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range on the Caribbean Coast is the world’s highest coastal mountain network. Pico Cristóbal Colón, its tallest point, reaches 18,700 feet. The mountains border Tayrona National Park, one of the best places on the coast for pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and amazing flora and fauna.
5) Colombia is the only country in South America that has access to both the Pacific and Caribbean ocean, with over 300 beaches on both coasts and 2000 miles of coastline. It is bordered by Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
6) Colombia has 58 National Parks that are spread out over 55,000 square miles-a grand total of 11 percent of the country.
7) Colombia produces the most emeralds of any country in South America and is responsible for 70-90% of the world’s market and 60% of the world’s most expensive emeralds.
8) 12% of the world’s coffee is produced in Colombia making it the 3rd largest coffee exporter on the planet. The country exports approximately 11,000,000 bags of coffee each year.
9) There are 80 different indigenous nations in Colombia. 88 languages are spoken in the country, 85 are living and three are extinct. Of the living languages, 80 are indigenous and two are creole. Over 99 percent of the population speaks Spanish.
10) Colombia is the oldest democracy in Latin America
For more information about Happy Gringo Travel’s tours to the coast and the coffee region of Colombia, contact one of our travel experts by clicking here.