50 Fascinating Facts about Colombia

Colombia is a South American country that has some territories located in Central America. The official name of Colombia is the Republic of Colombia. The country has an estimated population of over 49 million, making it the 28th largest country in the world based on population. It’s total area of 44-,831 square miles makes it the 25th largest country by area. The largest ethnic group in the country are Mestizo and White. The official language is Spanish, but English is official in certain regions, and there are other ethnic languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. The country has a unitary presidential constitutional republic government. The capital is Bogota, which is also the largest city. The peso is the official currency. The flag features horizontal stripes of yellow, blue, and red.

Colombia Facts

1
Colombia’s GDP was $292.1 billion in 2016.
2
The nominal GDP per capita is $14,100.
3
Colombia is the only country in South America to have coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
4
Colombia has over 2,000 miles of coastline that stretches along the Pacific.
5
There are over 300 beaches that locals and tourists can take advantage of to see all of the natural beauty this country has to offer.
6
Colombia’s jungles located in the east take up over 50% of the country’s total area, yet houses just 3% of its total population. The inhabitants are primarily Native Indians.
7
One-third of Colombia is made up of the Amazon rainforest.
8
Colombia’s government is a Democratic Constitutional Republic. A president is elected by the people.
9
Colombia is the oldest democracy in South America.
10
Full independence from Spain was gained by Colombia in 1813.
11
Colombia is made up of 32 provinces, also known as departments. These are spread across the country’s five geographic regions.
12
Colombia is home to over 1,800 species of birds.
13
Colombia is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, boasting over 300 different ecosystems.
14
Bogota, Colombia, is 8,360 feet above sea level and is one of the highest cities in the world. Its tech advances have also made it known as one of the smartest cities in the world.
15
Caño Cristales is a stunning river that boasts many colors because of the flowers, fish, and beautiful rock formations. It’s no wonder its known as The Liquid Rainbow.
16
Colombia has a total of 58 national parks that cover about 11% of the country.
17
It is perfectly normal for children of Colombia to drink coffee after dinner. Adults typically drink stronger black coffee, while children sip on coffee con leche, or coffee with milk.
18
A total of 18 public holidays are celebrated each year by Colombians.
19
During major events, the government imposes a temporary ban on alcohol. This is to avoid violence. This has been enacted during the World Cup as well as political elections.
20
The law requires the Colombia National Anthem to play on TV and the radio each day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
21
With such biodiversity, it is no surprise that Colombia is home to the most endemic species in the world. This means that these species only live in Colombia and nowhere else in the world.
22
One of the unique animals that can be spotted in Colombia is the Amazon River dolphin, which is pink!
23
The largest bike route in South America is located in Colombia. It stretches over 300 kilometers.
24
Most Colombians won’t come outright and say, “No.” Instead, they will explain their reasoning for doing something without directly saying, “No.”
25
The highest point in Colombia is the Pico Cristóbal Colón of the Andes, which stands at 18,700 feet tall.
26
Approximately 90% of the population is Catholic.
27
Over 4,000 species of orchids can be found in Colombia.
28
The famous singer and “The Voice” judge Shakira hails from Colombia.
29
Street art can be found all over the capital city, Bogota. Graffiti isn’t outlawed – in fact, the government supports it!
30
Changua is a popular breakfast food in Colombia. It is milk soup served with an undercooked egg.
31
A Spanish shipwreck worth billions of dollars was found off of the coast of Colombia by the government.
32
The mountain Cerro Rico was discovered in Colombia by Spain, and it was found to contain silver. So much silver was mined that it actually lost its value at the time!
33
Over 150 Colombian mines produce some of the world’s finest emeralds.
34
Colombian girls celebrate a “La Quinceañera” when they turn 15. It is a lavish celebration that celebrates the journey into womanhood, similar to the U.S. sweet sixteen.
35
For a girl’s La Quinceañera, it is customary to bring her a gift of gold.
36
Marigolds and lilies should never be sent as a gift. Instead, these flowers are traditionally reserved for funerals.
37
Aguardiente is a local drink that is very popular. It is very sweet because it is made from sugarcane.
38
Approximately 99% of Colombians speak Spanish.
39
Colombia has a national sport known as tejo, which consists of throwing a metal disc at a sack of gunpowder.
40
Colombian men will always look someone in the eye while shaking hands
41
Medellin, Colombia, was once known as the murder capital of the world. However, in recent years, it’s made a turnaround and is now known for being one of the country’s cultural hubs.
42
Colombia is part of the “Ring of Fire.”
43
In 2013 and 2014, Colombia was ranked the happiest country in the world.
44
Piranhas, ants, and guinea pigs are consumed in certain parts of the country.
45
The legal drinking age in Colombia is 18 years.
46
Much of Colombia’s rural countryside is guarded by armed security guards and cannot be accessed by tourists.
47
Tipping your taxi driver is not common in Colombia.
48
Approximately half of Colombia’s population is of mixed race.
49
South America’s highest coal production comes from Colombia’s Guajira Peninsula.
50
Former President Álvaro Uribe survived a whopping 15 assassination attempts before taking office.

This South American country is full of rich history and friendly faces. In addition to having cities with modern conveniences and historical landmarks that showcase how far the city has come over the years, the standout feature is the biodiversity, which makes Colombia one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.

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