Find out about the South American country of Colombia, and enjoy our collection of flag printables and worksheets.
Skyscrapers in Cartagena, Colombia
A little geography:
- The Republic of Colombia in north-west of South America is north of Ecuador with Venezuela to the east and Peru and Brazil in the south east. There is a narrow link to the Panama isthmus.
- Colombia is the only country in South America with a coastline on the Pacific and the Caribbean.
- The Andean volcano, Nevado del Huila, erupted in 2007 for the first time in 500 years.
Colombia on map of South America. Printable version here.
- Colombia has 87 indigenous peoples, forming 3.4% of the 45 million population. Many tribes still live in isolation in the rainforest.
- Colombia is the world’s third largest producer of coffee. It is famous for high quality Arabica beans grown in a small area known as the Coffee Cultural Landscape.
Colourful buildings in a street in Guatape, Colombia
- Bogata, at 2640 m, is the third highest capital city in the world (after La Paz and Quito). The capital has 58 museums, 62 galleries and 106 universities or colleges, and is known as the 'Athens of South America’. Bogata has 300 km of bicycle lanes called 'ciclorutas'. Main roads are also closed to cars every Sunday.
- The Unesco Heritage city of Cartagena combines Spanish colonial with Caribbean style. The city inspired the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Noble prize winning author.
- Colombia is world’s largest producer of emeralds, prized for their intense green colour and mined in Muzo since the 16th century.
Cuidad Perdida, or the Lost City of Colombia
Some interesting facts about Colombia:
- The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) in the north was rediscovered in 1972 by treasure hunters. Built in 800 CE, it can only be accessed by climbing 1200 stone steps from the jungle.
Just some of the 1200 stone steps to the Lost City
- Colombia has high biodiversity, second only to Brazil - which is 7 times larger. It has the most endemic species of any country in the world.
- It would take over 5 years to see all the 1873 species of bird if you found a different one every day!
- The Amazonian jungle at Amacayyacu is home to the world’s smallest primate, the lion marmosat. It is also home to the largest freshwater crocodile and turtle.
- The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is a unique church built 180 metres underground inside a mine!
Inside the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, Colombia
- Guadua bamboo plants can grow 11 cm a day to reach 20 metres in 6 months. Gaudua is light, strong, helps control CO2 and produce oxygen and is a sustainable building product. One hectare of forest can store over 30,000 litres of water.
- Medellin hosts the annual Flower Festival when growers parade with wooden frames called ‘silletas' which can weigh up to 70 kg and hold 70 different flowers.
- Colombia exports 500 million flowers to the US each Valentine’s Day.
- Colombia’s national sport is tejo (quoits). It was played in the highlands for 500 years using a gold disc but today an iron quoit is used.
Chiva trucks, or chivas, are common transport in Colombia
- Colombian singer Shakira has sold over 70 million albums. She was born in Barranquilla, the same city as Modern Family actress Sophia Vegara.