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Officially Republic of Colombia
It is a sovereign country located in the north-western region of South America that is constituted as a unitary, social and democratic state under the rule of law, with a presidential form of government. It is a republic that is politically organised into 32 decentralised departments and the capital district of Bogotá, the seat of the national government.
Including Malpelo Island, Roncador Cay and Serrana Bank, the country covers an area of 1 141 748 km², making it the 26th largest country in the world and the seventh largest in the Americas. It claims the area up to 12 nautical miles away as territorial sea, but has a border dispute with Venezuela and Nicaragua.
It is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil, to the south by Peru and Ecuador, and to the northwest by Panama. In terms of maritime boundaries, it borders Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela on the Caribbean Sea, and Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador on the Pacific Ocean.
It is the only South American nation with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean and access to the Atlantic through the Caribbean Sea, where it has several islands such as the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.
There are five natural regions with different reliefs, ecosystems and climates:
1. Amazon Region
It is the largest and least populated region. It has a high degree of humidity, rainfall and heat throughout the year. It is part of the flat basin of the Amazon River and the Amazon Rainforest of Colombia.
2. Andean Region
Corresponds to the branches of the Andes in Colombia, including the inter-Andean valleys of the Cauca and Magdalena rivers. It is the most populated region of the country.
3. Caribbean Region
It includes the Caribbean Plain and the mountainous groups that do not belong to the Andes, such as the Montes de María, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Macarena mountain range, the Piojó mountain range and the Guajira mountains. The climate in this area is warm, and semi-arid in much of the Guajira peninsula.
4. Island Region
Comprises the islands of the San Andres and Providencia archipelago in the Caribbean Sea and the islands of Malpelo and Gorgona in the Pacific Ocean. The region has coral ecosystems and a high diversity of aquatic species.
5. Orinoco Region
It is located in the north of the eastern region of Colombia. It is a flat, low-lying area that forms part of the flat basin of the Orinoco River. It is sparsely inhabited.
6. Pacific Region
Comprises the coastal plains of the Colombian Pacific and the mountainous groups of the region that do not belong to the Andes, in particular the Baudó mountain range. The coastal areas have abundant mangrove forests and thick jungles. It is a humid region and has the highest rainfall in the world.
Colombia’s official currency is the PESO, which is divided into 100 cents.
The Colombian economy is based primarily on the production of primary goods for export and the production of consumer goods for the domestic market.
One of the most traditional economic activities is the cultivation of coffee, being one of the world’s largest exporters of this product; it has been a central part of Colombia’s economy since the beginning of the 20th century and has earned it international recognition thanks to the quality of the bean; however, its importance and production have declined significantly in recent years.
Oil production is one of the most important on the continent; Colombia is the fourth largest producer in Latin America and the sixth largest in the continent. In terms of minerals, coal mining, and the production and export of gold, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, are among the most important.
In agriculture, floriculture and banana crops occupy an important place, and in the industrial sector, textiles, the automotive, chemical and petrochemical industries stand out.
Tourism in Colombia
Tourism is an important economic activity for the country. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism is in charge of its regulation. The government also designated the tourist districts of Santa Marta and Cartagena, the archipelago of San Andres (from this city they come mainly for its 7 colours of the sea and for the attraction called “la piscinita”) and Providencia, and the national natural parks of Colombia and the Indigenous Territories within the country’s territorial planning. The majority of foreign tourists visiting Colombia come from neighbouring countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and Europe.