“Columbia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, only after Brazil which is ten times its size” (“17 Interesting Facts About Columbia”). Columbia has a wide variety of animals, beautiful cities, breathtaking landforms, delicious traditional foods, and incredible celebrations; including the second largest Carnaval celebration in the world! A trip to Columbia could not disappoint with culture and excitement around every corner! The mystical capital of Columbia, Bogota, is a must-see city for tourists.
The old colonial churches, theaters, and high-rise buildings will envelope you in a sense of awe. Located in the Andes, Bogota is an impressive city that will sweep you off your feet! Cartagena is a city full of life. Tiled roofs, courtyards, and balconies welcome visitors. The Caribbean port brings tourists to the city. A city with beaches brimming full from people could only mean one thing; this is San Andres. Located on the Caribbean archipelago, the shopping, culture and exciting nightlife attract tourists.
The second largest city in Columbia, Medellin, is known as “The Land of Eternal Spring” due to its temperate climate. Orchids explode every year, giving Medellin a beautiful landscape. “Columbia is bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean as well as Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Brazil.” (“Colombia-World Travel Guide”) Columbia is located on 4.61 latitude, -74.08 longitude.
(“Where is Columbia?”) Columbia has beautiful landforms and amazing mountains and rivers amid the five regions. With an average temperature of above 74 degrees, the Eastern Plains are a hot, flat region of Columbia that only two percent of the total population lives in. The swampy, thickly forested area of Columbia with the lowest sea level and an annual rainfall of over 420 inches is known as the Pacific Lowlands. The Amazon Rainforest region has lush vegetation, over 100 inches of rain per year, and the most amount of animals anywhere on Earth. The region where twenty percent of Colombia’s people reside that stretches along the northern border and receives forty to seventy inches of precipitation per year is the Caribbean Coast.
The fifth region in Columbia is the Andes Mountain Region. It towers over a third of Columbia at a temperature of sixty-five to seventy-five degrees, but gets colder the higher the elevation..
Seventy-five percent of Colombia’s population live there. The major mountain ranges are the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta which is located throughout the Northern tip, and the Andes which run through the Western half. There are three major rivers: the Atrato which is the most western river, the Magdalena that runs through the center north to south, and the Cauca which runs between the two. (Boraas 10-15, 40-41) The best aspect of Columbia are the magnificent annual festivals. The most notable among these are the Barranquilla Carnival (Carnaval celebration) and the World Salsa Festival. The Barranquilla Carnival is the second largest Carnaval celebration in the world.
Located in Barranquilla, this four day festival features parades, music, dancing, and drinking. It is kicked off by the Flower Festival. The Flower Festival has numerous concerts, shows, and celebrations. Over 4,000 dancers, musicians, and artists come for the notable eight day World Salsa Festival in Cali, the music capital of the world. Shows, workshops, and salsa lessons are taught.
(“Columbia’s Unmissable Festival”)Columbia is a Catholic country that celebrates Catholic holidays. On December 7, the Christmas season is marked by the Day of the Candles. Paper lanterns with candles adorn streets and houses while celebrations of concerts and fireworks take place. Christmas is a big time to celebrate with feasts, payers, gifts, and fireworks. In preparation for Christmas, many take part in Novenas, which are daily gatherings for morning and night Mass.
Columbia holds one of the best Easter processions in South America during Santa Semana which is the Easter Holy Week. Parades that act out scenes from the Bible is the highlight of the celebration. The cuisine of Columbia is appealing to our eyes and makes our mouths water in longing. Typical appetizers and snacks include Pan de Bono which is a “small, round bread bite which is flavored with sweet cheese,” and Chocolate con Queso where “the hot chocolate and stringy cheese are surprisingly good”. The main courses commonly use ingredients such as rice and meat, typically chicken, and fruits/vegetables. These dishes include Chuzo Desgranado, Arroz con Pollo, and Bandeja Paisa which is the national dish of Columbia.
Popular drinks in Columbia are Kumis which is “traditionally made by fermenting raw unpasteurized cow’s milk over the course of days” to make a creamy and sour drink, and Chocolate en Leche de Coco which is a traditional Colombian drink that is made with hot chocolate and coconut milk. (Bidmead)The tourist locations in Columbia are breathtaking as well as jaw-dropping. Located outside the town La Macarena, Cano Cristales will most likely confound the eyes of the seer.
The waterfall and pools add to the scenery, but the feature is the colored river. The river appears rainbow because of the plants, sand, algae, and rocks that add color. On the northern border of Columbia, the Caribbean Sea is a great place to canoe ocean waters, snorkel coral reefs, and watch whales.
Finally, the Los Nevados National Park has some of the best volcanic peaks in the world. The volcanos, hiking, and the wildlife of bears, pumas, and tiger cats attract visitors. Columbia is a country full of life and fun. The special festivals, foods, and landforms are a big part of Columbia’s culture. All these factors make Columbia a beautiful travel destination that has a culture you won’t forget with all the amazing aspects!