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23 FUN Facts what COLOMBIA is known for

Updated on 03/08/2024

Dear reader,
I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

Discover Colombia: A Journey Through Its Rich Culture, Biodiversity, and Heritage

Welcome to Colombia, a land where vibrant cultures, breathtaking natural wonders, and a rich historical tapestry converge to create a travel experience unlike any other. From the lush Amazon rainforests to the rhythmic beats of Cali’s salsa, Colombia is a country that promises adventure, discovery, and a wealth of stories. In this guide, we’ll take you on a fascinating journey through 23 of Colombia’s most intriguing and unique attributes. You’ll explore the depths of its biodiversity, the vibrancy of its festivals, the aroma of world-renowned coffee, and the resilience and creativity of its people. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, a curious explorer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of diversity, this guide is your gateway to understanding and experiencing the true essence of Colombia. Get ready to be enthralled by the colors, flavors, and sounds of a country that epitomizes the spirit of South America!

  • Biodiversity Hub: Colombia ranks as the second most biodiverse country globally, home to about 10% of the world’s species. It features 59 national parks, covering over 14 million hectares, and boasts the highest number of bird species worldwide, with over 1,900 species identified.

  • Festival Galore: Celebrating over 150 festivals yearly, Colombia’s rich culture is evident in events like the Barranquilla Carnival, attracting over a million visitors, and the Medellin Flower Festival, featuring over 500,000 flowers annually.
  • Coffee Excellence: In Colombia’s Coffee Triangle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, coffee plantations cover approximately 350,000 hectares. The region’s unique microclimates produce some of the finest Arabica coffee, with an annual output of about 810,000 tons.
Coffee Grains Colombia
  • Natural Wonders: Tayrona National Park, established in 1964, spans 15,000 hectares and hosts over 400 bird species. The Amazon Basin covers about 35% of Colombia, offering unparalleled biodiversity.
  • Historical Narratives: The legacy of Pablo Escobar is complex; during the 1980s, his Medellin Cartel controlled over 80% of the global cocaine market. Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s hometown, Aracataca, inspired his famous work “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”
  • Addressing Cocaine Production: Despite producing about 70% of the world’s cocaine, Colombia has seen a significant shift towards alternative, sustainable agriculture, with various international aid programs supporting this transition.
  • Salsa Phenomenon: Cali, the world’s Salsa capital, boasts over 200 dance schools and hosts the annual World Salsa Festival, drawing thousands of dance enthusiasts globally.

  • Bogota – A City of Contrasts: With a population of over 8 million, Bogota blends colonial history with modern urbanity. It’s a cultural hub, hosting events like the Ibero-American Theater Festival, the largest theater festival globally.
  • Cartagena’s Charm: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cartagena’s historic center spans about 13 square kilometers, featuring well-preserved colonial architecture and the iconic Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, built in the 17th century.

For more information about what to do in this beautiful city, check out our Cartagena Travel Guide.

Drone photo of Bocagrande Cartagena
  • Medellin’s Renaissance: Medellin, once notorious for crime, has transformed into an innovation hotspot. The city hosts the annual Flower Festival, featuring over 500,000 flowers displayed in artistic arrangements.

For more information about what to do in the “City of Eternal Spring,” check out our Medellin Travel Guide.

Botero Square in Medellin Colombia
  • Leather Excellence: Colombian leather goods are renowned for their quality. The country’s leather industry, growing at an annual rate of about 10%, competes internationally, offering a range of high-end products.
  • Culinary Diversity: Colombia’s national dish, bandeja paisa, showcases the country’s agricultural richness. The local cuisine includes unique fruits like lulo and pitahaya, contributing to the country’s export of over 200 different fruits.
  • Caño Cristales – The Liquid Rainbow: This river, located in the Serranía de la Macarena National Park, showcases vibrant colors for a few months each year, due to the unique Macarenia clavigera plant.
  • Tejo – National Sport: Originating from an indigenous game, Tejo involves throwing metal discs at explosive targets. This unique sport reflects Colombia’s rich indigenous heritage.
  • Amazonian Adventures: The Colombian Amazon, spanning over 400,000 square kilometers, offers a haven for ecotourism, with unique wildlife and indigenous cultures, making it a key area for biodiversity conservation.
Amazon Jungle
  • Treasure Trove of Gems: The Gold Museum in Bogota displays over 55,000 pieces of pre-Hispanic goldwork. Colombia produces about 60% of the world’s emeralds, with the famous Muzo mines being a significant source.
  • Path to Peace: The 2016 peace agreement with FARC guerrillas marked a new era in Colombian history. Since then, tourism has grown significantly, with over 4 million visitors in 2019.
  • Linguistic Diversity: Colombia’s linguistic landscape includes 68 indigenous languages. In areas like the San Andres and Providencia islands, Creole languages blend African, English, and Spanish influences.
  • Artistic Landscape: Artists like Fernando Botero and musicians like Shakira have put Colombia on the global artistic map. The country’s art scene reflects a diverse cultural heritage, blending indigenous, African, and Spanish influences.
  • Sporting Achievements: Colombian athletes like Egan Bernal, winner of the 2019 Tour de France, and Mariana Pajon, a BMX Olympic gold medalist, highlight the country’s strong sports culture.
  • Beauty Pageant Success: Colombia has a notable record in international beauty pageants, with two Miss Universe titles and several runner-up positions, reflecting the country’s emphasis on beauty and fashion.
  • Two Oceans, Diverse Ecosystems: With coastlines on both the Caribbean and Pacific, Colombia offers diverse marine life and cultural experiences. Its coastal areas are crucial for conservation and tourism.
  • Cultural Timeliness: ‘Colombian time’ reflects a relaxed approach to punctuality, a cultural trait common in social and informal settings.

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About Author

Frank

Frank

Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia.I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia.For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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