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Colombia Fun Facts

► Colombia borders Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, Peru and Ecuador.

► Total landmass of Colombia is roughly 1,140,000 square kilometers (440,156 sq mi), which is slightly less than twice the size of Texas or France.

► Highest point: Pico Cristóbal Colón, 5,775meters (18, 942 ft). (Note: nearby Pico Simón Bolívar has the same elevation.)

► Lowest point: Pacific Coast, 0 meters

► Colombia is the oldest democracy in Latin America.

► Colombian women got the right to vote in 1957.

► The 2011 Global Peace Index of the Institute for Economics & Peace and The Economist magazine ranked 153 countries according to how peaceful they were and how hard they strived for peace. Iceland was first, Iraq was 152nd. Colombia was ranked 139th, last in Latin America, behind countries like Uganda and Lebanon. (In case you’re curious, the U.S. came in 82nd, between Gabon and Bangladesh; its northern neighbor, Canada, ranked 8th.)

► There are 80 different indigenous nations in Colombia, speaking 180 languages.

► Experts believe there are 14,000 species of butterflies in the world: about 3,000 of them are found in Colombia.

► Colombia has the world’s greatest diversity of orchid species (3,500) and birds (1,754 species). It also takes second place for amphibians and third for reptiles.

► Colombia’s Pacific coast is home to the golden dart frog; one gram of its poison is enough to kill about 15,000 humans.

► According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Colombia is home to 593 endangered species, which puts them 8th on the international list. Ecuador is first, with 2,151 species.

► Colombian María Isabel Urrutia is the only South Americanto win Olympic gold in weightlifting.

► Colombia has been to the FIFA World Cup playoffs four times.

► Tourism in Colombia fell 21 percent between 1995 and 1999 and rose 48 percent between 2005 and 2006; in the first six months of 2011, it increased 14.3% over 2010.

► Ninety-five percent of the world’s emeralds come from Colombia.

► Colombia is the world’s third-leading producer of women’s lingerie.

► Some experts estimate that Colombia can produce 545 metric tons of pure cocaine annually. The country is the world’s largest grower of the coca plant.

► Brazil produces the most coffee annually in the world; Colombia is second, providing 12 percent of the world’s coffee.

► It is estimated that people drink 400 billion cups of coffee each year, second only to water.

► After petroleum, coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Colombia: Before You Go to Colombia, Colombian Flora and Fauna and Colombia: Basic Facts.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
27 Sep 2011

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