Colombia is situated in the northern part of South America and sits between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Colombia's neighbours are Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. In western Colombia, the Andes Mountain complete their northern stretch as the three ranges of the Andes merge into one and slope towards the lowlands of the Caribbean Coast.
Colombia is home to about 45 million inhabitants, with 9 million Colombians residing in the capital city of Bogota, a true cosmopolitan city. After Brazil, Colombia is the most populated country in South America, sharing approximately 465,000 square miles among its inhabitants.
The climate in Colombia is mainly tropical, though the northern Caribbean Coast is characterized as a subtropical climate. Due to the country’s geographical features Colombia is one of eighteen mega-diverse countries in the world. Of the worldwide existing species, 10% are represented in this country. The great variety of flora and fauna across Colombia has also resulted in the development of an eco-tourism industry that has risen sharply from only a half a million tourists in 2003, to more than 3 million nowadays, also thanks to improvements in national security.
The agricultural success of Colombia is greatly derived from its tropical climate. Colombia’s famous exports of cut flowers, coffee, bananas, potatoes and types of tropical wood are the main sources of economic revenue. The country is also rich in natural resources with the main exports of petroleum, coal and gold. Colombia is further known as the world's leading source of emeralds.
Something you may wish to consider prior to arriving is looking into how you can encourage increased fair-trade practices for Colombian farmers, which sees a greater percentage of the product revenue return to the farmer, rather than the continuation of free-trade practices.
The best time to travel to Colombia is … all year! Although, similar to Bolivia and Ecuador, altitude affects weather with warm days, cold nights, and greater extremes the higher you climb. Between December and March you will experience drier periods, similarly in July and August. These months are when you can expect good hiking weather, incredible festivals, and cultural activities in the streets.
Generally, Colombians are very lively and friendly. They are open-minded and their hospitality makes a stay in Colombia an unforgettable journey. Lastly, make sure you listen to the pure Colombian Spanish on the streets, and the local Indigenous languages spoken in the country!