The Republic of Colombia is a country situated in the north-western region of South America. The vast majority of the 47 million people living in Colombia speak Spanish, but there also are 68 other recognised languages and dialects, in particular Amerindian languages.
Colombia is home to part of the Amazon River, which marks its border with Peru, and part of the Orinoco River, which separates it from Venezuela. Most of the country, approximately 85% of its entire surface, has a tropical climate or, as the locals call it, tierra caliente. Colombia’s Pacific coast has a significant level of yearly rainfall, one of the highest in the world.
Although a presidential constitutional republic, Colombia’s recent history is marked by a series of internal armed conflicts, which for many years kept tourists out of the country. Nonetheless, over the past decade, the Colombian officials have worked hard at improving the tourism sector and their efforts have paid off; in 2011, it was reported that more than 3 million foreigners had visited the country. Tourists are mostly drawn to the beaches of Cartagena, the country’s capital, Bogota, or to the several colonial towns Colombia boasts.
Nowadays, Colombia is one of the most urbanised countries in South America, and its largest cities also include, apart from the capital, Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla.
Colombia is the third largest economy on the continent and its main exports include petroleum, coal, gold, textiles, and, of course, coffee. Colombia also has the most abundant resources of emerald in the world. The country’s currency is the Peso (COP).