Whether you’re traveling to Colombia soon, or just interested in a few facts about Colombia for your own knowledge learning a bit about this unique country will give you some insight and appreciation into it.
Colombia is increasingly capturing the attention of travelers worldwide, and it has earned its reputation for boasting a remarkable range of landscapes. From the lush Amazon jungles to the inviting Caribbean beaches and the majestic Andes mountains, Colombia truly offers a diverse tapestry of natural wonders.
Let’s dig into some of our favorite fun facts about Colombia!
Fun Facts About Colombia
1. Colombia Has a Very Diverse Population
While most people who live in Colombia speak Spanish, the population is a very diverse mix of indigenous peoples, people descended from Spanish colonists and people from many countries in Africa and Europe.
2. Everyone Knows the National Anthem
In Colombia, it’s hard to get away with not knowing the words of the national anthem. This is because Himno Nacional de la Republica de Colombia is broadcast through television and radio stations twice a day and this is enforced by official law. The first broadcast is at 6 AM and the second one is at 6 PM.
3. Colombia Only Has Two Seasons
In Colombia, there are only two seasons; the dry season and the rainy season. As a tropical place situated close to the equator, you can expect hot and humid conditions most of the year!
4. Colombia Hosts a Huge Salsa Festival
From December 25th to December 30th each year, Feria de Cali takes place across Colombia. It’s one of the largest salsa festivals in the world and features a variety of musical, dance and art events in addition to plenty of salsa.
5. Home to the Highest Coastal Mountain Range
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta’s highest elevation is 18,700 above sea level, making it the highest coastal mountain range on Earth!
6. Colombia Enforces Prohibition….Sometimes
Alcohol is not illegal in Colombia but it is illegal during certain events. Due to the amount of violence that was taking place during some major events, including political elections and World Cup games, the government has implemented a ban on the consumption of alcoholic beverages during such events.
7. Orchids are Plentiful in Colombia
More than 4,000 species of beautiful orchids in all sizes and colors can be found in Colombia and 1,500 of those species are only found in the country and nowhere else on earth.
This makes Colombia one of the biggest flower producers in the world. It’s the warm climate that makes growing these flowers so easy. Not surprisingly, Colombia’s national flower is a species of orchid called Cattleya Trianae.
8. There are Pink Dolphins in Colombia
Would you believe me if I told you there was such a thing as pink dolphins and they can be found in Colombia?
Believe it or not, it’s true! The Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphins) are endangered dolphins belong to one of the rarest dolphin species on earth with approximately 2,500 left in the entire world.
9. Let’s Have a Drink to This
Colombia’s national drink is Aguardiente and since it translates into English as Burning Water, that should make it enticing enough to try at least once! It’s a liquor made from sugarcane and is typically consumed from a shot glass.
10. Colombia is A Very Biodiverse Place
There are only a handful of countries in the world that are considered mega-diverse (hello Peru and Ecuador) and Colombia is one of them. It has over 5,000 species which makes it one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.
11. Happy People in a Happy Country
While Colombia has had its ups and downs throughout history, several polls have found that it’s among the happiest nations in the world. Up to 85% of people who live in the country consider themselves happy!
12. Colombia is a Leader in Emerald Production
It is said that every second emerald in the world comes from Colombia, making it the largest precious gem producer.
13. A Multilingual Country
While the majority of people in Colombia speak Spanish, a small minority of people speak one or more of the 65 indigenous languages that are spoken in the country. One of the most interesting facts about Colombia is that there are around 100 indigenous nations in Colombia.
14. Steps to a More Peaceful Nation
In 2016, the president at the time, Juan Manuel Santos, received the Nobel Peace Prize for signing a deal that would help bring a 50-year guerilla war to an end.
15. A Widely-spoken Language
Per capita, more people speak Spanish in Colombia than in Spain. Only 99% speak it in Spain while that number is 99.2% in Colombia, making it the country with the second-highest Spanish-speaking nation in the world. Mexico has the highest.
16. Colombia Hosts a Huge Theater Festival
One of the biggest theater and performance art festivals in the world takes place in Bogota every year. Iberoamericana lasts for 17 days and features concerts, circus performances and so much more.
17. Move Over Cars
Biking is a big thing in Bogota. There are around 180 miles of biking routes within the city limits.
Every Sunday all year round, the city hosts an event called Ciclovia which is when an extensive network of public roads is shut down to vehicles so cyclists can ride free without having to dodge traffic.
18. Colombia is a Huge Producer of Coffee
Coffee plants need high altitudes and ideal weather conditions to flourish and Colombia has both. These ideal conditions have ranked the country first in the world for Arabica coffee beans and third in the world for coffee beans overall. This ideal landscape earned a heritage site designation from UNESCO.
19. The Lost City of El Dorado
Legend has it that Colombia is home to a Lost City of Gold known as El Dorado. For centuries, settlers and treasure hunters tried in vain to find this place but so far, no one has come close.
20. A Fruitful Nation
Pineapple, lime, mango, banana, avocado. You name it, Colombia probably grows it. The country grows fruits you might not have even heard of including lulo, zapote, curuba and gulupa. In all, there are more than 400 fruits grown in Colombia.
21. From Coast to Coast
There’s only one country in South America that has access to both the Pacific Coast and the Caribbean Sea and you guessed it; it’s Colombia!
The Pacific Coast with its jungle terrain and biodiversity is vastly different from the Caribbean Coast which is known for its sandy beaches.
22. Bandeja Paisa is a Must-try
One of the most popular meals in Colombia is Bandeja Paisa. The delicious dish featuring ground beef, fried eggs, sausage and various vegetables is easy to find as it’s served at most restaurants around the country.
23. Bogota is A High Place
At 8,661 feet above sea level, Bogota is one of the highest capital cities in the entire world.
24. All in the Name
Colombia’s official name is the Republic of Colombia and it’s named after the historic explorer Christopher Colombus.
25. Colombia Has Many National Parks
While Tayrona National Park may be the only national park in Colombia that you’ve heard of and it’s certainly one of the most popular ones, there are 59 other incredible national parks to discover in the country.
26. Darkness Comes Early in Colombia
Because the equator passes through the country, the sun sets before 6 PM all year round in Colombia.
27. An Explosive National Pastime
Contrary to popular belief, soccer, or futball, is not the national sport of Colombia. The national sport is the exciting and bizarre game of Tejo.
During play, participants throw gunpowder-covered metal discs into a pit which then explodes.
28. I’ll Have Some Liquid Rainbow, Please
It has been called “the most beautiful river in the world” and “Liquid Rainbow”, but no matter what you call it, the stunning Cano Cristales River has a distinctive and fascinating feature that makes the difficult trek to it worthwhile; it changes color!
Typically between September and November, the vegetation near the river turns red and when mixed with the various colors of the bedrock, the river takes on a rainbow hue.
29. Children Like Their Cup of Joe in the Morning
While it’s considered taboo for children to drink coffee in many places around the world, it’s perfectly normal in Colombia.
30. Colombians Love to Dance
Everyone knows Colombians can move on the dance floor! They seem to have an inherent talent for dancing.
Colombians enjoy many different dances from around South America and the world but only one originated in the country and that’s the Cumbia.
31. Move Over Machu Picchu
Despite the popularity of other ancient ruins in South America, such as Machu Picchu, ruins that have been uncovered in Colombia are thought to be up to 650 years older than those famous ones in Peru. Ciudad Perdida, or Lost City, is located on the side of a mountain in the Sierra Nevada range.
32. The Amazing Amazon
Although it passes through a number of South American countries, the mighty Amazon rainforest, which is the world’s biggest rainforest, takes up one-third of Colombia’s landscape.
33. Beautiful Chorrera Falls
Chorrera Falls is not only beautiful; it’s the highest waterfall in Colombia at 1935 feet high. Even the hike to the falls is amazing with stunning vistas of lush countryside.
34. She’s the Boss
This is one of the best facts about Colombia! Not many countries can claim that the majority of company bosses are women. In Colombia, over 50% of managers are women.
35. A Populous Nation
Although Colombia is not one of the biggest countries in South America, it’s one of the most populous with 51 million people.
We hope you enjoyed these facts about Colombia, for more facts around the world, see below: