Colombia Guide

Colombia Guide

Colombia – country information

Country name Colombia
Official name Republic of Colombia
Capital Bogota
Continent South America
Area 1,138,910 km2
Population 47,506,000 (2014)
Foundation of a state 20/07/1810
The highest mountains Pico Cristóbal Colón 5800 m
Longest rivers Magdalena 1550 km
State system a pluralistic presidential republic with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Bogotá (Capital) 5,185,000, Cali 1,750,000, Medellin 1,710,000
Official language Spanish
Ethnicity/National Composition mestizos 58.0%, whites 20.0%, mulattoes 14.0%, blacks 4.0%, mixed blacks and Indians 3%, Indians 1.0%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic 95.0%, other 5.0%
Currency 1 Colombian peso (Col $) = centavos
gross domestic product (GDP) US$10,671 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 71.99 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 17%, mining 7.5%, industry 22.8%, construction 4.7%, services 48%

Colombia – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Brazil Brasília 8,514,880 km2 201 032 714
Ecuador Quito 283,561 km2 15,699,200
Panama City of Panama 75,517 km2 3,405,813
Peru Lima 1,285,220 km2 30,475,144
Venezuela Caracas 912,050 km2 28,946,101

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Colombia is located in the northwest of South America. It was named after Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), navigator and discoverer of America. This beautiful country has vast natural resources as well as a rich legacy from colonial times, but it also suffers from lingering internal political problems.

Country data

Location: Northern South America

Time zone: CET – 6 (during summer time: CET – 7)

Total area: 1,138,910 km²

Land area: 1,038,700 km²

Water area: 100,210 km²

Length of the state border: 6,672 km

Bordering countries:
Brazil: 1,790 km
Ecuador: 708 km
Panama: 339 km
Peru: 1,494 km
Venezuela: 2,341 km

Coastline: 3,208 km

Capital: Bogotá, DC

Departments: 33
Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia, Distrito Capital de Santa fe de Bogota, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada

Electric current: 110 V / 60 Hz

Telephone code: 00 57 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m


Population: approx. 46.3 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.1% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 41

Life expectancy: 72 (male), 79 (female)

Official language: Spanish


  • 90% Roman Catholic
  • 10% other


The annual temperature is on average 20 ° C. With increasing altitude from sea level, the daytime temperature decreases.

Rainfalls can be expected all year round. It is much drier near the Caribbean coast than inland.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Colombian Peso (COP)

Classification: 1 Peso = 100 Centavos

ATMs: Available in the major cities.

International credit cards: These are accepted in larger hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. The export of foreign currencies is allowed in the amount of the declared import.

Exchange fees are very high in the country. You should only exchange your money at recognized exchange offices or banks.

IMPORTANT: If you want to pay by credit card, NEVER let it out of your sight. The risk of fraud is very high. ATMs are also repeatedly manipulated. You should look at them carefully before using them.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 200 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Food (fruit, meat, animal products) may not be imported into Colombia.

Colombian cultural goods are not allowed to be exported.

Travel advice

We do not recommend traveling to the following areas / regions:

  • Border regions to Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela
  • the entire Pacific coast
  • the departments of Arauca, Caquetá, Cauca, Chocó, Córdoba, Nariño and Putumayo
  • the northeast and northwest of Antioquia
  • the south of Bolivar

Behavioral advice

You shouldn’t travel alone. After dark, you shouldn’t be out at all.

Robbery and theft are common in the larger cities. You should therefore never show money and jewelry in public.


Mining is one of the most important industries in Colombia. Many of the natural resources are destined for export in order to generate foreign exchange.

Agriculture is geared towards the country’s self-sufficiency.

Industries: building materials, chemistry, food production, oil extraction, textiles

Natural resources: iron ore, natural gas, petroleum, gold, coal, copper, nickel, emeralds, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 4%
  • Grain cultivation: 1%
  • Pasture area: 39%
  • Forests: 48%
  • other: 8%


In the lower regions, which are climatically very hot, there are still large areas of the original rainforest.

There are many meadows and arable land used as pastureland in the middle altitudes.

In the mountains the flora is very sparse. Only a few plants and shrubs grow here.


Many thousands of different animal species populate the country. Alligators, snakes, hummingbirds and many other mammals, insects and birds can be found here.

The main livestock are cattle.

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