• Capital City: Bogotá (Metro Area Population: 8.1 million)
• Location and Borders: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
• Administrative Divisions: 32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); 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, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada; 1 capital district (distrito capital); Bogotá
• Area: Total: 1,138,910 sq km
Land: 1,038,700 sq km
Water: 100,210 sq km
• Climate: tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
• Population: 44,380,000
• Demographic Growth Rate: 1.43%
• Industries: beverages, textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, chemicals, cement, gold, coal, emeralds
• Languages: Spanish
• Government System: republic with dominant executive branch
Regions of Colombia
Colombia is generally broken up into four distinct regions: the Andean Highlands, the Caribbean Lowlands, the Pacific Lowlands, and Eastern Colombia.
The Andean Highlands are actually made of three parallel chains an eastern, western, and central chain. These mountain chains consist of peaks that reach as high as 5,700 meters and are permanently covered with snow. Between the mountain chains are rivers and basins which make them perfectly inhabitable spots and the modern locations of many Colombian cities.
The Caribbean Lowlands are much less populated than the highlands region but is nonetheless a very important region for agriculture production and commerce. The port cities on the coast are the important commerce areas of the region while the inland lakes, swamps, and rivers are great for banana and cotton production and are also home to various small farms and cattle ranches.
The Pacific Lowlands region is much less populated than the Caribbean region and has only one major port city, Buenaventura. This is because the region is mostly made up of tropical jungle and swamps. Though most of the rivers in and streams in this region flow to the Pacific, one, the navigable Río Atrato, is an important connection to the Caribbean coast.
Eastern Colombia covers three-fifths of the country's total area and is also home to a very small population compared to that of the highlands region. This area is home to some very interesting wildlife as well as many important navigable rivers such as the Río Guaviare which divide the eastern region into the southern tropical rainforest subregion and the northern plains subregion.
An incredible 72% of Colombia's complete landmass has been declared protected which is over 50% more than most other South American countries. Colombia has 443 different protected areas which include nature reserves, wilderness areas, natural monuments, and national parks. Also, Colombia is home to two significant international wetlands and five biosphere reserves.
These protected regions give a clue to the country's rich biodiversity. Colombia's forest house over 51,200 different plant and tree species, more than 200 of which are currently endangered. Also, there are 359 different species of mammals as well as more than 700 unique bird species making this country a wildlife lover's paradise. There are over 1,100 different species of reptiles and amphibians in Colombia as well as 318 different species of fish. This shows that Colombia is truly one of the most diverse countries in South America.