COLOMBIA


About Colombia

Colombia's location on the continent's northern tip makes it the only South American country that fringes both the Atlantic and Pacific. It's rich in emeralds, coffee, and oil. And, because it straddles the equator, it's one of the lushest countries in terms of tropical flora and wildlife---there are more species of birds in Colombia than anywhere else in the world. You can jump on a plane and in less than an hour find yourself in a different dramatic setting---be it the cobblestone streets of a weathered colonial port, the stalls of a crowded market where Guambiano merchants still speak the tongues of their ancestors, or at the base of snow-covered peaks rising sharply from a steamy coastal plain.
Colombia's back. After decades of civil conflict, Colombia is now safe to visit and travelers are discovering what they've been missing. The diversity of the country may astonish you: Modern cities with skyscrapers and nightclubs, gorgeous Caribbean beaches and islands, jungle walks and Amazon safaris, colonial cities, archaeological ruins, high-mountain trekking, whalewatching, coffee plantations, scuba diving, surfing, the list goes on...

IS IT SAFE?
Short answer: yes.
Fine print: anything can happen. Just as anything can happen in your home country, so it also can happen in Colombia. Compared with neighbouring countries, in particular Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador, Colombia is much safer. The risk of kidnapping or guerrilla-inspired violence is negligible.


Climate

Colombians customarily describe their country in terms of the climatic zones. Below 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) in elevation is the tierra caliente (hot land), where temperatures are above 24 °C (75.2 °F). About 82.5% of the country's total area lies in the tierra caliente.
The majority of the population can be found in the tierra templada (temperate land, between 1,001 and 2,000 meters (3,284 and 6,562 ft)), where temperatures vary between 17 and 24 °C (62.6 and 75.2 °F) and the tierra fría (cold land, 2,001 and 3,000 meters (6,565 and 9,843 ft)).
In the tierra fría mean temperatures range between 12 and 17 °C (53.6 and 62.6 °F). Beyond the tierra fría lie the alpine conditions of the forested zone and then the treeless grasslands of the páramos. Above 4,000 meters (13,123 ft), where temperatures are below freezing, is the tierra helada, a zone of permanent snow and ice.


Biodiversity

Colombia is one of the megadiverse countries in biodiversity, ranking first in bird species. As for plants, the country has between 40,000 and 45,000 plant species, equivalent to 10 or 20% of total global species, this is even more remarkable given that Colombia is considered a country of intermediate size. Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, lagging only after Brazil which is approximately 7 times bigger.

Colombia is the country in the planet more characterized by a high biodiversity, with the highest rate of species by area unit worldwide and it has the largest number of endemisms (species that are not found naturally anywhere else) of any country. About 10% of the species of the Earth live in Colombia, including over 1,900 species of bird, more than in Europe and North America combined, Colombia has 10% of the world’s mammals species, 14% of the amphibian species and 18% of the bird species of the world.
Colombia has about 2,000 species of marine fish and is the second most diverse country in freshwater fish. Colombia is the country with more endemic species of butterflies, number 1 in terms of orchid species and approximately 7,000 species of beetles. Colombia is second in the number of amphibian species and is the third most diverse country in reptiles and palms. There are about 2,900 species of mollusks and according to estimates there are about 300,000 species of invertebrates in the country. In Colombia there are 32 terrestrial biomes and 314 types of ecosystems.