Curious to learn about Colombia?
You’ve sped through every season of Narcos on Netflix, and once you were done watching the show, you saw a few breathtaking travel photos on Instagram. Now, you want to know what the country is about.
Well, you’ve come to the right place! The country that exists today is far from the dramatized version we’re used to seeing in movies and shows depicting the 80s. That said, there are several reasons Colombia should be on the top of your traveling list.
It’s a combination of serene nature and modern urban life. But just like its bustling emerald mine (or rivers with rainbow colors), there’s still a lot you don’t know about Colombia.
So buckle up! We’re taking you through a virtual trip across Colombia that introduces you to many Colombia facts beyond comprehension!
16 Amazing Colombia Facts
1. Colombia is the Top Emerald Exporter in the World
Most of the world’s emeralds come from Colombia. That’s because emeralds that come from Colombia are highly valued because they have a unique deep green hue.
In fact, they’re considered to be the standard for all emeralds worldwide. The emeralds are mined in Zambia and are prettier than any other emerald you can find in the world.
2. Colombian Coffees Are Among the Most Popular Coffees in the World
Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia are lauded for producing some of the best coffee in the world. The country has more than 500,000 families farming in the coffee beans sector, and it’s no surprise their coffee tastes good!
Since the coffee is so high in demand, unfortunately, most of it leaves the country. If you’re in Colombia and you want to enjoy the authentic taste their coffee has to offer, head towards cafes in the countryside. Some cafes in Santa Marta and the Cocora Valley boast the fact that they serve this majestic coffee!
The big secret here is that coffee isn’t native to Colombia. While the energizing elixir suits the country, it was imported in the 1700s, and that’s when production exploded!
3. Colombia is one of the Top Exporters of Flowers
The USA alone orders billions of roses annually (most of them for Valentine’s Day) from the Colombian market. Colombia has the optimal position on the equator to support straight-stemmed roses.
While you may find the straight-stemmed roses in other countries, the ones from Colombia simply stand apart!
Colombia also has more than 4,000 different species of Orchids (you’ll soon find out why).
Fun Fact: Roses grow directly towards the sun. This means that if you want the perfect straight-stemmed rose to present as a gift, you’ll need to get one from an equatorial country.
4. You’ll get to See One of the Biggest Carnivals from South America in Colombia
Most people have heard of the Carnaval that happens in Rio, but not many of us know that the second largest celebration happens in Caribbean City in Colombia. Trust us; it is a party of a lifetime.
People going to this festival head towards the streets for parades, and they parade and dance all night long to celebrate what it means to be a Colombian.
The festival is full of colors and music, and if you’re going to Colombia in February, you should not miss it!
5. There Are Several Exotic Fruits in Colombia
Whether you blend them into a smoothie or pluck them straight off a tree, Colombia is a paradise for anyone who loves fruits. Here are just some of the fruits you’ll find in Colombia:
- Ice Cream Bean
- Different Passionfruit Varieties
- A delicious orange that tastes a lot like Passionfruit
- Sugar Apple
- Amazonian Sour Fruit
- Slimy white pulp (usually preferred for smoothies)
6. Pink River Dolphins Love Colombia, Too
Yes, you read that right: pink dolphins!
Deep in the dark rivers of the Amazon forest, you’re going to find Pink River Dolphins. These dolphins are one of the many unique animals you’ll find in Colombia.
Fun Fact: You may notice that these bodies have a different body structure than other dolphins. That’s because these have the unique ability to rotate their necks. Other dolphins can’t do this.
7. Orchids are the National Flower of Colombia
This flower is native to Colombia, and it was selected to be the national flower way back in November, 1936. That’s because the lower part of this flower can appear in different colors like blue, yellow, and red, which are also the colors you’ll see on the Colombian flag.
Their botanical name, “Cattleya trianae,” is partially named after a 19th century Colombia botanist.
8. Colombia is one of the Mega Diverse Countries in the World
The others are:
- South Africa
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- PapuaNew Guinea
9. White and Mestizos are the Largest Ethnicities
Almost half of the total population of Colombia is Mestizos. The others are whites, blacks, and Amerindians.
10. Colombia Has Some of the Highest Number of Endemic Species
Since the country has such diverse ecosystems, you’re going to find several endemic species in the country.
This means that you’ll only find these species in Colombia, and nowhere else in the world. Some of them are the golden poison frogs, the flame-winged Parakeet, the colorful tanager, the red bellied grackle, and many others.
11. Colombia Has the World’s Largest Salsa and Flower Festivals
Dancing isn’t no joke in Colombia – it’s serious business! You’re going to find salsa clubs in almost every corner of the city, and music is a huge part of Colombian culture.
So it’s no surprise that the largest organized salsa festival in the world happens here. The festival in Cali brings 44,000 people towards a 4-day event.
On the other hand, the flower festival in Medellin gets global appreciation, too. Every August, pageantry and floral parades can be seen, which create a beautiful sight.
12. Colombia Ranks Fourth in the World for Its Cosmetic Enhancements (aka Plastic Surgery)
Liposuction, tummy tucks, and breast augmentation are the top three cosmetic enhancements in Colombia.
Travelers from all around the world take advantage of the low costs and easily available procedures. Plastic surgery has become a huge industry and a generally accepted part of life in Colombia.
13. Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions are Common in Colombia
Colombia is part of an underwater region known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, which has at least 452 volcanoes.
Due to the Colombian land being a part of the ring of fire, the country is quite vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
14. Colombia Is Home to Sixty National Parks, Covering More Than 10% of the Country
When it comes to mesmerizing landscapes, Colombia is as equally diverse as the United States. By far, Tayrona National Park is one of the most visited locations in the country, both by locals and tourists alike.
Moreover, breathtaking white-sand beaches with the Sierra Nevada mountain range, adding beauty to the view, attract those seeking natural sceneries and spiritual fulfillment. Stunning high-altitude lakes, glaciers, rainbow rivers, and jungles can all be found in these parks.
15. Colombia’s La Guajira Might Be Your Best Bet for Taking a Vacation on the Moon!
The deserts in Colombia’s north-eastern region are worth mentioning here. The rolling empty land and red rock formations mimic what you’d see if you were to land on the moon.
Despite the fact that the region is home to various indigenous people and is remote, many tours can provide access to the region’s unique scenery.
16. Colombia Offers the Longest Bicycle Route in South America
At over 300 kilometers, Altro de Letras is ideal for cyclists. However, remember that the road is not suitable for beginners. It is regarded as one of the most difficult climbs on the planet for cyclists!
Did these facts get you interested in a real trip to Colombia? Fret not; we’ve got you covered! The guide we’ve listed below takes you through the best things you can do in Colombia!
Colombia Travel Guide
This video is going to show you some of the coolest spots and things you can do in Colombia. It’s also high definition, so you get a truly immersive experience!
While these facts do a good job of capturing the Colombian spirit and putting them onto paper, we strongly urge you to start packing your bags.
Apart from the facts that we’ve listed, the mystical Colombian land has a lot more to offer than just good Netflix shows – it’s full of life!
While we end our journey through some of the most interesting Colombia facts right here, your trip should only begin!
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.