Colombia

Colombia Overview

Colombia is situated in north-western South America. It is the only country on the continent with a coast along both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Colombia’s landscape and climate offer striking contrasts, ranging from the snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains to hot lowland plains. The equator crosses southern Colombia. Yet parts of the country have a chilly climate because of their high elevation.

All that is left of its pre-Columbian past is the contents of the Museo del Oro in Bogota and a small indigenous population on the flanks of the Andes. But the history of conquistadors, pirates and 16th century traders is more in evidence, particularly in the Caribbean harbour city of Cartagena with its cobbled streets, plazas and stone forts, sea walls, cathedral and grand buildings dating back to colonial days.

CLIMATE

Colombia’s climate varies with elevation. The highest temperatures occur at the lowest altitudes-in the Coastal Lowlands and the Eastern Plains. Temperatures are much lower in the Andes Mountains. A zone of mild climate lies between 3,000 and 6,000 feet. Above 6,000 feet, the climate is cool the year around.

Temperatures within a region vary little from season to season. Each year, most of Colombia has one or two wet seasons with heavy daily rainfall, and one or two dry seasons with little or no rainfall.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAPITAL: Bogota
POPULATION: 45 million
LANGUAGE: Spanish
CURRENCY: Colombian Peso
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 110V, 60Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a flat two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +57
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC -5

TRAVEL WARNING

We advise against all but essential travel to all rural areas bordering Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador, to the towns of Buenaventura and San José del Guaviare and the areas surrounding them; and to the Parque Nacional Natural de La Macarena in the department of Meta.

We advise against all but essential travel in areas of intensive coca cultivation, including the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk