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25 Interesting Facts about Colombia

25 Interesting Facts about Colombia

Photo: Shutterstock

Want to know more about Colombia? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Colombia that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Colombia facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. Colombians can enjoy 18 public holidays each year

That is one of the highest numbers of public holidays in the world, and they sure know how to celebrate them!

2. The national sport is known as “Tejo”

Basically it’s a sport involving throwing a metal disc on a tablet with explosives. However, football is by far the most popular sport. 

Tejo

Photo: Nowaczyk / Shutterstock.com

3. Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world

There are so many endemic species living here, and it has such a rich flora and fauna. Most people know about the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, but fewer people know that it also covers a part of Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and others. 

In fact, it covers 1/3 of the country, and more than 10% of the Amazon rainforest lies within Colombian territory. 

Colombian diversity

Photo: Shutterstock

4. It is also part of the “Ring of fire”

Unfortunately, Colombia is also an Earthquake-prone country and it’s located within the Ring of Fire. There is also a risk for tsunamis, which makes this one of the scariest Colombia facts. 

5. Changua is the most popular choice for breakfast

In short, Changua is a Colombian milk and egg soup, and it’s a common dish for a traditional breakfast. 

Changua

Photo: Shutterstock

6. There is a Colombian river that has 5 different colors

Caño Cristales is a natural wonder of Colombia and it’s quite fascinating because it has 5 different colors. It is famous for its striking colors in yellow, green, blue, red, and black, which are caused by a special type of plant living on the riverbed. 

cano cristales

Photo: Shutterstock

7. La Quinceañera is widely celebrated

When a girl turns 15 it is customary to organize a La Quinceañera for her. It is basically a celebration of her becoming a woman, and in Latin countries, it is one of the biggest days of a woman’s life. 

Normally, a big party will be thrown in her honor and she will be dressed in a beautiful dress and get nice gifts. 

Quinceañera

Photo: Shutterstock

8. The country’s drug trade is worth 10 billion USD

You might already know that the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar was born in Colombia. And even though they stopped him, and several others the drug trade is still worth 10 billion USD. 

9. Aguardiente is considered as the national drink

Literally meaning “burning water” and the term can also be used for other liquors as Rum, Cognac, Whisky, Tequila and Vodka. But most people refer to a liquor which is named Aguardiente, and it’s made from Sugar Canes.

Aguardiente

Photo: Benoit Daoust / Shutterstock.com

10. The radio and public television play the national anthem twice a day

This is definitely one of the most interesting facts about Colombia. Every day, the radio and public television broadcasters must abide by the law and play the national anthem, not once but twice a day!

11. Medellin used to be known as the murder capital of the world

At worst, there was an estimated murder rate of 17 murders every single day in Medellin. However, in recent years it has seen a massive transformation and got a new face. 

It has also become a very popular spot for digital nomads thanks to low cost of living while still getting good standards and reliable Wi-Fi. 

Medellin

Photo: Shutterstock

12. Colombia is the third largest coffee exporter

Colombian coffee holds a high quality reputation within the coffee industry, and people from all over the world enjoy it. Coffee is also one of the country’s biggest exports, and worldwide, Colombia is the third largest exporter of coffee in the world. 

13. It is also the world’s leading producer of Emeralds

Emeralds are green gemstones that are some of the most valuable jewels on Earth. Colombia accounts for around 70-90% of the emerald market globally, and the trade of emeralds date back as far as pre-Columbian era.

Colombian Emerald

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Elders are deeply respected

I’m a firm believer that elders shall always be respected because they have lived a long life, and it is worth taking the time to listen and appreciate what they have done. Most colombians feel the same way, and elders are generally deeply respected within the society. 

15. It has been inhabited by indigenous people since at least 12,000 B.C

Colombia was a thriving country way before Christopher Columbus arrived. In fact, there are evidence of indigenous people living here more than 14,000 years ago. This is known as the pre-Columbian era. 

There are still a few tribal communities that live as their ancestors, mostly around the Amazon basin. However, most communities have abandoned their old ways and become influenced by the Colombian-Spanish culture. 

Colombian

Photo: Peek Creative Collective / Shutterstock.com

5 x Fun Facts about Colombia and its people

  • Colombians think it’s rude to say no
  • Shakira is Colombian, born in Barranquilla
  • Colombians eat ants with big asses, and it’s a popular street delicacy
  • There are pink dolphins living in the Amazon river
  • Colombian men always look into the eyes of the person while shaking hands
Shakira

Photo: Gustavo Miguel Fernandes / Shutterstock.com

5 x Colombia Facts for Kids

  • The most popular sport is football
  • 99% of the population speak Spanish
  • The country is named after Christopher Columbus, also known as Cristobal Colon
  • It’s normal for children to drink coffee with milk
  • The Andean Condor is the national animal of Colombia
Colombia facts for kids

Photo: Shutterstock

Bonus Fact

Colombia is home to some very beautiful beaches, such as this one in the Tayrona national park. 

Colombia beach

Photo: Shutterstock

General Facts about Colombia

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Colombia that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 49,9 million people
  • Capital: Bogota
  • Life expectancy: 75,1 years 
  • Highest Mountain: Pico Cristobal Colon
  • Land area: 1,141,748 km2 (440,831 sq mi)
  • Largest Lake: Lake Tota
  • National Day: 20 July
  • Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
  • President: Iván Duque
  • Currency: Peso (COP)
  • Official language: Spanish
  • Religion: Christianity
  • National song: Himno Nacional de la República de Colombia
  • Time zone: UTC−5 (COT)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +57
  • Country Code: CO
Bogota

Photo: Shutterstock

The Biggest Cities

If you’re looking for facts about Colombia, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities.

Bogota Cucuta
Medellin Soledad
Cali Ibague
Barranquilla Soacha
Cartagena Bucaramanga

Flag of Colombia

Colombian flag

Map of Colombia

Below you can see the country’s territory marked in yellow. As you can see it borders Venezuela, Panama, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

Colombia map

Photo: Shutterstock

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How many of these Colombia Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

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