Country Information Colombia

Location
  Colombia covers 1.14 mio. sqkm.  It borders in the North on the Caribbean, in the West on Panama and the Pacific Ocean, in the South on Ecuador and Peru, in the Southeast on Brazil and in the East on Venezuela.
Population
  Approximately 46 million inhabitants including Pre-Colombian Natives, Europeans, Africans and Arabs, which makes Colombia a multicultural nation today.
Capital
  Bogotá
Politics & Economy
  Colombia is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. It is the third largest economy in South America and is rich in natural resources. Its main exports include petroleum, coal, coffee, flowers and other agricultural products, emeralds and gold. The tourist sector is developing fast and getting more and more important for the country's economy.
Currency
  Colombian Peso
Language
  Spanish, so called Castellano
Time Difference
  - 5hours GMT
Voltage
  110V alternating current, it is recommendable to bring a multi-adapter
Public Holiday
  01. January, 06. January, Manudy Thursday & Good Friday, 01. May, Ascension, Corpus Christi, 29. June, 20. Juli, 07. August, 15. August, 12. Oktober, 1. November, 11. November, 08. December, 25. December
Opening hours
  Shops are generally open from 9:00 am – 6/7:00 pm, supermarkets and shopping malls often till 8 pm or even longer, except on Mondays shops are closed or open as of 10am. Banks open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 4.00 pm.
Climate
  Colombia has a variety of climates according to the altitudes:
Hot areas:
Below 1000 m (3280 ft) average temperatures of  28°C-35°C (82-95°F)
In this area are: The Pacific Region, the Caribbean islands San Andres & Providencia, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Mompox, Cali, Neiva and Leticia.
Temperate areas:
Between 1000-2300 m (3280-7545 ft) average temperatures of  23°C-26°C (73-79°F).
In this area are: Villa de Leyva, Barichara, Medellin, Pereira, Armenia, Manizales, Popayan, San Agustin
Cool areas:
Between 2300-3500 m (7545-11480 ft) average temperatures of 8°C-18°C (46-64°F).
In this area are: Bogota, Zipaquirá, Tunja, Pasto, Ipiales
Snowcapped mountains:
Are found from 4700 m (15420 ft) up. In the mountains, temperature changes all the time: in the morning cold, at noon up to 20° C (68°F), at night very cold. Temperatures are between -18°C and +20°C (-0.4 and +68°F).
Best time to travel
  October till March, in the subtropical regions from May till September.
Clothing
  The perfect outfit depends on the destination: visitors should use regular outdoor wear, protecting against the wind and rain; visitors at the coast and of the tropical regions should use summer clothes, in the temperate areas one should be prepared for the changes of temperature from day to night. In the bigger cities it is recommendable to wear more formal clothes, especially when visiting fine restaurants or events.
Tourist Destinations
  Bogotá Gold Museum and the historical part "La Candelaria"
  Zipaquirá underground Salt Cathedral
  Cartagena the walled city, National Park of the Rosario Islands, Mucura Island
  Santa Marta
the National Park Tayrona and the lost city in the Sierra Nevada
  Peninsula La Guajira
the Caribbean desert
  Chicamocha
National Park
  San Agustin / Tierradentro archeological highlights
  Medellin Sculptures of Fernando Botero, Cathedral, Zona Rosa, botanical garden, Museo de Antioquia
  Coffee Triangle Manizales, Pereira, Armenia
  Cali the town of Salsa
  Leticia
port of the Colombian, Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon
Flora & Fauna
  Colombia has green hilly landscapes with numerous waterfalls and ravines as well as Paramo landscapes, volcanic mountains and desert areas.
The Caribbean coastline is one of the most varied coastlines in the world: tropical rain woods, coastal mountains with lagoon landscapes.
The Pacific coastline impresses by its volcanic dark sand beaches with jungle covered steep slopes.
The wildlife in Colombia is as varied as its climatic regions. In the warmer areas you find all kind of birds, a paradise for ornithologists.
The Eastern Llanos is a treeless savanna that is covered with swamp grasses and sedges in the low-lying areas and with long-stemmed and carpet grasses in the drier areas. Much of the Llanos is subject to seasonal flooding. Most mammals nest in the gallery forests and feed on the grassland; among these are the anteater, jaguar, armadillo, tapir and capybara, which is the world’s largest living rodent.
The Amazon area you might see puma, monkey, anaconda, cayman, toucan and ara.
Food & Drink
  The most popular dishes of Colombia's cuisine, influenced heavily by the Spanish and Indigenous populations are  Ajiaco, Bandeja Paisa and Arecos.
Souvenirs
  Leather goods, craft industry (pottery, masks and cloth, wall hangings and bags) and replicas of the Gold Museum are the most liked souvenirs.