Colombia is officially known as the Republic of Colombia
and is named after Christopher Columbus. It is a constitutional
republic. The country is bordered by Panama, Venezuela, Brazil,
Ecuador and Peru, plus frontage on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific
Ocean. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and colonized the local Muisca, Quimbaya, and
Tairona tribes. After Spanish rule ended in 1810, the country
partnered with Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama at various times, but has
been independent since 1903. Spanish is the official language and
Colombia has a population of over 45 million. The capital and
largest city is Bogota. The port city of Cartagena is very
active. Colombia is ecologically diverse, with exposure to
ocean front environments, Andes highland areas and Amazon
rainforest. Despite the diversity in geography, the bond to Simon
Bolivar is consistent throught the land. Bolivar is the primary
emancipator of Hispanic South America from Spain. Expect to find a
Plaza de Bolivar in most cities. You can also expect a Cathedral and
a Gold Museum nearby, so reference to these does not provide any clear
indication of the city involved.
Colombia was dominated by drug cartels in the latter decades of the 21st
century, but has seen remarkable changes since 2010 and the country
is now a poplar and safe tourist destination. The most notorious
cartel in that period was the Medellin Cartel operated by Pablo Escobar.
Escobar's death in a gun fight in 1993 signalled the beginning of the
end of the cartel era. Colombia it still remains as the highest
producer of cocaine in the world despite significant declines in
Visas are required from some countries,
however many travellers will find that their country is exempt on the list
of countries requiring a visa to enter Colombia or check your specific country at
For a list of exempt countries, visit Project
Visa. In general, visas are not required for North America,
Australia and western Europe. When visiting Cartagena by cruise
ship, no documentation other than a passport is required.
Colombia's currency is the Colombian peso:
The climate of Colombia is mainly influenced by elevation.
Temperatures in Bogota will be cool year round, while Cartagena is
consistently hot and humid. In general, October is the rainiest
month in Colombia.