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Discover Colombia with Timothy Tye

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Cartagena at dusk, ColombiaCartagena at dusk, Colombia
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authorshipNorma Gòmez
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Colombia is a country located in the northwestern part of South America. It shares a border with Venezuela and Brazil to the east, Ecuador and Peru to the south, and Panama to the northwest. Colombia has a coastline with the Caribbean Sea to the north, and with the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Colombia is 1,141,748 sq km (440,831 sq mi) and has a population of about 46 million people (2011 estimate). It is a unitary presidential republic. The official language spoken in Colombia is Spanish. It declared independence from Spain on 20 July 1810, though the independence was only recognized on 7 August, 1819.

The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP). The time zone of Colombia is five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-5). Traffic is driven on the right in this country. The phone IDD code is +57.

Teatro Heredia, CartagenaTeatro Heredia, Cartagena
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Centro Internacional, BogotaCentro Internacional, Bogota
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authorshipPedro Felipe
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In 2010, Colombia had a nominal GDP of $283 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $6,220. The per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is $9,445. The country has the fourth largest economy in Latin America. However it has a wide gap in income disparity between the rich and the poor.

Planning your visit to Colombia

Visitors who do not need a visa to visit Colombia include nationals of most European countries, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States, if they are staying for less than 90 days.

Sunset at Cartagena, ColombiaSunset at Cartagena, Colombia
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The main gateway to Colombia is the El Dorado International Airport (BOG) in Bogota. There are international airports in Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín, Pereira and San Andreas.

It is also possible to enter Colombia by road from Venezuela and Ecuador, and by boat from Panama.

Major Cities in Colombia

World Heritage Sites in Colombia

Colombia ratified the World Heritage Convention on 24 May, 1983.

As of August 2010, there are a total of six World Heritage Sites in Colombia, comprising four cultural sites and two natural sites. Of these, one of the natural sites is also on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Colombia has a further six sites on the World Heritage Tentative List.

Colombia served two terms on the World Heritage Committee, in 1989-1995 and 1999-2005.

Sites in Colombia on the World Heritage Tentative List

  1. Buritaca 200 - Ciudad Perdida - Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (1993)
  2. Sistema Hidráulico Prehispánico del Río San Jorge (1993)
  3. Parque Nacional Natural Chiribiquete (1993)
  4. Qhapaq Ñan (Main Andean Road) in Colombia (2005)
  5. Seaflower Marine Protected Area (MPA) (2007)

Places of Interest in Colombia

  1. Amacayacu National Park
  2. Catedral de Sal, Zipaquira
  3. Ciudad Perdida
  4. Cocuy National Park
  5. Corales del Rosario
  6. Isla Gorgona
  7. Los Nevados National Park
  8. San Gil
  9. Tayrona National Park

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