Welcome to the land of coffee and emeralds. Welcome to the land where the Andes put their roots into South American continent, where Pacific Ocean embraces the Caribbean Sea, where the desert winks the amazon and where the sound of an ancient time has left space to poetry; the land where there is a salsa step or blue chords of an accordion at the sea shore. Welcome to the land of Gabriel García Márquez and its magical realism. Welcome to the archaeological ruins of San Agustín and the Lost city. Welcome to Cartagena de Indias with its colonial class, to Barranquilla and Pasto with their famous carnivals, to Santiago de Cali with its joy and its musical rhythms, to Medellín with its Flowers Festival. Welcome to the country with more birds and orchids species in the world. Welcome to a magical land that is joy and elegance. Welcome to the legend of “El Dorado”… Welcome to this wonderful trip which is the Colombian mosaic with its people, music, culture, traditions, smiles, flavours… Welcome to Colombia!
The Andean Mountains is the most spectacular and important mountain range in Latin America and divides the Colombian territory into three independent branches: the Western Range, the Central Range and the Eastern Range. The Andean Mountains enters Colombia in the southwestern part of the country and is divided into two ranges: the Western and the Central Ranges. The Central Range divides itself into two branches in the Colombian Massif also known as the Almaguer Knot, giving birth to the Eastern Cordillera. The so-called Pacific Ring of Fire is also very popular because it is formed by numerous volcanoes and is found in this region. The volcano Galeras which is near the town of Pasto and the Nevado del Ruiz which is also a volcano are famous for their recent activity.
This region spreads 1600 km along the Caribbean Sea. Despite the weather conditions of the Caribbean, this region gathers inside the desert of “La Guajira”, mountains cover up with rain forests and even snow areas at the mountain range of Santa Marta. This mountain range is one of the highest in the world (5770 AMSL); swamps and savahana of Magdalena, Cesar and Sucre departments. Gulfs with white beaches like Morrosquillo beach, jungle at Urabá’s Gulf and fascinating typical landscapes of the Caribbean. Near to Cartagena, you may find the Rosario and San Bernardo archipelago, coral islands paradises. At 700 km from the Caribbean coast, it is possible to arrive to the San Andrés and Old Providence archipelago. This authentic oasis of islands, islets and sand bars extends 500km over the Caribbean Sea.
The Colombian pacific coast extends 1300km along and it characterizes for being one of the rainiest area in the planet, with 10.000 cubic meters of rainfall per year. Entering from the north, the mountain range of Baudó gets into the Pacific Ocean, this region is characterized by bays and inlets that are the front page of a marvelous and diverse jungle area. The southern side of this region, which is more plain and stable, it is characterized by the presence of numerous rivers with great flow that run near to pristine and wild beaches, where you can find variety of mangrove swamp ecosystems. 56km far from the coast, you can find the Gorgona and Gorgonilla islands, declared as National Wild Park and considered extraordinary fauna and flora sanctuaries. These islands are a scenary of humpback whales migration, once a year. 300km far from the coast, you can find the Malpelo islet, one emerging rock in the ocean surrounded by an extraordinary submarine life.
This great region goes until the Orinoco River, natural border with Venezuela. It extends from the center of the country to the east in a flatland that is characterized by savannahs and meadow downs among forest and rivers of great flow. The Orinoquía covers an area of 230.000 km2, that is, 20% of Colombian territory. In the southwestern side of this region, you may find the mountain range of “La Macarena”, one independent mountain range of “Los Andes”. This area presents an extraordinary biodiversity due to the characteristics of this zone, in which converges natural and typical elements from “Los Andes”, the Amazon and the Orinoquía itself.
With the largest tropical forest and the largest river in the world, the Amazon rainforest is one of the greatest treasures of Colombia. It is a prodigious place, not only by the indigenous people that inhabit it and the immense Amazon River that in some points looks like a sea, but also by the life that is generated both on land and in water. It is the largest ecological reserve on the planet, with an unimaginable abundance of plant and animal species. The Amazon rainforest covers the third part of the Colombian territory. The Colombian Amazonian rainforest is a traditional place for scientists interested in learning from indigenous shamans the secrets of "talking" with nature. The world sees the Amazon rainforest as the planet's largest oxygen reserve, but it is much more than that: it is the homeland of a very special population and a living laboratory of animals and plants.