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South America

Colombia

A map of ColombiaA map of ColombiaColombia lies in the northern reaches of the Andes Mountains, where three branches, or cordilleras, meet. Most of the country’s population lives in the cooler climates of these high valleys. Colombia’s lowlands have a hot, tropical climate; grassy plains stretch across the northeast, while much of the south lies in the Amazon Basin, covered by rainforest. Although Colombia has areas of desert, its western coast experiences some of the highest yearly rainfall on Earth. Such a wide range of habitats has made Colombia one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, home to thousands of animal and plant species.


A map of ColombiaA map of Colombia
Carnival parade, BarranquillaCarnival parade, Barranquilla

People

Colombia’s population is made up mostly of indigenous Amerindian people, descendants of Spanish colonists, and Africans who were brought to the country as slaves from the 16th century. People of mixed Amerindian and Spanish origin are known as “mestizo”. Around 99% of Colombians speak Spanish, but indigenous peoples usually also speak one of about 68 Amerindian languages. 

Colombia has a larger Spanish-speaking population than Spain.

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