Country - Colombia
Colombia Country Information
Colombia lies to northwest of the South American continent. It is connected by land to the nation of Central America by Panama. Most of the Colombian south western border is humid with Pacific ocean waters while its northern peripheral border is doused by Mediterranean sea. The northeastern and the eastern border is shared by Venezuela and the south eastern border is shared by Brazil. The south western border is shared by Ecuador and Peru.
Bogota is the capital and the largest city of Colombia. The country is a thick mixture of different cultures, descendants of epoch-old races and motley of languages. Many of its urban centres are situated on the elevated lands of the Andes. Spanish is the main official language which reminds the country’s prolonged rule of Spain in the annals of history.
Colombia retains its specialty as a nation with a culture absolutely unique to itself. The separate identity of the country is more easily noticeable by international tourists.
Quindio Farms of Colombia reinforce and lift up the international prestige of the nation as being the third largest exporter of coffee in the world, closely following after Brazil and Vietnam. The true natural aroma of coffee can be strongly sensed when you are near the processing units. A cup of hot indigenous coffee in Jesus Martin Cafe in the nearby town of Salento leaves your tongue smeared with long-lasting flavour.
Not far away from Quindio Farms, the Cocora valley arrests the mind of visitors with cloud-canopied green gargantuan mountains. The colossal size of mountains is overpowering despite being far away from visitors separated by deep abysses. Due to the ever present low-hovering clouds in the valley, the forest has earned the name of “Cloud Forest”. The dark green acclivities as well as the light-green flat grasslands catch the attention of visitors owing to the veritably perpendicular tall wax-palm trees whose stems look like manually erected perfect straight poles, reaching an average height of 223 feet (63 meters). The wax-palm trees are widely separated from one another by a lot of space as if to honour the personal realm of each individual tree. The numerous clouds are so immense that they wrap the mountains too closely to allow a full view of the hills to the visitors.
Far away from the Cocora valley, at the north Caribbean coast of Colombia visitors can pamper themselves swimming at Tayrona National Park. But be attentive to read the warning signboards to find out safer zones for swimming. For those who have an undying curiosity to personally watch exotic bio-diverse life, the park renders a lot for observing the tropical forest animals like capuchins, red howlers, titis or an occasional agouti-complexioned forest rodent. A further tolerable trudge for a few more hours will take you into a sudden open-area of Cabo San Juan beach which cheers you up and offers a fantastic view including a single thatched shack built on a small mountable hill amid passive sea waves.
Cartagena is a place of historical importance of being one of the oldest trade centres in Colombia. The craggy surfaces of house walls are replete with more than life-size graffiti art. The coloured sketches on the walls are too big to miss the attention of sightseers. The mural art is strikingly large to grab the attention of visitors everywhere in the capital city Bogota as well.
Behind the currently flourishing graffiti art in Bogota, there was a gruesome incident which made people’s heart bleed with sympathy over the ghastly killing of a 16-year old boy by police for tagging the mural sketch of the comic character “Felix the cat”. The public outrage got to extreme proportions and became so intense that the Bogota government had to revise the penal code and excluded the graffiti art from the official list of crimes. The government had even gone a step ahead to encourage sketches on walls by rewarding the artists for the best mural sketch. A graffiti artist had even won a prize of $10000 for his mural sketch of the legendary writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Today graffiti art in Colombia has gained wide acceptance from all walks of society and is no longer a crime. Street art is vividly conspicuous at public places and has become inalienable /inseparable from the present culture of the nation.
Colombia is considered as one of the fast developing nations in the world with its high Human Development Index (2011) at 0.72 and GDP (PPP) of $14,171 as per an estimate of 2016.