Interesting Facts about Colombia

Colombia is the very large country on the continent of South America. It is home to around 10% of the Amazon Rainforest which makes up an estimated 35% if the entire territory of the country.

It is a country that seems to have it all, it has a rich history, home to many diverse environments, and areas of natural beauties as well as a unique local culture. In this interesting facts about Colombia we are going to be telling you all about this

A Host of Multiple International Sport Competitions

Colombia has hosted many different international sports competitions throughout its history such as the Copa America 2001 competition that was held in a variety of cities in the country. By going on a trip to Cali you can check out this proud sports history, the inland city that is close to the Pacific coast is home to the Estadio Pascual Guerrero stadium named after a local Colombian poet. The stadium is able to host 35,000 although it was expanded to have an attendance of 45,000 during international competitions.

Additionally, the Futsal World Cup was held in Colombia in 2016, the FIFA Under-20s World Cup in 2011, the National Games in 2004 and was the first-ever host country of the Bolivarian Games.

The Tallest Palm Trees

Apart from that central Colombia is home to what is believed to be the tallest palm trees in the world, the species of palm tree located here grow up to 60 meters tall. This is very tall compared to the average height of between 10 and 15 meters for a normal palm tree found elsewhere in the world.

It is not known for sure why this phenomenon exists, but scientists believed that it is because a forest was located where the palm trees now stand on green empty fields. Due to being located in a forest, the palm trees naturally adapted to be tall so that they can get more sunlight; this adaptation has thus stayed even after the forest disappeared.

Home to Thousands of Different Animals

It is estimated that the country is home to 7,000 different species of animals, and more interestingly the largest variety of butterflies in any other country in the world. Around 1,600 different species of butterflies are located inside the borders of the country. Many of these animals live inside the Amazon Rainforest which as we have already stated in this article makes up 35% of the entire country.

The Amazon Rainforest is a diverse, untouched environment that offers a genuine experience for tourists that are visiting, as the Colombian section of the forest is not built up like those in Peru and Brazil with Colombia having strict regulations around deforestation and visiting protected reserves where endangered species live.

The River of Five Colors

Furthermore, there is The River of Five Colors that is better known by its native name in Spanish, the Cano Cristales. It is an ordinary river except that is inhabited by colorful plants known as Macarenia Clavigera. These colorful plants that sit at the bottom of the riverbed are what provides it with its colorful appearance.

This river located in central Colombia in the Meta province is a major tourist destination. Visitors are able to walk by the banks of this shallow river while taking in the mesmerizing view and enjoying the wildlife that lives in this river which includes fish, birds, and reptiles.

Bullfighting Is a Popular Sport

Another interesting fact to point out in our interesting facts about Colombia is that a very popular sport in the country is bullfighting. Many large venues host this traditional Spanish sport, if you take a trip to Cali you can visit the Plaza de Toros de Canaveralejo which is a massive bullfighting arena that has a capacity of over 16,000 people.

This ancient sport, that dates back to 711 AD to Spanish Kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula when the first official bullfighting event was held to celebrate the coronation of King Alfonso VIII. It is very likely that where you live such a sport does not exist, so visiting Colombia and attending such an event can be a great experience for you.

Named After Christopher Columbus

You may have already guessed or known this but the country of Colombia is named after the famous Italian explorer Christopher Columbus who is credited as the first European to rediscover the New World. The discovery by Columbus subsequently led to further exploration by Europeans and eventual colonization. You can learn more about other South American countries on the travel portal.

The reason why the country is named after him is because Columbus’ crew were the first Europeans to land in what is now the country of Colombia in 1499 which is one of the first landings by European explorers on the mainland South American continent.

A Unique National Sport

We have already talked about Colombian sports in this article, but I am sure that most of you have never heard of a sport called Tejo. It is a sport that was invented by indigenous people that have lived in what is now the country before the European settlers arrived. The aim of the sport is to hit three different targets using a metal disc. One of the targets provides more points when hit while the other two targets provide fewer points but no difference in points between them.

Once you successfully hit a target there will be a little explosion created by the gunpowder or fireworks that are placed on the target. This is what makes this sport so fun and exciting to play. Although it is not a professional sport that is played in front of thousands of people. It is the national sport of the country that is played at festivals and also during social events between family and friends.

The Famous Colombian Coffee

If you are a lover of coffee, then you would have likely heard of Colombian coffee and have even tried it. It is a common misconception that coffee is a native plant of Colombia when in fact that is not true. It was actually introduced to the country in 1790, but it was a perfect fit for the climate of the country which saw the agriculture of the plant boom.

Today the country is the third-biggest producer of coffee in the world with Colombian coffee being world-famous and enjoyed by billions of people around the world every year.

National Holidays

Colombians absolutely love their holidays; in fact, Colombia is ranked second in the entire world based on the number of national holidays that are hosted in the country every single year.

In total there are 18 national holidays in Colombia every year, the majority of which are Catholic holidays while the rest are special events in the country’s history such as the Independence Day celebrations that take place on the 20th of July and the Battle of Boyaca celebrations on the 7th of August every year.

An Abundance of Emeralds

A further fact to feature in this interesting facts about Colombia article is that the country is the biggest producer in the world of emeralds. Emeralds are a valuable gemstone that occurs naturally and is highly valued for the distinct green color that makes it great for jewelry. The emerald mines of Colombia are located in the Andes Mountains that run through the eastern parts of the country.

These emeralds are linked to many local folk stories and legends such as the story of the god are of the Muisca people who is said to have turned the tears of the very first human woman on Earth who disobeyed him into emeralds. Today the Funa and Tena peaks are named after this story and are also home to significant reserves of emeralds.