Topography of Colombia
Columbus, in whose honor the country Colombia was named, never set foot on the soil of Colombia. During the time of the Spanish colonial rule, the country was still called New Granada (Nueva Granada). It was not until the beginning of the 19th century, at the time of Simón Bolívar, that the current name became common.
Colombia borders the Pacific Ocean in the west, Panama in the northwest, the Caribbean Sea in the north, Venezuela and Brazil in the east, and Peru and Ecuador in the south.
According to physicscat, Colombia extends from the Andes far into the Amazon and Orinoco lowlands. Almost 1,800 kilometers lie between the northern border of Colombia and its southern border (latitude 13 ° north to 4 ° south). The country, the highest point of which (Pico Cristóbal Colón near Santa Marta) rises 5,775 meters, is about twice the size of France.
In reality, only about a third of the “Andean state” Colombia is located in the high mountains. The vast majority of the country is occupied by the lowlands on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, but especially in the catchment area of the Amzona and Orinoco. However, because of the comparatively dense population of the Andean region, the name is appropriate.
Here, at the interface between South America and the Central American Land Bridge, the Andes split into several mountain ranges that run almost north-south and are separated from one another by elongated depressions. They have been created for several million years by uplifts and subsidence of the solid earth’s crust. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (there are several active volcanoes in Colombia) prove that the movements in the earth’s interior continue to the present day.
As the highest mountain range in western Colombia, the Western Cordillera rises to almost 5,000 m. The deep rift valley of the Rio Cauca adjoins this to the east and, beyond this depression, the central cordillera. In it are the active volcanoes, including the glaciated Nevado del Huila and the Tolima. Again separated from the Central Cordillera by a rift valley (that of the Rio Magdalena), the Eastern Cordillera forms the eastern flank of the Andes. Typical for this mountain range, which is up to around 5,600 m high, are extensive plateaus that were occupied by large lakes in colder periods.
The eastern lowlands extend from the foot of the Andes to the edge of the Guiana Mountains. Geologically it is divided into a western part with numerous sandstone table mountains (mesas) and a plain of crystalline rocks with individual mountains made of granite.
Colombia – money
Local currency: 1 Colombian peso is equal to 100 centavos
Currency abbreviation : CoP, COP
Banknotes are issued to the value of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 pesos, coins to the value of 20 (hardly used), 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos are in circulation.
Currency Exchange: The easiest way to exchange is US dollars. Banks (especially Bancolombia) and exchange offices (casas de cambio) offer the best rates.Hotelsoften also swap, but at worse rates. In smaller places there is sometimes no other option than to exchange money with money changers on the street, but be sure to watch out for attempted fraud (especially in Cartagena)
Colombian peso exchange rate
Currency converter at OANDA
Credit Cards: in upscale hotels and restaurants, as well as at car rental companies and when purchasing flight tickets, international credit cards can be used for payments without any problems; Visa and MasterCard are the most widespread. Credit card payments are also becoming increasingly popular in stores.
ATMs: With credit cards from Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus, cash can be withdrawn from the machines in local currency. Due to the general crime situation in Colombia, you should never give your credit cards out of your hand and check ATMs before using them to see whether the machine has been prepared to illegally read card data.Only use machines in busy streets, in shopping centers or in large banks.
Travelers Checks:The most common travelers checks in Colombia are American Express and Citicorp. They should be in US dollars. Not all banks change travelers checks, but it is possible in branches of Bancolombia and Union Colombiano. Switching in can be very tedious as a lot of data has to be recorded (including fingerprints).
Foreign exchange regulations: no restrictions on the import and export of currencies, but there is an obligation to declare.
Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.