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Colombia - Overview

Colombia is located in South America and it is bordered by the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Brazil. Colombia is a Republic and declared its independence from Spain in 1810 when it became the Republic of Gran Colombia. Problems that the country has suffered in the past with drug trafficking are diminished after the recent no tolerance policy that the government has implemented.

There are approximately 45 million people living in the country though the size of the country means that it is not densely populated. The geography of Colombia varies from grassy prairies in the east as well as jungles and rainforests. The north of Colombia sees the longest range of mountains which are called the Eastern Cordillera. They stretch from the north of the country towards the Venezuelan border.

Colombia also boasts two islands, San Andres and Providencia which are situated 430 miles from the northern coastline.

One of the places which are proving very popular with both tourists and expats include the capital city of Bogotá. It is situated in the centre of the country at an altitude of 2600m. Many land marks have been preserved over the years such as the Capitol Municipal Palace and the Capilla del Sangrario and these attract many visitors each week.

The Amazon Basin covers almost one-third of Colombia's territory and has a thick tropical rainforest to the east which is mostly inhabited by native Indians. Most tourists will visit the small town of Leticia with many amenities for tourists. It is located on the banks of the Amazon River.

Football is Colombia's main sport with many major games played though out the year, Tennis is popular. Mountain climbers will be delighted with peaks reaching 6000m means there's a lot of challenging climbs with mostly unrivalled views.

Spanish is the official language of Colombia but there are a number of local dialects. Foreign languages which are used on a daily basis include English, French, German and Italian. The religion of Colombia is Christianity with small Jewish and Protestant communities. 90% of the Christian population are practising Catholics.

The currency of the country is the Peso and the cost of living is fairly low, so expats who move to the country can enjoy a relatively high standard of living for the equivalent of just a few hundred American dollars a month. There are expats who move to Colombia from all over the world and they are made welcome by the Colombian people.

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