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Before We Leave

A Little Background

We are leaving for Bogota Colombia on January 29, 2018 and will be in the country for a little more than three weeks. We will be traveling with an Intrepid Tour “Best of Columbia” https://www.intrepidtravel.com/ca/colombia/best-colombia-108652 We will be adding on a regular basis to our blog and hope that you are able to follow our journey. A bit of history follows below.


Colombia is situated in the northwest of South America and shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is a unitary, constitutional republic. The territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Muisca, Quimbaya and the Tairona. Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, and thereby possesses a rich cultural heritage. The urban centres are mostly located in the highlands of the Andes mountains.


The Spanish set foot on Colombian soil for the first time in 1499 and in the first half of the 16th century initiated a period of conquest and colonization, ultimately creating the New Kingdom of Granada with as capital Santafé de Bogotá. Independence from Spain was acquired in 1819 but by 1830 the "Gran Colombia" Federation was dissolved. The Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903.


Since the 1960s the country has suffered from an armed conflict between government forces, leftist guerrilla groups and right wing paramilitaries which escalated in the 1990s but then decreased from 2005 onward. Despite Colombia having the dubious distinction of being the world leading producer of coca for many years, slowly but surely, this has diminished to the extent that in 2010, the country reduced cocaine production by 60%, relative to the peak in 2000. In that same year Peru surpassed Colombia as the main producer of coca leaves in the world. The level of drug-related violence was halved in the last 10 years and dropped below that of countries like Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago.


Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Ecologically, it is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries, and the most densely biodiverse of these per square kilometer. Colombia is a middle power and a regional actor with the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, is part of the six leading emerging markets and is a member of the UN, the WTO, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, and other international organizations. Colombia has a diversified economy with macroeconomic stability and favorable growth prospects in the long run.


Posted by Fredricgail2017 12:08 Archived in Colombia

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