Colombia Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Colombia?


The Republic of Colombia (about 440,000 square miles), is in northwest South America. Its location on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, proximity to the Panama Canal, and economic potential give it a position of international importance.

As well as its frontier with Panama on the northwest, Colombia shares borders with Ecuador and Peru on the south, with Brazil on the southeast, and with Venezuela on the northeast.

The Andes mountains dominate the western two-fifths of Colombia, giving it a very different character from the remaining eastern three-fifths. The Amazon Region of southeastern Colombia lies below the Equator.

Greater than 90% of the population are concentrated in the mountainous west and along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. The rest live in the Eastern Llanos, a large plains area, that constitutes 54% of the area.

Most live on plateaus and mountain slopes, where elevation reduces the equatorial heat and contributes to the people’s health and vigor. By concentrating people in isolated pockets at high elevations, the mountain ranges determine not only settlement patterns, but also lines of communication and travel, which parallel the ranges in a north-south direction. Movement from rural to urban areas has been heavy, and nearly three-quarters of the population are now urban.

Geography - note

only South American country with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea

Colombia Use of Natural Resources

Geographic Location South America
Total Area 439,733 Square Miles
1,138,910 Square Kilometers
Land Area 401,042 Square Miles
1,038,700 Square Kilometers
Water Area 38,691 Square Miles
100,210 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 3,920 Miles
6,309 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 4,197 Square Miles
10,870 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Brazil 1,644 km, Ecuador 590 km, Panama 225 km, Peru 1,800 km, Venezuela 2,050 km
Coastline 1,993 Miles
3,208 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 4 00 N, 72 00 W
Terrain flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains
Highest Point 5,775 Meters
Highest Point Location Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m
Lowest Point Location Pacific Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower
Time Zone UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

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