Colombia is located in the northwest South America, bordering states are Ecuador in the southwest, Panama in the northwest (since 1903 from Colombia separately), Venezuela in the northeast, Brazil in the southeast and Peru in the south. The coastline to the Atlantic is 1,626 km, to the Pacific 1,448 km.
According to militarynous, Colombia is usually divided into four geographically very different regions.
Here is an accurate topographic map of Colombia.
Most of western Colombia is determined by the Andes mountains. They can be divided into three major mountain ranges:
in the western, central and eastern Cordillera. Large, partly navigable rivers such as the Cauca and Magdalena run between the mountain ranges in the direction of the Caribbean. The west of Colombia is drained through the Atrato into the Caribbean Sea and through the Baudó and San Juan rivers into the Pacific Ocean. In the high mountains there are still active volcanoes, including Nevado del Huila (5,750 m), Nevado del Ruiz (5,400 m), Nevado del Tolima (5,215 m) and Nevado de Santa Isabel (4,965 m).
The world’s highest coastal mountain range is located on the Caribbean coast of northern Colombia. This isolated mountain range also contains the highest mountains in Colombia, the 5,775 m high Pico Cristóbal Colón and Pico Simón Bolívar.
The regional climate in these tropical high mountains is mainly determined by the altitude.
Caribbean coastal lowlands
The lowlands on the coast of the Caribbean are largely flat and, apart from the coastal strip, sparsely populated. Wetlands are dominant in large regions of the lowlands and make adequate infrastructural development difficult. Off the Caribbean coast are the island of Fuerte and two archipelagos: San Bernardo and the Islas del Roasrio.
Pacific coastal lowlands
Although there are some port cities in the coastal lowlands to the Pacific, a large part of the region is almost uninhabited due to the extremely hot and humid climate (up to 10,000 mm of precipitation per year). The vegetation consists of species-rich tropical rainforest, and as in the Caribbean lowlands, opening up traffic is very difficult. The rivers serve as traffic routes, the Atrato flowing in the direction of the Caribbean plays the main role here.
Off the Pacific coast are the islands of Malpelo, Gorgona (a former prison colony) and Gorgonilla. Further away in the Atlantic Ocean (about 770 km in northwest Colombia) rises the archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia, the individual islands are Providencia, San Andrés, Roncador, Santa Catalina, Serrana, Quita Sueño and Serranilla. The islands of Roncador, Quita Sueño, and Serrana are uninhabited and belonged to the US-American external possessions until the 1980s.
Amazonia and Orinocia
The eastern half of Colombia is defined by forested plains. The rivers Yapura, Putumayo, Guaviare and Meta flowing here flow either into the Amazon or Orinoco.
The direction of flow of the rivers serves as the main distinguishing feature between two large areas: the region with the rivers flowing into the Orinoco is called Orinocia, in Colombia also called Llanos Orientales. Orinocia is mostly flat, the only mountain range being the Serranía de la Macarena. These mountains can be attributed to the Andes, but are much older than the Cordilleras, which is among other things in the north-west-south-east direction. The Orinocia is covered by wet savannahs, in the rainy season it is possible that the few local roads become impassable. Outside of the eastern Andes region, Orinocia in Colombia is almost uninhabited.
The Colombian part of the Amazon is located in the south-eastern quarter of the country. Dense tropical rainforest thrives here, rainforest with extremely high biodiversity. apart from a few indigenous population groups, this region of Colombia is also hardly populated.
Most of Colombia is in the tropical climate zone (only the north is determined by the subtropical climate), due to which the proximity to the equator varies temperature only a little over the year. However, the temperature changes with altitude, which leads to different climatic zones from the hot lowlands to the cold Andean peaks – within a few hours you can cross these completely different climates. With every increase in altitude of 1,000 m, the temperature drops by about 6 ° C.
In the lowlands (Llanos) there is a tropical climate above 24 ° C, between 1,000 and 2,000 m moderate climate (with 17 – 24 ° C), between 2,000 and 3,000 m cold (12 – 17 ° C) and in the mountain regions 3,000 m (Páramos) high alpine glacial climate (less than 12 ° C).
It rains the heaviest in the west of the Andes : in southern Colombia about 3,000 mm fall annually, in the north even up to 10,000 mm. Some places even reach up to 16,000 mm annually, making them one of the world’s rainiest regions.
The east of Colombia is drier. In the high valleys and high basins, the amount of precipitation reaches approx. 1,000 mm due to the location in the rain shadow of the Andes. Parts of the Caribbean coast are also very little rainy due to the trade winds (less than 400 mm per year).
Colombia has two seasons : verano or La sequia (summer, or dry) and invierno or temproada de lluvia (winter, or wet).
The pattern of the Seasonsvaries in different parts of the country and has been heavily influenced by El Niño and La Niña in recent years. For example, there are two dry and rainy seasons per year in the Andes region. The main dry season is between December and March. A short, less dry period is between July and August. However, this general pattern is changing across the Andean zone.
The weather in Orinocia has a more distinct pattern: there is a dry season between December and March while the rest of the year is wet. The climate in Amazonia is not uniform, but generally relatively humid all year round.