COLOMBIA TOURISM INFORMATIONS: Currently Colombia, is a secure country located in the northwestern region of South America. Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil, to the south by Ecuador and Peru, to the North by the Atlantic Ocean - through the Caribbean Sea, and to the West by Panama and the Pacific Ocean.
Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth-largest country in South America with an area seven times greater than that of New England and more than twice that of France. Its vast territory is made up of diverse physical contrasts ranging from the towering snowcapped peaks of the Andes, the hot and humid plains of the Amazon River Basin, and a vast tropical coastal plain in the north. It is the second most populated nation in South America (after Brazil), and the largest Spanish speaking nation on the continent in terms of population. Despite its large territory, Colombia s population is not evenly distributed with most Colombians living in the mountainous western portion of the country as well as the northern coastline - most living in or near the capital city of Bogotá. The southern and eastern portions of the country are mostly sparsely inhabited tropical rainforest and inland tropical plains containing small farming communities and indigenous tribes. Colombia is considered to be among 17 of the most megadiverse countries in the world.
After experiencing decades of steady growth (average GDP growth exceeded 4% in the 1970-1998 period), Colombia experienced a recession in 1999 (the first full year of negative growth since 1929), and the recovery from that recession was long and painful. Colombia s economy suffers from weak domestic and foreign demand, austere government budgets, and serious internal armed conflicts. The IMF Economic Indicators published in September 2006, forecast the Colombian GDP to reach US .69 billion in 2008. Inflation has been below 6% for 2004, 2005, and 2006. Colombia s main exports include manufactured goods (41.32% of exports), petroleum (28.28%), coal (13.17%), and coffee (6.25%). Colombia is one of the largest producers of pop-up books in the world :).
A coffee farmer meticulously sorts coffee beans near Armenia, Quindío. Colombia is also the largest exporter of plantains to the United States. Within Latin America, Colombia is known as a provider of fine lingerie, with the industry being centered in Medellín. All imports, exports, and the general trade balance are in record levels, and the inflow of export dollars has resulted in substantial revaluation of the Colombian Peso. (1930 COP = 1 USD ). The problems facing the country range from pension system problems to drug dealing to high unemployment. Several international financial institutions have praised the economic reforms introduced by current President Álvaro Uribe, which include measures designed to bring the public-sector deficit below 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). The government s economic policy and its controversial democratic security strategy have engendered a growing sense of confidence in the economy, and GDP growth in 2003 was among the highest in Latin America.
CARTAGENA: ''The charm of the walled city''. The magic of Cartagena lies in its massive fortifications, the warmth of the people, the richness of the architecture and the infinite range of cultural expression of a doughty and valiant people. The city is full of romance, and there is the setting for many a tale of times past in every street and square, and along the walls that bound it, waiting for the sunset to evoke past struggles. On a sunny day vibrates with color along the facades of the buildings and the sea breeze refreshes the visitor on his way along the narrow streets of the old city. The monuments are there: sober, ancient monasteries, churches, battlements and the remains of bloody battles: a testimony to the invincible men and women who brought freedom to the "heroic city". Night falls, and is bathed in a light of its own, coming to life and transforming itself. It is a unique atmosphere that captivates the visitor and takes him back to times past and forgotten, in a horse and carriage. From the walls there is a beautiful view of the sea. Then, euphoria grows and the tireless fiesta dances on until the first rays of the sun sweep away the mysteries of the night. Yes, this is Cartagena. A city that tells its own past, its fascinating history and its rebirth in every age.
SANTA MARTA: Is a Colombian city, the capital of the department of Magdalena and third major urban center of the Caribbean Region after Barranquilla and Cartagena. Founded on July 29 of 1525 by the Spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas, it is the oldest existing city in Colombia as it was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia, and second oldest of South America. This city, located in the bay of the same name, is one of the leading tourist destinations in the Colombian Caribbean. Its location between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, with the highest peaks in the country, and the Caribbean Sea, make it a very attractive destination to explore the variety of wildlife that exists in the area. It also provides many cultural and historical sites to visit. As an important fact, Simon Bolivar died on a farm named Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino which at the time was outside the city on December 17, 1830. Because of this, the Constitution of 1991 conferred upon the city of Santa Marta, the character of District. Its most popular and busiest business area is located in the historic downtown near the Market Square. The plane between the first Carrera, 22nd Street and Railroad Avenue frame the historical and commercial center of the city. The current symbols of the city of Santa Marta are bicolored flag White and Blue sky, and two coats of Arms. The first one, being used since May 1929 that has a turret and a ship with four rows. And the second one which the municipal government started using in 1951 that includes the virgin Virgin Mary.
The Tayrona National Natural Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona) is a protected area in the Colombian northern Caribbean region and within the jurisdiction of the Department of Magdalena and 34 kilometres (21 mi) from the city of Santa Marta. The park presents a biodiversity endemic to the area of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range presenting a variety of climates (mountain climate) and geography that ranges from arid sea level to 900 meters above sea level. The park covers approximately 30 square kilometres (12 sq mi) of maritime area in the Caribbean sea and approximately 150 square kilometres (58 sq mi) of land. It was the second most visited national park in Colombia in 2009, with 211.833 visitors. The most visited park was the Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park.
The Don Diego River is one of 36 rivers of the Sierra Nevada who, before it flows into the Caribbean Sea, meets his little and warmer brother, the Don Dieguito River. Along the banks are found archaeological remains once inhabited by the indigenous people Tayrona, including their major city "Tayronaka." You can float down the Don Diego on inner tubes, gliding down the river to the sea, crossing the hamlet of the same name, witnessing indigenous reservations, nature preserves, and if you are lucky observe a few howler monkeys, tucans, macaws, parrots or other species.
Quebrada Valencia is located in a narrow valley among a tropical forest. After a short and pleasant hike, we arrive to a huge wall in which the river forms several pools and natural whirlpools which invites to take a refreshing bath. On the way back we can visit a cocoa plantation to know the processing of chocolate and enjoy 100% pure chocolate of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
La Boquilla is a fishing village about 10 minutes (by bus) from Cartagena... it's quiet, it has a long brown beach, a calm sea with clear dark waters, and some simple open-air beach restaurants. There are no pshing sellers like in Cartagena and the sea is, well... just like in Cartagena, which means that it is not spectacular. If you want a day out relaxing on a beach, then la Boquilla is a good option. People are friendly and go about their daily life while you hang around doing nothing. In the community of fishermen LA BOQUILLA, are the food landscapes, music and tours that will make an unforgettable trip.
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