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Colombia is located at the northern tip of South America. It is the fourth largest country in South America and one of the continent's most populous nations. The country shares the northwestern border with Panama, Venezuela and Brazil to the east, Ecuador and Peru to the south.
Race and ethnicity in Colombia descend mainly from three racial groups; Amerindians, African Descendants and Caucasians making the country one of the most diverse in the world.
Colombia’s varied geography and the impressive landscape also resulted in the development of very strong regional identities. The urban centres are mostly located in the highlands of the Andes Mountains.
Bogotá is Colombia’s capital and largest city. Its cobblestoned centre ‘La Candelaria’ features colonial era landmarks for example, the neo classical performance hall ‘Teatro Colón’ and the 17th century ‘Iglesia de San Francisco’.
It’s also home to popular museums including the ‘Museo Botero’, showcasing Fernando Botero’s art, and the ‘Museo del Oro’, displaying pre-Columbian gold pieces.
Colombia’s economy is South America’s third largest, behind Brazil and Argentina. It is the third largest oil producer and has the largest coal reserves in Latin America and the world’s fourth-largest coal exporter.
The country heavily depends on exports of petroleum, coffee, and cut flowers. Gold, silver, emeralds and platinum are also majorly produced in Colombia.
Colombia is planning to boost its oil exploration activities. In 2013, the country crossed the threshold of one million barrels per day, but still lags behind regional oil powerhouses Venezuela and Brazil in terms of reserves. It therefore, aims to focus on new technologies, offshore development and unconventional oil to enhance the sector.
Tourism is another important sector in Colombia’s economy. Its major attractions which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List include: Cartagena, Santa Marta and San Andrés to mention a few.
Recently, the nation’s capital has become Colombia’s major tourist destination because of its improved museums and entertainment facilities and its major urban renovations, including the rehabilitation of public areas, development of parks, and the creation of an extensive network of cycling routes.