Colombia has a very diverse geography and as such, is home to equally diverse nature and wildlife. With two coastlines on different oceans as well as the famous Andes Mountain range and part of the Amazon rainforest, there are many opportunities to experience unique flora and fauna throughout the country.
A favourite destination for bird watchers, Colombia is home to over 1,800 species of birds. This number is more than the amount of bird species found in North America and Europe combined. The national bird of Colombia is the Andean Condor which, naturally, inhabits the Andes Mountain range. One of the largest birds in the world, the condor has a wingspan of up to 3.2 m (10.5 ft).
As well as birds, Colombia also hosts over 450 mammal species. Of these 450 species, approximately 22% are listed as either endangered or critically endangered. Interestingly, Colombia has the largest number of terrestrial mammals (those that live predominantly or entirely on land) in the world. Some of the most common animals that are found in Colombia are anteaters, sloths, tapirs, spectacled bears, deer, capybaras, pumas, jaguars and several monkey species.
While there is a large population of terrestrial mammals in the country, Colombia’s two coastlines, one on the Pacific Ocean and one on the Caribbean means that the waters surrounding the country are home to diverse marine life. As Colombia is only now emerging as a popular tourist destination, its Pacific coast is truly a hidden gem that hosts some of the best whale watching opportunities in the world. Humpback whales are common here and the isolation of the area provides an incredibly unique experience. In the Chocó department on the northern Caribbean coast, leatherback sea turtles are frequent visitors returning each year to lay their eggs. Colombia hosts the island of Malpelo, a nature reserve and UNESCO listed World Heritage Site located 378 km (235 mi) from the mainland. Malpelo affords visitors amazing diving adventures as the area is known for its unique shark population which includes hundreds of hammerhead and silky sharks.
In order to preserve the country’s remarkable wildlife and fragile ecosystems, a network of protected areas has been established throughout the years. As of 2013, there were fifty-six designated areas that have been classified as national natural parks, flora and fauna sanctuaries, national reserves, parkways and unique natural areas. These various regions account for more than 10% of the country. Two of the most popular national parks of Colombia are Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park and Tayrona National Natural Park. Rosario and San Bernardo was established in 1977 as a way to protect colourful coral reefs and the underwater ecosystem that exists there. It is the only underwater park in the country boasting 52 species of coral and 215 fish species. Tayrona National Natural Park was designated in 1969 to preserve the biological and archaeological integrity of the area. Popular with bird lovers, the area is home to over 300 bird species as well as more than 100 mammal species.
Colombia Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Colombia.
Learn about the history and culture of Colombia, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Colombia’s nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with ‘Country Quickfacts’ compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you’re properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Colombia for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Colombia tours today!
Extend Your Trip
After your Colombia tours, why not consider another of Goway’s Latin America tours. These include a large selection of other exciting countries in Central and South America. We offer Chile vacation packages and Easter Island tours, Ecuador vacation packages which include Galapagos cruises, Peru vacatiion packages which include Machu Picchu tours and Brazil tours including Iguassu Falls tours among many others.