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Colombia Geography

Colombia geography implies the geographical location and terrain of Colombia. The geography of Colombia helps us to peruse the landscape of Colombia and thus, get an idea of the natural resources housed within the territory.

According to the Colombian geography, Colombia is the fourth largest country situated in South America. Colombia covers an area of 1,138,910 square kilometers that includes the 1,038,700 square kilometers of land and 100,210 square kilometers of water.

A snapshot at the Colombia geography can be as follows:
  • Location - North-west of South America.
  • Area - 1,138,910 km2
  • Boundaries - Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Isthmus of Panama.
  • Coastline - 3,208 km.
  • Maritime claims:
    • Economic zone - 200 nautical miles.
    • Territorial sea - 12 nautical miles.
  • Topography:
    • Caribbean and Pacific Lowlands.
    • Central and Andean Highlands.
    • High plateaus and fertile valleys.
    • Great plains.
  • Rivers - Magdalena, Putumayo and Cauca.
  • Natural resources:
  • Minerals - Gold, iron ore, coal, emeralds, natural nickel, silver, petroleum, platinum, etc.
  • Agricultural products - Coffee, fruits, flowers, etc.
  • Energy resources - Gas, natural gas, etc.

Moreover, the geography at Colombia maintains that Colombia has got a variety of temperatures. The variation in the temperature of Colombia is the resultant of the difference in the elevation of the land. The climate of Colombia is divided into three climatic zones, namely:
  • Hot (tierra caliente)
  • Temperate (tierra temblada)
  • Cold (tierra fria)
The geography in Colombia identifies that hottest month in Colombia is March; July and August seems to be coldest month and October is wettest month in Colombia. Precipitation in Colombia ranges from moderate to heavy. Rainfall is the highest in the Pacific Lowlands and eastern parts of Colombia.

Natural Resources
Colombia is known to possess a rich store of natural resources ranging from minerals to energy resources, agricultural products to fuels. Colombia natural resources are mainly centered around the Llanos Basin, situated in the foothills of Eastern Cordilla.

Colombia accounts for a large output of minerals and fuel oil. Talking about the natural resources at Colombia, it can be said that Colombia has the highest reserve of coal in Latin America. Colombia ranks first in its store of coal. The total output of coal obtained from Colombia is 7.4 metric tonnes. Besides, Colombia ranks fourth for natural gas and sixth for oil in Latin America. Colombia contains about 114.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Furthermore, it is estimated that the territory contains about 1.4 billion barrels of oil that would at least prevent Colombia from being a net oil importer. Colombia has enough store of oil that would last till 2010-2011.

In terms of energy, Colombia is the second producer of hydro-electricity. Brazil is known to occupy the first position in hydro-electrical potential. Colombia has a rich reserve of natural gas along the Caribbean Coast. Colombia is estimated to possess a vast reserve of natural gas in the Caribbean Coast to last at least for the next 150 or 200 years. The Llanos basin, posited in the foothills of Eastern Cordilla, possesses the largest store of natural gas in Colombia.

Thus, it is evident that the natural resources of Colombia presents a wide variety. It can be said in this context that Colombia natural resources play a great role in the socio-economic development of Colombia.

Flora and Fauna
Colombia is known for its rich biodiversity. Colombia flora and fauna comprises a wide variety of animals, birds, as well as trees. The flora and fauna of Colombia seems to be an extension of the Amazonian forests which houses some of the rarest species of plants and animals in the world.

Talking about the Colombia flora and fauna, it can be said that flora of Colombia contains high trees that generally possesses green foliage. The forests of Colombia comprise about 130000 plants, which ranges from oily palms, rubber, etc.

Some of the important trees that form an integral part of the flora of Colombia are:
  • Walnut
  • Cedar
  • Oak
  • Cinchona
  • Balsam
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla
  • Mahogany
  • Lignum Vitae
  • Sarsaparilla etc.
Moreover, it is estimated that Colombia contains about 45,000 species of plants. The soil in the highest and coldest level of mountain supports small herbaceous plants, low bushes and grasses. Along with the bushes, meadows and trees, the intermontane basins contain some vegetables and corn. The temperate areas in Colombia are famous for its dense forests, mosses, ferns Spanish cedars and grain crops. Besides, the tropical area in Colombia can be divided into four main divisions, owing to the amount of precipitation received in these areas.
These regions in Colombia are:
  • Desert-like areas
  • Rain forests
  • Deciduous forests
  • Grass plains
It is noteworthy that palms, fruits and vegetables abound in the tropical region of Colombia. Flora and fauna in the tropical region represents a wide array of animals and birds. Furthermore, Colombia houses about 1665 species of birds. In fact, Colombia is known for its large store of animals and birds. Among the animals that form an integral part of the flora and fauna in Colombia are:
  • Tiger
  • Deer
  • Sloths
  • Anteaters
  • Bears
  • Monkeys
  • Pigs
  • Weasels
  • Raccoons
  • Moose
  • Opossums
  • Tapir
  • Rodents
  • Puma
  • Small cats
  • Otters and
  • Many species of fishes such as catfishes, sardines, etc.
Colombia forests are home to a number of orchids that are spread across the country. Forests at Colombia are one of the richest forests of the world. Many species of plants growing in the forests in Colombia are endemic species that are found nowhere in the world.

Colombia is situated at the confluence of three eco-regions, namely Andean-Amazonian Interface, the Central American Corridor and the Pacific, Tropical Andean Interface. This rich region is known for is rich cover of forests and biodiversity. Beautiful orchids such as masdevallia, cattleya, odontoglossum, etc. seem to be synonymous with the forests of Colombia. Forests at Colombia contain about 3,500 orchids. The forests of Colombia are known for its biodiversity that accounts for about 15% of the species found throughout the world. In terms of biological wealth, the forests in Colombia are, indeed, the richest country.

But unfortunately, the Colombia forests are among the forests that are under large scale deforestation. The forests at Colombia is said to lose about 1.5 to nearly 2.2 million acres of the forests every year. Moreover, many species of plants and trees found in the forests of Colombia are on the verge of extinction. It is estimated that if the deforestation continues in the same rate, Colombia would be devoid of its forests in the next 40 years.

Colombia Rivers
Colombia Rivers form an integral part of the physiography of Colombia. Magdalena is the principal river of Colombia that flows between the Cordilla Central and Cordilla Oriental.

Some of the rivers in Colombia that flows throughout the length and breadth of Colombia are:
Amazon River - Amazon is the largest rives in South America. The volume of the river Amazon is greater than the combined volume of the eight largest rivers of the world.

Cesar River - Cesar flows through the northern part of Magdalena basin. Cesar segregates the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta from the Cordilla Oriental.

Amazon River - Amazon is the largest rives in South America. The volume of the river Amazon is greater than the combined volume of the eight largest rivers of the world.

Cauca River - Cauca River flows between the Central Cordilleras and the Occidentals. The river joins the Magdalena River, which is situated in the southern part of Santa Cruz de Mompox.

Orinoco - Orinoco is one of the longest rivers flowing through South America. In fact, Orinoco and its tributaries form an integral part of the transport system of South America.

Beside these rivers, we also come across a number of other rivers of Colombia.

Some of the other Colombia Rivers are:
  • Lengupa River
  • Putumayo River
  • Magdalena River
  • Caqueta River
  • Guatapuri River
  • Quindio River
  • Apure River
  • Ariguani River
  • Fundacion River
  • Yapura
  • Rio Negro
  • Zulia River
  • Sinu River
  • Guaviare River
  • Bogota River
  • Arauca River
  • Medellin River
  • Catatumbo River
  • Rancheria River
  • Hydrography of Cucuta and North Santander
  • Atrato River
  • Japura River
  • Vichada River
  • La Vieja River
  • Otun River
  • Meta River etc.
  • Pamplonita River
  • These rivers at Colombia play an integral role in the agriculture and irrigation of Colombia.


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