Colombia is the only South American Country with coastlines on both the
Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. But the travel between the two is limited because of
the Andes Mountains.
Colombia has two major landform regions; the Andes
Mountains and the valleys in the west, and the plains of the llanos and the Amazon Basin to the
The highland climates
of the Andes slopes are divided by elevation into five zones. The tierra caliente (hot country)
refers to the hot and humid lower elevations between sea level and 3,000 feet. Daytime temps. Here range from 85 and 90 degrees.
The nighttime temps. Range from 70 to 75 degrees. There isn’t a lot of difference between summer and winter temps. The
tierra caliente produces humid-tropical crops like bananas and cacao. Farther up the mountains, the air becomes cooler, and
moist climates with mountain forests are typical. The zone of pleasant climates is called tierra templada. Here daytime temps.
Range from 75 to 80 degrees. Nighttime temps. Range from 60 to 70 degrees. The
next zone is the tierra fria or the cold country. Daytime temps here are 65 to 70 degrees. Nighttime temps. are 50 to 55 degrees.
After that zone we have paramo. Daytime temps. are 50 to 55 degrees. Nighttime temps range from 30 to 35 degrees. The tierra
helada or frozen country’s daytime temps. are 30 to 35. Nighttime temps. are 15 to 20.
Colombian coffee is world famous. The main coffee-producing area is along the Andes ridges between the Magdalena and Cauca rivers. The country is second in
producing coffee. Colombia has a new profitable
industry now, flower farming. Colombia
exports large amounts of cut flowers. Cattle grazing is an important job in the llanos. 90% of the world’s emeralds come from Colombia. Oil is found in the eastern part of Colombia. Recent discoveries have made oil a larger export
than coffee. As in other countries poverty is a major problem for Colombia.
Colombia has a history of civil war. Most of Colombia is ruled by violence and intimidation than by laws.
People are often scared away from elections. Colombia
has illegal drug trade that is disturbing the country.
Venezuela is located on South America’s northern Caribbean
coast. The country is divided into 4 landform groups. (1) northern mountains
(2) narrow tropical-lowland coast
(3)the llanos, the
savanna plains (4) Guiana Highlands and the southeast. When steams flow over the steep cliffs
in the highlands, they create many high waterfalls. Like Angel Falls the world’s highest waterfall.
The climates are
warm or hot all year. The winter is dry but the summer brings rain. Scrub savannas with cacti are common. The llanos is one of the world’s biggest short-tree and grass
savanna. The plains far south are covered with forests.
Most people in Venezuela live along the Caribbean coast and the valleys of
the mountains. Caracas is the capital of Venezuela. It too also has slums like other South American countries.
Guyana’s main crop is rice. Its main mineral is bauxite. The government is collapsing.
Its future is uncertain
because Venezuela claims half of its territory. Guyana
is already one of the world’s poorest countries.
The population is
only about 160,000 and large parts of the territory are uninhabited. Cacao, rice, sugarcane, and bananas are grown here. The
leading exports are gold, timber, and shrimp. Devil’s island is located here also.