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Physical Geography

 

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 east.

 

Andes Environments

 

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.

Economic Geography

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.

 

Human Geography

 

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.

 

Landforms

 

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.

 

Climate and Vegetation

 

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.

 

Human Geography

 

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

 

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.

 

French Guiana

 

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.

 

 

 

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