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Everything you need to know about buying and selling real estate in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, and the Banderas Bay region

A Remarkable Study in Contrasts

What about Columbia for Part-time or Full-time Living?

Recently, I had the good fortune to tour towns and areas in Colombia. It was safe for travel, as are many places now, and there are areas that are fine and areas that aren’t. But overall, Colombia is a traveler-friendly destination and very safe for foreigners.

Colombia is a country in the extreme north of South America. Its landscape has tropical forests, the Andes mountains and several coffee plantations. In Bogotá, the high-rise capital in the Zona Rosa district is famous for its restaurants and shops.

The Colombian cordilleras belong to the northern portion of the great Andean mountain system, which extends along the Pacific coast of South America. The Andes are among the world’s most youthful mountain ranges and among the highest.

Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, has a walled colonial Old Town, a 16th-century castle and nearby coral reefs. It is bordered by Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Medellín is the capital of the mountainous province of Antioquia in Colombia. It is nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate and hosts the famous annual Flower Fair. The modern Metrocable connects the city with the surrounding neighborhoods and has views of the Aburrá Valley below. Fernando Botero’s sculptures decorate the Botero Square in the center of the city, while the Antioquia Museum exhibits more works by the Colombian artist.

Colombia is famous not only for its rich volcanic soils that produce the finest coffee in the world, enormous variety of flowers, emeralds and gold, but also for the outstanding literary figures, dynamic leaders, great sportsmen, very talented musicians and many other treasures.

Colombia is more than twice the size of France and includes the San Andrés y Providencia archipelago, located off the Nicaraguan coast in the Caribbean, some 400 miles northwest of the Colombian mainland. The population is largely concentrated in the mountainous interior, where Bogotá, the national capital, is situated on a high plateau in the northern Andes Mountains.

The only American nation that is named for Christopher Columbus, Colombia presents a remarkable study in contrasts, in both its geography and its society. The lofty snow-tipped peaks of the country’s interior cordilleras tower high above equatorial forests and savannas where surviving Indian groups still follow the lifeways and traditions of their ancestors. In the cooler mountains, at intermediate elevations, modern cities are juxtaposed with traditional rural landscapes where mestizo farmers cultivate their small plots of coffee, corn (maize), and other crops. The more accessible Atlantic lowlands, dominated by large livestock haciendas and a tri-ethnic population, have a distinctively different character.

Colombia strongly reflects its history as a colony of Spain. It is often referred to as the most Roman Catholic of the South American countries, and most of its people are proud of the relative purity of their Spanish language. Its population is heavily mestizo (of mixed European and Indian descent) with substantial minorities of European and African ancestry. The economy is traditionally based on agriculture, particularly coffee and fruit production, but industries and services are increasing in importance. Colombia is the most populous nation of Spanish-speaking South America.

Few countries boast such striking physical variety as does Colombia. Its broken, rugged topography, together with its location near the equator, creates an extraordinary diversity of climates, vegetation, soils, and crops. The Andean cordillera, one of the world’s great mountain ranges, dominates the landscape of the western part of the country, where most of the people live.

 

 

 

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This article is based upon Flex MLS reporting, legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of Mexican real estate conduct his own due diligence and review. If you have any other questions, contact me through my website.

Harriet Murray

harriet@casasandvillas.com

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