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COLOMBIA GEOGRAPHY Colombia stretches over approximately 1140000 sq km roughly equal to the area of Portugal Spain and France put together Colombia occupies the northwestern end of South America and is the only country there with coasts on both the Pacific 1350 km long and the Atlantic over 1600 km Three Andean ranges run north and south through the western half of the country about 45 of the total territory The eastern part is a vast lowland which can be generally divided into two regions a huge open savannah on the north and the amazon in the south 400000 sq km approxColombia is a country of geographical contrasts and extremes As well as the features mentioned it has such curiosities as the desert of La Guajira the peninsula in the most north-eastern tip of the country the jungle of the pacific coast which holds one of the worlds rainfall records and the Serrana de la Macarena an isolated mountain formation about 120 km long rising abruptly from the eastern plains to some 2500 meters Colombia also has several small islands The major ones are the archipelago of San Andrs and Providencia in the Caribbean Sea the Islas del Rosario and San Bernardo along the Caribeian coast and Gorgona and Malpelo in the Pacific Ocean Spaniards founded Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien in 1510 the first permanent European settlement on the American mainland In 1538 the Spaniards established the colony of New Granada the areas name until 1861 After a 14-year struggle in which Simn Bolvars troops won the battle of Boyac in Colombia on Aug 7 1819 independence was attained in 1824 Bolvar united Colombia Venezuela Panama and Ecuador in the Republic of Greater Colombia 1810-1830 but lost Venezuela and Ecuador to separatists Bolvars Vice President Francisco de Paula Santander founded the Liberal
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