Colombia is a South American country bordering the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, as well as the nations of Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Panama. Colombia covers an area of 1,138,910 square kilometers. The Colombian terrain is characterized by two large mountain ranges, namely the Colombian Andes and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The country has a mean elevation of 18,950 feet (593 meters), and the lowest point is 0 meters along the Pacific coast, while the highest point is Pico Cristobal Colon at 18,947 feet (577 meters) and Pico Simon Bolivar closely follows with a difference of some few feet.
Tallest Mountains In Colombia
Pico Cristobal Colon and Pico Simon Bolivar
The Pico Cristobal Colon is the highest peak in Colombia standing at an elevation of 18,950 feet. The peak is closely followed by the Pico Simon Bolivar at an altitude of 18,497 feet. Pico Cristobal is named after Christopher Columbus, and Pico Simon Bolivar is named after the revolutionary hero Simon Bolivar. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta stand on the trade route connecting Panama and the Caribbean one of the vital sea routes in the colonial period. The two mountains have remained home to the native tribes from antiquity to the present day. The first people to climb Pico Cristobal Colon were W. Wood, A. Bakerwell and E. Praolini n 1939. Pico Simon Bolivar is within the Sierra Nevada National Park, but Pico Cristobal Colon is approximately ten miles to the west of the park. Although the mountains are located within the densely populated corridors almost 90 miles east of the capital city of Cartagena, the region is so rugged and underdeveloped and therefore making the Nevada Mountains difficult to reach, and most tourists enjoys the panoramic view of the mountains from the coastlines. The two peaks have the largest snow cover in Colombia though it is steadily declining with increased global warming. The glaciers on the Simon Bolivar may disappear altogether by 2020. The Sierra Nevada range is endowed with a broad range of endemic species of plants, animals, microorganisms, and fungi such as arborescent ferns, palms, cloud forests, Kirkbridea, ivory palm, Santa Marta parakeet, squirrel sciurus, Colombian tapir, ocelot, jaguar, white-lipped peccary among others. The range’s biodiversity is affected by human encroachment and growing of marijuana, development of extensive pastures, deforestation, and hunting. Jaguars and pumas are hunted because occasionally they attack livestock. In this region, there are no effective measures to preserve the area's biodiversity
The Ritacuba Blanco is the highest peak in the Cordillera Oriental and the fifth highest mountain in Colombia at 17,749 feet. It is in the state of Boyaca near the middle section of the eastern border with Venezuela. The mountain is in the Sierra Nevada National Park. Global warming has had an adverse effect on the glaciers of this mountain which are predicted to disappear entirely by 2025. In the 1950s the glaciers at Ritacuba Blanco were extending to 14,800 feet above sea level, but in 2007 it had shrunk to a height of 15,700 feet above sea level. It is estimated that the glaciers are melting at a rate of 25 linear meters annually. The mountain region has been the stronghold of the government rebels and guerrilla fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army (FARC). In the present day, the ranges are mainly exploited for mining, timber, ranching and agriculture which have led to extensive deforestation with a negative effect on the climate and habitats of animals such as the Andean spectacled bear, the rare jaguar, amphibians, bird varieties, bats and insects by fragmentation of these habitats. There exist human, and animal conflicts between the residents of these ranges and the species found there.
Nevado de Huila
The Nevado Del Huila is a stratovolcano in the Andean volcanic arc. It is standing at an elevation of 17,598 feet, making it the sixth tallest mountain of Colombia. Due to volcanic activity in the few recent years, the mountain has been marked a red alert zone with the risk of future eruptions. Being a part of the Andean range, Nevado de Huila is a habitat to a wide range of biodiversity and endemic species that is considered the largest in the world. Biodiversity is associated with the rich variety of species which can adjust to the climatic conditions of the range. These species are unique to the ranges include the paramo, cloud forests, montane forests, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. The region has been exploited for agriculture and transport.
Colombia's Mountain Habitats
The Colombian mountains are a vital resource in the preservation of endemic animals and the country's diverse species of plants, invertebrates, and microorganisms. They form a vibrant landscape that should be conserved by both private and public bodies and exploited only in moderation in order to preserve the heritage of these ranges and maintain their biodiversity.
The Colombian Andes is composed of three separate cordilleras. These include the Cordillera Occidental, Cordillera Central, and Cordillera Oriental. The Cordillera Central is the highest range with peaks such as Nevado del Huila (17,598 feet), Nevado del Ruiz (17,425 feet), Nevado del Tolima (17,056 feet) and Nevado del Quindío (16,892 feet) the highest point on the Cordillera Oriental is the Ritacuba Blanco (17,749 feet) the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada ranges are Pico Cristobal Colon (18,950 feet) and the Pico Simon Bolivar (18,947 feet).
|Rank||Tallest Mountains In Colombia||Elevation|
|1||Pico Cristobal Colon||18,950 feet|
|2||Pico Simon Bolívar||18,947 feet|
|3||Pico Simons||18,239 feet|
|4||Pico Ojeda||18,007 feet|
|5||Ritacuba Blanco||17,749 feet|
|6||Nevado del Huila||17,598 feet|
|7||Nevado del Ruiz||17,425 feet|
|8||Pico El Guadrian||17,171 feet|
|9||Nevado del Tolima||17,056 feet|
|10||Nevado del Quindio||16,892 feet|
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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