Updated: Mar 20, 2019
First I must explain what a megadiverse country is. Megadiverse Country is a term used to refer to the world’s top biodiversity-rich countries. There are 17 countries on this list and it is estimated that they have 70% of the earth’s bio-diversity. Those countries are, in order of importance, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, China, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, the United States, Papua New Guinea, India, Australia, Malaysia, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Philippines. Colombia is part of this list and in some rankings it is even listed as the second most biodiverse country behind Brazil.
The truth is since I was very young I have been interested in cycling, and if you ask me what the reason for this interest is I feel that it is to use the bicycle to be in the nature. Colombia for more than 17 years was and still is my playground. It is the place where I see and practice the classes I learned in school in Biology and Geography ... Many of the animals that we see on television in the National Geographic or Discovery Channel I have seen on one of my bike rides.
I have traveled on my bicycle in almost all the ecosystems that this diverse country has - tropical jungles, savannas, deserts, fog forests and high mountains. It is true in Colombia you can move very quickly from one ecosystem to another with going up or down a few meters. The changes in temperature and the environment in some cases can be radical and you must prepare to deal with high temperatures, mosquitoes or a lot of humidity. All this, I think, is what makes cycling so interesting in Colombia. The chances you feel bored on one of the rides is nonexistent.
Basically if you like to ride a bike in Colombia you have everything you need to have a great time, but if in addition to riding a bicycle you also like nature, the following information might be interesting for you:
The country has between 40,000 and 45,000 plant species, equivalent to 10 or 20% of total global species, this is even more remarkable given that Colombia is considered a country of intermediate size
About 10% of the species of the Earth live in Colombia, including over 1,900 species of birds (18% of the bird species of the world), more than in Europe and North America combined.
Colombia has 10% of the world’s mammals species.
Colombia is second in the number of amphibian species, 14% of the amphibian species.
Colombia has about 2,000 species of marine fish and is the second most diverse country in freshwater fish.
Colombia is the country with more endemic species of butterflies, number 1 in terms of orchid species and approximately 7,000 species of beetles and is the third most diverse country in reptiles and palm trees. There are about 2,900 species of mollusks and according to estimates there are about 300,000 species of invertebrates in the country. In Colombia there are 32 terrestrial biomes and 314 types of ecosystems.
If you decide to visit Colombia you will not regret.