The Andean Region of Colombia is the most populated zone in the country and is located in the northern section of the South American Andes. The Colombian Andes has three branches known as "Cordilleras", i.e., Cordillera Oriental, Cordillera Central and Cordillera Occidental. In the south of Colombia, on the border with Ecuador, the Andes are just one cordillera with volcanic peaks of more than 5000 m, but in the north it branches into the three cordilleras. The Andean Region contains dramatic landscapes with mountains, high altitude plains, and varying vegetation depending on altitude. It is possible to experience a wide range of temperatures and see a huge variety of vegetation within short distances. For example, Bogota is situated 2600 metres above sea level and has a temperate climate, but within a one hour drive, you can travel down the face ot the Andes into nearby low valleys where the climate is usually subtropical or tropical.
The Caribbean Region or Caribbean Coast Region is composed of eight departments located contiguous to the Caribbean sea. The area covers a total land area of 132,288 km² and including the San Andres and Providencia Islands in the Caribbean sea. The total area covers approximately 1/10 of the total territory of Colombia. The area is characterized for having a massif plain that extends from the Colombian Andean Mountain range, and surrounds the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range (which is not part of the Andes) and covers the Guajira Peninsula to border the Caribbean sea. In the western side of the region there is also a relative low altitude mountain range, the Montes de Maria which are also separate from the Andean mountain range. The Caribbean region is crossed by many rivers and contains one of the largest marshes in Colombia, the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta marsh among many others. The main river is the Magdalena which is fully navigable in the region and a major path for the flow of shipments to and from inland Colombia. The Madgalena river has numerous sub basins within its basin.
The Orinoquía Region (Spanish: Región de la Orinoquía) is also known colloquialy as Oriental Plains from the Spanish Llanos Orientales. The region covers most of the area of the departments of Meta, Arauca, Casanare and Vichada. The region is rich in oil and is apt for extensive ranching.
The Amazonía Region in southern Colombia comprises of the departments of Amazonas, Caquetá, Putumayo, Guainía, Putumayo, and Vaupés. The region is marked by its unique jungles which are part of the Amazon rainforest. It covers an area of 403,000 km², which is a huge 35% of Colombia's total territory.