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Colombia is also referred to as the "Gateway to South America" as it is located in the northwestern part of the continent, where South America is linked to Central and North America. As the fifth largest country in Latin America, it is also home to the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
Colombia is a country of extremes. Tropical beaches line the north and west. Through its center lead the towering, snow-capped volcanoes and mountains of the Andes. There are deserts in the north and wide grasslands in the east. In the Colombian Amazon Basin, which occupies almost the entire southern half of the country, grows dense rainforest. In northwestern Colombia, across the Panama border, there is a humid jungle area called Chocó.