The distinguishing topographical feature of Colombia is the Andes mountain chain. The Andes are situated in the central and western parts of the country and extend north south across almost the entire length of Colombia. The western two-fifths of the country lies in the highlands of the Andes. The ranges of the Andes are separated by deep depressions. Almost all of Colombia’s population lives in the narrow valleys and basins nestled among the
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Colombia’s principal crop. Although Colombia is second only to Brazil in the annual volume of coffee produced and is the world’s leading producer of mild coffee, the crop was bypassed by petroleum in the mid-1990s as the country’s largest source of foreign income. In the mid-1970s coffee accounted for 80 percent of Colombia’s export earnings.
The basic unit of currency is the Colombian peso (1,141 pesos equal U.S.$1; 1997 average).