comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America
, bordered to the east by Venezuela
; to the south by Ecuador
; to the north by the Caribbean Sea
; to the northwest by Panama
; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean
. Colombia has maritime borders with Venezuela
, the Dominican Republic
and Costa Rica
. Colombia is the 26th largest country by area and the 27th largest by population, and the third largest in South America after Brazil and Argentina.
1538 Bogotá, Colombia, is founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.
1539 Re-founding of the city of Bogotá, New Granada (now Colombia), by Nikolaus Federmann and Sebastián de Belalcázar.
1773 Cúcuta (Colombia) is founded by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar.
1821 The Republic of Gran Colombia (a federation covering much of present day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador) is established, with Simón Bolívar as the founding President and Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president. thumb|right|220px|[[Brazil]] declares independence.
1831 Ecuador and Venezuela are separated from Greater Colombia.
1851 Slavery is abolished in Colombia, South America.
1903 The Hay-Herran Treaty, granting the United States the right to build the Panama Canal, is ratified by the United States Senate. The Colombian Senate would later reject the treaty.
1903 With the encouragement of the United States, Panama separates from Colombia.
1909 Colombia recognizes the independence of Panama.
1935 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Colombia are established.