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The Central-Colombia scenery covers the areas where most of the soaring activity in sailplanes, hang gliders and paragliders takes place in Colombia. 

This area includes Colombia's 3rd biggest city Cali as well as the larger cities of Pereira, Manizales, Ibague, Neiva and Armenia and 72 towns. More importantly it includes the central parts of the Cordillera Occidental (western mountain range) to the West with mountains reaching over 4000 m, the central part of the Cordillera Central (central mountain range) in the center with the scenery's highest peaks reaching 5750 m and 5400 m as well as the Southern part of the Cordillera Oriental (eastern mountain range) with mountains reaching over 4000 m. The scenery's high points are the Cordillera Central's three highest peaks. The volcano Nevado del Huila is Colombia's 2nd highest mountain at 5750 m and the volcano Nevado del Ruiz Colombia's 5th highest mountain at 5400 m. With the scenery's snow line at around 4800 m, both of these peaks are snow capped together with the peaks of Nevado de Santa Isabel (4950 m) and Nevado del Tolima (5200 m - 9th highest) located just South of the Nevado del Ruiz. In the hilly (by Colombian standards) areas to the West of the Nevado del Ruiz you will find between Armenia, Santagueda and Manizales the so called Zona Cafetera; This is the heart of Colombia's coffee production with most of the country's coffee plantations.

Aside from the three mountain ranges, the area covered includes Colombia's two biggest valleys formed by the large rivers Rio Magdalena to the East and Rio Cauca to the West. These mostly flat valleys are home to some of the largest agricultural areas in Colombia and are up to 40 km wide. The agriculture in the Valle del Cauca produces mostly sugar cane, but also soy, cotton, grapes, corn, and fruits. In the Rio Magdalena valley you can find, aside from agriculture, extensive cattle ranching. The Rio Cauca eventually flows into the Rio Magdalena outside the scenery to the North of the Cordillera Central before the Rio Magdalena finally reaches the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean).

The Valle de Cauca is just over 900 m ASL near its Southern end South of Cali. The Valle del Rio Magdalena near Neiva is only 400 m ASL. If you are looking for difficult mountain tasks that do a true Condor justice this or the area around the Nevado del Ruiz is it. Just east of the 5400m Nevado del Ruiz the Rio Magdalena Valley is only about 200 m high making for some spectacular scenery. The two main passes to cross the Cordillera Central near Ibague or near Manizales are 3250m and 3700m high.

Even though Colombia is a tropical country with large swathes of rain forest and a Southern border along the great Amazon river it also has 3 desert areas. The driest of the three is part of the scenery and called the Tatacoa desert. It is located just 50 km North of Neiva and covers about 335 sqkm and is the result of the 5750 m Nevado del Huila to the west and the 4000 +m Cordillera de los Picachos to the east. These two high ranges are shielding this area from almost any rain and are turning this part of the otherwise fertile Rio Magdalena valley into a true desert with cacti, stones and red sand. As a stark contrast to the Tatacoa desert the scenery also includes parts of the extremely dense Pacific coastal rain forest in Choco located at the North-western border of the scenery to the west of the Cordillera Occidental. This area holds some world records for rainfall with an anual average of sometimes close to10m; twice as much as in the better known Amazonas rain forest.

Its unique location make Colombia on of the most diverse countries on earth in terms of geography and climate. As a result of this great diversity, even though you can't see it in the scenery, Colombia has the highest number of plant & animal species per unit area in the world. This unique diversity includes more than 1550 recorded species of birds as well as more than  130.000 recorded plant species with some 3000 species of orchids. In addition, the Condor is Colombia's national bird. He is "holding" the national coat of arms and as part of it is depicted on various incarnations of the Colombian flag. The Condor (or Andean Condor) is considered to be the largest flying bird on earth with a wing span in excess of 3m and can be found in the high Cordillera (Andes) of South America. Some of the highest peaks of Colombia that are included in the scenery are part of the Condor's local habitat. In case you were wondering why the simulator is called Condor: It most likely is because the Condor is a true soaring bird who can use his wings only as a "turbo". Some more interesting facts can be found here:

The total area covered is approximately 280 x 300 km (84,000 sqkm). If you  open a map or Google Earth you can locate the scenery area as follows: It starts in the North at about 60km North of Manizales, latitude 5.6000N extending South to about 60km South of Cali latitude 2.8906N; the Western border is about 155 km West of Manizales longitude -76.8850W, the Eastern border about 125 km East of Manizales, longitude -74.3907W.

We hope you like it!

This scenery was developed by Daniel Velez and Alejandro Isaza and took about 5 months to complete using the CONDOR scenery toolkit as well as other software. You can download and distribute the scenery freely, but it cannot be sold or distributed commercially.

If you have any questions please contact: Daniel Velez or Alejandro Isaza



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