Colombia (5,700 m, 5,700 m) – World’s Highest Coastal Mountains
Pico Cristobal Colon and Pico Simon Bolivar are the tallest mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range. These mountains, close to the northernmost tip of South America, overlook the Carribean Sea. Essentially twins, they both clock in at 5,700 meters in height, and the verdict is currently out as to which one is technically taller. They are named for the explorer Christopher Columbus and revolutionary hero Simon Bolivar.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta essentially stand guard over the trade route from Panama to the Caribbean Islands, one of the most important seaways in Colonial times. Despite this excellent and important strategic location, the mountains have primarily remained home to native tribes right until the present day. The mountains were first scaled in the 1930s.
Pico Simon Bolivar is located inside the Sierra Nevada national park, while Pico Cristobol Colon is just outside the park approximately ten miles to the west. Despite being located in a densely populated corridor approximately ninety miles east of the capital of Cartagena, the extremely rugged, undeveloped nature of the Sierra Nevada makes the mountains difficult to reach. Most visitors only enjoy the panoramic view from the coastlands.