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Bucaramanga, Santanderv

Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is variably defined either as being a region of the Americas in its own right or as the southern portion of North America. Physiographically, Central America is a tropical isthmus that connects North and South America. It includes 7 countries and many small offshore islands. Overall, the land is fertile and rugged, and dominated through its heart by a string of volcanic mountain ranges with a few active volcanos.

Bucaramanga is the capital of the department of Santander, Colombia, and is the hub of Colombia's sixth-largest metropolitan area. The metropolitan area has experienced rapid growth since the 1960s, much of which has taken place in neighboring municipalities. According to the 2003 census, population was 553,046, and metro population was 979,040.
Bucaramanga is the major commercial center of northeastern Colombia, anchoring a regional network that extends to Cúcuta on the Venezuelan border and the oil-producing center of Barrancabermeja. Local manufacturing, especially of textiles and shoes, has struggled in the face of legal and contrband imports in recent decades. The city is the base of the Colombian Petroleum Institute, the research arm of the state oil company, and the Colombian Natural Gas Company.
Giron was the first and most significant town founded by Spanish colonizers in the region, and Bucaramanga founded in 1622 did not overtake Giron in population or economic significance until the early 1800s. In the 1860s and 1870s the city attracted a core of German merchants and adventurers the most famous of whom was Georg von Lengerke, and tensions between the newcomers and local residents flared in 1879. With the political reorganization of 1886, Bucaramanga replaced Socorro as departmental capital.
Geographically Bucaramanga is located on a plateau in the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes, and many residents occupy unstable lands descending steeply from the meseta. Bucaramanga has a municipal area of 165 square kilometers and is located at 959 meters above sea level. The official metropolitan area includes the municipalities of Giron, Piedecuesta and Floridablanca, but Lebrija is home to Bucaramanga's airport and is commonly considered part of greater Bucaramanga. The municipal flag of Bucaramanga was designed by the historian Gustavo Gomez Mejia.

Bucaramanga is also known as the Ciudad de los Parques The City of the Parks and Ciudad Bonita Pretty City. The city is served by one transportation terminal and the Palonegro Airport, which is located west of the city.

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