Colombia regions and provinces

Colombia, a country situated in the northwestern corner of South America, is known for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant cities. The administrative divisions of Colombia consist of 32 departments, one capital district, and territories. In this comprehensive overview, we’ll explore each department, its capital, and the distinctive features that contribute to Colombia’s cultural tapestry.

1. Amazonas

Capital Leticia
Amazon Rainforest Amazonas is a gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. The region offers opportunities for eco-tourism and exploration of indigenous communities.
Meeting of the Waters Leticia is located at the confluence of the Amazon, Javari, and Yavari rivers, a unique natural phenomenon known as the “Meeting of the Waters.”

2. Antioquia

Capital Medellín
Medellín Once known for its tumultuous past, Medellín has transformed into a modern city with innovative urban projects, cultural events, and a pleasant climate. It’s often referred to as the “City of Eternal Spring.”
Guatapé A picturesque town known for the stunning Peñol-Guatapé reservoir, adorned with a massive rock known as El Peñol, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

3. Arauca

Capital Arauca
Arauca River The department is named after the Arauca River, a tributary of the Orinoco River. The region is known for its plains, or llanos, offering unique landscapes and wildlife.
Cattle Ranching Arauca is part of the Colombian llanos, where cattle ranching is a significant economic activity.

4. Atlántico

Capital Barranquilla
Carnival of Barranquilla One of the most significant carnivals in Colombia, Barranquilla’s Carnival is known for its vibrant parades, traditional music, and cultural festivities.
Caribbean Coast Atlántico is located on the Caribbean coast, offering beautiful beaches and a warm climate.

5. Bolívar

Capital Cartagena
Cartagena A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cartagena is a colonial gem with well-preserved architecture, historic fortifications, and vibrant street life.
Rosario Islands Off the coast of Cartagena, the Rosario Islands are a tropical paradise with white sandy beaches and coral reefs.

6. Boyacá

Capital Tunja
Villa de Leyva A charming colonial town with cobblestone streets, Villa de Leyva is known for its well-preserved architecture, the Plaza Mayor, and the Fossil Museum.
Boyacá Battlefields The Boyacá region played a crucial role in Colombia’s independence, and there are numerous historical sites related to the Battle of Boyacá.

7. Caldas

Capital Manizales
Coffee Region Caldas is part of the Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its coffee plantations, picturesque landscapes, and traditional architecture.
Nevado del Ruiz An active stratovolcano, Nevado del Ruiz is part of the Andes mountain range and offers opportunities for hiking and exploration.

8. Caquetá

Capital Florencia
Amazon Rainforest Caquetá is part of the Amazon region, known for its biodiversity and indigenous communities.
Cano Cristales Often referred to as the “River of Five Colors,” Cano Cristales is a unique river with vibrant colors due to aquatic plants.

9. Casanare

Capital Yopal
Llanos Orientales Casanare is part of the Llanos Orientales, a vast tropical grassland region. It is known for cattle ranching, wildlife, and the cultural heritage of the llaneros (plainsmen).
Manacacías Wetlands The region is home to wetlands that are important for biodiversity, including bird species and aquatic life.

10. Cauca

Capital Popayán
Popayán Known as the “White City” due to its well-preserved colonial architecture, Popayán is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy and a center of religious and cultural traditions.
Puracé National Natural Park Home to the Puracé volcano, this national park offers hiking trails, thermal springs, and diverse ecosystems.

11. Cesar

Capital Valledupar
Vallenato Music Valledupar is considered the birthplace of vallenato music, a traditional Colombian genre. The city hosts the Vallenato Legend Festival.
Guatapurí River The Guatapurí River is a scenic waterway in the region, offering opportunities for recreation.

12. Chocó

Capital Quibdó
Pacific Coast Chocó is known for its pristine Pacific coastline, with lush rainforests and opportunities for whale watching.
Biodiversity The region is part of the Chocó-Darién Western Forests, recognized for its high level of biodiversity.

13. Córdoba

Capital Montería
Sinú River The Sinú River runs through Córdoba, offering scenic landscapes and opportunities for water-related activities.
San Jerónimo de Buenavista A historic town with colonial architecture and cultural events.

14. Cundinamarca

Capital Bogotá
Bogotá The capital city, located at high altitude in the Andes, is a vibrant metropolis with cultural attractions, museums, and a dynamic culinary scene.
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá A unique underground cathedral built within a salt mine, attracting visitors from around the world.

15. Guainía

Capital Inírida
Amazon Rainforest Guainía is located in the Amazon region, providing access to the Amazon Rainforest and its unique ecosystems.
Cerro Morroco A natural viewpoint offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

16. Guaviare

Capital San José del Guaviare
Amazon Rainforest Guaviare is another department in the Amazon region, known for its biodiversity, indigenous cultures, and the Guaviare River.
Cerros de Mavecure Iconic rock formations rising from the Amazon plains, offering hiking and stunning views.

17. Huila

Capital Neiva
Desierto de la Tatacoa A semi-arid region known for its unique landscapes, including the Tatacoa Desert, with its distinct red and
gray hues.
San Agustín Archaeological Park A UNESCO World Heritage site featuring ancient megalithic sculptures and tombs.

18. La Guajira

Capital Riohacha
Cabo de la Vela A picturesque coastal destination with sandy beaches and the iconic Pilon de Azúcar (Sugar Pylon) dune.
Wayuu Indigenous Culture La Guajira is home to the Wayuu indigenous people, known for their vibrant crafts and cultural traditions.

19. Magdalena

Capital Santa Marta
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta The highest coastal mountain range in the world, hosting diverse ecosystems and indigenous communities.
Tayrona National Natural Park A coastal park with pristine beaches, tropical rainforests, and archaeological sites.

20. Meta

Capital Villavicencio
Eastern Plains Meta is part of the Colombian llanos, featuring vast plains and unique wildlife. It is known for llanero culture and traditional music.
Caño Cristales Often referred to as the “River of Five Colors,” Caño Cristales is a stunning river with vibrant aquatic plants.

21. Nariño

Capital Pasto
Galeras Volcano An active volcano near Pasto, offering hiking opportunities and panoramic views.
Carnival of Blacks and Whites One of Colombia’s most famous carnivals, celebrated in Pasto with colorful parades and cultural events.

22. Norte de Santander

Capital Cúcuta
Santander Park Located in Cúcuta, Santander Park is known for its historic significance and cultural events.
Ureña A border town with Venezuela, known for its colonial architecture and cross-border trade.

23. Putumayo

Capital Mocoa
Amazon Rainforest Putumayo is part of the Amazon region, known for its biodiversity and indigenous cultures.
Sibundoy Valley Home to indigenous communities, the Sibundoy Valley is known for its traditional art and cultural practices.

24. Quindío

Capital Armenia
Coffee Cultural Landscape Quindío is part of the Coffee Cultural Landscape, recognized by UNESCO for its cultural significance and traditional coffee production.
Cocora Valley Famous for its towering wax palm trees, the Cocora Valley offers picturesque landscapes and hiking trails.

25. Risaralda

Capital Pereira
Pereira A dynamic city in the Coffee Triangle, Pereira offers a blend of urban life and access to natural attractions.
Santa Rosa de Cabal Known for its hot springs and the stunning Santa Rosa de Cabal Waterfall.

26. San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina

Capital San Andrés
San Andrés Island A Caribbean paradise known for its white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and vibrant marine life.
Providencia and Santa Catalina These islands offer a more tranquil and secluded experience, with pristine beaches and natural beauty.

27. Santander

Capital Bucaramanga
Chicamocha Canyon Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Colombia, Chicamocha Canyon offers breathtaking views and adventure activities.
Barichara A colonial town with well-preserved architecture, Barichara is known for its historic charm.

28. Sucre

Capital Sincelejo
Coveñas A coastal town known for its beaches and the Gulf of Morrosquillo.
Tolú Another coastal destination with colonial architecture and a laid-back atmosphere.

29. Tolima

Capital Ibagué
Nevado del Tolima A stratovolcano in the Andes, offering hiking opportunities and stunning views.
Ibagué Known as the “Music Capital of Colombia,” Ibagué hosts the Ibagué Music Festival and is a center for traditional Colombian music.

30. Valle del Cauca

Capital Cali
Cali Known as the “Salsa Capital of the World,” Cali is famous for its vibrant salsa music and dance scene.
Farallones de Cali A mountain range with diverse ecosystems and opportunities for eco-tourism.

31. Vaupés

Capital Mitú
Amazon Rainforest Vaupés is located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, providing access to unique flora and fauna.
Indigenous Cultures The department is home to various indigenous communities, each with its own cultural traditions.

32. Vichada

Capital Puerto Carreño
Orinoco River Vichada is located along the Orinoco River, offering opportunities for river excursions and exploration.
Hiking and Birdwatching The region is known for its natural beauty, with opportunities for hiking and birdwatching.

Capital District

Capital Bogotá
Historic Center Bogotá’s historic center is home to iconic landmarks such as the Bolívar Square, the Gold Museum, and the Bogotá Cathedral.
Monserrate A mountain that overlooks the city, offering panoramic views and a sanctuary.


Colombia’s diverse departments and capital district showcase the country’s geographical richness, cultural diversity, and historical significance. From the vibrant cities of Bogotá and Medellín to the pristine beaches of San Andrés and the lush Amazon Rainforest, each region contributes to Colombia’s identity. Whether exploring the colonial charm of Cartagena, trekking in the Andes, or immersing oneself in the cultural traditions of the llaneros, Colombia offers a captivating journey for those seeking a multifaceted and enriching experience. With a history shaped by indigenous cultures, colonial influences, and a vibrant contemporary spirit, Colombia stands as a testament to the beauty and resilience of South America’s northernmost nation.


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