12 junio, 2024

Departments of the Caribbean region of Colombia

The departments that make up the Caribbean region of Colombia They are Atlántico, Bolívar, Cesar, Córdoba, La Guajira, Magdalena, San Andrés y Providencia and Sucre. Seven of them are located on the mainland, while San Andrés y Providencia is a department made up of a small archipelago in the western part of the Caribbean Sea.

The Caribbean region receives its name from the Caribbean Sea, with which it borders to the north of the territory. Its territory covers 132,288 km², which represents approximately 11.6% of the country’s total. For its part, the population in 2018 reached 10,301,982 inhabitants.

Departments that make up the Caribbean region


The capital of the department of Atlántico is Barranquilla, the most important city in the entire area. Atlántico is the most populated department in the region, with 2,835,509 inhabitants.

Its name comes from the homonymous ocean, of which the Caribbean Sea is a part and with which it borders to the north. Its inhabitants are known as Atlanticenses.

Its history as a department begins on April 11, 1905 and it is known worldwide for the famous carnival that is celebrated every year in its capital, the second largest in the world, after Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).


Its capital is Cartagena de Indias, named Universal Heritage of Humanity and the most visited city in the entire country. This department has a population, according to 2018 projections, of 2,146,696 inhabitants, with almost half residing in the metropolitan area of ​​the capital.

Its name was given in homage to the Liberator Simón Bolívar in 1857, replacing its previous name as Province of Cartagena. In fact, the first visit that Bolívar made to Colombia was to the capital, Cartagena de Indias.


The department of Cesar is located in the northeast of the Caribbean region, bordering Venezuela.

Its capital is Valledupar, also known as City of the Holy Kings of the Upar Valley, being known as the cradle of vallenato. The population of the department is 1,053,475 inhabitants.

It seems accepted that it was the César River that gave its name to the entire department. As for the origin, one of the existing theories states that it was named after the Latin word ceasewhich means «set aside.»


Córdoba has a total population of 1,762,530 inhabitants, and is one of the departments that borders the Caribbean Sea. Its capital is Montería, the most important cattle-raising city in the entire country. Its birth as a department dates back to 1952, when it was split from Bolívar.

Its name comes from the Colombian independence hero José María Córdova, who fought alongside Simón Bolívar and Sucre in the 19th century.

La Guajira

This department is located mostly on the peninsula of the same name, with the southern part of the Sierra Nevada.

It has about 1,012,926 inhabitants and its capital is Riohacha, known for the pearls found on its coast.

This territory is also known as Wajiira, since it is the name that the Wayuu or Guajiros give to the department.


The department of Magdalena is one of those with the most history within Colombia. In 1863, together with 8 other departments, it formed the United States of Colombia. The capital is Santa Marta and has 1,285,384 inhabitants.

The name comes from the Magdalena River, located in its western zone. This department is the birthplace of the writer Gabriel García Márquez, and where Simón Bolívar died in 1830.


The department of Sucre makes a land border with those of Bolívar and Córdoba, while to the north it borders the Caribbean Sea.

Its capital is Sincelejo and it has around 868,438 inhabitants, according to calculations in 2018. It was not until 1966 that the law that gave rise to the birth of this department was enacted.

Its name is a tribute to Antonio José de Sucre, one of the Venezuelan heroes in the fight for independence.

San Andres and Providencia

Although they have a special administrative regime, this archipelago is considered part of the Caribbean region.

It is made up of two main islands, being the smallest department in the country. However, due to its number of inhabitants, 65,663, it is the one with the highest density.

Its capital is San Andrés and it is located to the west of the Caribbean Sea, just 220 kilometers from Nicaragua.

Precisely this last country and Colombia have maintained a legal dispute over the sovereignty of the islands, with the International Court of Justice ruling that they belong to Colombia.


The Caribbean Region. Retrieved from colombia.com.
The Caribbean Region. Recovered from uncovercolombia.com.
Characteristics of the Caribbean Region. Retrieved from colombiapatrimoniocultural.wordpress.com.
Colombian Caribbean region. Retrieved from colombiainfo.org.
Caribbean Region. Recovered from ecodivingcolombia.travel.

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