World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Regions of Colombia

Article Id: WHEBN0013076761
Reproduction Date:

Title: Regions of Colombia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cartagena, Colombia, Antioquia department, Boyacá department, Cundinamarca department, Amazonas department, Arauca department, Casanare department, Cauca department, Cesar department, Chocó department
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Regions of Colombia


Because of its natural structure, Colombia can be divided into six very distinct natural regions. These consist of the Andean Region, covering the three branches of the Andes mountains found in Colombia; the Caribbean Region, covering the area adjacent to the Caribbean Sea; the Pacific Region adjacent to the Pacific Ocean; the Orinoquía Region, part of the Llanos plains mainly in the Orinoco river basin along the border with Venezuela; the Amazon Region, part of the Amazon rainforest; and finally the Insular Region, comprising islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.[1]

Andean Region

The Andes mountains form the most populous region of Colombia and contain the majority of the country's urban centres. They were also the location of the most significant pre-Columbian indigenous settlement. Beyond the Colombian Massif in the south-western departments of Cauca and Nariño, the Colombian Andes divide into three branches known as "cordilleras" (from the Spanish for rope): the Cordillera Occidental, running adjacent to the Pacific coast and including the city of Cali; the Cordillera Central, running up the centre of the country between the Cauca and Magdalena river valleys (to the west and east respectively) and including the cities of Medellín, Manizales and Pereira; and the Cordillera Oriental, extending north east to the Guajira Peninsula, and including Bogotá, Bucaramanga and Cúcuta.

The climate and vegetation of the region vary considerably according to altitude, but as a general rule the land can be divided into the tierra caliente (hot land) of river valleys and basins below 1,000 m; the more temperate conditions of the tierra templada (temperate land, approximately 1,000 m to 2,000 m) and tierra fría (cold land, 2,000 m to 3,200 m), which include the most productive land and the majority of the population; and the alpine conditions of the zona forestada (forested zone, 3,200 m to 3,900 m), páramos (3,900 m to 4,600 m) and tierra helada (frozen land, 4,600 m and above).

Santander and Antioquia are not departments of the Colombian Caribbean region, San Andres Islas it is considered a Colombian caribbean department, in fact the insular subregion.

Caribbean Region

Main article: Caribbean Natural Region, Colombia

The Caribbean Region covers 132,218 km² adjacent to the Caribbean Sea, stretching from the Gulf of Urabá in the west to the Guajira Peninsula in the east and including some or all of the departments of Guajira, Bolívar, Atlántico, Cesar, Magdalena, Sucre, Córdoba, Santander and Antioquia.

The region is traversed by a number of rivers heading from the Andean highlands to the sea, including Colombia's principal river, the Magdalena, which disgorges at the main port of Barranquilla. As the area first settled by Europeans, the Caribbean region is also the location of the historic port cities of Santa Marta and Cartagena. However, whilst generally low-lying and humid, the region also includes the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range and the Guajira Desert.

Pacific Region

The Pacific Region is located on Colombia's western, Pacific coast, and covers an area of 83,170 km². It extends from the Gulf of Urabá in the north to the border with Ecuador in the south, and includes part of the departments of Nariño, Cauca, Valle de Cauca and Antioquia, and the whole of Chocó department.

This region is distinguished by its high humidity. Precipitation is among the highest in the world, with an average of 4,000 mm per year and some areas that receive as much as 12,000 mm per year. These high levels of precipitation support a number of rivers, including the Atrato River, San Juan River, Patía River, Baudó River and Mira River. The population of the region is mainly Afro-Colombian (it also includes several indigenous settlements), and the economy is based on mining (gold and platinum), timber, fishing, cattle raising and agriculture (particularly the cultivation of borojo, banana and plantain). Buenaventura is Colombia's main Pacific port.

Orinoquía Region

Also known as the Oriental Plains from the Spanish Llanos Orientales, the Orinoquía Region (Spanish: Región de la Orinoquía) covers most of the area of the departments of Meta, Arauca, Casanare and Vichada. The region is rich in oil and suitable for extensive ranching but sparsely populated.

Amazon Region

The Amazon Region is a region in southern Colombia over the Amazon Basin. It comprises the departments of Amazonas, Caquetá, Guainía, Putumayo, Guaviare and Vaupés.

Insular Region

The Insular Region is considered by some as a sixth region, comprising those areas outside continental Colombia, including the department of San Andrés y Providencia in the Caribbean Sea and the islands of Malpelo and Gorgona in the Pacific Ocean. However, cultural ties are with the respective coastlines.

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.