Bogotá River

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Bogotá River
Rio Bogota map.png
Map of Bogotá River and its drainage basin
Native nameRío Bogotá  (Spanish)
Country Colombia
Department Cundinamarca
Physical characteristics
Source Guacheneque Páramo
  location Villapinzón
  coordinates 5°13′19.3″N73°32′03.5″W / 5.222028°N 73.534306°W / 5.222028; -73.534306 Coordinates: 5°13′19.3″N73°32′03.5″W / 5.222028°N 73.534306°W / 5.222028; -73.534306
  elevation3,300 m (10,800 ft)
Mouth Magdalena River
4°17′19.2″N74°47′47″W / 4.288667°N 74.79639°W / 4.288667; -74.79639
Length375 km (233 mi)
Basin size6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi)
  average31–41 m3/s (1,100–1,400 cu ft/s)
Basin features
River system Magdalena Basin
  Caribbean Sea
  left Teusacá
Juan Amarillo
  right Neusa
Río Frío

The Bogotá River is a major river of the Cundinamarca department of Colombia, crossing the region from the northeast to the southwest and passing along the western limits of Bogotá. The large population and major industrial base in its watershed have resulted in extremely severe pollution problems for the river.



The Bogotá River is named after Muyquytá, which is derived from Chibcha and means "(Enclosure) outside of the farm fields". [1] In historical texts, and today the upstream part of, the Bogotá River is also called Funza River. [2]


Main tributaries of the Bogotá River are the Teusacá, Torca, Juan Amarillo, Fucha, Tunjuelo, Soacha (left) and Neusa, Río Frío, Bojacá and Subachoque Rivers (right).

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Source and mouth of the Bogotá River and mouths of tributaries on and around the Bogotá savanna
N – Neusa River
Te – Teusacá River
RF – Río Frío
To – Torca River
JA – Juan Amarillo River
F – Fucha River
Tu – Tunjuelo River
B – Bojacá River
S – Soacha River
A – Apulo River

The headwaters of the Bogotá River are in the municipality of Villapinzón, in the northeastern part of Cundinamarca near the limits with Boyacá. It has a course of about 150 kilometres (93 mi) as it crosses the Bogotá savanna, passing through Zipaquirá and eleven small municipalities, before reaching the city of Bogotá. As it runs along the western border of the city, the river forms the outlet for the heavily polluted Salitre, Fucha and Tunjuelito Rivers. After passing through the municipality of Soacha, the Bogotá River plunges off the savanna at the Tequendama Falls. It then follows a steep course, falling about 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in 50 kilometres (31 mi), to join the Magdalena River at Girardot.


The temperature average ranges from 24 to 27 °C (75 to 81 °F).

See also

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Cundinamarca Department Department of Colombia

Department of Cundinamarca is one of the departments of Colombia. Its area covers 22,623 square kilometres (8,735 sq mi) and it has a population of 2,919,060 as of 2018. It was created on August 5, 1886 under the constitutional terms presented on the same year. Cundinamarca is located in the center of Colombia.

Tequendama Falls Waterfall

The Tequendama Falls is a 132 metres (433 ft) high waterfall of the Bogotá River, located 32 kilometres (20 mi) southwest of Bogotá in the municipality of Soacha. Established in approximately 10,000 BCE, El Abra and Tequendama were the first permanent settlements in Colombia. One of the country's tourist attractions, the falls are located in a forested area 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of Bogotá. The river surges through a rocky gorge that narrows to about 18 metres (59 ft) at the brink of the 132 metres (433 ft) high falls. During the month of December the falls become completely dry. The falls, once a common site for suicides, may be reached by road from Bogotá.

Altiplano Cundiboyacense Plateau in the Columbian Andes

The Altiplano Cundiboyacense[altiˈplano kundiβoʝaˈsense] is a high plateau located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes covering parts of the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. The altiplano corresponds to the ancient territory of the Muisca. The Altiplano Cundiboyacense comprises three distinctive flat regions; the Bogotá savanna, the valleys of Ubaté and Chiquinquirá, and the valleys of Duitama and Sogamoso. The average altitude of the altiplano is about 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) above sea level but ranges from roughly 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

Bojacá Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Bojacá is a municipality and town of the Western Savanna Province, Colombia in the department of Cundinamarca. The urban centre is situated at an altitude of 2,598 metres (8,524 ft) on the Bogotá savanna at 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the capital Bogotá. The municipality borders Zipacón, Madrid and Facatativá in the north, Madrid and Mosquera in the east, Soacha and San Antonio del Tequendama in the south and Tena, La Mesa and Zipacón in the west.

Nemocón Place in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Nemocón is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Central Savanna Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca. Nemocón, famous for its salt mine, was an important village in the Muisca Confederation, the country in the central Colombian Andes before the arrival of the Spanish. The municipality is situated in the northern part of the Bogotá savanna, part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense with its urban centre at an altitude of 2,585 metres (8,481 ft) and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the capital Bogotá. Nemocón is the northeasternmost municipality of the Metropolitan Area of Bogotá and the Bogotá River originates close to Nemocón. The median temperature of Nemocón is 12.8 °C. The municipality borders Tausa in the north, Suesca and Gachancipá in the east, Tocancipá and Zipaquirá in the south and in the west the rivers Checua and Neusa and the municipality of Cogua.

San Antonio del Tequendama Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

San Antonio del Tequendama is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Tequendama Province part of the department of Cundinamarca. The municipality is located along the Serranía de Subía in the Tena Valley and borders Tena and Bojacá in the north, Bojacá and Soacha in the east, La Mesa and El Colegio in the west and in the south Soacha and Granada.

Sibaté Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Sibaté is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Soacha Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca. Sibaté is located on the Bogotá savanna with the urban centre at an altitude of 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) and a distance of 27 kilometres (17 mi) from the capital Bogotá. It forms part of the metropolitan area of the capital. Sibaté borders Soacha in the north, Pasca and Fusagasugá in the south, Soacha in the east and Silvania and Granada in the west.

Central Savanna Province Province in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Central Savanna Province is one of the fifteen provinces of Cundinamarca, in the country of Colombia. It is located in the central area of the department, and has 11 municipalities. The province capital is the city of Zipaquirá.

Metropolitan Area of Bogotá

Metropolitan Area of Bogotá is the metropolitan area of the Colombian capital city of Bogotá, usually used for statistical analysis or technical use.

El Abra

El Abra is the name given to an extensive archeological site, located in the valley of the same name. El Abra is situated in the east of the municipality Zipaquirá extending to the westernmost part of Tocancipá in the department of Cundinamarca, Colombia. The several hundred metres long series of rock shelters is in the north of the Bogotá savanna on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes at an altitude of 2,570 metres (8,430 ft). The rock shelter and cave system is one of the first evidences of human settlement in the Americas, dated at 12,400 ± 160 years BP. The site was used by the hunter-gatherers of the Late Pleistocene epoch.

Bogotá savanna

The Bogotá savanna is a montane savanna, located in the southwestern part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the center of Colombia. The Bogotá savanna has an extent of 4,251.6 square kilometres (1,641.6 sq mi) and an average altitude of 2,550 metres (8,370 ft). The savanna is situated in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes.

Piedras del Tunjo Archaeological Park Archaeological park

Piedras del Tunjo is an important archaeological park established on a natural rock shelter 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of Bogotá in the municipality of Facatativá.

Urban water management in Bogotá City in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Urban water management in Bogotá, a metropolitan area of more than 8 million inhabitants, faces three main challenges: improving the quality of the highly polluted Bogotá River, controlling floods and revitalizing riparian areas along the river. The main public entities in charge of water resources management in Bogotá are the district government, the regional environmental agency Corporación Autónoma Regional (CAR) of the department of Cundinamarca, and the water and sanitation utility Empresa de Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Bogotá (EAAB). A court mandated that these entities cooperate to improve the river's quality, a ruling that translated into an agreement signed in 2007 that defined the responsibilities of each entity and forced them to approach the water management challenges in an integrated way. The agreement prepared the ground for the expansion of the Salitre wastewater treatment plant, construction of a new one, widening and protecting of riparian zones, restoring the natural meander of the river, and hydraulically connecting the river to its flood plains. These measures are supported by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.


Tequendama is a preceramic and ceramic archaeological site located southeast of Soacha, Cundinamarca, Colombia, a couple of kilometers east of Tequendama Falls. It consists of multiple evidences of late Pleistocene to middle Holocene population of the Bogotá savanna, the high plateau in the Colombian Andes. Tequendama was inhabited from around 11,000 years BP, and continuing into the prehistorical, Herrera and Muisca periods, making it the oldest site of Colombia, together with El Abra, located north of Zipaquirá. Younger evidences also from the Herrera Period have been found close to the site of Tequendama in Soacha, at the construction site of a new electrical plant. They are dated at around 900 BCE to 900 AD.

Lake Herrera

Lake Herrera is a small lake located at 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the urban centre of Mosquera and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) west of the capital Bogotá in Cundinamarca, Colombia. The Andean lake has made its name in the Herrera Period, the period in the history of central Colombia before the Muisca Period, after archaeologist Sylvia Broadbent excavated ceramics around Lake Herrera in 1971.


Aguazuque is a pre-Columbian archaeological site located in the western part of the municipality Soacha, close to the municipalities Mosquera and San Antonio del Tequendama in Cundinamarca, Colombia. It exists of evidences of human settlement of hunter-gatherers and in the ultimate phase primitive farmers. The site is situated on the Bogotá savanna, the relatively flat highland of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense close to the present-day course of the Bogotá River at an altitude of 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) above sea level. Aguazuque is just north of another Andean preceramic archaeological site; the rock shelter Tequendama and a few kilometres south of Lake Herrera. The artefacts found mostly belong to the preceramic period, and have been dated to 5025 to 2725 BP. Thus, the younger finds also pertain to the later ceramic Herrera Period. There were some difficulties in dating of the uppermost layer due to modern agricultural activity in the area; the sediments of the shallower parts were disturbed.

Fucha River

The Fucha River is a river on the Bogotá savanna and a left tributary of the Bogotá River. The river originates in the Eastern Hills of the Colombian capital Bogotá and flows westward through the city into the Bogotá River. It is one of the three important rivers of the city, together with the Tunjuelo and Juan Amarillo Rivers.

Tunjuelo River

The Tunjuelo or Tunjuelito River is a river on the Bogotá savanna and a left tributary of the Bogotá River. The river, with a length of 73 kilometres (45 mi) originates in the Sumapaz Páramo and flows northward through the Usme Synclinal to enter the Colombian capital Bogotá. There, the river is mostly canalised flowing westward into the Bogotá River. It is one of the three main rivers of the city, together with the Fucha and Juan Amarillo Rivers.

Río Frío (Bogotá savanna)

The Río Frío is a river on the Bogotá savanna and a right tributary of the Bogotá River. The river, in a basin of 6,008.69 hectares (23.1997 sq mi), originates on the Páramo de Guerrero in Zipaquirá at an altitude of 3,700 metres (12,100 ft). It flows through the municipalities Tabio and Cajicá and into the Bogotá River in the south of Chía, at 2,550 metres (8,370 ft) above sea level.


  1. (in Spanish) Etymology Bacatá – Banco de la República
  2. (in Spanish) A orillas del RíoEl Tiempo